Updated March 31, 2023.
I decided that the Millefiori Cross, above really needed a background and chose one of my favorite Blackwork patterns in white pearl cotton, which matches the color of the canvas.
The pattern is simple to do but results in a complex pattern. (The picture shows the chart).
The result, since it’s stitched in white, is a richly textured background which highlights the difference between the open and “filled” places. Because it’s Blackwork, it is less heavy than the stitching on the focal point. Because it’s white, the pattern doesn’t overshadow the other stitching.
In fact, it is better than I had hoped and shows why Blackwork can be perfect for backgrounds.
To make this kind of background, you need to do two things.
1. Pick a Blackwork pattern which is an overall pattern, on the small side.
2. Pick a thread that is close to the color of the canvas, a solid, and about the thickness of a canvas hole (#8 pearl is perfect for 18 mesh).
Then go with it.
You will be delighted with the results.