Crazy Quilting, Cross Stitch and Embroidery Blog


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

To Knot Or Not To Knot

Do you knot or not knot? I thought I'd clear up the mystery as to when knots are appropriate and when they're not. Ha, ha, ha! Okay, enough of the not, knot stuff!

With counted cross stitch, it's generally recommended that the thread tails be woven in behind the stitches on the back. Cross stitch fabric, esp. evenweaves and linens are thin so knots would show through on the front, giving the finished stitched piece a lumpy appearance.

With crazy quilting, I would say that it's a matter of personal choice. For the most part, I knot my threads. With the foundation fabric and all the various surface fabrics, any knots on the back will not show through on the front:

Sunflower Purse

There is one exception to that in crazy quilting. With Silk Ribbon Embroidery, I weave the tails under stitches in the back. I used to knot them. But too many times, while working in other areas of the block, I'd catch that knot and end up pulling the Silk Ribbon, messing up my stitches on the front. It's best to weave those tails under other stitches.

With redwork and outline embroidery, lumps from knots can show through on the front. The choice however, is really up to the stitcher. Most of the vintage embroidered pieces that I've seen at flea markets and antique shops have knots on the back. My own grandmother taught me to knot my threads so I will openly admit, that I knot when I do redwork and outline embroidery:

Redwork Cat

I hope you find this post helpful. Instead of just posting photos of my stitching, I've been trying to offer you helpful hints along the way.

If you like my Redwork Cat and would like to stitch him, you can find the patterns for him and his friends here.


patternnuts said...

Thank you for all of your hints and tips. I haven't tried the crazy quilt piece I bought from you, yet... For me to see the one you had in the hoop (last post? )helped me as I am a visual learner. Any other hints would be most appreciated!!!!

kim said...

I love the expression on your redwork kitty's face! He's so cute!

Looking forward to seeing progress pics on your new CQ. The colors are gorgeous together!


Debra Spincic said...

Wonderful hot colors in your new block!

How about joining the new TIF Challenge webring and adding your block to the blog page?

Allison Ann Aller said...

I love those hot colors too...not your usual palette.
My magazine arrived today and I think I can tell which designs are yours..thanks so much.
Very cool to have those Indian designs in there, too!

Susan said...

I knot embroidery, too. If the knots are tiny, they don't show. If you embroider through batting or similar materials, it doesn't show. I am *very* careful about traveling, though!

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