Since my first embroidery work as a child was cross stitch and then my first pieces when I returned to embroidery as an adult were reproduction samplers, I felt quite at home with this week's stitch. I am also working on the EGA Counted Thread Mastercraftsman program, specifically the first step which is to design a cross stitch sampler. I have just started a family sampler using the names of the women in my Mother's family. All the borders will be of Hungarian design, since that is where the family is from. I'm using patterns from old Hungarian pattern books.
The next step in the program is Assissi work, and I was reading that the background can be cross stitch, long armed cross or two-sided Italian cross, so I thought I would test these stitches to see what would be a suitable background. Then I went on to test various other cross stitch variations. I hope you can read all my labels when you click on the photo. (The yellow stitches were a test of row vs. single crosses. Not a huge difference if done carefully, but my upright was not done carefully!)
After doing very small areas, it seems that cross stitch would be the fastest to fill the background of Assissi work. However, the long arm and Italian stitches do give better coverage, but they take forever and I would have to work out ending compensation stitches. I especially like the two colour rice stitch but it is labour intensive so it could not be used for really large areas. The Smyrna cross is a fun stitch and while coverage is good when done over two threads, I really like the star effect when done over 4.