Blanket Stitch

blue blanket stitch on white fabric with title.

Blanket stitch always gives me a hippie, boho kind of feeling.  It is casual and fun, but can be used in many different ways with lots of variations.  It’s like a poncho.  It can go with almost anything, and is both cute and functional.

When to use blanket stitch

  • blanket edging (obviously)
  • applique
  • borders
  • wheels
  • flowers
  • ladders
blanket stitch in progress.
hand embroidery in a flower design
close up of blanket stitch flower embroidery.

Types of blanket stitch

Basic blanket stitch

aka: buttonhole stitch

This is the most common version of blanket stitch.

Bring the needle up and then take a stitch perpendicular to the line you are stitching.  You are making an “L” shape.  Be sure to catch the thread under the needle, or the stitch will not lay properly.

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When you pull the needle all the way through, you can see the “L” clearly.  If the thread did not go under the needle, you will have a diagonal stitch and the thread will be off on its own.

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Repeat to make another “L” attached to the first.  With a standard blanket stitch, the vertical lines should be approximately the same length as the space between them.

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And keep going until you have a whole line.

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To finish the row, take the needle down just on the other side of the “L” corner to keep it in place.

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Buttonhole stitch

Sometimes the term buttonhole stitch is used interchangeably with the term blanket stitch. But technically, buttonhole stitches are made with no spaces between them. That is how they are used to finish the edges of hand stitched buttonholes.

Slanted blanket stitch

Imaging a row of blanket stitches in a wind storm. That is slanted blanket stitch.

Long and short blanket stitch

Switch up the heights of the stitches for interest.

Up and down blanket stitch

Alternating the direction of the stitches gives it a more balanced look. This stitch is often used for embellishing crazy quilting.


Blanket stitch in embroidery projects

blanket stitch roof in house embroidery.
close up of blanket stitch flower embroidery.
flower motif stitched with blanket stitch

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Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

designer, teacher, speaker

Elizabeth enjoys doing all types of sewing and needlework and teaching others new techniques. Find out how to take a course or workshop.

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