Hand Sewing: The Blanket Stitch
The blanket stitch is a wonderful hand sewing technique to learn, as it can be used to great effect as decorative edging on various projects including blankets, dishcloths and fabric ornaments.
The stitch is normally used to join 2 raw edges of a non-fraying fabric together, such as felt or fleece.
In the video below I demonstrate how to stitch 2 edges of felt together to make a seam, on both a straight edge and around a corner. If you want to skip straight through the intro to the demo, fast forward to 3:20 :)
There is also the option of adding beads to the stitches as you go, to make the edging even more decorative. This is particularly useful for making ornaments.
Bear in mind that the bigger your project, the bigger the thread you'll be using, and the bigger the beads you'll require.
Please find my demonstration of the beaded blanket stitch below:
And here is an example of the stitch in use on some pretty embroidered ornaments:
Photo by Nicole Vaughan.
With regards to the thread you need, just make sure it can be seen - after all, blanket stitch is supposed to be decorative - and the size is in proportion to your project.
I used size 8 crochet thread in the video, but embroidery floss is probably the most popular thread to use.
With regards to the needle you need, just make sure that it is thin enough and sharp enough to move easily through your fabric. A regular hand sewing needle will do for most projects, although you may want to buy a specialist needle for a material like denim or leather.
You will also need to make sure that your chosen thread will fit through the eye of the needle.