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Learn Blanket Stitch for Hand Sewing and Embroidery Projects Full Guide of 2024

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what is a blanket stitchGet ready to elevate your hand sewing and embroidery skills with the versatile blanket stitch!

This simple yet effective technique is perfect for adding a touch of charm to your projects, whether you’re creating cozy blankets, embellishing quilts, or crafting heartfelt appliques.

With its unique looped texture, the blanket stitch not only adds visual interest but also provides a durable finish to your handmade creations.

Let’s dive into the world of blanket stitch and explore its endless possibilities!

Key Takeaways

  • Versatile hand stitch used for edging, finishing seams, appliqué, and embroidery
  • Decorative border that prevents fabric fraying
  • History tracing back thousands of years to ancient Peruvian and medieval European textiles
  • Technique involves knotting thread, bringing needle up through fabric layers, looping working thread under needle, and creating evenly spaced stitches

What is Blanket Stitch?

What is Blanket Stitch
You may be wondering, what exactly is a blanket stitch?

This versatile hand stitch has been used for generations to neatly finish blanket edges, but has expanded to a wider range of embroidery and sewing projects.

Blanket stitch creates a decorative border and helps prevent fabric fraying when used on edges.


You’ve likely seen this versatile stitch before without knowing its name – the blanket stitch.

It has been used for generations to neatly finish edges on blankets and other household linens.

With origins dating back thousands of years, this decorative hand stitch has cultural significance across the world.

From ancient Peruvian textiles to medieval European tapestries, artisans have incorporated the blanket stitch into fabric arts for both functional and artistic purposes.

Over time, its aesthetically pleasing look has led to adaptations in embroidery, sewing, knitting, and crochet.

Today, crafters of all levels utilize the blanket stitch in projects ranging from quilts to clothing to home decor.

Its staying power proves the enduring creativity unlocked with just a needle and thread.


Blanket stitch is a versatile hand stitch with both functional and creative applications.

It is used for edging blankets, finishing seams, appliqué, and decorative embroidery.

Use it to prevent fraying on blankets, tea towels, felt projects, and more by creating a decorative edging.

Artists will enjoy blanket stitch for embellishing their fabric art pieces and mixed media creations with its decorative loops.

It also serves as a beautiful finish for appliqué, whether used on quilts, clothing, home décor items, or crafts.

The options are endless once you master this stitch’s basic technique for stitching straight lines or curves.

How to Do a Basic Blanket Stitch

How to Do a Basic Blanket Stitch
Before we dive into creative blanket stitch ideas, let’s review the basics.

Learning this versatile hand stitch opens up endless possibilities for your sewing and embroidery endeavors.

To start, knot your thread and hide it between your fabric layers.

Bring your needle up through both layers.

Keeping the working thread under your needle, insert the needle back through the fabric near the starting point.

Gently pull the thread to form a loop around the needle.

Continue stitching left to right, or right to left if you prefer, keeping loops evenly spaced.

  • Use a contrasting thread color to make the stitches pop.
  • Vary your stitch length for visual interest.
  • Try perle cotton for smooth, lustrous stitches.

It may take some practice to keep stitches even. Be patient and soon you’ll be cranking out perfect rows.

Mastering basic technique sets you up for creative success with blanket stitch corners, seamless joins, and decorative edging.

Onward to new stitches and projects!

Joining Blanket Stitch Seamlessly

Joining Blanket Stitch Seamlessly
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By using a slip stitch, you’re able to connect the last stitch of one row to the first stitch of the next row seamlessly when joining blanket stitches.

Work the slip stitch through both loops of the end blanket stitch in the previous row and the starting blanket stitch of the new row. This creates a smooth, invisible join between rows. Pull the yarn through both stitches to secure.

The slip stitch seamlessly transitions between blanket stitch rows while keeping an even, consistent look across the fabric. With practice, seamless blanket stitch joining creates a cohesive finish with no gaps, holes, or uneven tension across rows.

Experiment on scrap fabric to get the hang of this easy method for professional results in your hand sewing and embroidery projects requiring dense, beautifully joined blanket stitching.

Sewing Sharp Corners With Blanket Stitch

Sewing Sharp Corners With Blanket Stitch
As you continue your blanket stitch project, you’ll eventually need to navigate some corners. Have no fear – with a few simple techniques, you can stitch perfect right angles every time.

Carefully plan your stitching path before beginning a new corner. Map out where your needle will enter and exit.

Try a corner loop stitch – simply continue your regular spacing into and out of the corner point.

For extra security, add a backstitch at the very corner point before resuming your standard blanket stitch.

Get creative! Vary your spacing or add decorative stitches like french knots only on corners for some pizzazz.

Corner stitching does require precise needle placements, so go slowly, check often, and don’t pull too tight.

What unique corner embellishment will you add to your next project? The design options are endless!

Changing Threads When Blanket Stitching

Changing Threads When Blanket Stitching
When you’re blanket stitching, you’ll want to change threads this way:

First, make sure to choose a thread color that seamlessly transitions with your project.

Once you’ve selected the new thread, start by securing the old thread and concealing the knot between the layers of fabric. Trim off any excess thread close to the knot and push it inside for a neat finish.

Next, bring your needle down through one of the previous stitch holes where you finished stitching with your old thread. This will ensure that there’s no gap or break in your blanket stitch pattern. Then, bring it back up through another hole nearby.

To maintain stitch consistency throughout this transition process, make sure to match both tension and size of stitches from before changing threads.

Continue working in this manner until all remaining stitches are completed using only your new chosen colored thread for an even look across all sections of sewing work.

Using Blanket Stitch for Applique

Using Blanket Stitch for Applique
How’re you using blanket stitch for applique?

Blanket stitch creates beautiful edges on appliques with dimension and visual interest.

Follow these tips:

  • Use lightweight thread that matches or contrasts nicely with your fabrics.
  • Bring needle up from back between the 2 layers to hide knots.
  • Gently pull thread until a small, even loop forms along the edge.
  • Put needle through the loop and pull towards outer edge for each stitch.
  • Remove pins as you progress; the stitching secures the fabrics.

Experiment with different threads and fabrics when appliqueing – have fun with it!

  • Try variegated threads, metallics, pearls, and more for unique effects.
  • Layer lightweight fabrics in coordinating colors for dimension.
  • Get creative with fusibles if desiring stability.
  • Personalize projects with custom applique shapes or monograms.

The possibilities are endless for embellishing with beautiful blanket stitch!

Blanket Stitch Project Ideas

Blanket Stitch Project Ideas
Since blanket stitch is very versatile, you can use it in many crafting and sewing projects:

Here are some fun blanket stitch project ideas to try:

Project Supplies Tips
Creative Embroidery Embroidery hoop, fabric, embroidery floss Use fun colors and textures when stitching motifs and designs
Whimsical Quilting Quilt top, batting, backing, quilting thread Blanket stitch shapes and images for interesting quilting lines
Festive Tea Towels Tea towels, embroidery floss Personalize with names or holiday motifs
Stylish Felt Toys Felt, embroidery floss, fiberfill Blanket stitch details like faces, clothes, accessories
Decorative Accessories Fabric, ribbon, notions Stitch hats, bags, hair clips, belts, etc.

The dense, non-fraying nature of blanket stitch makes it perfect for finishing crafted items with flair.

Troubleshooting Blanket Stitch Issues

Troubleshooting Blanket Stitch Issues
In regard to working with blanket stitch, you’re likely to come across some common issues that can be easily addressed.

Pay attention to your thread tension – if it’s too tight, the fabric will pucker; if too loose, the stitches will be uneven.

Select an appropriately sized needle for your thread to avoid fraying or skipped stitches.

Work slowly and focus on consistency in your stitch size and placement to keep things neat.

When sewing corners, take care to properly anchor stitches to prevent loosening over time.

If knotting thread ends, hide knots within folded seam allowances rather than on the right side of the project.

With mindful technique and the right materials, beautiful and functional blanket stitching is within reach for sewers of every skill level.

Thoughtfully examining your work as you go allows for identifying and resolving minor hiccups.

Patience and practice with this versatile hand stitch will build expertise for tackling all kinds of crafts and sewing goals.

Comparison to Buttonhole Stitch

Comparison to Buttonhole Stitch
Now that we’ve covered troubleshooting common issues, let’s compare the blanket stitch to a similar hand stitch – the buttonhole stitch.

While the two may look alike at first glance, they have some key differences when it comes to structure and end use.

The buttonhole stitch creates a sturdier, tightly wrapped edge that’s ideal for finishing buttonholes on garments or home decor pieces.

The blanket stitch leads to a more open, looped edge that has more flexibility and movement. This decorative stitch shines when used on less sturdy fabrics like felt or satin. It can beautifully outline appliquéd shapes or trace fluid natural forms when stitching around curves.

While the buttonhole clearly wins on durability, the blanket stitch opens new doors for free-flowing decorative applications.

Both hand stitches have historical significance and many regional variations – but their structural differences give each one distinct strengths.

More Hand Sewing Stitches to Try

More Hand Sewing Stitches to Try
Expand your embroidery repertoire by trying other decorative hand stitches like the chain stitch, running stitch, or satin stitch.

  • Cross Stitch: This stitch makes an “X” and is used in counted cross stitch embroidery.
  • Chain Stitch: Loops that resemble chains give nice decorative edges. Chain stitch is fundamental for many embroidery styles.
  • French Knots: Wrapping the thread around the needle before pulling through fabric makes raised knots.
  • Running Stitch: A simple straight stitch for outlines or filling shapes with thread “drawing”.
  • Satin Stitch: Densely filling space with straight stitches produces a smooth, shiny satin stitch texture.

Experiment with these fun stitches on practice fabric before incorporating into projects. Mix and match stitches for pretty combinations. Keep practicing as you build stitching skills over time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What fabrics work best with a blanket stitch?

Look for medium weight cottons, linens, and tightly woven fabrics when working a blanket stitch.

Soft, flexible materials allow the needle to pass through easily while maintaining structure that won’t distort or fray excessively under stitch tension.

Tightly woven fabrics like denim provide durability.

Avoid stretch knits which may pucker.

How do I hide the knot when starting a new thread while blanket stitching?

When starting a new thread, bring your needle up through both layers.

Pull the thread until the knot pops between the layers.

Trim closely and tuck tail inside before continuing your stitching journey.

This hides knots for a flawless finish.

What thickness of thread should I use for a blanket stitch?

When doing a blanket stitch, I’d recommend using an all-purpose thread or embroidery thread.

Aim for a thickness that matches your project and needle size – not so thick it jams the needle or leaves holes, but not so fine it snaps while stitching.

Test a few thread weights to find what sews smoothly before you begin.

How long should my blanket stitch stitches be?

Aim for stitches between 1/4 and 1/2 inch long.

Overly long stitches look sloppy.

Keep them short and even for neatness.

Can I use a blanket stitch on knit fabrics?

Yes, you can use a blanket stitch on knit fabrics.

It works well to finish edges and prevent fraying.

Take care not to pull too tight or the stitches may pucker.

Use a jersey/ball point needle and polyester thread for best results.


I know learning new stitches can seem daunting, but don’t let that stop you from embracing the versatility of blanket stitch!

With a bit of practice, you’ll soon discover how this simple technique can elevate all your sewing and embroidery projects.

So grab some fabric scraps, thread up your needle, and let your creativity run wild – the decorative potential of blanket stitch awaits!

By mastering this fundamental skill, you’ll open up an exciting world of handcrafted possibilities.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.