How to finish your embroidery like it’s the work of art it is…

Hi all! This is a very practical post which will give beginners a leg up on finishing your embroideries like pros!

If you’ve been following me awhile, you probably know I finish many of my embroideries in the hoop.

I love this trend in recent years because it embraces the roots of embroidery in craft and it reveals to viewers the process behind the work. However, after finishing some 40+ embroideries this way, I’m looking for some more versatile ways to finish my pieces. For one thing, circular compositions can start to feel limiting!

So, I’ve finished several pieces by stretching the finished embroidery over a primed canvas.

I like this because these pieces can be hung on the wall just like paintings. Sure, the medium is thread, but these are works of art. Also, I can use a square or rectangular format, which frees me up to explore different types of composition.

Here’s a step-by-step in pictures for how to beautifully finish your embroidery this way. (Instructions follow)

  1. First, after cutting the fabric with the embroidery down so that you have about an inch lee-way if you stretch it around to the back, you’ll want to “lace up” the back. Take a sturdy thread like perle cotton and a needle, knot it, and make long stitches first one direction, then the other. Not too tight! You don’t want to create any stress points in the fabric.
  2. Next, you want to take some quilting thread and get ready to stitch up all the corners.
  3. Fold the corners over so there are no bunches in the fabric and you have a single diagonal seam down one side of the edge.
  4. Whip-stitch up the visible side using the quilting thread.
  5. Next, holding the folded-over corner tight, whip-stitch the other side.
  6. Finish all four corners. I usually work diagonal corners to keep the tension even on all sides as I’m working.
  7. Cut a piece of felt about 1/4″ smaller than the canvas all around. This would also be a good time to stitch any initials or signature mark on the back.
  8. Use appliqué stitch to attach the felt to the back of the piece.
  9. Admire!

You can display this piece on a ledge or shelf, but you can also carefully nail a small sawtooth hook on the back for easy hanging.

Hopefully, this is useful info for anyone that needs it!

As a bonus, here’s a little 30-second video showing the whole process:

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