You have gathered your supplies, prepared your project and know how to read your pattern. It is time to learn how to start your stitches and of course what the best way is to end them.


Always, always start stitching from the centre of your design towards the edges. This will ensure your fabric will not run out on any sides. 

Stitching over Method

Pull your threaded needle up onto the front side of the fabric, leaving a 1” tail of thread on the back. Hold the tail of thread against the back of the fabric in the direction you plan to stitch, and work the first 4 to 5 stitches over it to secure it into place. Be sure to check the backside to confirm that your stitches are covering the thread, and clip any loose ends before continuing to stitch. 

In Line Waste Knot Method

This starting technique is best used to start a new design or to start stitching in a new area of the design. Knot the end of your thread and take your needle from the front to the back, about 1” or so from your starting point, running the thread along the same line you plan to stitch. Bring the needle up to the front of the fabric at the starting point of your first cross stitch. Start stitching towards the knot, being sure to cross over the thread on the back with each stitch to secure it. When your stitching reaches the knot, pull the knot up and clip it off close to the fabric and continue stitching.

Start your thread using the inline waste method for a clean back.

Away Know Method

Another easy way to start a new design or to start stitching in a new area of the design is the Away Knot. Knot the end of the thread and take your needle from the front side onto the back several inches away from your starting point and start stitching. When you finish stitching with that thread, pull the knot up and clip it off. Turn your work over, re-thread the needle with the remaining thread and weave the thread through several stitches on the backside to secure it. 

The away knot method is very easy and perfect for beginners.

Loop Method

You can use this method only if you are stitching with an even number of threads. Cut your thread twice as long as you normally would and double this thread. Thread your needle with the two ends. Bring your needle up at the wrong side from where you intend to start your stitching. The loop should now be at the back of your project. Bring your needle down to the wrong side after stitching your first half stitch. Pass the needle through the hoop. The stitch is now fastened and you can start stitching!


On the back, run your needle under a few stitches. Clip off any excess thread. After rethreading the needle, run the needle under several stitches on the back to secure the thread. Once you have started a project, you can secure new threads by weaving the thread under several adjacent stitches on the backside and continue stitching.

Ending your thread is important to secure your threads so they dont come loose.