Blanket stitch is already known as a simple, versatile embroidery stitch used for everything from edging blankets to making an embellished border. But did you also know that you can make a pinwheel using blanket stitch? Follow along to learn the simple steps for making this interesting and easy embroidery shape.
Start by drawing a circle and marking a single dot in the middle. Make a single blanket stitch by bringing the needle out at point A, in at point B, and back out at point C. Remember to keep the working thread behind the needle before you complete the stitch.
Next, insert the needle back into the center dot and make another stitch alongside the first.
Work you way around the circle, making stitches that start in the middle and finish on the edge. Try to keep the distance between stitches as even as possible.
A completed pinwheel looks like this!
Blanket pinwheels can be big or small and made with widely or closely spaced stitches.
These super easy pinwheels look great on their own, or you can add a stem and make them into whimsical flowers. However you choose to use them, blanket pinwheels are a simple and fun embroidery addition.
Blanket stitch may have traditionally been used to finish the edge of blankets, but the truth is that it’s useful for so much more! From hems to borders to applique to decorative shapes and textures, this is one of the most versatile embroidery stitches.
Blanket Stitch can be worked in straight rows, around curves, doubled up, crossed, twisted, and on and on. This tutorial covers the steps for blanket stitch along with six variations that take the basic stitch to the next level.
Blanket Stitch Step-By-Step
Blanket stitch can be worked in any direction. For this tutorial, we will be working from left to right using two horizontal lines as a guide. Start by bringing the needle out at the far side of the top line (Point A). Move over one stitch length and take the needle in on the bottom line (Point B) and back out on the top line (Point C). Keep the working thread looped behind the needle.
Pull the needle through to complete the first stitch. I find it helpful to keep a finger on the working thread as I pull the needle through so it remains in place while staying taught.
* A quick note on the “sewing” vs. “stabbing” method * The method demonstrated above is the “sewing” method where the needle is woven in and out of the fabric. You can just as easily make this stitch using the “stabbing” method by putting the needle in at point B, pulling it all the way through, and then bringing it back out at point C. I often find the stabbing method easier when working on a project where the fabric is pulled tight in an embroidery hoop.
Use the same steps to make the second stitch. Move one stitch length away and insert the needle in at point D and out at point E. Always remember to keep the working thread under the needle before completing the stitch.
Continue stitching until you reach the desired length. End the stitch by bringing the needle down and through the fabric next to the top of the last stitch.
Blanket Stitch Long & Short
Perhaps the easiest of the blanket stitch variations is Long & Short. Just as it sounds, this version of the stitch features long and short stitches in varying lengths. There are no rules regarding stitch length so have fun with it and get creative! This version uses the same steps as the classic blanket except not all the stitches will reach the bottom line.
Double Blanket Stitch
Double blanket is a variation where a second row of stitching is made between the first. You can use the same color thread, or add some pizzaz with a contrasting color.
Start by making a row of blanket stitch. Next, flip the stitching upside down and start another row with the stitches placed between the previous row.
Whipped Blanket Stitch
This super-simple variation adds an extra layer of color to the basic stitch. Start with a row of blanket stitch. Choose a contrasting color thread and bring the needle up on the top left side. Without going through the fabric, weave the new color thread over and under the top line of stitching.
Closed Blanket Stitch
Closed blanket stitch takes the basic stitch and turns it into a row of triangles connected by a shared line.
Start with two parallel lines and begin the first stitch on the left side of the top line. Follow the same format as for the basic stitch – out at point A, in at point B, and back out at point C. The key difference from the classic stitch is that the line between B and C is diagonal instead of straight. Complete the first step by looping the working thread behind the needle and pulling it all the way through.
Begin the second stitch at point B and bring the needle back out at point D. Again, make the line between B and D diagonal.
You have now closed the stitch and created your first triangle shape. Start the next closed stitch with another diagonal stitch from point E to point F. The idea is to mirror the angle of the stitch from B to C as closely as possible. This ensures that the row of triangles are similar in shape. Next, close this series of stitches by inserting the needle back in through point E and creating another diagonal line. Keep stitching in this manner until you reach the desired length.
Crossed Blanket Stitch
This is another variation that uses diagonal stitches to create an interesting pattern. This time, instead of closing the stitches, we will be crossing them to form a series of connected diamonds. The first stitch follows the same steps as for closed blanket. Start at point A, come out at point B, and go back in at point C. The line between B and C is diagonal.
Next, move the needle to the left side of point B and make another diagonal stitch up to point E. This stitch will cross over the previous stitch.
Start the third stitch at point F and make a diagonal stitch up to point G. Just like with the closed blanket stitch, try to keep the angle of the diagonal stitches similar to give the crosses a uniform appearance.
Finish this pair of crossed stitches by moving the needle back to point B and making a diagonal stitch from there up to point H.
Start a new pair of crossed stitches by moving to the left of point F and making a diagonal stitch up to the top line. Continue this series of stitches until you reach the desired length.
Blanket Scallop Stitch
Finally, we come to the last blanket stitch variation in this tutorial. At first glance, blanket scallops appear to have little in common with the rest of the blanket family, but upon closer inspection, you will see that this decorative edging or outline stitch is actually composed of tiny blanket stitches.
This stitch requires knowledge of running stitch which you will find in the Basic Line Stitches Tutorial. Start by making a series of scallop shapes with running stitch.
Next, starting at one end of the running stitch, make a row of blanket stitch over the top. Keep the stitches short so they lie just on either side of the running stitch.
Follow the curves closely and keep the stitches close together. Note that you can make this stitch in any direction, but the solid line (top of the blanket stitches) will always lie at the top. Depending on if you want the line on the top or bottom of the scallops, you may want to rotate the running stitch before stitching over it. For this example, I wanted the top line to be on the outer curved edge of the scallops so I flipped it and started my stitching with the scallops in the correct direction.
Despite the name, the blanket scallops are suitable for more than just scallop shapes. Use this stitch as a border for any curved shape, including a circle.
If you like Herringbone stitch, then you will love Double Herringbone. It’s twice as much fun! The double layer of stitches adds a level of detail and intricacy to this already deceivingly fancy looking stitch. Follow along as we learn the simple steps for doubling those herringbones.
Double Herringbone Tutorial
Start by making a row of single Herringbone stitch. You will be filling in the spaces between the stitches, so be sure to space them generously.
The basic idea of this stitch is to add a second layer of stitches on top of the first layer. Therefore, the steps for double herringbone are the same as the steps for single herringbone.
One change to note is that while the first stitch of single herringbone starts at the top of the marked lines, double herringbone starts on the bottom line with a single diagonal stitch from A to B. Determine the placement of point B by following the same 3/4 rule as for single herringbone .
Bring the needle back out at point C and make another diagonal stitch down to point D. You will notice that the angle of this stitch matches the angle of the first single herringbone stitch.
Continue stitching in this manner until you reach the end of the line.
Double herringbone can be stitched with a single color thread, or with a contrasting color for the second row.
Irregular Double Herringbone
This variation of double herringbone produces an off-center row of smaller stitches on top of the first row.
Start by marking four parallel lines that follow the pattern below. Exact measurements are not necessary, but the idea is to place the middle lines closer to the top and bottom instead of spacing the lines evenly.
Stitch a row of single herringbone using the top and bottom line as a guide. For this first row, the additional lines are not used.
Next, using a contrasting color thread, start stitching a second row of herringbone. The steps are the same as the double herringbone above, except the stitches start and end on the two marked middle guidelines.
You will notice that in this variation, the second row of herringbone does not match up with the first. That’s what makes it irregular!
Practice your stitching skills with this FREE Apple Sampler embroidery pattern! Sharpen your skills while creating a masterpiece that almost looks good enough to eat. Frame this piece in the hoop, in a wooden frame, or turn it into a pillow, tea towel, market bag, or anything else you desire!
Three Colors, Four Apples, Five Stitches
The apple sampler uses two floss colors and five stitches.