Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ladder Stitch Hems

Happy New Year! The Christmas season passed far too quickly for my liking. A trip to visit our grandchildren in a distant state kept us busy in December. We had a lovely time celebrating together. Then it was home again just in time for Christmas. And before we knew it, it was time to flip the calendar page. Here’s wishing 2017 proves for you a year of health, happiness and successful endeavors.

Hand hemming Christmas coasters and runners

Those on my gift list received sets of six coasters; one from each of the six warps woven in the same pattern. They were fun to weave and I managed to empty several cones of yarn in the process.

The hems are sewn by hand using the “Ladder Stitch”. Once the warp comes off the loom I use a machine triple zigzag stitch to overcast both edges between each piece. After cutting between these stitch lines hems are folded twice and Ladder Stitched. The photo shows my needle taking a stitch under two warp threads on one side of the hem, next I skip directly across to catch the very next two warp threads on the other side. When the thread is pulled up the two sides of the hem are invisibly woven together. You can find video demonstrations of the stitch on UTube. The technique is particularly effective on Rep weave due to tightly sett warp ends.

At the very bottom of this photo you can spot the edge of a tiny wad of beeswax. Since I was in my teens, this same bit of wax has lubricated and strengthened my hand sewing threads. If you prefer, there is a commercial non-wax product available that does the same job.

Another helpful tool are the colorful little clips seen here. They are called Wonder Clips and work far better than pins to secure hems before sewing them. Even if they didn’t work so well I’d want to use them because they are so cute. They come in various sizes and colors and are fun and easy to use. You can find them at your local fabric store, quilt shop or on line.

Ladder Stitch in progress
Raw edges machine triple-stitch zigzagged

These small projects have been a lot of fun. Now that the 2017 has dawned I am ready to tackle some larger pieces. May your year be filled with good health, happiness and satisfying projects. Happy New Year!

Warp On/Weave Off,