For the backing I use a leftover upholstery fabric. It is cotton with a nice woven design. I traced the design using the Frixion pen. I tested it out and sure enough - the lines totally disappear when I hold a hot iron close to it. Very neat!
Then I straighten out the DMC thread using the hair straightener before I stitch with it. I don't know if it made much difference, but it was fun anyway.
Today's progress - the orchid stem: