I was out sick last week, so I missed quite a few days of stitching. Bah! Anyway, I started feeling better this weekend and have resumed stitching. One row down, two to go! I fear that the pictures really don't do it justice - the couched gold is very, very sparkly.
I was chatting about the banner this weekend and this project has been really interesting for a couple of reasons. The first big surprise was the depth you get from just one piece of paper for the letters. The first layer of each letter is laid green thread (just DMC cotton floss). The single layer of paper adds a surprising amount of dimensionality to the stitching. I suppose it makes sense when you look at the perspective of the actual thickness of the thread. I just hadn't really realized how much you could get out of so little.
The second layer is the laid criss-cross of gold thread. I am using a gold Gutterman machine embroidery thread for durability/washability/cost/etc. It's a very smooth thread and very nice to work with. Finally, I couch down the criss-cross at the intersections, which adds the texture and sparkle. It's very satisfying to finish a letter and see it glitter.