The Importance of Trimming Jump Stitches as You Go

The Importance of Trimming Jump Stitches

Do you trim your jump stitches as they happen? Here are some reasons why you should.

Good digitizers, like Bonnie, have very few jump stitches in their designs. You may have noticed that she often runs stitches around the applique edge where it will be hidden rather than jumping thread across the design.

Since not all machine embroidery designs are created the same, you will undoubtedly come across some that feature several jumps. Overlapping thread can be a problem unless you trim it.

Trimming at Each Jump

I like to trim jump stitches as they happen. Otherwise, as the thread stretches from one position to the next, it can be stitched over by other parts of the design. That makes for more of a mess and increases the chance of cutting good stitches when trimming later.

After a jump, I let the machine make a couple of stitches in its new position and then I stop the machine. I’ll trim the thread and then start the machine again. I find that gives me much cleaner embroidery, covering up thread ends nicely.

In some cases, if you don’t trim as you go, it is nearly impossible to remove threads that are buried under other embroidery.

Trimming jump stitches is especially important when you can see through the embroidery, as with lace designs or sheer projects like Nativity Candles.

Trimming the Back Between Colors

The Importance of Trimming Jump Stitches

(Sample is not a Sew Inspired by Bonnie design.)

Don’t forget to trim jump stitches on the back, too. Every time the thread jumps on the front, the bobbin thread also jumps.

Trimming the back as you go is pretty easy to do since the machine stops for each color. At each color change, remove the hoop from the machine, turn it over, and trim jump stitches on the back.

Even though the back is seldom seen in machine embroidery, keeping stitches clean prevents snags and just looks more professional.

Do you trim as you go or do you trim at the end?

Debbie Henry
Sew Inspired by Bonnie

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  • Debbie Henry - March 03, 2022

    Thank you all for reading – so glad it was helpful!

  • Debbie Henry - March 03, 2022

    Bev M, you should be able to move your hoop to a trimming position – check your manual – that way, you don’t have to take the hoop completely off of the machine. Also, try basting your fabric to the stabilizer (search the blog for “basting”). That helps to keep layers in tact.

  • Rebecca - March 02, 2022

    Very helpful – good to know that what I am doing is preferred by a professional digitizer. Thank you.

  • ROBIN L FARLEY - March 02, 2022

    I always trim the front as I go. I was told by a store owner that cutting the stitches on the back could make your embroidery come undone! But I have found that even if I trim at the end of the project, I’ve never had anything come undone! Learning that it causes snags and other problems….I’ll be trimming the back as I go now! Thanks Bonnie!

  • Sharon - March 02, 2022

    Thank you very much for the tip. I do trim the stitches as I am embroidering because I like to keep my stitching neat, but I didn’t know the benefits of it.

  • Judy Jordan - March 02, 2022

    On your trimming your jump stitch advertisement, where did you get find the embroidery pattern in the title?

  • Shirley Rogers - March 02, 2022

    This is very good advice. I have done a Molly Mine Crazy Quilt and it sure does make it so much easier when you finish a block no loose threads showing. Thanks

  • BevM - March 02, 2022

    I appreciate the advice to trim jump stitches as-you-go. However, I am afraid to remove the hoop any more than necessary, because of the danger of the fabric popping out, or other distortion. I do not have the tighter magnetic hoops. So, I wait to trim the back of the embroider later.

  • Sharon Schroeter - March 02, 2022

    Great tip, Bonnie! Thank you

  • Tamie L Phillips - March 02, 2022

    I do both, sometimes it really bugs me and if I know how the stitches go.

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