Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Blanket Stitch: The Most Useful Stitch Around?

Blanket Stitch on &Stitches

Since it's Practical Stitching month, it seemed like a good time to talk about blanket stitch, aka The Most Useful Stitch Ever! Blanket stitch can be used as a decorative stitch, a finishing technique, for applique and for sewing items together - it really is one of the most practical stitches to get to know.

In the photo above, you'll see a line of finished blanket stitch, worked on a curve and with alternating length stitches to create a decorative effect. Below you can see a bit of blanket stitch in progress, and it really is that easy:

Blanket Stitch on &Stitches

Simply bring your thread up at your starting point, then across the fabric surface at a right angle to your line (you can draw a second line above your first if you like, as a guide for how 'tall' to make each stitch). Be sure your thread is caught under your needle as seen above, then pull your needle across and that's one stitch made! Continue in this way to complete your line or shape. Even just as a decorative line, blanket stitch is hugely versatile; as mentioned, you can vary the length of your stitch - or you can play with how close together each stitch sits.

But that's not all blanket stitch can do! If we have a little scan through the awesome embroideries found in the &Stitches Flickr group, we can see so many different applications for the stitch. Flickr user Peregrine Blue is using rounds of blanket stitch to fill a space:

"mantra" embroidery in progress

María Tenorio has also used blanket stitch as a filling pattern, but she worked in rows and played with spacing:

Blanket stitch, chain stitch - Carmencita

Sami from Teasemade has used it to applique fabric onto wool felt:

Oriole Beautiful World

And Wendalene has blanket stitched two pieces together to make small toys (you can use it in the same way to secure or finish edges of fabric):

We three pussycats

Uses for blanket stitch are endless! What's your favorite way to blanket stitch?


  1. appliques edging and stuffie closures but I think I am going to go all decrative next time i use it

  2. I like to use it for applique and in embroidery the wheel-shapes are favourite :)

  3. I love to use it as stems for flowers or for fence posts on my crazy quilt seams.


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