Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ladder Stitch Tutorial

I was remiss in using the term Ladder Stitch in my LAST POST and wanted to clarify.

I use a ladder stitch quite often and it is very efficient when you want to "hide" your stitches.  I started using them when I was closing openings to pillows after stuffing.  Closing ripped stitches on stuffed animals.  You also use it for needle turn applique.

It is my FAVORITE way to secure my Quilt Bindings!

I made these drawings to explain it best.

You are going to start at one end and work your way like a ladder from one piece of fabric to the other.  For the first few stitches, I start it loose, so I can see what I am grabbing at.

When I grab a bit of each side, it is about 1/8-1/4 inch amount.  The stitch then goes directly across to the other fabric at the same point (perpendicular).
Larger increments will make the fabric pucker and you will definitely see your stitches.

As I work my way, I start pulling my stitches tighter.

Eventually, as you pull tighter, you will only have the teeniest, tiniest stitch showing.

Here are some examples:

My Hawaiian Quilt. The applique's are needle turn. This is VERY close up, so you can see the puckering (since I haven't ironed/completed it!)

Button's Quilt.  If you recall, I gave using my machine to do the binding a try.  I ended up doing it by hand with the ladder stitch with a much better result!

It truly is almost non-existent.  

 That is unless some savvy seamstress or quilter comes along and inspects your work!


  1. I've been trying to figure out what a ladder stitch was. I keep thinking I want to attempt a quilt by hand but am kind of scared to even try. I've done them on the machine before though lol

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