NO knots on the back of your embroidery. NONE. Watch how it’s done (video 🎬)

Embroidery from Stitched So SweetHow can you embroider without any knots to hold your stitches in place?

It’s totally doable . . . and it’s as easy as can be!

Knots on the back of your work can make the front of your work look lumpy and bumpy. Thread tails can show through to the front of your work too. After all the care you put into your embroidery, you want it to look polished and professional. And today Stitched So Sweet author Tracy Souza is sharing a simple technique that will help you do just that!

Tracy SouzaAbout the technique in the video below, Tracy says:

“Several years ago while I was teaching a class, one of my students taught me this handy trick for stitching without knots on the back of my work. It’s by far one of my favorite methods for keeping my work neat and tidy.”

Watch the clever how-to:


Reading this post in email? Click here to view the video online.

What about when it’s time to end your stitching? Tracy says, “When you’ve completed the embroidery or you’re near the end of the floss, stop when you have 2″ to 3″ of floss. Then weave the thread through the back of the stitches.” (Check out a video about that technique here.)

Now that you’re ready to say so-long to knots, take a look at all the pretty embroidery you can enjoy in Stitched So Sweet:

Make a whimsical quilt that features the four seasons:

Thread and Whimsy wall quilt Thread and Whimsy wall quilt
Thread and Whimsy Quilt

Or stitch an embroidered runner, Log Cabin style:

Seasons of Whimsy table runner Seasons of Whimsy table runner
Seasons of Whimsy Table Runner

Or perhaps you’ll embroider a pretty prairie-point pillow (or two or three?):

Spooling Around pillow Spooling Around pillows
Spooling Around Pillows

Note: soon we’ll be sharing another video from Tracy on how she makes her cute prairie points, so be sure to subscribe to Stitch This! so you don’t miss it!

See more from Stitched So Sweet >>>

Stitched So SweetHow do you typically start and end your embroidery stitches?

  • The no-knot way, just like Tracy.
  • I’ve been using a quilter’s knot, but this tutorial has changed my mind!
  • Any way I can . . . 😂

Tell us in the comments!


44 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I just became a “convert”. That is the greatest tip I have seen in a very long time. Thank you!

    —Sharon Lowy on August 12, 2019
  • I usually use a quilters knot but I’ll try Tracy’s method now.

    —Barb Walsh on August 12, 2019
  • The no-knot way,just like Tracy does. Happy Stitching.

    —Clare on August 12, 2019
  • Will try the new method

    —Mary on August 12, 2019
  • I have always used a knot but this is such a simple solution to knots showing that I’ll be using this idea from now on.

    —Elaine A on August 12, 2019
  • I use this technique with cross stitching. I never thought about using it for embroidery! Thank you !

    —Diane on August 12, 2019
  • I do mine the no knot way like Tracy. Love the pictures from the book.

    —Peggy Marine on August 12, 2019
  • I use the traditional knot. I like the idea of the security of a knot.

    —Anne on August 12, 2019
  • I do it the old fashioned way, knots, lumps and bumps. I promise to try it the way the author does,

    —Stephanie's Woodward on August 12, 2019
  • I generally do knots any way I can, but his is terrific, No Knots. Thank you very much!

    —Elizabeth on August 12, 2019
  • I really like the way Tracy does her technique. I will begin using her method with my next embroidery. Thanks!

    —Ann West on August 12, 2019
  • I do use Tracy’s method when the floss is not variegated.

    Kristie Forrey on August 12, 2019
  • I’ve used both methods. It really depends on what the finished product will be used for. Sometimes I just feel a little more secure with a knot.

    —Lisa on August 12, 2019
  • I have always just left a tail that I stitch over at the beginning, but this seems a bit more secure and simple after learning how to do it.

    —Shines on August 12, 2019
  • What happens on the back, stays on the back – I knot, but will give this a try.

    —sue atkins on August 12, 2019
  • Sometimes I use knots and sometimes I don’t. I learned how to weave in the thread tails when I learned to do cross stitch.

    —Linda A Foust on August 12, 2019
  • I weave the ends when I start and end in cross stitch and I can see starting this way but weaving ends in for embroidery does not seem secure especially on something that gets washed like a towel. Also for regular embroidery when there’s not much work there to weave into.

    —Pamela Hancock on August 12, 2019
  • One of my great grandmothers did awesome embroidery and the back of her piece looked as great as the front. Wonder what technique she used? I did not learn from her but have seen her work.

    —CJ Elliott on August 12, 2019
  • I usually pull floss up about 1/2″ from my starting point ( on the line I will be stitching ) and make a few running stitches back to the starting point. I make a tiny backstitch, coming up at the starting point. It locks in the floss, and the embroidery covers up the running stitches.
    I will have to try Tracy’s method next time I embroidery something. I am always willing to try something different.

    —Kim Mcwhorter on August 12, 2019
  • I’ve been using a quilters knot, but now that I’ve learned this trick, I will be using it. Yeah

    —Rita Long on August 12, 2019
  • I have always used a quilters knot. I will now use this method.

    —Rita Long on August 12, 2019
  • I do a weaving type method. No knots.

    —carol on August 12, 2019
  • I tend to use both. When doing cross stitch I use the no know method but other stitches I make resort to a knot and weave the end.

    —Sue Bialorucki on August 12, 2019
  • I use a quilter’s knot to start and a knot to end. I’ve always been concerned that the woven ending will not hold up through many washings. I’m shifting to the loop to start, thus eliminating half my knots. Yippee.

    —SandyMay on August 12, 2019
  • I’ve done the no knot longer than I can remember.

    —Martha Cook on August 12, 2019
  • My mother taught me this when I was quite young. Sometimes, I tie a Quilter’s knot.

    —Rose-Marie on August 12, 2019
  • Until seeing this I always just used a quilter’s knot? Love this idea.

    —Vickie Keith on August 12, 2019
  • quilter knot – but I like this method!

    —Linda Lee Ahn on August 12, 2019
  • QUILTER’S KNOT, AND sometimes I just tie the threads together in a square knot

    —MS Barb on August 12, 2019
  • I usually knot when doing embroidery and use the loop method in cross stitching, hadn’t thought of it for embroidery but I will now!!

    —Carlie B Holdredge on August 12, 2019
  • I’ve been using a quilter’s knot, but this tutorial has changed my mind!

    —Rita Long on August 13, 2019
  • I used to use a knot but never again. BUT now I will use the loop method. Great book.

    —Darliss Peabody on August 15, 2019
  • I’ve used Tracy’s knot for cross-stitch but never even thought about using it for embroidery! I will now!

    —Sue Hoover on August 15, 2019
  • You just solved my problem! How did I live this long without do it this way?

    —Sherbie on August 16, 2019
  • I will use this method. What a simple solution.

    —Pearl on August 16, 2019
  • I have always started and ended
    with "no knots". This give the piece
    a flat finished look.

    —Barbara Ann Jones on August 16, 2019
  • Have used this trick for many years with cross stitch also.

    —debby on August 16, 2019
  • I have used the no-knit method on my embroidery. Works so nicely!

    —Brenda K. on August 16, 2019
  • I start my embroidery (and cross stitch) the no knots way, but you cannot end it that way? Any suggestions?

    Hi Barb, look to this video for ending your embroidery – hope it helps! –Jenny

    —Barb on August 16, 2019
  • I use this method for cross stitch, but never thought to use it for embroidery! Light bulb moment!!!

    —Rosemary on August 17, 2019
  • Always use this method on cross stitch.

    —Nancy Dumeny on August 17, 2019
  • I’ve always made a knot, but will definitely try this method. And how does she tie off without a knot? Can’t wait to see this book in person

    Hi Cindy, look to this video for ending your embroidery – hope it helps! –Jenny

    —Cindy K on August 17, 2019
  • I had used the "no knot" method in the past when I first started embroidering and then started using a knot instead. Not sure why?? I will try this again!

    —Patty Fallon on August 19, 2019
  • I usually use a quilter’s knot, but I will be using Tracy’s method. Thanks for the great tip.

    —Joan M on August 21, 2019

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