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Long and Short Stitch Embroidery (Blanket Stitch)

The long and short blanket stitch is a variation of the basic embroidery blanket stitch, consisting of a row of loops, each of them anchored by the following stitch to form an L-shape. 

It is worked very much like the basic blanket stitch, with the difference being the assortment of stitch lengths. The length of the stitches increase from short to long and then decrease from long to short blanket stitches.Short and Long Blanket Stitch - fb

When can you use the long and short blanket stitch?

The long and short blanket stitch embroidery design can be used to edge blankets, but it can also be worked as a decorative surface stitch.

This blanket stitch embroidery is a decorative stitch, often used to embellish crazy quilts or to fill in large spaces of an embroidery design. The satin stitch is used in embroidery to fill smaller spaces.Short Long Blanket Stitch completed

The long and short blanket stitch can be used on the edges of blankets, as the stitch used for applique and for shading leaves, feathers, and other spaces.

To learn how to do the long and short blanket stitch embroidery, we've created a video tutorial for you to watch. Simply click on the link below to go to our YouTube video tutorial.

In addition, we have a full written photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions below.



COMPLETE VIDEO TUTORIAL AVAILABLE! The video below is a preview with no audio, to watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Long and Short Stitch Embroidery (Blanket Stitch) to watch in Youtube.


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

WHAT YOU NEED to Long and short stitch blanket embroidery

  • Aida fabric or other fabric
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery floss

Short Long Blanket Supplies

INSTRUCTIONS to make the long and short blanket stitch

STEP 1: Make the first short blanket stitch

To practice the short and long blanket stitch use aida cloth because of the grid pattern.  Once you are familiar with the technique, this stitch can be used with any fabric - felt, wool, cotton, etc.

Begin by placing the fabric in an embroidery hoop and threading an embroidery needle with embroidery floss. If using two strands of floss, consider using the Loop Method for Anchoring Floss to begin your floss neatly.Short Long Blanket Threaded Needle

There are no hard and fast rules about the height of the stitches.  For this tutorial, the long and short blanket stitches will increase and decrease.

To make the first long and short blanket stitch, bring the threaded needle up from the back of the fabric. This will be the baseline of the stitches.  This first stitch will be short.Short Long Blanket 1 pull thread up

Make a loop with the working thread and push the needle down from the front of the fabric two holes over and one hole up from where the needle originally came up from the back (the baseline).Short Long Blanket 2 Count Squares

Bring the needle up from the back of the fabric one hole down, pulling the needle through the loop in the working thread.Short Long Blanket 3 Needle in Stitch

This stitch can be done in one movement. Bring the needle up from the back, count two stitches over and one stitch up, then push the needle partially down through the hole.Short Long Blanket 4 Pull thread

Bring the tip of the needle back up just one hole under where it went down.  Pull the needle through the two holes at once. Pull gently until the thread is through and the loop is pulled to make a straight line along the bottom of the stitch.

STEP 2: Embroider the second blanket stitch

The next stitch will be one hole taller than the first blanket stitch embroidery. On the baseline, count two holes over and two holes up.  Push the needle down through that hole. Count down two holes to the baseline and push the needle back up.Short Long Blanket 5 Next Stitch Longer

Keeping the needle inside of the loop of the working thread, pull the needle through and gently tug until the loop is tightened into a straight line across the bottom of this stitch.Short Long Blanket 6 Pull Thread

This is the second stitch, just one hole taller than the first.

step 3: Make the next long and short blanket stitches

Continue making the blanket stitches, with each one up one hole higher than the last blanket stitch. Always go two holes over so the stitches are evenly spaced two holes apart.Short Long Blanket 7 Another Stitch

Continue until the blanket stitch is four holes high from the baseline.  This will be the tallest long and short blanket stitch.

Step 4: Decrease the blanket stitch embroidery

Next, begin to decrease the height of the blanket stitches by going down from the top just one hole lower than the previous stitch.  The tallest blanket stitch is four holes high from the baseline.

Short Long Blanket 8 Shorter Stitch

Insert the needle in the third hole up from the baseline hole and out the baseline hole. Gently pull the yarn though until the loop is tightened into a straight line across the bottom of this stitch. 

Short Long Blanket 9 Shorter Stitch Complete

For the next blanket stitch, count over two holes and one hole shorter.  Push the needle down through this hole and back up through the loop of the working thread three holes under the spot where the needle went down.Short Long Blanket 10 More Shorter Stitches

Continue making the long and short blanket stitches, decreasing them one hole each time until the blanket stitch is only one stitch tall.

step 5: Increase the long and short blanket stitch

Once the last blanket stitch is only one stitch high, begin to increase the height of each blanket stitch by one hole, being sure to pull up through the loop and pulling each stitch gently.

Stop the increase once the long and short blanket stitch is four holes tall from the baseline.

Continue to increase and decrease the blanket stitch embroidery until it is the desired length. Short Long Blanket 11 Continue with longer stiches

The finished long and short stitches make attractive outline stitches and functional decorative borders. Short Long Blanket Stitch Completed 2

Be sure to keep the back neat and free from knots.  The embroidery floss beginning and ending tails should be worked under the stitches as seen in the following photo. Short Long Blanket Stitch Back of Work

I hope you enjoyed learning how to make this long and short blanket stitch embroidery design. It adds a nice decorative touch to needlework.

 Annette's Signature 


QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

other decorative embroidery stitches

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

Embroidery Thread (Floss)

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Tapestry Needle - Blunt Yarn Sewing Needles

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Short and Long Blanket Stitch - pin


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