Signing Your Cross-Stitch Pieces - Why Should I?

by Kate Anderson on Apr 14, 2021

Signing Your Cross-Stitch Pieces - Why Should I?

"Do you sign your stitches?"

I keep seeing this question pop up on stitchy groups I'm a part of (specifically on Facebook, I'll be honest) and I wanted to explain both what it means as well as arguments for and against doing it.

So let's go.

First off - what is "signing" my stitches?

Just like a painter may paint a signature on a painting they create, a needlepoint artist - in my humble opinion - should sign their finished pieces, also. But instead of using paint, they should use needle & thread!


Basically, you take a corner, empty space or even stitch over the top of existing stitches (usually in the corner again) and using just 1 strand of floss, initial and date the piece itself. It's unobtrusive, it's simple, it's small and it -to me- feels professional.

Most of the time, the initials used is the person's name but others, like myself, use their business name. The year can be tricky (for example, you start a piece in December but complete it the following year in March?) but as long as you set your own rule and stick with it, then it's entirely up to you.

Why would I do this?

I'll admit: I'm bias with this. But hopefully you'll understand why when you see my arguments for and against signing your work.

Arguments for signing:

  • Knowing who stitched a piece based on the initials, name, etc.
  • Being able to look at a piece and know when it was completed.
  • Expressing your pride for something you've created.
  • Allowing others seeing your work be able to get in touch and possibly order something from you/give you praise on the work you did.

Arguments against signing:

  • Keeps a piece "clean" and free from possible distractions
  • …that's it.

Examples of how I stitch my signature.

So I am a little different when it comes to signing - I take a colour floss that is similar to the fabric itself whereas a lot of people who do sign their work prefer to use something like a black or dark grey. See what I mean from the examples below.

Close-up of my stitched signature
Close-up of my stitched signature
Close-up of my stitched signature
Close-up of my stitched signature
Close-up of my stitched signature
Close-up of my stitched signature

So what do you think? Did you already know about signing your cross-stitches (or embroidery pieces as a whole) or not? Do you have a strong for or against argument for doing it? How do you sign your pieces (my example is "TLK" and then the year of completion)? Drop a comment below to let me know - I'm super interested in this!

And honestly? I hope this post has swayed you to doing it in the future. It's lovely to see my own mother and grandmother's work and being able to tell how old a piece is just by the signature. I hope my own children feel the same way when they are older.

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Kate 👋

About the author

In a previous life (AKA: pre-kids), I was a web des/dev & photographer who loved to dabble in numerous arts and crafts. Now, I'm a cross-stitch & embroidery pattern designer and full-time mum to Charlie & Alex, with adult-diagnosed ADHD. Closet nerd, self-proclaimed hermit and professional procrastinator. I have a secret crush on modern architecture, brush calligraphy, sweets, pretty nails and pastel colours.