How to do Blanket Stitch

In this beginner's guide, we'll show you how to sew blanket stitch – a pretty yet practical edging embroidery stitch that works well with appliqué.

How to do blanket stitch

Blanket stitch is a clever embroidery stitch which adds a decorative touch to outlines while adding a secure finish to the outer edges of fabric shapes. In this beginner’s guide to blanket stitch, we’ll show you how it’s done. Before you begin, download and print out the template below trace the birds design onto fabric.

Trace and cut out the shapes from cotton fabric and blanket stitch into place using grey thread. Sew the Home Tweet Home words in simple backstitch – if you’re new to this, head to our How to backstitch post.

Template Design by Lisa Jones, stitching and instructions by Rebecca Reid.

Free Birds applique pattern (PDF)


Total time:

Step 1

Start stitching by bringing the needle up at 1, down at 2 and up at 3. Make sure the thread is under your needle as shown in the diagram. Make sure you keep this vertical stitch straight to make a neat right angle.


Step 2

Gently pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop. This completes your first stitch and you’ll find it easier to make it even and neat if you hold the thread flat on the fabric as you pull the needle through.


Step 3

Continue stitching in this way to work a row of blanket stitches. Keep the vertical stitches evenly spaced and all worked to the same length. The space between them should be the same as the length of the stitches.

how to work blanket stitch step 3

Try it with appliqué

Use bold blanket stitch to attach cute motifs to a girl’s dress.

Blanket stitch is a cunning way to sew appliqué motifs onto a project and add
a touch of embellishment at the same time. Rather than hiding your stitches, choose a contrasting of complementary thread shade to show them off, and make them part of your design.

Use Bondaweb to give your motif some stability, then play with adding blanket stitch edging in different thread thicknesses  and colours until you achieve the effect you’re after.

How to embroider blanket stitch

More like the how to do blanket stitch project

Check out our how to cable knit article and our how to make a chunky knit blanket tutorial. You should also try our embroidered converse project – it is amazing!