Ask Roz: How do you anchor your thread ends?

How do you anchor your thread ends? I tend to weave the end back and forth in a corner block. I usually go back and forth about three times. Is that enough or am I over doing it? Sometimes, I can tell from the front where I’ve attached a thread. I start with an away knot, then weave it in later.

Sharon Howell

Roz Answers:

In my opinion, going back and forth under one block will definitely create a bump on the front. Rather, on the back of the piece run the end thread beneath 4-5 blocks and then snip off the end. When you come in with the new thread, do the waste knot on the top of the fabric about 2" away from the new stitch, or if you are comfortable, hold the end of the new thread in place on the back of the fabric and stitch over it for 4-5 blocks. Then snip off the end.

If you are doing other stitches like the cable stitch or box stitch, you can anchor the old and new threads beneath satin stitch blocks if they are right by the stitch you are working. Otherwise, anchor them in your closest stitch row.

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!

Ask Roz: Is there any trick to turning the corners?


First let me say that if there is anything about Hardanger you don’t know, it’s probably not worth knowing. I have always loved the look of Hardanger, but I have the world of trouble turning corners in buttonhole stitches. Outer corners aren’t so bad, but inside corners are my downfall. I get so discouraged. Is there any trick to turning the corners?

Janet in Pennsylvania

Roz Answers:

Thank you for your question, Janet. For most people it is the outside corners that cause the most questions. The inside corners are worked basically the same as the corners of the satin stitch blocks. Two stitches share the same inside corner hole, one going horizontal and one going vertical as you begin the next group of satin stitches. This link will bring you to the stitch instructions on our website in the "stitches" section for the Blanket Stitch, commonly used for the buttonhole edge.

For a few years now I have been using the Tailored Buttonhole Stitch method where the needle comes in from the outside, opposite of the Blanket Stitch. I much prefer this method because it locks the edge fabric threads in place so much better and does not pull out like a Blanket stitch buttonhole can do (personal experience). I also do not need to "stitch in the ditch" (the indentation at the outer edge) with a sewing machine when using the Tailored Buttonhole method. In both methods you MUST end the old thread and start a new thread correctly or this will be a weak point in the edging and will often pull out with use.

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!

Ask Roz: What threads should you use in Hardanger?

Dear Roz,

I am wondering about the threads used for Hardanger. I’ve made a simple beginner’s heart using Perle #5 and #8. Is this the only two sizes of perle thread that should be used in Hardanger? Also a question about fabric – for the heart it was a 20 count linen used. If I made this on 22 count fabric should I use a Perle #5 and #8? How does this affect the outcome?

Thanks, Karen Crowell

Harpers Ferry, WV

Roz Answers:

Thank you for your question, Karen. For fabric that is 18 count to about 24 or 25 count, use size #5 pearl cotton for the satin stitch blocks, solid motifs, box stitch and buttonhole edge. Use size #8 for the cable stitch, and filling stitches. I like using size #8 for everything when I work on 24 and 25 count fabric and up to 28 count.

When using finer fabric from 25 to 36 count, use size #8 for the satin stitch blocks, buttonhole edge, solid motifs and box stitch and use #12 for the finer stitches. You CAN use size #12 for the filling stitches and cable stitch when working on the smaller count fabrics as well. It gives a much lacier looking piece but it does take longer to do because you need more stitches to fill the bars when weaving.

Thank you,

Roz Watnemo

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!