How to work Buttonhole Stitch

buttonhole stitch sample 9Buttonhole 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 Stitch (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.

buttonhole stitch step by step 1Loop the working thread under the needle point. Pull the needle through the fabric to form a loop. Repeat this process along the line.

buttonhole stitch step by step 2

You can create many interesting patterns with this stitch by varying the arm length you can create shapes.

buttonhole stitch sample 1If you change the baseline you can create interesting variations too.

buttonhole stitch sample 3It can be fun to work out different patterns

buttonhole stitch sample 2Some become little motifs in their own right

buttonhole stitch sample 4Or buttonhole sttich can be worked back to back.

buttonhole stitch sample 6You can build up interesting patterned bands

buttonhole stitch sample 5Play with the spacing working the upright parts closely together, or work them further apart.

buttonhole stitch sample 10This 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.

buttonhole stitch sample 11Here I was experimenting with leaf shapes

buttonhole stitch sample 8Of course this is popular stitch used in crazy quilting.

buttonhole stitch sample 7No matter what you do with it explore the stitch.
Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 
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187 Comments

  1. Pingback: TAST 2012 #2: Buttonhole Stitch (Festonsteek) - Studio Paars: borduren festonsteek

  2. Pingback: TAST 2012 #2: Buttonhole Stitch - Studio Paars: embroidery buttonhole stitch

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  5. I am afraid I have done a bit of very ordinary burttonhole stitch as I was making a tiny felt heart and used it to sew the heart together and to put on a bit of embellishment. I havent a lot of time at the moment as I have family and friend commitments, promise to do better with the variations, but I had done a lot of that on other challenges I have done with Sharon. on my blog
    http://backvalleyseasons.blogspot.com

  6. Hi! I just started sewing again. Mom tried to teach me when I was a kid, but I just wasn't interested. As an adult, I've beaded jewelry, played with polymer clay, crocheted tons of afghans, done a bit of drawing, and dabbled with loom knitting. This year I decided to try to sew again. I kind of like it. Who knew? I posted my first two attempts on FLICKR, both on the Take a Stitch Tuesday site and on my own, Jandikk. Take a peek and let me know what you think.

    Karen Jandik
  7. Good morning, after procrastinating, and feeling behind, I finally decided to make my cover piece using the fly and buttonhole stitches. This was really fun, and I look forward to learning more each week. I am enjoying all of the links to all the wonderful stitchery. visiting is such an eye opener and inspiration to all the creativity that is around the world. Thank you all.

    Here is the link to my page.
    http://flowerladyscreations.blogspot.com/2012/01/tast-first-and-second-stitches.html

  8. A favorite of mine, so it was quick and fun to do! I went with 'blanket' because buttonhole has more letters to stitch! ;D

    http://smallestforest.net/2012/01/11/httpwp-mepeep9-ey/

    Also, a question from a newbie for you, Sharon:

    On the stitch dictionary page of each stitch you list other stitches that the current stitch is related to; should we be considering those as options for the sample, as well, or will TAST eventually get around to devoting a week to each of those other stitches? Ex. will I get a chance later in the year to work buttonhole bars, or closed feather, or the wonderfully titled Up and Down Buttonhole Feathered (!), or was this week my only chance to do all those? Just wondering how far I can take it further.
    Thanks for your time, sorry for these elementary questions.
    XX Nat
    http://smallestforest.net

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