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Saturday, November 26, 2011

How To Start a Thread for a Line of Stem Stitch

Sometimes it’s challenging to figure out exactly how to start a thread. The two most common methods I’ve seen are to use an away waste knot (to allow the stitching to be tied off later) and simply using a waste knot in the path of the stitching.

When you’re stitching a line of stem or outline stitch, you could use the away knot and then tie off the stitches later. But the “knot in the path of stitching” option needs a bit of modification to make it work successfully.

The answer? Running stitch.

As shown here, I put my waste knot in the thread and then do a few small running stitches out to where the line of stitching starts.


Then you can simply stitch over these little running stitches with the stem or outline stitch, and cut off the knot when you get to it. If you can pierce a running stitch or two along the way, all the better.


One of the main advantages of this technique is that it doesn’t matter if the line you’re stitching is straight or curvy. The running stitches force the thread tail to follow the curve of the line.

Does anybody else have a tip for starting threads in this situation?


The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Very clever! I've never seen anyone use this technique. Of course I mostly NP and we usually bury our thread end in the stitching next door.

Donna said...

That's a very nice way to start if there's no other stitching going on beside the stem stitch. Elegant.

Unknown said...

Thankyou - very clever!

Nicola said...

That is a great tip which I will be using. Many than fir sharing it.

Jeanne said...

I'm glad you all appreciate the tip. It's certainly not my own creation. I picked it up somewhere, though I can't quite pinpoint where right now!

Racaire said...

Well, when I start with stem stitch, I leave a part of thread (about 3cm) at the backside without securing it... and with every stitch of the stemstitch - I take care at the backside and try to stitch across the this starting part of the thread - normally just 3-5 stitches and the backside of the stemstitch holds the end of the thread without problems...
easy and fast way to secure it and you don't see it at the front :)