Perfect Your Blanket Stitch With These 3 Easy Methods

How to Sew The Blanket Stitch Three Ways

There’s no beating the clean look a blanket stitch makes, but let’s be clear: it should not be reserved only for blankets. It’s useful in so many projects, whether you want to use it on pillowcases and tea towels, to finish embroidery hoops or to attach a decorative piece of appliqué. This post can help you perfect your blanket stitch.

When doing a blanket stitch, it’s best to use embroidery thread or yarn, since this is a decorative stitch and the thicker thread stands out more. Match the weight of your thread to the weight of your fabric (aka embroidery thread for linens and yarns for heavier wools and fleece), and go with the color that speaks most to you, be it a matching or contrasting choice.

The steps below walk you through the basic blanket stitch, then show you how to use it to finish a raw edge, a folded edge and to add appliqué — along with a few decorative variations to boot.

How to Sew a Basic Blanket Stitch on a Raw Edge

Bring needle from back to front

1. Collect your fabric, a needle and thread. Thread the needle and make a knot in one of the tails.

2. Begin on the right side of your fabric. Bring the thread up from the back so the knot is hidden. If you’re working with two layers of fabric, bring the thread up between the layers to hide the knot completely.

Pull thread all the way through

3. Pull the thread all the way through. Hold onto the thread as you pull so the short tail doesn’t become unthreaded.

Stitch from back to front in the same place

4. Take the thread around to the back of the fabric and bring it up to the front again through the same hole.

Bring the needle through the stitch

5. Bring the needle through the stitched loop, from left to right, along the edge of the fabric.

Pull thread straight up to tighten the Blanket Stitch

6. Pull the thread straight up to tighten the stitch.

Stitch from the back to the front

7. From the back, take another stitch about ¼” or so to the left.

Stitch through the loop

8. Pull the thread almost all the way through, leaving a loop. Bring the needle through the loop from front to back.

Pull thread up to complete the stitch

9. Gently pull the thread tight to complete the stitch. Continue sewing stitches to the left until your edge is finished.

Turn over and stitch through thread to start a knot

10. To finish your row of blanket stitches, bring the thread to the back through the bottom of your last stitch.

Thread through loop and pull to create a knot

Create a knot by turning the fabric over to the wrong side. Bring the thread through the bottom of your last stitch, leaving a loop. Bring the needle through this loop.

Pull to bottom of stitch for knot

Pull gently to tighten.

Thread through loop to double-knot for security 11. Repeat to create a second knot for extra durability, then clip the threads.

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble keeping the stitches even, try using some low-tack or washi tape. Place the tape along the edge to keep the stitch depth the same. Better yet, find tape with dots or markings to help keep the width of your stitches even too.

Outer stitched threads are along the raw edge

That’s it!

How to Use a Blanket Stitch to Finish a Folded Edge

A blanket stitch combined with a folded edge creates a professional look with an even tidier finish. Here’s how to do it.

Sew a Folded Edge Blanket Stitch

1. Fold the raw edge of your fabric under ¼”-½”, depending on the scale of the item you’re working on. Press the edge to hold it in place.

2. Begin the blanket stitch by hiding the knot under the folded fabric.

3. Use the basic blanket stitch instructions above to finish the edge. Create stitches that are as deep as the folded edge, enclosing it with the stitches. Make sure to run the stitches along the edge of the fabric evenly for the best results.

Wrong side of a finished Folded Blanket Stitch

Appliqué With a Blanket Stitch

Using a blanket stitch along the edge of an appliqué covers the raw edge, prevents fraying and looks amazing.

1. Fuse the shape you are appliquéing to the background fabric. Use fusible web and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bring Thread Up and take a stitch

2. Begin your blanket stitch behind the background fabric to hide the knot. Stitch down through the appliqué, and back up at the raw edge.

Take another stitch to the right

3. Take another stitch to the right of the first one. Pull almost all the way through, leaving a loop.

Bring the needle through the loop

4. Bring the needle through the loop, then pull gently to finish the stitch. Repeat around the entire appliqué.

Finish with evenly spaced stitches

5. Space your ending stitches so they fit evenly in the remaining space.

Stitch to back to finish the blanket stitches

6. Stitch to the back of the appliqué to finish.

Knot the threads on the back of your work.

7. Make a knot and clip the threads.

Front and Back View of Finished Blanket Stitch Applique


Decorative Blanket Stitch

You don’t have to stick with the same even stitches when making a blanket stitch. Check out these decorative variations for your projects.

1. Vary the Stitch Depth

This will give you a curved or scalloped edge.

2. Group Stitches Together

Group stitches

Have fun with patterns!

3. Stitch Interlocking Rows

This will create a double blanket stitch.

Row of stiches

However you stitch it, the blanket stitch can be your new go-to for decorative finishing!

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One Response to “Perfect Your Blanket Stitch With These 3 Easy Methods”

  1. Norma Ward

    How do you determine how much floss or yarn you need to go around the edge of a blanket!