When I first started blanket stitching, my corners were... how shall I put this... unique, interesting, inconsistent... in other words, a mess! Messy is okay for some projects, but I did want my corners to look better and to stay looking good after a project was finished. Time and trial brought me to the point where I was finally satisfied with my corners. Today I will be sharing how to blanket stitch corners and how to sew 2 pieces of felt together. I have a few tips that I hope will help you to improve your stitching :) Before you begin, make sure you have read Part 1 and Part 2, because I will not be re-teaching the techniques from the first two lessons:

Part 1 - Before You Stitch - can be found HERE
Part 2 - Blanket Stitching a Straight Line - can be found HERE

Introduction: Because blanket stitching is so important to appliqueing and work with felt, it warrants close examination. Here's what we will be learning:

USES

  • Stitching on the edge
  • Sewing 2 pieces of fabric together
  • Appliqueing one piece of fabric to another
  • Blanket stitching as embellishment
  • Button Holes

TECHNIQUES

  • Starting your first stitch
  • Getting your stitches even
  • Little boxes
  • Stopping
  • Perpendicular stitching
  • Corners and points
  • Curves
  • Adding floss when you run out
  • Joining last stitch to first stitch
  • Reinforcing a seam
  • Intentionally messy
  • Making your back side neat
  • Determining stitch size

Today we are going to practice stitching 2 pieces of felt together and learn how to:

  • Make a neat corners and points
  • Sew two pieces of felt together

In lesson 2 we talked about using a toothed tracing wheel and tracing paper to mark our felt for practice. Today, we are going to talk about using graphing paper. Graph paper is paper that has been divided into squares of equal size. You can use this to mark your practice felt while you are perfecting your stitch. (I'll show you how in a minute) Most graph paper comes 1/4" x 1/4".  But what if you want stitches that are closer together than 1/4" or even bigger than 1/4"? Luckily, there are some great, free resources on the net to help you. The site Incompetech has a graph paper generator. You just plug in how many squares you want per inch and print the page, and you are ready to go. Take a minute to check it out HERE. For today's lesson, print a page with 4 squares per inch. It should look like this:

Cut out a piece of graph paper 3" x 3". (That is 12 squares by 12 squares.) Refer to our tutorial on how to cut out felt found HERE, and using the graph paper as your pattern piece, cut out two pieces of felt.

Before stitching, staple or pin the 2 pieces together. I prefer to use staples because the thread does not get tangled in the pin point or head.

Cut out a piece of the pattern piece grid 1 block x 12 blocks.

We will be using the yellow felt as the front in this demonstration. Set your grid marker on the edge on the front piece of felt, and using a disappearing marker, make a dot at each grid line. You will use these dots as a stitching guide. Because the squares have the same width and depth, your stitches will make little boxes. If you want smaller stitches, simply create a grid with more boxes per inch. Not only will your stitches be closer together, the stitch length will be shorter.

Pick the middle of one side to begin. Using 3 strands of floss, knot the end of the floss. Separate the front piece from the back, and on the inside front piece, slide your needle through the felt into one of the dots. Pull the thread through so the knot is against the felt.

Insert the needle through the back piece of felt so it lines up with the front dot. Point the needle up so it is coming out the top between the two pieces of felt.

Turn the felt over so the front is facing you. As you pull the thread, the loop you just made will begin to pull the two pieces of felt together. Your needle and thread should be to the left of this loop. Continue to gently pull on the thread until the two pieces are together, and the loop is lying flat against the felt. The stitch should be perpendicular to the edge. Pull the stitch tight enough so the stitch lies flat, but not so tight that it puckers the felt.

Continue stitching as explained in Part 2 which can be found HERE. When stitching, it is very important that your needle goes straight through the 2 pieces of felt. The needle should enter the felt at a right angle.

If your needle is entering the felt at right angles, the stitches should be the same length on the front and back of your work.

If you enter the felt on an angle, the stitches on the back will be smaller than the stitches on the front. In projects where the back of your work will be visible, it is very important to keep your stitch length consistent. In the photos below, the last stitch is the result of a needle entering the felt on an angle. NOT what we want to do :)

Continue stitching to the corner. Sew a stitch in the corner dot. The next stitch will be put in diagonally, like the needle shown below.

From front to back, insert the needle through the same dot of your last stitch. It should come through the bottom of the last stitch on the back.

Gently pull on the thread like you would for any stitch, but you want the top loop to rest on the point.

When the stitch is in the proper place, firmly hold the stitch in place with your thumb and index finger.

From the back side, insert the needle into a wee bit of felt near the tip, then slide the needle under the thread, bringing it through to the front. You have just created a small knot on the corner, and anchored it to a small bit of felt. This part is very important. Without grabbing a little piece of felt, the stitch can slide off the corner with use.

Insert the needle back into the center dot. (This is the third time that dot is used.) Make sure the needle comes through the matching center point on the back. Pull the thread through like a normal stitch.

Your thread is now in position to continue stitching down the next side as usual.

When done right, you should have a little square in the corner, with a diagonal stitch in the middle. The front and back should look alike

Next time we will learn how to add new thread when you run out, and how to join the last stitch to the first stitch. Start practicing on your corners :)

 

Comments

Thank you for this series on the blanket stitch. I just know my future blanket stitches are going to be vastly improved!

Hi I loved these tutorials! I hope you dont mind that I published that on my DIY blog? I fully quoted your details and sent my readerd to 2 other parts. I think they will be really happy to be able to use your tutorial:)
Liked your FB page to! big Fan!

Great tutorial, always wondered how to make corners look neater - only wish i'd read this earlier!
Many thanks from Wales!

Hey! Can we reference this on our site? Some good tips here and we do classes for blanket stitching and other types of sewing :). If not no problem at all. Thanks.

Sure. We always welcome links back to us! We do ask that you do not copy our text or images (you may use one image if it includes a direct link back to us and gives us credit) or re-post our blog on your site. Glad you found some helpful tips here. :)

Michelle

Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

I hate how my blanket stitches always come out unevenly spaced. This tutorial offers a great way to ensure all of the stitches are the same height, the same distance apart and are made with the most perfectly shaped corners.

I've included a link to this post and your blog on mine as part of Tutorial Thursday. The direct link to the article is - http://www.blogaboutcrafts.com/tutorial-thursday-november-24-2011.html

Oooo, I need the tips on how to add additional floss and how to finish the last stitch!

Yikes! Thanks for the reminder. Totally forgot I never finished this series. How do these things happen? Post-It note up. I'll try to get to it this week :)

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

Hello,

Enjoying your tutorial! Just starting a new project and I was looking for some tips to improve my blanket stitch. Have you completed your tutorials yet? I was looking for the section on curves, adding floss when you run out, joining last stitch to first stitch, Reinforcing a seam, Intentionally messy, making your back side neat and determining stitch size. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place or if you've not posted yet, will be looking forward to it when you do post. Thanks again! Real helpful to us beginning blanket stitchers!

I know, I'm sorry I never finished it. I was working on it before the holidays, got sidetracked, and just didn't get back to it. I'll try to get it finished up over our spring break. Watch for it :)

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

AWESOME Tutorials but where are the rest (part 4, 5 etc)?

I have yet to finish parts 4 and 5! One of these days, hopefully soon, I'll get it finished :)

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

So neat! Your tutorials are great. I need to find this marker and buy it. I was wondering for days how to stitch two pieces of felt together and I hope that even being terribly messy with your help I will menage it!

Love these tutorials! Can't wait for the next one to learn more about adding new thread and finishing it up!

I so need to finish this up!!! I keep forgetting about it. Post-it note is on my board now :) Glad you've found the tutorial helpful to this point :)

Kimara
Wee Folk Art Publisher
 

I'm so confused about how to finish a blanket stitch properly to tie the beginning stitch to the ending stitch. How to hide the knot...? I'm really not finding much information on this anywhere. Can you help?