If you want to attach an applique by hand, a blanket stitch is a great way to add some texture and contrast to your final piece.
Once you have all of your applique pieces stitched, pinned, fused or glued in place, get a needle and thread to match or contrast your design and let's get started.
If you want your stitching to be a feature, use a contrasting thread instead of a matching thread.
We're demonstrating with a small square of fabric.
Doing a test piece like this gives you the opportunity to practice keeping your blanket stitch straight, try different sizes, threads and needles before you start a project.
When you are ready to dive into the real thing, we have a great free design for you to try your skills out on.
Blanket Stitch Tutorial
From under the fabric, push your needle up at the corner of your square or in the spot you want to start stitching.
Get as close as you can to your applique piece but don’t stitch through the applique piece.
Hold the thread to the left hand side of your work. Then stitch into your applique piece about 3mm from where your needle came up and about 3mm in from the edge of the applique (we've used quite a large blanket stitch for this, for a better demonstration of the stitches).
Bring the needle back up at the edge of the applique directly opposite the start of the stitch. Make sure that the thread is looped behind the needle as in the picture.
Pull the needle and thread through carefully ensuring that the loop is created behind the stitch.
Pull the thread gently so that each stitch sits flat along the outer edge of the applique. If you pull too tightly on this, it will pucker your applique piece.
- The idea is to keep the distance between stitches and the length in from the edge of the applique even.
- It's easier to practice the blanket stitch on a straight, like our square of fabric, once you have the hang of the stitch try a different stitch size on each side of your square. See what you like the look of. (This is all about personal preference).
- If you're having trouble keeping those stitches even, try drawing a couple lines on the end of your thumb or finger as a guide.
- As you go around a curve like this circle, the points where your needle goes down need to be slightly closer together than the points where your needle comes up at the edge of the applique. This allows for the curved shape.
- A curve going the other way would have the outer points closer together than the inner stitches.
- At a corner, like at the very start of our stitch you push down through the applique and come up again very close to the same spot. Be careful not to actually go back through the same hole, as this will pull through your stitch. Get as close as you can to the same spot coming up through the applique and continue your blanket stitch.
A blanket stitch is perfect for finishing off appliques - save this blog to help you next time you are working on one and share your results in our Facebook group!