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 marvelously versatile stitch. You can also work Buttonhole in a freeform manner with the rows stacked to create texture. I worked the illustration above in a hand-dyed fine woollen yarn. You can create other textures and patterns 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.
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. For example, 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 you can work buttonhole stitches back-to-back.
You can build up interesting patterned bands
Play with the spacing by working the upright parts closely together, or work them further apart.
I worked this sample in Buttonhole using various threads. Try working it in different threads, on different fabrics, or on hand-dyed fabrics. Or you can 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, Crazy-Quilters use this stitch a lot.
Here I have worked a line of buttonhole stitch in perle #5 cotton. With a silk thread, I added French knots and Cast on stitch loops. I finished off the seam with seed beads and bugle beads. You can see the crazy quilt block this detail came from here
In this example, I worked Buttonhole stitch in cotton perle #5. I further decorated it by adding sequins and seed beads to the arms of the stitch. If you are interested in seeing, reading about, and getting the free pattern for the crazy quilt block this detail came from you will find it here in my Diamonds are Forever series.
Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?
Create your own designs with Sharon’s easy-to-use stitchers templates. Combine shapes to create hundreds of patterns and designs to embroider. It is the ultimate mix-and-match fun for stitchers of all skill levels. I created them to be as versatile as possible. I include four multi-patterned templates in each set. You will find them easy to use, totally clear to help you position them on your work, and they are nice and compact to fit in your sewing box. Each set comes with an e-book filled with patterns and designs that you can create and use as a jumping-off spot for your own designs. They are available now in our shop here!