Have you noticed that so many people, when they admire a piece of needlepoint, turn it over and study the back.
Why do they do this? Would they check out your china for the mark on the back, or look for a hallmark on the silver? Well I suppose they might.
But it really doesn't matter! FAR more important is the ENJOYMENT that you have in your stitching. There is no need to worry about the back of the work when it will not be seen on the finished article.
If the work is looking good on the front, just enjoy that and leave the back to take care of itself. Before you know it, your backs will start to look neat and tidy of their own accord!
HINT. If you can't stop worrying about the back, it is worth knowing that if you stitch in tent stitch or basket weave tent stitch, you will find it much easier to fasten off your yarn. But beware... Some kits are designed to be stitched in half cross-stitch and you might run out of wool if you change that. In those cases you will just have to stop worrying.
Have you also noticed that when people pick up a doll they lift up the dress to check out the knickers. They don't do that to a baby let alone another grown up person, so why do we do it to a doll?
I have to admit that quilts often look just as good from the back as the front, especially if it has a light plainish backing.
The only time I have been seriously interested in the back of any needlework or embroidery was after my Mum died, and we wanted to know if she had worked all the doilies in the cupboard. I discarded several because the back wasn't up to her standard!
What a brilliant observation about the knickers! And yes, quilts do look great on the back because there is nothing to compete with the beauty of the stitching.
I am just sorry when talking to other needlepoint stitchers that some seem to be ashamed of the back of their work, so I tell them its no one's business but theirs and they are allowed to forget it and enjoy the stitching on the front. So good for your Mum for enjoying her stitching regardless. she had her pleasure from the doilies...they had done their job.
Hi Wendy. I think this is one of those areas where stitchers mainly fall into two camps. I'm afraid that I am in the other camp! I doubt that I can win you over to my camp but I hope I can reassure you that we are not bad people :-D
I think you summed it up in your first sentence. When I see a piece of needlework that I ADMIRE, I hope that I will be permitted to turn it over and ADMIRE the back also. I also hope to learn something about the stitches and techniques used but that is secondary to seeing and appreciating the whole work. It's a complement to the stitcher not a means of judging their ability.
Thank you for your comment. My concern has been not so much for the folk who are interested enough to study the stitches as for the stitchers who feel they are failing in some way if the back of their work looks a mess. Actually I think that in time their backs too will improve, but in the meantime I would say to them...remember to begin and fasten off threads safely, then just enjoy what you are doing and stop fretting.
I don't know why so many people feel they need to judge a piece rather than enjoy a piece.
It really is rude.
Studying the construction of stitches aside (that is a different reason to look at the back) I have often observed that these people are often so hung up with their own work - it may be technically perfect but they can not actually do anything that is original. (This is a generalisation - and its not fair to make such sweeping statements but I am sure people will understand what I mean and know the type)
Lots of different approaches to stitching, I do freestyle hand embroidery and am not a tidy worker. I have even taken pictures of the back of a finished piece for future inspiration, the combination of colours and patterns being more pleasing than the front!
I fall into the category of the non-caring when it comes to the backs for myself. I do a lot of cross-stitch though and I do appreciate the work of stitchers who can do work that ends up in a beautiful back.
Check out this site. It has a gallery of 'backs' showing both sides of each displayed piece. It's amazing!