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How to do Blanket / Buttonhole Stitch - hand embroidery tutorial

Buttonhole stitch isn't just for garments, it's a pretty useful stitch in hand embroidery too, so I'm excited to bring you this tutorial! I used it to create the tiled roof effect on my Haunted House Halloween Embroidery Kit / Pattern and love how it turned out.

There's a lot of confusion about whether this sewing technique is buttonhole stitch or blanket stitch. To be honest, I have always thought they were the same embroidery stitch and the difference lied in what they were stitched on and where! All my (very old) books call this buttonhole stitch, too.

Needle 'n Thread have a great blog post on the semantics and, thankfully, agree with me that this is indeed buttonhole stitch - so I will defer to Mary and her endless stitchy knowledge!


Here's how you do it:

First of all, I find it helps to imagine each single stitch as a back to front L shape:

Keep that in mind for how I explain the stitch. I find it made the most sense thinking of it this way.

Let's go!

Step one: To start, bring your needle up at the very beginning of the line - point 1 (the bottom left corner of the fist 'backwards L' - now referred to with a ⅃ symbol)

Step two: Go back down with your needle at point 2, the tip of the ⅃ shape (move across to the right and up to the top), and pull the thread through leaving a loop.

Step three: Come back up at point 3 (the bottom corner of the ⅃ shape), making sure you have gone through the loop you left. Pull the loop closed.

Step four: Go back down with your needle at the top of the next ⅃ shape (point 4) and pull through to the back, leaving a small loop.

Step five: Come up at the bottom right of the next ⅃ shape (point 5 ), making sure you have gone through the loop you left. Pull the loop closed.

Repeat steps four and five until the line is complete.

You will be at point 5 (with your needle catching the bottom right corner of the ⅃) when you complete the line - simply add one final horizontal stitch to the very end of your line. This will finish your final stitch.


1 comment

1 comentário

Alex Austin
Alex Austin
23 de mar. de 2023

I've read your blog. It was really fantastic and the way you described it is also professional. Will love to read your incoming blogs too, really appreciate your work and dedication.

We have to fulfill your embroidery needs.

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