Buttonhole stitch or blanket stitch as many people call it is actually the foundation stitch for many varieties of buttonhole. This stitch is often used along the edge of projects – often blankets hence the name. Never underestimate a stitch like buttonhole as it is a marvellously versatile stitch. Buttonhole can also be worked in freeform manner with rows stacked to create texture. The illustration above is worked in a fine woollen yarn which was hand dyed. Other textures and patterns can be created if you experiment with changing the spacing and height of the upright arms.
How to work Buttonhole or Blanket stitch
Buttonhole stitch is worked from left to right along two imaginary lines. Bring the thread out on the lower line. Insert the needle on the upper line making a straight downward motion.
Loop the working thread under the needle point. Pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop. Repeat this process along the line.
You can create many interesting patterns with this stitch by varying the arm length you can create shapes.
If you change the baseline you can create interesting variations too.
It can be fun to work out different patterns
Some become little motifs in their own right
Or buttonhole sttich can be worked back to back.
You can build up interesting patterned bands
Play with the spacing working the upright parts closely together, or work them further apart.
This sample is buttonhole worked in various threads. Try working it different threads, on different fabrics, or fabrics that have been hand dyed or add beads, overlap lines of the stitch, or use it to couch down another thread or ribbon.
Here I was experimenting with leaf shapes
Of course this is popular stitch used in crazy quilting.
No matter what you do with it explore the stitch.
Buttonhole is stitch 2 in the Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge. More information and a list of stitches in the challenge is on the TAST FAQ page.
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