Now the stitch is also used as a decorative stitch in embroidery, or as a top stitch in hand or machine applique. To learn to stitch applique by hand, you can watch this You Tube video.
I stitched my applique flowers to the background with my sewing machine. It is stitch #45 on my Bernina 440QE. It is a common machine stitch, so most domestic machines carry it now. The stitch may also be called the buttonhole stitch on your machine.
I ironed Pellon Wonder Under to the wrong side of the fabric and then ironed the pieces to the background before I began stitching. This is to anchor the flower in place. As the machine needle moves back and forth when creating this stitch, you do not want the flower to be removed from its place.
Usually, when a blanket stitch is used, a heavy weight thread, embroidery floss, or yarn is used to emphasis the stitching. Because the flowers are only 2.5 inches wide, I did not want the stitching to overwhelm the flower or detract from the beautiful red-to-pink shading in the fabric. Thus, I used an Aurifil 50 wt., the same weight used in piecing. I used a contrasting thread color, rather than thread weight to emphasize the stitching. This gives the perfect contrast to the pink and introduces a primitive feel to the quilt.
Here is a photo of some completed flowers. So far, there are 28 flowers in the quilt.