Thursday, November 14, 2013

Blanket stitch tutorial

As promised, I'd like to show you a few embroidery stitches.  I'll start with blanket stitch.  For my felt bird kits, I used this stitch mainly around the outer edge of the bird, but it can also be used to decorate or attach the breast and wing like here:  

Here's a detail of the tail with blanket stitch used around the edge. Notice how I treated the corners.  You might also see where I started a new thread on the bottom left side of the tail.  I've explained a bit more about that in my tips below. 

If you're really new to working with embroidery thread, watch this sweet little video of Embroidery 101 by Jenny Hart from Sublime Stitching.  

In fact, you can just spend time watching all the amazing videos over on her site and ignore this B-grade attempt I made below! But it's out there now and even on my own channel, so you can watch it if you like and see how I do blanket and whipstitch.  

There are a few tricks to getting blanket stitch looking great on an exposed, double-sided edge. My tips are:
  • Start with a small stitch on the back (or inside in this case), run your needle through it and then start making the loops.  You will see in the video that I run the needle to the right, underneath the thread, in the opposite direction to where I actually want to stitch. This is so that the first stitch looks just like a real blanket stitch with right angles, not an odd little diagonal stitch in the middle of all that straightness. 
  • Make all your stitches the same length and width apart.  Your work might look even from the front, but also check to see what your needle is doing in the back.  You might bring it up at an angle, which will create shorter or longer stitches than on the front. 
  • You'll need to finish off a piece of thread and start a new one more than once if you're going right around the bird. I like to hide the starting knot on the inside of the bird. When I finish the thread, I make a tiny knot into my last stitch, push the needle down into the body and hide the thread tail on the inside of the bird.

I don't think I gave the whipstitch enough attention in my video, so in the next post I'll talk you through it (with photos this time). It's pretty late at night, so I'm not sure this all makes sense. I hope my instructions and video will help somebody, and as always I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or feedback. 

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