Hardanger Embroidery Tutorial Part 2 – Blanket Stitch

yellow embroidery with title "blanket stitch hardanger tutorial".

Blanket stitch (also known as buttonhole stitch) is commonly used in hardanger.  A blanket stitch edge allows the piece to be cut out, and there is no need for a hem, since the blanket stitches enclose the threads and finish it off nicely.  

It is similar to any other blanket stitch, but it is done over four threads, just like the kloster blocks.

Begin the stitch

To begin, bring the size 5 Perle cotton to the front of the piece.  Notice that the thread is at a point four threads from the corner of both of the kloster blocks near it.  There is a square, four threads by four threads that will be surrounded be stitches.

hardanger embroidery with yellow perle cotton on white aida cloth.

Stitch over four threads

The first stitch goes into the same hole as the vertical kloster block and back to the hole that the thread came up in.

first blanket stitch.

Pull the stitch through, and make sure the thread is below the stitch.  They are in the same hole, however.

stitching hardanger.

Block of Stitches

The next stitch goes under the four threads just above the first stitch.  Make sure that the needle goes over the thread tail.

blanket stitch tutorial for hardanger embroidery.

Five stitches make the first block.  It is just like a Kloster block, but the thread tails leave the blanket stitch edge on the outside.

completed blanket stitch unit in hardanger embroidery in yellow thread on white fabric.

Turn the Corner

At the corner, take three diagonal stitches, all from the same corner hole.

diagonal blanket stitch with yellow perle cotton.

Then take a vertical stitch over four threads.  This is in the same line as the first stitch of the kloster block below it.  

If the blanket stitches don’t line up with the Kloster blocks, go back and check because something went wrong.  

The corner holes will have five blanket stitches going  out from them – one horizontal, three diagonal and one vertical.

turning a corner with blanket stitches.

Work a row of five vertical blanket stitches, then do the next corner in the same way.

Continue down the side

Continue down the side.  You can see how the blanket stitches echo the kloster blocks, with the addition of the diagonal corners.

hardanger embroidery with yellow perle cotton on white aida cloth.

Weave in thread ends

When you get to the end of the thread, weave the end in under the stitches.

The back should be neat and tidy, and you should clearly be able to see squares of four threads made by the kloster blocks and blanket stitch.

back side of hardanger embroidery.

Finish the diamond

Continue stitching in the same way around the entire diamond.

embroidered diamond made with kloster blocks and blanket stitch in yellow perle cotton.

Hardanger Chart

This is how blanket stitches would look on a chart. The blue lines indicate the blanket stitch.

hardanger embroidery chart.

The full chart is available as a bonus to my newsletter subscribers. Join the list (bottom of the page) to get access to that and many other great resources.

Blanket stitches are not done in every hardanger embroidery piece. Sometimes there are multiple rows of kloster blocks instead. The advantage of blanket stitch is that it gives a nice edging, including the corners, and it can be cut out at the end.

If you missed the tutorial on kloster blocks, you can see it HERE.

I hope you are finding hardanger enjoyable!


Elizabeth DeCroos - Epida Studio.

Elizabeth DeCroos

Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.

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