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How to close a circle of whipped back stitch

I love using whipped back stitch to follow a curve, but when I use it to stitch a complete circle (for example, in hand embroidered wreaths), I don't want there to be an obvious gap between where I start and and my stitch.

In this brief tutorial, I've provided written, photo, and video instructions for how to close a circle of whipped back stitch in hand embroidery, without any obvious gaps in your stitching!

Photo of an embroidery hoop with two blue circles stitched onto dark orange fabric.
Can you tell where my stitches begin and end?

First, be sure you've already reviewed my tutorial for whipped back stitch - in this post, I'll only be reviewing about how to close a circle, not how to do the stitch itself.

In the photo below, I've almost finished stitching my circle, and have just one back stitch left to whip (you can see me pointing to that last stitch with my needle).

Go ahead and place your needle underneath that last stitch and pull your floss.

In the photo below, you can see that if I were to end my stitch by going through the hole created by my last back stitch, I would have a pretty obvious gap between where I started and where I ended (I'm pointing to that gap with my needle).

To avoid this, you'll whip your first back stitch (which is just next to your last back stitch), making sure your needle goes underneath both the back stitch itself as well as the floss that you used to whip it.

In the photo below, you can see that the gap between the start and end of my back stitching is no longer as obvious (I'm pointing at where that gap would have been, with my needle).

To secure your floss, place your needle underneath the second back stitch (which is just above the first back stitch that we just double-whipped).

I think the final product looks pretty seamless, don't you?

Video tutorial for closing a circle of whipped back stitch

I hope this was useful, and I can't wait to see what you make! If you'd like to share your work with me, you can always tag me on your social media accounts (@hopebroidery on Instagram and Twitter, @hope.broidery on TikTok). If you don't have public social accounts, but still want to share, consider emailing me a few pictures (, I would love the chance to tell you how much I love your work!

Happy stitching!


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