a very well known and used stitch this week – the Buttonhole stitch – otherwise known as a blanket stitch.
This was traditionally used as a blanket edge on the raw edging of woollen blankets – hence the alternative and well known name. OF course the buttonhole version was as it sounds – to make buttonholes by hand - It is widely used as an appliqué stitch for various fused appliqué methods. But of course it can also be used as a stand alone embroidery stitch in many variations.
so, here we go:
for the purpose of this tutorial I have drawn two lines – you would probably only every have one line marked on your design and none for appliqué – so you need to use your sharp eye to get even stitches or make lines with an erasable marker.
Bring the threaded knotted needle up at A – this would be on your design line –
take it down at B and up again at C with the thread under the needle– now for a ‘basic’ buttonhole stitch the way we mainly use it, try for even sized stitches – that is all sides of the three sided square are even in size – so the distance between point A and C and point B and C are the same so we end up with a square.
Pull the thread through horizontal to the fabric – I like to pull it as close to the fabric as possible rather than pulling the needle straight up away from the fabric – I find this ‘sits’ the stitch into position a little better.
continue along your design line trying for even stitches.
to end your stitch take the needle down over the top of your last stitch as close as possible to where you came up but over the thread – pull through to the back and tie off.
a common problem with buttonhole, particularly on curves is that is wont sit where you put it and it pulls inwards. The step above I mentioned about pulling the thread through horizontal and flat on the fabric helps a little but also…
Corners – coming up to a corner try and just the distance so that the last stitch is the same width away from the corner as your last stitches were. Take your needle down in the same hole as the previous stitch and then up again right in the corner.
work your way around the circle using that centre point every time to place your needle down. You may need to lock every few stitches down (with that little stitch over the top) to prevent them from rolling in.
There are many variations of Butthonhole including Closed Buttonhole, Up and Down buttonhole, knotted buttonhole, buttonhole stitch bars (used in cutwork) and buttonhole stitch with picots or bullions. Google these for ideas and instructions if you are up for a challenge.
Here are a few examples I found in my studio or you can see many others on my pinboard.
Basic buttonhole to appliqué a pocket on
So here is this weeks page Download Buttonhole
I added some colonial knots to the centre of my flowers and around the outer edge.
have fun and happy stitching