22 hand embroidery stitches from the Blanket stitch family
Blanket stitch is a simple hand embroidery stitch we often use in hand embroidery, mending, and hand sewing. It is versatile, decorative, and has a lot of practical applications. With a simple Blanket stitch, you can:
- Outline the shapes
- Secure the raw edge of the garments or home textiles
- Embroider letters
- Sew two layers of fabric
- Attach the appliques
Besides that, the Blanket stitch has a lot of variations that we can use for filling, decorating, edging, mending, or surface embroidery.
Blanket stitch or Buttonhole stitch?
The names of the Blanket and Buttonhole stitches are often used interchangeably, but in reality, these two are different stitches. Read the ‘Difference between Blanket and Buttonhole stitches’ article on the Practical Embroidery blog to learn more about why these stitches are different.
Variations of the Blanket stitch
Variations of the Blanket stitch are made by alternating the embroidery method or combining Blanket stitch with other hand embroidery stitches. I display these hand embroidery stitches into groups by purpose, making finding the stitch you need more accessible. Let’s explore the Blanket stitch and its variations!
TIP. If you want to learn more about each hand embroidery stitch from this list, you will find a page with the video tutorial linked to the name of each stitch.
Blanket stitch variations for borders, edging, and outlines
The blanket stitch looks excellent as a border design. It is great for sewing applications and securing the fabric’s raw edges.
Blanket stitch hand embroidery is very simple yet has many visual possibilities. You can make stitches long or short, dense or distanced. Also, you can play with different rhythms of the embroidery patterns. For example, you can change the density or the length of the stitches and create a playful design. Otherwise – keep the same height and density and maintain a clear repetitive visual pattern.
This hand embroidery stitch creates a robust edge which is excellent for areas with a lot of friction (like buttonholes). As the name suggests, the most common application of the Buttonhole stitch is to fasten the edges of the buttonholes. Besides that, this hand embroidery stitch can secure any textile edge – a dress hem or a tea towel.
Other names of the Mirrored Blanket stitch are the Up and Down blanket stitch or Mirrored buttonhole stitch. The stitches are alternately narrow and widely spaced. This creates a beautiful repetitive pattern.
Use this beautiful embroidery stitch for outlines, edges, decorative borders, and surface embroidery.
You can use this stitch for border designs, or anywhere you would use a Blanket stitch. If you use the same color thread for whipping, the horizontal line of the stitch will stand out more than the vertical stitches. If you use a contrasting color, you will have a rope-like line in two colors.
This Blanket stitch variation is the closed form of the blanket stitch, and you will find them mostly stitched across the edges of the quilts. This stitch gives a very clean finish to the edges. Because blanket stitch creates a thread outline along the edges of your piece, it can mask uneven edges and ugly cutting.
This hand embroidery stitch is one of the many decorative variations of the Blanket stitch. It has a border of the Blanket stitch, but the legs of the stitches are crossed.
This variation of the blanket stitch is excellent for borders, edges, crazy quilting, or decorative embroidery. You can apply the rows of the stitch to make filling too.
Overlock stitch is a variation of the Blanket stitch. Visually, it might look like a Closed blanket stitch, but the embroidery technique differs.
Overlock stitch sewing by hand is a decorative and secure way to finish the edges of blankets, garments, or home textiles. You can often see vintage blankets with the edges of the Overlock stitch.
Besides the edging, you can use this stitch for border designs or decorative outlines in hand embroidery projects.
This hand embroidery stitch is excellent for decorating borders and seams. Besides that, you can also use it for mending clothes or embellishing home textiles. If combined with other decorative stitches, a Double blanket stitch could be used as a great border embroidery stitch.
A Rosette of Thorns stitch looks excellent in border designs. Also, you can use it as a decorative stitch on the seams. It can be combined with other decorative stitches, like French knots or lazy daisies, to create unique embroidery designs.
Besides decorative embroidery and edging, Rosette of Thorns is widely used in crazy quilting.
This hand embroidery stitch is a composite stitch made of 2 rows of the Blanket stitch and a whipping.
You can create various visual effects with this simple embroidery stitch. For example, play with multiple densities of the Blanket stitch, make the stitches of alternated lengths, or choose different thread colors for each stitch.
This simple yet very decorative stitch looks excellent in border designs. You can apply several rows of these stitches in different colors close to each other to create a colorful decorative border. Also, one row of the stitch will look amazing.
This stitch combines the Running stitch and Blanket stitches positioned close to each other.
This stitch is mainly used for decorative edging – you can apply it to the tablecloth, fabric napkins, or the edges of garments. The excess fabric is cut away after the stitches are used for edging.
Antwerp edging stitch has a decorative edging purpose and is widely used in Hardanger embroidery. It can be used in decorative embroidery and crazy quilting too.
You can find the Antwerp edging called Knotted blanket stitch.
Like other variations of the Blanket stitch, Berwick stitch secures the edges of garments and household textiles. Besides that, this hand embroidery stitch will look great as a decorative stitch for outlines or even lettering.
Blanket stitch variations for filling and mending
This blanket stitch variation for filling is a decorative variation of a Blanket stitch that takes the form of a honeycomb. It has a decorative filling purpose. You can fill various decorative shapes with it – from the background to the petals of the flowers. It is very functional and decorative. Besides that, it’s relatively fast to embroider.
This stitch is the most basic method of filling with a Blanket stitch. We start with a row of blanket stitches. Then, we add one more row of stitches above the first one. The legs of the new row overlap the top part of the stitches in the previous row.
This hand embroidery stitch is excellent for filling. Choose slightly different shades of the same color thread, and you will have a gradient filling. On the other hand, you can choose contrasting colors and create intriguing colorful patterns. Besides that, the rows of Blanket stitches can be wavy and create abstract designs.
Scotch darning stitch is one of the stitches used for darning holes. It is incredibly widely used when darning knitwear. This stitch creates a robust and secure mend and is perfect for mending the heels of socks and the elbows of sweaters – parts that suffer from most wear.
Blanket stitch filling in circles is a way of filling with blanket stitch. This way of filling creates a beautiful netlike pattern.
Blanket stitch filling in circles is an excellent choice for mending projects, patchwork, and decorative embroidery.
Decorative stitches from the Blanket stitch family
Sun wheel hand embroidery stitch is a decorative variation of the Blanket stitch. Blanket stitches are embroidered in the circle, creating a round shape with rays that imitate the form of the Sun.
The Buttonhole wheel is a decorative motif you can add to your embroidery designs. It can become a flower or any circular part of the design.
Besides that, you can use this stitch for mending projects. E.g., Instead of hiding a small hole, you can emphasize it and work a Buttonhole stitch around it, creating a structured and colorful outline for the hole.
This stitch is widely used in Whitework and cutwork embroidery. Also, it is used in decorative embroidery to depict the raised bars in botanical designs.
But besides the decorative purposes, this stitch has a practical scope – it creates the looped buttonholes for the garments and locker loops to hang the jacket.
Blanket stitch is one of the most used hand embroidery stitches. It is simple, practical, and has a lot of variations for any type of project – from decorative embroidery to sewing, mending, quilting, or applique.
Use this guide to choose which stitch suits your project best. And if you need more visual guidance, watch a Blanket stitch variations video tutorial on the Practical Embroidery YouTube channel.
You might want to read:
If you prefer learning by doing, check out these patterns and tutorials that include Blanket stitch and its variations: