Thursday, April 3, 2014

Waste Knot Want Knot

Progress on my reproduction of this block continues
and a HUGE surprise is in the works.  More
info coming soon!!
I was happily stitching on my Mystery in the Smokies project in the lunch room the other day when a fellow needle art enthusiast asked me how I start and stop my embroidery so that I do not have knots on my background.  As I demonstrated for her I stopped to snap a few photos so that I could share with all of you. 

Knot end of embroidery thread
To Begin:  I make a quilter’s knot in the end of a 9 inch length of embroidery floss. 

Leave Waste Knot about 3/4" in front of where you wish to start
I then enter the fabric from the top, about one half to three quarters of an inch ahead of where I want to begin to embroider.  This knot on the top is referred to as a waster knot.

I then come up exactly where I wish the embroidery to begin. 
Embroider as usual
 I begin to stitch towards the knot. 

Catch the underneath thread with each stitch

In this case I am embroidering a stem stitch.  Each time I travel behind the fabric to form a stitch I make sure to stitch through the length of thread on the back.  I will make several stitches as I get closer to the knot.  With each stitch I catch a piece of the back thread.   
Snip waste knot

When I am one stitch away, I will snip the knot.   I then continue to embroider.  

Neatness counts!
The front AND the back are both nice and neat and the beginning thread tail is secure.

In this particular project I am embroidering with a very dark fiber on a very light background.  Any knots or stray threads that migrate on the back will shadow through and be very visible on the front; especially when the top is sandwiched with white batting behind it!  Neatness always counts and in this case, more than ever!

Tune it next time to to hear all about a huge surprise that is in the making - very exciting news!

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami


  1. Mercy, your applique block is beyond gorgeous. Also, thanks for the embroidery tip :) I hope your surprise is that you've written a book!

    1. Hi Linda - No, not a book. But still I think it's a nice surprise :)