Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Ever tried hemstitching?  I saw a baby blanket with a crocheted edge in a quilt shop back around Thanksgiving, and wanted to give it a try.  I learned I would need a "wing" needle to punch the holes so I could crochet or tat an edging.  Being the bargain queen that I am, I found that JoAnn's had the wing needles clearanced last week for $0.97.  I bought two, since I am notorious for breaking needles. (I forget to change the foot on my machine when going from zig-zagging to a straight stitch. Duh.)  I would think you could also use any large needle just to punch holes - but maybe I will try some decorative hemstitching.  (Right.  In my spare time.) 

In any case, I found that using the wing needle to punch the holes is fairly simple.  I just lined up my fabric and stitched a zig-zag stitch so that the zig stitched on the left and the zag was off the edge - resulting in a nice, straight, even line of holes just inside my 1/4" seam.

At first I thought the holes weren't big enough.  Typically, we see a doily hemstitched and ready for us to add a crocheted or tatted edge, and the holes are pretty defined with decorative stitching around each hole.  I didn't do this kind of hemstitching - I used my wing needle without threading the needle so that I was just punching holes, so of course they are not quite so visible.  I about went crazy thinking I didn't do it "correctly" because I couldn't see the holes very well.  (The perfectionist in me was screaming to figure out how to do it RIGHT.)  I finally realized that I could put my crochet hook through the holes and do what I needed to do - the holes didn't need to be very large.  I think I misunderstood just what hemstitching meant.  I always make things much harder than they need to be!
I will be doing some more of these blankets.  My first attempt resulted in a couple of notes to myself.  First of all, remember to keep the stitch length short and of course, consistent to punch the holes.  For some reason in one spot the holes were farther apart.  The holes that were closer together resulted in this, creating a nice little shell edge:

While the stitches (holes) that were farther apart (not sure why) pulled the shells into a not-so-attractive shape like this:

As a whole, I think this turned out pretty good for a first try, and only took a couple of evenings to finish up.  (My kind of project - quick and easy!)  I used some thread I had, but didn't have enough pink to do the whole edge in pink.  I wasn't sure how it would look changing to white thread, but it actually looks very sweet.  I need to concentrate on being a little more consistent with my crochet tension - I do tend to crochet very tightly. 

I will definitely be making some blanket and burp cloth sets to use for baby gifts.   I keep thinking that flannel with little yellow ducks with orange bills and feet would be perfect with an orange edge - how cute would that be?  Not sure where I came up with that one, but I would love to find that flannel. 

This baby blanket is for a coworker's grand baby.  The beautiful baby was born prematurely and weighed only a little over 3 lbs.  She is in NICU at the Children's Hospital with a chromosomal abnormality , and has now been diagnosed with retinal blastoma.  A tumor behind her tiny little eye that has her already having chemo and radiation at only a few weeks old.  I am hoping that this little blanket will keep her warm someday when she can actually visit grandma's house.

Edited to add:  The more I think about this, the dumber it sounds.  If I wasn't going to use any thread on the machine, why did I think I needed a special needle?  Someone slap me.  See?  I DO make things absolutely harder than necessary. 

1 comment:

  1. It's a lovely blanket Cindy! The pink and white edging is very sweet. Who'd have thought hemstitching could be so simple? I want to give it a try. I like your idea for a ducky blanket, very cute.

    I hope that this blanket gets allot of use at her grandma's house! It's awful to think of a tiny person going through so much.

    ;) Ann


Thanks for your thoughts - I read and appreciate every one!