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Hand Embroidery: Make a Blanket Stitch

Updated on June 5, 2017
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If you're looking for the perfect embroidery stitch for edging, the blanket stitch is it! This stitch, also known as the buttonhole stitch, is a fun stitch to make. It can be slightly difficult to judge where to start the next stitch (which shapes the previous stitch), so the blanket stitch can be more challenging than a number of other stitches.

While this particular stitch is most often used as edging, I like to include this as an element in some of my designs. For example, it can be used as a fence or part of a lattice design in a pictorial piece.

The blanket stitch is also popular for joining two pieces of fabric and is especially common in felt embroidery.

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Figure 1: Make a loop, but don't pull it tautFigure 2: Bring the needle through on the inside of the loop.Figure 3: Pull taut, stretching out the loop.Figure 4: Continue your row of blanket stitches by creating another diagonal straight stitch.Figure 5: Continue a row of stitches. Keep in mind that you can use your closing stitch to tighten the loop (as shown.)
Figure 1: Make a loop, but don't pull it taut
Figure 1: Make a loop, but don't pull it taut | Source
Figure 2: Bring the needle through on the inside of the loop.
Figure 2: Bring the needle through on the inside of the loop. | Source
Figure 3: Pull taut, stretching out the loop.
Figure 3: Pull taut, stretching out the loop. | Source
Figure 4: Continue your row of blanket stitches by creating another diagonal straight stitch.
Figure 4: Continue your row of blanket stitches by creating another diagonal straight stitch. | Source
Figure 5: Continue a row of stitches. Keep in mind that you can use your closing stitch to tighten the loop (as shown.)
Figure 5: Continue a row of stitches. Keep in mind that you can use your closing stitch to tighten the loop (as shown.) | Source

Your First Blanket Stitches

You must be able to know how to make the straight stitch before being able to make a blanket stitch. If you need a quick refresher, head on to my how-to article on making straight (running) stitches.

Step 1: Make a diagonal straight stitch going from the bottom left to the upper right. Don't pull the stitch taut, but, rather, make a small loop (figure 1.)

Step 2: Flatten your loop against the fabric and push the needle up through the inside of the loop (figure 2) and pull all the way through, pulling the previous loop taut against the new stitch (figure 3.)

Step 3: Make another diagonal straight stitch (from the bottom left to the upper right) to continue your row of blanket stitches (figure 4.)

Step 4: Repeat steps one, two, and three until you're finished with your row of blanket stitches (figure 5.)

A nice row of blanket stitches on muslin
A nice row of blanket stitches on muslin | Source

Perfecting the Stitch

Blanket stitches look simple, but there are a few challenges that you have to be aware of in order to make perfect stitches.

Sometimes it can be difficult to get the needle to come out on the inside part of the loop. A great way to make this process easier is to make a larger loop than you'd like. Then, pull the needle through anywhere you would like on the inside of the loop and then pull the floss through to tighten the loop around the strand of floss.

Another difficulty in making this stitch is preventing everything from looking all lopsided. What you can do to help is get yourself a fabric marker (washable with water) from just about any craft store. Use your marker to draw out an outline ahead of time.A ruler can make this process even easier! Make a straight line for the bottom part of the stitch and make marks where you will start and finish each stitch. Don't forget to mark when you finish off each initial straight stitch!

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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Your photos for your embroidery hubs are awesome. Great job kicking out these interesting hubs, Mel.

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