A Step By Step Guide To Blanket Stitch Applique


Blanket stitch is an excellent way to applique wool projects and fusible cotton applique. Follow this step by step guide with photos to do it.

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A Step By Step Guide To Blanket Stitch Applique

Blanket stitch is an excellent way to applique wool projects and fusible cotton applique. It can give your project a finished look and add so much detail and dimension, so what are the secrets?

A Step By Step Guide To Blanket Stitch Applique


Blanket Stitch for Wool Applique and Fusible Cotton Applique


Use a Great Thread for Blanket Stitch

Valdani perle cotton is a great product to use for blanket stitch applique. The choice of most quilters is size 12 as it is just heavy enough to add a bit of dimension while not being so large as to look bulky or over-power smaller pieces. Another plus is that the Valdani products are guaranteed 100% colorfast and I can attest to the fact that even the deepest shades of red have proven colorfast when stitched on snow white fabric and washed, and that is the real test for any product in my book!

Valdani Thread


Needle of Choice for a Great Blanket Stitch

Size 24 Chenille Needles are the perfect choice to use for blanket stitch applique. They are sharp enough and thin enough to nicely glide through your fabrics without making large holes and they work perfectly with the size 12 perle cotton. John James brand is a personal favorite but Bohin also makes a great product – try a pack of each to see which is most comfortable in your hand.

Blanket Stitch Needles


Blanket Stitching – Where Do I Start?

A heart applique is a great place to start because it gives you an opportunity to learn how to work with a point, a straight edge, a curve, and an inward “V”. The main thing that you will want to remember is that you are trying to get your stitches evenly spaced and the same height.

Blanket Stitch at the Point


After tying a knot in the end of your thread, come up from the backside of your applique piece at the point of the heart as shown. Note that your needle will be coming up through the background just barely off of the edge of the applique as shown.

First Blanket Stitch at the Point


To take your first stitch, insert your needle approximately ¼” above where your thread has come through the background allowing the loose portion of the thread to remain below the point of the needle as shown and pull your thread all of the way through to form the first stitch.

Second Blanket Stitch at the Point


The next stitch will be using the same hole in the applique where you made your first stitch and your needle will come out of the applique at the edge of the background fabric as shown. (Remember to allow the thread to hang down underneath the point of your needle as you bring the thread through your fabrics.)

First Straight Blanket Stitch


Your next stitch will be spaced evenly from the first as shown and your thread will continue to be underneath the point of your needle as it has been for the previous stitches. If you are having any difficulty keeping your stitches the same height, you may wish to try dragging your needle gently from the top edge of one stitch across the applique to where your next stitch will begin. As you continue to stitch, you will become accustomed to keeping the stitches at the same height and this will not be necessary. Another trick that new blanket stitchers find helpful is to place two small dots on their left index finger in permanent marker (like a Sharpie) and use their finger as a measurement device to show how wide the stitches should be spaced. They simply line one dot up with the previous stitch and then take their next stitch to line up with the second dot.

Blanket Stitch on the Straight of Way


Continue taking stitches as shown until you reach the curve of the heart applique keeping your needle perpendicular to the edge of the applique as shown.

Fanned Blanket Stitches Around a Curve and Heading to the V


Continue making all of your stitches the same height and width as you work your way around the curve of the heart. This will mean that your stitches will be slightly fanned out as you stitch on the curve with the outer edge of the stitches remaining at the same width and the portion of the stitch on the applique being slightly closer together as you round the curve keeping your needle perpendicular to the edge of the applique as you work your way around.

Stitching in the V with Blanket Stitch


When you reach the “V” at the center of the heart applique, you will take three stitches that originate off the edge of the applique that will form a shape similar to an upside down V with a line down the center as shown. Then continue stitching as before until you reach the point. At this time take a stitch into the applique where you started and come out at the edge of the applique. The final stitch will be one that is parallel to the edge of the applique that goes down through the background at the same place you originally brought your thread up. Thread your needle through the backside of several stitches on the back of your applique square and then take a small hidden stitch to anchor your thread in place. Trim off the excess thread and admire your completed blanket stitching.

Completed Blanket Stitch


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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué

See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Background Fabric
The fabric used as the background when placing Applique pieces.
This may refer to either a type of cored yarn or fabric made from it with an extra fluffy or furry texture. It may even refer to a process of making Chenille like fabric on a quilt by layering at least three fabrics (cotton, linen, silk or rayon) on top of each other, sewing lines 3/8" from each other on the BIAS onto the fabric 10 stitches per inch (or less) through all layers, cutting away the top layers of fabric (leaving the bottom most layer intact) and finally fluffing the cut fabric.
Various webs or interfacings which can be ironed onto a fabric for easier applique or to support the fabric.
The process of tying (or tacking) the layers of a quilt or comforter together with yarn knots or tacks. Thick bedcovers are often tacked instead of quilted.

Same As: Tacking
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