Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Embroidery - Front and Back

We get many emails and comments at shows about the back of your embroidery!  Not matter what, when folks pick up your embroidery they immediately turn it over to see the back – what’s up with that?

Keeping the back of your embroidery neat and clean (to satisfy all those snoopy stitchers) is really not hard with just a few hints – I promise. 

When stitching on tea towels, pillowcases and other things that DO NOT have a backing to cover the embroidery like a pillow, table runner or quilt, it is more important to hide your threads.  I don’t use any extra fabric or stabilizers on the back of my embroidery. 
But I do keep it neat and clean- so easy to do!

I begin my embroidery with a very small knot with the tail clipped off.  The knot in the photo below is in the upper right corner hidden under the second stitch I made…you can see the small lump sticking out.  NOT placing the knot at the very end of the design line helps you to hide and support the knot keeping the knot from showing so much from the front.

Beginning Knot

End your embroidery thread when your stitching area is finished by weaving your needle under the stitches Make a back stitch and weave again under more stitches.  Clip the thread close to the embroidery.  This will eliminate loose threads and tails on the back of your work.

Tie Off Stitches4 - Copy

Begin your next thread the same way you ended – just weave the needle under embroidered stitches a couple of times and continue stitching.  Keep your distances short as you move from motif to motif as you embroider.  Then you won’t have long jump stitches that might show from the front.  For “usable” things like towels, clothing or pillowcase, long threads can be snagged and torn with use. 

MoveFrom StitchToStitch - Copy

In the photo above I completed the red area on the right and pass the needle under the green stitches to hold them in place to move left to embroider another red area.  This holds the stitches in place to protect the stitches from snags, keeps the embroidery neat and I won’t have to to use another knot.  Easy, right?


This is the finished back of a tea towel.  Just make sure you don’t have long threads joining design areas – you might catch them and pull your embroidery as you use them .

Have fun with your embroidery everyone!


  1. Great advice. I do mine the same way. My mom taught me those tricks.

    nice job


  2. Lovely back. ;-) My DGM taught me to embroider and she always checked the back first! She taught me all those tricks too. Have a happy day!

  3. Great tutorial!
    It's always nice for beginners to have this info ~ I like that you showed it with pics!!!
    Thanks again!
    Prim Blessings

  4. Thank you for these interesting strong advice, it is really fun to come across articles as interesting as yours! I wish you health, longevity, success, happiness and peace of heart.

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