Sunday, February 26, 2017

Working with Felt - Blanket Stitch

Welcome to my first post from 'Working with Felt' series in which I will demonstrate you the basics stitches I use on my works. It's a topic that I always wanted to work on for quite some time but, somehow, It just never happened. I guess I just couldn't get my ideas gathered properly and got caught in a web of scrambled bullet points where I couldn't decide where to start first, hence the delay. I know It should have been done a long time ago...but I guess It's better late than never, right? :P
Also, I would like to emphasis that It's going to be a topic where a brand new embroidery stitch tutorial will be released every month.

To achieve a beautiful work, not only talking about felt related crafts but all hand sewn works from all sorts of medium, lots of patience and discipline is required. Customers love attention to details.. and who doesn't love receiving a beautiful handmade work? Handmade or even machine made stitches are the next focal point, after the design of the product, that customers notice so It's very important to pay attention on how you work your stitches. The smaller the stitches are by keeping them equally apart from each other will naturally result into a more delicate and charming work.

Today's embroidery basics is the Blanket Stitch. One of my favorite and most used stitch used on my works. Best used to decorate edges of a blanket, towels and table cloths but also used to sew two pieces of fabric together. Although I work with only 1 style of blanket stitch, there is, in fact, lots of unique styles and designs with plenty of tutorials available online to help you achieve it but let's focus on this particular style shown in this tutorial. Here, I'll cover four main steps that will get you started in creating a project using this stitch: 1. How to start the Blanket Stitch, 2. Stitching corners, 3. Changing threads and 4. How to Neatly Finish Your Work.

- 2 pieces of felt
- Embroidery thread
- Scissors

Note: I love using single strand on my works. But that's personal preference. I like how they make finished works look crisp and clean . During this tutorial, I used double strands for a contrast and to make it easier for you to see the results.

How to start the Blanket Stitch

Step 1.
Insert the needle from the inside of the 'front' felt. Pull.

Step 2.
Insert the needle through the same hole from behind. Pull until a small hoop is formed.

Step 3.
Insert the needle through the little hoop from the right side and pull.

Yay! You have made your first stitch!

Step 4.
To make the second stitch, insert the needle from the 'front' felt making sure there is a small distance between the first and the second stitch. Pull lightly until it forms a tiny hoop.

Step 5.
Go through the little hoop from the top and pull.

And your second stitch is done! Now just repeat step 4 and step 5 to create beautiful blanket stitch!

How to stitch corners using the Blanket Stitch

Step 1.
Corners are pretty easy to make too. It's three stitches meeting in the same hole or not necessarily. Its a matter of personal preference.

How to change threads
So what happens when your thread runs out and how to continue? Worry not! It's very easy too! There are other ways to do it but I've been using this technique for almost a decade and it works wonders for me. Try all different techniques to find out what works best for you :)

Step 1.
Once you are at the end of your thread, flip your work so that the 'back' is facing you. Slip needle underneath of four stitches.

Step 2.
Slightly pull your thread and cut.

Step 3.
Insert needle with new thread from the back and under the last stitch. 

Step 4.
Lightly pull and make sure the end knot or your thread is hidden inside between the two sheets of felt.

Step 5.
Continue your stitches as per normal. 

How to neatly finish your work

Step 1.
Once you have reach the end of your beautiful work, It's time to cut of your thread. It's pretty much the exact technique when you are changing threads. Just slip your thread underneath four or more stitch and cut :)

And you're done!

I'm a right handed person so I like starting stitches from right to left. If you're a lefty try flipping the images above... Might not be the ideal or right method but It will help you get started :) 

It will be a bit of a challenge at the beginning, specially when it comes with adjusting the distance between stitches. But once you dedicate time to practice this stitch you'll get into the flow in no time :) There are, in fact, tricks to achieve beautiful spaced stitches but I have never tried them. Take a look at this How to Get Perfect Blanket Stitch trick by Dream Crafter.

So remember, practice is the key for perfection!

Till the next 'Working with Felt'!

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