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Beginner Embroidery Tips

When learning to embroider, there are several beginner embroidery tips that you will need to know before you start.  Some of this can be a bit difficult to explain in words, so watching this video on my YouTube channel will help.  It goes over some basic tips, supplies, and tracing methods. If you find this post useful, make sure to take a look at my How to Embroider for Beginners series.

Beginner Embroidery Tips

Embroidery Floss

Embroidery floss is one strand that is made up of six smaller strands.  You can separate those strands to make your stitches thinner.  Each of my hand embroidery designs will list the amount of strands you need for each stitch.  You want to cut off a piece of embroidery floss about the length from your hand to your shoulder (unless you are doing something like a woven wheel flower that takes a lot of floss).  After you cut it, then you separate out the amount of strands you need.  I like to work in two, three, and six strands usually, and sometimes a single strand if I want a very thin line.  Check out my video on how to separate embroidery floss without tangles.

Securing Thread

When you begin a new thread, you need a way to secure it in the back.  Generally speaking, if you can do it without a knot, your work will be much neater in the back.  However, I always recommend that beginners keep things simple by just tying a small knot at the end of your thread.  You can learn the other fancy stuff later.  When you are done with a thread, you’ll need to secure it in the back again.  Run your needle under some of the other stitches in the back.  Leave it like that if it’s secure or tie a knot if it needs more.  Cut off the excess thread and you are good.  Take a look at my videos on how to tie knots in the end of embroidery floss with a quilter’s knot and how to start embroidery without knots.

Embroidery Hoop Size

When I’m working on a project, I like to use a hoop one size larger than the one I ultimately need to finish it.  For example, if I’m making a project that is going to be framed in a 6 inch hoop, I stitch it in a 7 inch hoop.  That way the edges of my hoop don’t get in the way of my stitching.

Traveling Thread

When you are working on one area of your piece and you need to start on another part, you need to make sure that any thread going across the back is covered by thread in the front.  If you don’t, the thread in the back can show through the fabric on the front.  You’ll need to secure your thread in the back and then restart the thread again on the other part.  You can also hide your stitches by using the backs of other stitches and travel along those lines.  It’s hard to explain in words, but watching the video should help.

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Avis LaCrue

Saturday 18th of September 2021

I have designed a pattern that I want to embroider. I am so excited but hesitant because I am afraid to fail. So I hope this helps.

Christy Byers

Saturday 28th of August 2021

I just started but I’m so excited to be learning all these new techniques. My aunt taught me differently of some of the stitches so seeing it done is pretty cool here too!


Thursday 4th of March 2021

what about the excess fabric on hoops after you're done embroidering? how do i secure them and make them look presentable

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Thursday 8th of April 2021

I like to do it like this:


Saturday 26th of December 2020

My 5 year old got an embroidery kit for Christmas yesterday. Today we started trying to figure it out. your tutorials and tips are so helpful. she's starting with your bunny and rainbow template. For a 5 year old she's doing amazing so far!

thanks for sharing!

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Thursday 28th of January 2021

I'm so glad it's helping! I'm impressed your 5 year old is able to do it!!


Thursday 12th of November 2020

What kind of needle do you suggest using? I started working on a kit and I wasn’t able to use six thread.

Jessica @ Cutesy Crafts

Friday 13th of November 2020

Here's a post where I talk about needle sizes: You need a size 3 needle for 6 strands.

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