People often ask where to start a pattern stitch on a canvas. I'm sure the decision varies from person-to-person, but I always start where I can establish the pattern--that is, do at least 5 or so "repeats". It's easy then to go back and fill in "the edges" (those odd areas that seem to confuse the issue). The star on the following mini-stocking is an example of this.
Pippin Studio has some 13-mesh mini-stockings that have large blocks of colors and thus lend themselves to pattern stitches.
I have started the nobuko stitch on the star using Balger braid #16. I wanted to start the row of stitching at the place where the right point of the star joins the top point. I drew my needle to the right edge of that right point and that's where I started my first row of stitching. I will go back later, turn the canvas upside down, and do the remaining stitches in the right point and the top point.
Here you can see the completed star. I have started stitching the green background in the basketweave. I have also started the red using the diagonal mosaic.
This is the shop model pillow back from the finisher. Miraculously the fabric exactly matches the silk 'n ivory I used for the background.