[HNW] making the back of needlework look like the front

Lois Perry ljperry at ns.sympatico.ca
Tue Jul 19 14:16:01 PDT 2005

Hi Stephanie

 The ladies are right. Historically, the back of needlework was not a 
concern and neatness of the back is a modern invention. I had just that 
question once when I entered a needlework competition where the back was 
taken into consideration. I was told first place was between myself and 
another lady and because of the neatness and care I had taken in the 
back of my work I won. So to answer your question on how to make the 
back of counted cross stitch neat, I have two suggestions. 

First use 18 count Ada Cloth and two stands of floss. This is so you can 
start your thread by the loop method. Cut one strand of floss twice the 
length of what you would normally use and fold it in half s you have a 
loop at one end and the two ends at the other. Thread the two ends in 
the needle and make your first stitch guiding the needle through the 
loop on the back. Then draw the loop snug  but do not pucker the fabric. 
If you use this method of starting you eliminate all the threads that 
you run under stitches to begin.

Second, when you end your thread, end it vertically and not 
horizontally, weaving in and out of the horizontal line of threads on 
the back. Try to always end a thread on its own colour. By ending your 
threads this way your endings are almost invisible.

Hope this helps and is written clearly for you.

Stephanie S Smith, Ph.D. wrote:

>It is said that the mark of an expert needlework is that the back looks
>as good as the front.  Okay, so how does one do that?  Especially in
>counted cross stitch, there can be several different colors in an area
>that are one square a piece.  If you run your thread under the other
>threads in the back, you quickly have a mess.  Crewel embroidery is a
>little easier, especially if you are doing the satin stitch (it hides a
>multitude of sins) but not when you are using other stitches.  Any ideas
>would be appreciated.
>Stephanie Smith, Ph.D.
>lambdakennels1 at juno.com
>Wolfe City, Texas 75496
>Owned by a Standard Poodle and an Australian Cattle Dog
>H-needlework mailing list
>H-needlework at ansteorra.org

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