Whip Stitch Vs Ladder Stitch

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.

whip stitched binding

binding sewn with whip stitch

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.

ladder stitched binding

binding sewn with ladder stitch

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.

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday, Sew Cute Tuesday, and Linky Tuesday.

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7 Responses to Whip Stitch Vs Ladder Stitch

  1. Patrica says:

    It’s funny how something so simple can make such a difference. I never thought about what stitch I used to bind I just always have used a ladder stitch and assumed that’s what everyone used. Thanks for reminding me not to take anything for granted especially when teaching others this craft we love.

  2. I love the invisible binding stitch – it is my preferred method for binding my mug rugs. Your work looks very neat – even your whip stitch is very impressive.

  3. stipplequilt says:

    I used to hand stitch and always liked the ladder stitch, now I seem to put my bindings on by machine. Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  4. Astrid says:

    I can understand your frustration. The ladder stitches look so much better, very neat. Ladder stitches is my preferred method too.

  5. polwygle says:

    I dislike what my whip stitch looks like, too, so I am eager to give this a try. Thanks for passing this along!

  6. Mareenchen says:

    What a difference! I’ve only ever used the ladder stich after one unnerving attempt of sewing the binding down by machine. I love it. Neat look and something to do whilst watch telly in the evening. :)

  7. dezertsuz says:

    Ladder stitch is how Ami Simms does her applique – or at least she used to. She showed me how. =) I always hem stitch my bindings, and my applique, but there IS a way to make it completely invisible! I only use whip stitch to put hexagons together. It doesn’t show on the right side.

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