December 15, 2018


I'm usually not too concerned about the appearance of the back of my embroidery.  I usually make so many knots and "travel" so much it looks like a beautiful macrame back there.  I might be exaggerating a tiny bit. 

Anyway, when I stitch up a tea towel I have to change my thinking and take the time to make the backside as presentable as possible. There are two methods I like to use to stitch without knots.  One is called using a "Waste Knot".  The other has no name I'm aware of so I'll call it "Double Up".

Waste Knot -
Using 2 strands of floss

1. Tie a knot at one end of your floss.
2. Thread the other end onto your needle (I like to use an embroidery needle size 8).
3. From the topside pull the needle down about 4" from the starting point of the embroidery.
4. Start stitching as usual until there is about 4" of thread left on your needle.
*leave the slack from the knot to the starting point.
5. On the backside thread the needle through several of the previous stitches.
6. Cut off the excess thread.

7. Cut off the knot and pull the thread to the backside.
8. Thread the floss onto the needle and weave it under existing stitches as you did in step #5 above.

Double Up -
Use 1 strand of floss

1. Cut a length of floss 2x the length you need.
*I usually stitch with a length of about 24" so I would cut this about 48", but I never measure exactly
2. Fold the floss in half to form a loop.
3. Thread the cut ends onto the needle.

4. Pull the needle up from the backside at your starting point being careful not to pull the thread all of the way through.
5. Pull the needle to the backside about 1/8" away.
6. Thread the needle through the loop on the backside and pull gently to secure.
7. Start stitching!

When you start your next length of floss simply thread the needle through several of the existing stitches.

The embroidery design I'm working on in these examples is a One Stitch at a Time design. One Stitch at a Time is a super cool monthly embroidery club.  On the 1st of every month, a brand spankin' new 6" x 6" embroidery design is emailed directly to you.  Every month a lucky member will win a fun prize too.
2019 brings out first quilt challenge contest!  There are many prizes from the generous folks at Moda, Martingale, and more! Join anytime, it's only $2 a month and it will bring you $5 or more of joy : )
For more information click on the "CLUBS" button in the right column.

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Regina said...

Love the double up Kathy. Thanks to sharing.

sandi s said...

I use what you call the double up. It works great most of the time. I love all the information and I have a couple of your embroiderey books. Your designs are wonderful. Hugs,

Loris said...

Great techniques! I love your designs. Not working on towels at the moment but I'm going to give this a practice try. Thank you! Merry Christmas!

Carole~Quilter on the hill said...

What you call double up I recently learnt from some fellow quilters who called this an anchor knot - thanks for the great post Kathy!

Bits of Stitching! said...

It is always super nice to see your blog updates!
Yes, I too use those methods in combination with knots ;-).
The one you know as the "double up", I learned it as the "loop method".

EPS said...

I will try it too... beautiful

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Anonymous said...

I was so excited to read your waste knot tutorial! I've often wondered if there was another way to hide 'knots'. Thank you so much! It's hard to find any information on hand embroidery,,,most sites are machine embroidery information. So glad I stumbled across you through Pieces From My Heart blog. Thank you again. have a great day.

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Darla said...

Love your no knot tips and will them. Also watched your freezer paper video and will try that also. I’ve always used an iron on interfacing on the back of my work to hide thread carry overs but would not be able to iron on when using Frixon markers as the heat would cause the markings to disappear. What do you use to back your stitching? Y

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