These may be the oldest needlepoint projects I still own. Back in the late 1980s I became fascinated with textured stitches for needlepoint, and I experimented quite a lot with them. I also got very interested in colour interactions, and worked out a lot of patterns like this checkerboard of red, orange, beige and brown; the idea was to use a very dark colour with two pairs of hues: a light and a mid-tone of each. It gives a nice pop to the pattern.
The middles would probably withstand nuclear attack; they're a stitch I made up that consists of a dark-brown cross-stitch with coloured cross-stitch over it in the alternating holes. In fact, these are quite durable overall. I've been using them on chairs for more than 20 years; last year I replaced the velvet backing, which had become pretty threadbare. The fronts still look like new.