Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No knots to start your embroidery.....

...have you noticed we are seeing more and more embroidery designs in quilts..
....and embroidered tea towels are making a big comeback.
I love doing embroidery...I find it very relaxing.

Moda tea toweling with Bird Brain Designs stitcheries.

I use a # 11 embroidery is nice and fine....
I do not use a hoop.....
I almost always use 2 strands of floss ...
and I take very small stitches....
I prefer to stop and restart...... instead of  traveling.
I am one of those quilters that likes the back of my blocks to look neat....
and the back of my embroidery projects....
... especially my embroidered tea towels.
I try to avoid all knots if I can.

Here is how I start my stitcheries.....

I start with one strand of floss about 36 inches long,
I fold the floss so the cut ends are together...
...thread both cut ends through the eye of your embroidery needle.
from the front of your block stitch through to the back side
leaving the small loop showing on the
take a very tiny stitch and bring the needle back to the front


you will have a loop on the front...put your needle into the loop


gently pull the loop tight and you have your first tiny stitch.

P1190375 can now continue to stitch your design
using tiny stitches especially on the curves and points.
This works well when doing french knots too.


When your floss is getting short bring your needle to the back
and slide your needle under 3 or 4 stitches to secure the end.
  Trim threads.
 This method makes for a neat back
but can be used only when you want to stitch with 2, 4 or 6 strands of floss. 
If you have any questions please feel free to email me
or leave me a comment and I will email you back.

This is the front of one of my blocks...
I still have the birdie to stitch in the nest....

Snowman stitchery front

This is the back of a block......and

Snowman stitchery back

both look pretty neat.

On February 9th I'm a guest blogger on Stash Manicure.  Hope you come for a visit.
I'll be sharing a few of my binding tips and
I'll be having a Valentine  give away.

Hugs and Happy Stitching



  1. Enjoyed this post very much, and am eager to try this.
    Had a giggle at the back of your project. The snowman on the back looks pretty grumpy!

  2. Thank yo for this helpful hint. I too had to giggle at the snowman's grumpy face on the reverse side.

    Looking forward to your post on Stash Manicure. I can use help with bindings. (o:

    Thank you & hugs.

  3. Thanks for the tip on starting. I've been embroidering for many years and have never seen this idea before! I too like a neat back. I usually run the ends from both the start and the end under several stiches. I'll definitely be trying your method.

  4. Great hint. The back of my embroidery is a mess. I'm changing my ways.....grin.

  5. Your work is gorgeous!! I actually commented on a post at "Sew Many Ways" right after you did. Your comment said you live in SE Michigan so curiosity (nosiness??) too over and I hopped over here to see where in MI you live since I live in SE MI too. Surprise, surprise!! I live in Canton as well! We've probably seen each other at Meijer or Target sometime. Small world! ;) Small, snowy world currently!!

  6. Thanks for the great tip! I was getting tired of all of those knots.

  7. Wonderful tip! I do love stitching too. It really is so relaxing.
    xx, shell

  8. Beautiful! Thanks so much for the tutorial!! Wonderful tips when it comes time for me to try this. It's on my long list of new things to try.

  9. This is a great tutorial. Thank you for such a wonderful embroidery tip! Who knew that it could be as easy as that?? How can I have been doing embroidery for all this time and not know that?
    Thank you for sharing.
    How did you go with the snow storm??

  10. I'm inspired to make my backs neater now that I know how!

  11. I have been stitching for years, redwork, bluework, etc... I have never heard this tip. Thank you so much. I too stop & start, but now I won't have any knots.

    Thanks so much.

  12. WOW great tutorial Pauline!!! I've saved this in my favorites for the next time I need to do embroidery :0)


  13. Great tip and tutorial. I just recently got back into embroidery and I'll be sure to use this in my projects. Thanks.

  14. Great project think I will try this with the kids this weekend.Thanks for sharing.

  15. Nice tutorial. Your nails look great, btw!! I loved learning this from you in person. Thanks for helping all of us become better stitchers!!!!

  16. THANK YOU for the starting tip! I've never seen that before and do some embroidery, so this will help greatly! Your stitching is beautiful - hope mine will get better with practice.

  17. Nice tutorial. However, I would caution one to use this technique on something that would be considered an "heirloom"
    Floss has a grain, and when you draw your fingers down it you can feel that one direction is "fuzzier" than the other. By doubling the thread, you are now working with the two strands each going in different directions. I suppose as long as you do this all the time it won't show, but your stitching will have subtle differences due to the plies going in different directions. Much like cutting two pieces of velvet or corduroy each going in different direction.
    Hope this makes sense. WIsh eliminating knots was that easy.

  18. This is a wonderful tutorial ... thank you :) I used the same technique with my cross stitching but didn't know if it'd work with embroidery as I'm just now transitioning into embroidery and am trying to soak up every embroidery tip I can. I love making the back look as good as the front too ... it's what I do :) lol Can't wait to see what you share on Stash Manicure!!

  19. Well, I will have to say that is one of the handiest little embroidery tricks I've ever seen! I will use that new technique and think of you everytime!
    Gmama Jane

  20. Great tip, I will just give that a try. Looks like it should work and leave little bulk. I love doing tea towels also, and I found that they make great gifts that everyone loves. Paired with a crocheted dish cloth makes a great gift. Thanks for the tip, glad I stumbbled on your blog.

  21. I'm now a follower after finding you via Stash Manicure. I have a lot to learn so thanks for sharing techniques and tips and tricks. Much appreciated.

  22. Fabulous tip! I have used a similar method when I'm cross-stitching...never thought of trying it with stitchery!

  23. Great post on stash manicure today Pauline. Applause, applause! Ann

  24. Following you from Stash Manicure. I love the table runner. Your tutorial was great!

  25. I learned basic embroidery as a child, but was never taught not to knot. This is the simplest tutorial for beginning a project I've come across. Thank you!