When I started binding, the only stitch I knew to do was the whip stitch. It’s the most intuitive way to join the binding to the back of the quilt, and it was the only method I had seen in my browsing of blogs. All of the binding tutorials I found demonstrated the whip stitch, so I came to believe that was the only option in the world of hand stitching. I didn’t want to stitch the binding down by machine partly because I enjoy hand stitching, and mostly because I’m really not a fan of the obvious seam that it produces. But if I’m honest, I can’t exactly say that my efforts at a whip stitch looked much better.
I found myself incredibly frustrated with the painfully obvious stitching, but I couldn’t find any better options. I felt stuck. Then I saw this post by Cheryl of Dining Room Empire, where she discussed binding methods. She provided a link to a fabulous tutorial by Mal of turning*turning on the ladder stitch. This is seriously one of the most well-done tutorials I’ve seen on anything. It turns out that the ladder stitch is exactly what I had given up on ever finding! The stitches are virtually invisible, and the binding looks incredible.
I tried the ladder stitch for a couple of inches in the binding I was working on to see how it looked, and I loved the results. I promptly undid all of my whip stitching, and started over with the ladder stitch. It was quite slow at first, but now that I’m getting the hang of it, it’s going much more quickly. Now the binding is something I love that adds to the beauty of the quilt, rather than a necessary evil that detracts from it. If you’ve never tried the ladder stitch, I highly recommend that you check out the tutorial and give it a try. You won’t regret it.