Tips for a Blanket or Buttonhole Stitch by Machine

I recently acquired this fun lemon applique set by Once Upon a Vine, a local business that sells at the boutiques I frequent. I love cute little projects like this that I can finish in an afternoon. 

Lemon Applique kit by Once Upon a Vine in a plastic bag

As I do this little project, I thought I would share how I do a blanket (or button hole) stitch on my sewing machine. 

I start by making sure the applique is securely attached. This set comes with a peel and stick by iron adhesive backing.

Lemon Applique arranged and ready to be ironed on.

 So remove the backing, place how you like it, and iron in place. Super simple.

Lemon Applique - Ironed on and ready for stitching

My sewing machine (Brother Innovis 80) comes with a bunch of preset stitches. Number 16 and 36 are both button hole stitches. But one stitches to the left, and the other to the right. Which one you use depends on the project and your comfort level.

Stitch selector on my sewing machine

 I do a little bit of practicing to make sure I am reacquainted with how my machine lays out the stitches. 

For the leaves, I use a green thread. I started at this spot because the ends of the green stitches will get covered up when I go over the lemon piece that covers it. Using Button hole stitch on the lemon applique.

For the bigger pieces, I use the preset stitch width and length. For the smaller pieces, like the lemon slice triangles, I think that the regular size stitch would cover too much of the pieces. So I lowered the stitch length and width.

Using Button hole stitch on the lemon applique.

To make the button hole stitch, my machine does a forward stitch, backward stitch, forward stitch, then side stitch and back. When I get to a corner or end of a piece, I make sure the side stitch will stay on the piece I am sewing on. 

Using Button hole stitch on the lemon applique.

When I go around curves, I make sure to go slow and only make drastic turns after the machine does a side stitch, or make a consistent turning motion, so the stitch stays consistently spaced and pointed towards the center of the project.  

Using Button hole stitch on the lemon applique.

Here is a close up of the tiny lemon slices. I used a light grey thread with a little shine on it. I like how it goes with all the yellow fabrics, and it gives off a cool sheen.

Using Button hole stitch on the lemon applique.

 Here it is all finished! This is going to be an adorable kitchen towel!

Using Button hole stitch on the lemon applique.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I am not familiar with a lot of machines, but I would be happy to help with technique questions. 

To see the blog post about how to do a button hole stitch by hand, click here. 

Have fun quilting!

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