I tried two more stitch variations in finishing the project. Instead of simply couching down the pine needles as I did in the first quarter of the table topper, I tried coral stitch. This stitch is new to me, but I noticed it in a magazine and tried it out. Essentially, instead of a simple couching stitch, you work what amounts to a buttonhole stitch, taking the thread under the needle before taking it through to the back of the fabric.
My other variation involved the snow. Having pulled out the satin stitch and replaced it with split back stitch on the first two sides, I decided to try padding the satin stitch on the third side. I worked satin stitch in one direction, then over the top in the other direction. It gave a smooth finish and a bit of dimension. I was happy to leave it on side three ( a talking point) but reverted to the split back stitch on the fourth side.