There is a difference between BLANKET STITCH (often incorrectly called Buttonhole Stitch) and BUTTONHOLE STITCH (sometimes called Tailor’s Buttonhole).

BLANKET STITCH got its name because the stitch was used to hold down the edge of a blanket, turned once. It falls into the category of “looped” stitches. Having numerous variations — some of which are illustrated below — it still remains blanket stitch.

Don’t look down at the lowly blanket stitch. Learn to do it well. Use this stitch to edge blankets, afghans, raw seams (to prevent raveling), in short, any edge that needs protecting or

beautifying in some way. It is the basic staple of cutwork embroidery. It is also the stitch used to make fine laces, where it is called tulle stitch.

To keep the stitches even across the edge, when drawing the needle through. pull the thread in the direction you are stitching – to the left in this example.Don’t look down at the lowly blanket stitch. Learn to do it well. Use this stitch to edge blankets, afghans, raw seams (to prevent raveling), in short, any edge that needs protecting or beautifying in some way. It is the basic staple of cutwork embroidery. It is also the stitch used to make fine laces, where it is called tulle stitch.

 

blanket1

You can do this stitch facing you or turned away from you, as in the illustration. You can work it left to right, or right to left (shown). Worked close together, blanket stitch is used to support fabric for cutwork. It is worked before the fabric is cut on a single thickness.

blanket2

Blanket stitch worked in groups of three – and often used as an alternative to single stitching, is shown at left. This creates a very decorative edge on garment cuffs, plackets, pockets, tray mats, napkins, etc.

Pull the first stitch to the right, the center stitch straight up and the third stitch toward the left.

The illustration at right is shown in both open and closed blanket stitch. In the far right example, there are spaces between the stitches and it has been long used to represent simple flowers. In the left example, by putting the loop portion of the stitch at the center, it can be used for punched or cut holes.

closedBlanket

 

Starting and Ending Threads. Joining threads should be done in such a manner so as to maintain a smooth appearance. Should the need arise, the following should help you.

Stop the first thread (light green) and park the needle/thread above where you are working.

Slide the new thread (blue) under the backs of the first thread and bring it up under the last loop as shown.
After making a few stitches with the new thread, slide the first thread (green) underneath the current stitches shown in blue.

ending1

ending1

BUTTONHOLE STITCH is used to stitch hand-made buttonholes. These require more support because the button shank constantly rubs the edge of the fabric. It falls in the “knotted” category. It is also used to support the fabric in Hedebo embroidery.

Illustrations and text for buttonhole stitch courtesy Marion Scoular.

buttonhole1

buttonhole2