How to End a Single Cross Stitch

Have you been working on cross-stitch? Are you not sure how to finish the stitch as you get close to the end of the thread?

If that is your situation, you are in the right place! Once you finish this article, you’ll be on your way to a fantastic cross-stitch that won’t unravel or come off quickly with laundering.

Ending a cross-stitch doesn’t have to give you a headache. Go after these simple steps, and learn how to tie off the thread in various ways.

How to End a Single Cross Stitch?

Many of the procedures for ending a stitch are similar to those people use to begin one. In cross-stitch embroidery, there are a variety of ways to end a thread. Here we will discuss three methods to end a single cross stitch.

Methods to End a Single Cross Stitch

You’ll get the best results with your cross-stitch project if you start and end your embroidery thread without knots. Those extra moments of stitching time will make your project last longer and look better.

Pushing the needle under the last few stitches on the back is the most common and easy way to end a thread. Pull the thread through to the end of the stitches, burying the tail under them, and then cut it with sharp scissors.

Some people prefer to tie knots, while others don’t. The following are ways in which you can end your cross stitch.

1. Tie Off the Cross Stitch With a Knot

More than half the time, no one cares how your backside looks, messy or not. People don’t get to see it anyway, not unless you choose to show them.

You can choose to hang your embroidery art on a frame with as many knots as you like. Do what makes you happy! The art is yours!

Other times, however, it is better to avoid knots. Knots from the back can show up when you frame your hand embroidery. It can cause bumps to show on the front side.

The knots’ tails can also hang to the front and make your project look weird and distracting.

Knots can also be a problem for other kinds of projects where the back is visible. They protrude and can loosen and unravel over time as a result of wear and washing.

2. Use an Away Knot

Usually, you make an away knot 3 to 5 inches away from the embroidery stitches starting point. The knot gets its name from this.

After finishing the cross-stitch, you clip the knot and thread your needle with the tail, weaving it through the stitches on the back of your cloth in the same way you would when finishing a regular stitch.

With this method, you waste a few inches of embroidery thread. So, if you are using pricey threads, you may want to go with another option.

While working on the embroidery, make sure you don’t cross your threads through the away knot’s tail.

How to Tie an Away Knot?

Tie an away knot to end a cross-stitch thread in the same way you would to start a thread to keep the floss in place until you make more stitches to cover it.

Step 1: You’ll need to know where you’re going to stitch next if you’re going to end your cross stitch with an away knot.

If you are doing a counted cross stitch, count the stitches in the pattern next to your last cross-stitch.

In printed cross-stitch, on the other hand, find the end of the next section of stitches. Use this for other forms of embroidery as well.

Step 2: Drag the thread across the back of your project.

Step 3: Pull the needle all the way through to the front, where the next set of stitches will begin. It should take at least three cross stitches to complete.

Step 4: Pull the thread taut against the back of the fabric and tie a knot right in front of it. To save a tail from being stuck under potential stitches, clip it off.

Take care not to pull it too hard, as very tight stitches could hinder you from getting the needle through the stitches if the need arises.

Step 5: As you make the next set of stitches, make sure that your new stitches cover the thread you pulled across the back of the project.

When you have finished replacing the thread on the back with fresh stitches, snip the knot at the front.

That’s it! Your thread has been anchored!

When to Use an Away Knot?

The Away Knot is a good option for embroidery. It is ideal when the embroidery is loose and can’t secure the floss under the stitch.

If the remaining floss is too short for you to bury it, the away knot is a good cheat!

Use the away knot only if the next set of stitches is right next to the one you just finished. In the pattern chart, the symbols should be touching.

Otherwise, the thread that we pull across the back of the fabric could be visible from the front, detracting from the project’s beauty.

3. Bury the Thread

Ending a cross-stitch or other handmade embroidery by burying the thread is by far the most popular method.

The procedure for burying the thread under stitches on the front or back is the same.

How to Bury the Thread?

Step 1: Turn the needle horizontally after the last stitch and pull it through about four completed stitches.

It is crucial to bury the thread under at least three stitches to keep it from coming out and unraveling the stitches.

Step 2: With a pair of embroidery scissors, snip the tail close enough so that it won’t get stuck in the next stitches.

Step 3: When burying the thread on the front, pull the thread nice and close before snipping the tail.

The end of the thread will then slip slightly behind the last cross-stitch when you cut the tail. Take care not to snip the stitch.

When to Bury the Thread?

A good time to bury your stitches on the front is when you are contesting the project, and the back has to be perfect.

It is also a good option if you’re stitching on a big frame or floor stand and can’t see the project’s back.

You’ll get the best results with your embroidery project if you start and finish a cross-stitch without knots.

Knots aren’t a requirement in any embroidery project because we can secure the thread ends in other ways.

Furthermore, knots can make a project’s backside untidy and bumpy, and you can also feel them on the front side. Knots often have a tail that shows out on the front side of an embroidered project.

Knots can also be detrimental to a project because they unravel when you use them or wash them. As a consequence, over time, valuable stitches are lost.

How Do I Get the Needle Under the Stitches?

If you can’t get your needle through your stitches, the needle is too big, or the stitches’ tension is too tight. It usually occurs when you pull the thread too tight with each stitch, causing the fabric to bunch up.

Practicing is the only way to prevent this. Try stitching a few rows and ending the thread a couple of times before beginning the project, mainly if it’s your first.

What Is the Best Method for Ending a Cross-Stitch?

The best method to end a cross-stitch is dependent on your intended use for it. If the project is yours and you’ll cover the back with a frame, the back look doesn’t matter.

If you choose to do plain old knots to end your cross-stitch, no one will be coming after you.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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