It finally occurred to me that the mosaic stitch was a slooooow way to go for background. So when I managed to complete the background on the first sandal panel, I rethought things and decided to do the second panel's background in my new go-to stitch, Diagonal Triple Parisian. Yes! It went like a dream, with only a few areas where I fudged and did continental.
Then on to do some clean-up stitching. I finished the French knots on the criss-cross Hungarian on both panels in no time. Now to tackle the Hungarian Ground on the 2nd panel. The first was a snap since it was a solid wing, but this remaining area had another flamingo in front and it was hard to establish the pattern. I'm only slightly dense and persistent and finally it sank in that if I have trouble figuring out how to establish a stitch, what do I think my students will be able to do? So, frogging commenced while thinking about an alternative. Finally, I decided to do the giant diagonal mosaic (over 3, over 2, over 3, over 2, etc.). And it is working!! I didn't get it totally finished, but tonight it will become a done deal. Now all I have to do is select the fabric and/or trims for the pillows. I'll show the final product when they return from the finisher in a few months. It's a good feeling to have a project finished--mainly because I'm already thinking about what I'm going to stitch next!