The Diamond Ray is a great stitch and was well-received by the class. The stitch consists of five individual stitches that radiate out from a central point forming a diamond shape. The end result is a stitch that looks like a small leaf and can be used for backgrounds or larger design areas. It is a good stitch to use for shading and works well with over-dyed threads. Neon Rays also looks good when stitched in Diamond Ray.
The Diamond Ray stitch can also be used as a design element representing a small bush, Christmas tree or feathers. One disadvantage of the stitch is that it is slow to work up. It does however create an interesting all-over pattern/texture and it has a good backing.
One tip for when working the Diamond Ray stitch is to make sure that you always use a thread that is thin enough to show off the individual elements of the stitch. Another tip is to work the stitch from the bottom to the top though this means that you will be coming out of an occupied hole and headed into an empty hole. Still, stitching from bottom to top results in fewer errors for most people.
A very pretty variation that we explored in class necessitated working two horizontal rows of Diamond Ray stitches, one row facing upwards and the second row facing downward (all the stitches shared the same central hole). This resulted in a hole between each pair of Diamond Rays that we filled with an Upright Cross stitch in a contrasting color -- a sophisticated look that was not very difficult to achieve.