Should I ditch stitch the blocks (24") and remove the basting stitches before machine quilting? Do you stitch in the ditch around square or rectangular blocks when you start quilting? You put your heart and soul into every creation, choosing fabrics and patterns like a painter’s palette. I’m thrilled to hear you are enjoying the lessons! One option for quilting an entire quilt is to stitch in the ditch of all the major blocks. Quilting Design Size: Before making your final decision on how long your stitch length should be, you would want to consider certain elements of your quilt design. The serpentine quilting would be okay too. Please check that out for more basting ideas. It is suggested using a walking foot to stitch in the ditch, which I would like to do just to stabilize the overall quilt (tho' the seams are mostly all curves, not straight lines), but I am not sure the walking foot would be appropriate in the areas where I have used PIPING in my quilt. I like using a ruler for ditch stitching. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Stitching in the ditch between borders helps stabilize the fabric, maintaining straight lines and preventing distortion. Even though stitching in the ditch is usually invisible on the top of the quilt, the stitches add depth where they compress the quilt batting and are completely visible on the back of the quilt. All rights reserved. Another option is free motion stitch in the ditch quilting. Any tips? It is much easier for me and I do like the looks of it in my overall project. I really like the serpentine idea, too, although I am not sure it would be distinguishable from my normal SID. The machine controls the stitch, so all you need to do is control the quilt. These quilting lines pass over the seams many times and are designed to blend the quilt’s elements together. To make each mini quilts, Cut 36 squares: 2-1/2 by 2-1/2. Guidelines for better ditch quilting #1 Sit in front of the needle. so choose thread accordingly. Is it necessary to then ditch stitch before machine quilting, or will it be stable enough? If your daughter said that about her piano recital piece, what would you say? Wish I were (back) there…sigh… As you gain more quilting experience and confidence, there’s a good chance you might delve into free motion quilting at … However, if excess fabric causes the seam line to wobble as you quilt near it and then move away again, you are doing more harm than good (at least visually or as far as a quilt judge may be concerned). The purpose of stitching in the ditch is to outline your patchwork shapes and secure the quilt. In this case the “ditch” is on the side opposite the seams–sometimes called the “well”. I know you’re enjoying the autumn colors of Minn now. ideas and experience with basting techniques. Unfortunately it is snowing in Minnesota right now!! When I make a block quilt, SID is strictly a stabilizing step or a means to travel while FMQ something pretty. I really like to make those swirly curly lines in swirls and feathers when I FMQ. Quilting stitches are made outside the design with a distance of some 1/4 inches. Regardless of how your quilting skills develop, stitching in the ditch is like learning how to properly mix cement to a brick layer. I like the idea of serpentine lines stitched over the ditch. The down side to machine guided quilting is you can only stitch in one direction. Hi! The wavy line looks intentional (as opposed to trying to stitch straight with accidental waves). Sometimes stitch in the ditch can be a bit difficult keeping lines straight, I also do a small serpentine type stitch over the seams. Use the straight stitch plate. Definitely more forgiving…and freeing. The only downside to stitching in the ditch is you can’t see it. Next, I want to call out the fabulous ideas shared in the comment section relating to ideas and experience with basting techniques. Any time during the quilting process, How:  Machine guided, Free motion (in or over the ditch). Luckily it’s also an easy one! When: As soon as the quilt is layered. To do machine guided quilting, it is best to use a walking foot or dual feed function so the quilt layers don’t shift. I often adopt a hybrid solution…Free motion stitching over the ditch. SID can be fabulous when wanting to highlight a certain area though, so I do do that by ruler. If the ruler is longer than that span, “walk” your hand down the ruler as you move the machine, just as you would a rotary cutting ruler. When I do log cabin quilts I play with the decorative stitches on my machine, with shiny embroidery thread (50 weight rayon) and use a dual feed foot. I use ruler to free motion quilt in the ditch. The stenciled blocks add a little pizazz to the otherwise plain SITD quilting. It’s a great time to play with the hundreds of beautiful stitches available and if I’m not exactly in the ditch, no one will ever notice. With the prep work handled, it’s time to quilt the long seams between blocks. This website uses cookies for analytics, personalization and advertising. Photos of my quilts don’t tell the story. If seams allowances are pressed to one side, these stitches are made on the side of the seam with just one layer of fabric. PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Should I ditch the stitch-in-the-ditch? Practice your technique, using an expanded base on your machine for support, and a guiding ruler with grippies on the underside. If the seams have been pressed to the side during the piecing process, ditch stitching will involve sewing slightly off the seam line, on the side with just one layer of fabric. A while back, I wrote a post on the process of satin stitching the raw edge applique on this piece. and more. I attended a lecture a few years ago by an experienced long-armed who advised NOT using SID in blocks or areas of blocks where the seams are pressed open. Hold the ruler on the “low side” of the seam whenever possible. Once you have your quilt sandwich basted and ready to go, attach your walking foot — it’s essential... Quilt the Row Seams. Tomorrow:  Four Samples of Stitch in the Ditch Quilting. You don’t want to notice the stitching line, though you may see it. This is a time consuming method, but the results are beautiful! That makes sense to me! Instead of trying to stitch perfectly straight within the ditch, I stitch a slightly wavy line over the ditch. The advantage of this method is there is no design necessary. Join the private Quilting with LKQ Facebook Group HERE. A quality stitch regulator should allow you to place every quilting stitch exactly where you want it. Do you really HAVE to stitch in the ditch? As with any other skill, the more you practice, the better you will get. It’s a really easy design choice when you have no clue how you want to quilt something. This reinforces the seam and the quilt stitching is almost invisible. Got bless…. Other quilters press the seams to one side. I tried SID with rulers, but my FMQ lines were straighter. Free Motion Stitch OVER the Ditch Quilting. I just mark the pattern on the quilt & then free motion along the lines using my walking foot. They are ALL bestsellers! Love the idea of a “serpentine” stitch over the ditch. Speaking of that–can you believe we are already starting Lesson 19! I've never seen anyone else do it this way but once everything is anchored with stitch in the ditch the quilt is stabilized I can quilt the border and bind the quilt. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. If you are still timid, try using invisible thread in the machine for stitching in the ditch (it’s very forgiving to both learning quilters and experienced quilters!). When you invest so much of yourself in your quilting passion, you deserve quilting stitches that are just as beautiful as the quilt top you’ve conceived. Discover why the APQS Stitch Regulator is called the Perfect Stitch Regulator. Quilting Basics. On small quilts that are easy to move around I do use my dual feed with a foot made for stitching in the ditch. Doreen. Stitch in the Ditch quilting. Learn more about all the basic sewing stitches you need to sew clothing. 25 Week Quilt-a-Long If you choose to stitch the ditch, do it as the first step before adding any quilting design in the border or sashing. The lessons will be here when you are ready. Try not to … By quilting very closely to the seam allowances, you can “simulate” stitching in the ditch when the quilt is viewed from a distance. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Continue stitching normally (without reversing) along your marked lines, in-the-ditch, or however you have decided to quilt your project. Is it possible for my feed dogs to be “out of sync” with each other or not properly aligned? Post was not sent - check your email addresses! (I expect this when doing 1/4″ seams, because the fabric is not over the righthand feed dogs.) If you choose to stitch the ditch, do it as the first step before adding any quilting design in the border or sashing. So the trade is less perfection, but much easier! Any time you need to change directions, you must turn the quilt. I love the spirit of sharing and helpfulness within the group! What would you like the answer to be? In her Craftsy video, Design It, Quilt It, Cindy Needham recommends ditch stitching “ESS- Every Stinking Seam” before adding decorative motifs on top. The story behind the quilt – Grace’s quilt. We will definitely need to “circle back” to the basting lesson as soon as we get through our 25 Week Quilt-a-long! To stitch in the ditch is to attach the inside or back as invisibly as possible. I make less traditional quilts and it just feels good to lighten up. First, I would like to thank all of you who have shared quilts and comments on the LKQ Facebook group page! (grin). To stitch in the ditch is to sew in the 'well of the seam', right where two quilt fabrics join. Keep the needle between your thumb and fingertip. Quilters can make a case for both a “yes” and a “no” answer. In this method, the blocks are outlined and appear set within the batting using very light weight thread. I always thought this was good for "anchoring" the quilt down before doing other stitching like FMQ. Thank you soooo much. Welcome to Lesson Nineteen of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting. In this type of quilting, the stitching is done on the seam where two blocks or patches meet. I have a different style of quilt today that is a very good candidate for free motion stitch in the ditch quilting. When you stitch in the ditch, you want to stitch on the valley side of the seam allowance. Earlier this week, I briefly touched on free motion stitch in the ditch quilting with the soccer quilt. Stitching in the ditch between borders helps stabilize the fabric, maintaining straight lines and preventing distortion. If you are adding extra background quilting around your design, that would be the last element to add to the quilt. Once the layers of the quilt are sandwiched, it’s time to start quilting. Machine Guided Stitch in the Ditch. Tips to Perfect Your Stitch in the Ditch Do Your Prep Work. Rulers are the next thing on my list to master. All types of quilting stitches secure the three layers of a quilt sandwich. Simply outline every block and all of the seams and voila–your quilt is quilted. Technically speaking, stitching in the ditch is quilting right in the seams where your fabric joins, and ideally it should mean your quilting stitches don't show. But no matter what part of the country I’m in, quilters who are considering adding a longarm to their studio invariably wonder about the very same things: © 2016-2020 APQS. I’m really leaning more to that serpentine stitching over the seams. Again, this is subject to heated debates, but yes, I believe it's okay to stitch right in the middle of that ditch. What foot do you use? Stitch in the ditch is a basic quilting technique that every quilter should know how to do. I have a couple of quilting stencils that I sometimes use. SecureTrust Trusted Commerce - Click to Validate. Copyright © 2020 Lori Kennedy Quilts. Lightweight, matching color thread for stitch in the ditch. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. When we posted a picture of the quilt Salene Ledger’s six-year-old daughter quilted to the APQS Facebook page at the beginning of July, it got LOTS of response. This method creates added dimension and texture to the quilt. Stitching in the ditch is best seen in person. But if you choose to highlight areas of the quilt with custom quilting, your decision to stitch the ditch or leave it alone should be made based on whether any seam lines must maintain a straight visual appearance. Machine Guided Stitch in the Ditch Quilting Three Methods of Stitch in the Ditch Quilting. Do you need to do just one vertical and one horizontal stitch-in-the-ditch line to stabilize the quilt prior to free motion quilting the rest of the quilt or do you need to do multiple lines? I also like to use a straight edge quilting ruler and a ruler foot when stitching in the ditch on larger quilts. (If the seams are pressed open, the stitches are made in the center where the fabrics meet.) Upholding a long tradition of being the oddball, I actually manage to stay in the ditch better with free-motion. Or to stabilize a quilt (more on stabilizing later this week). Some quilters press the seams of the quilt open, in which case the “ditch” is between the two pieces. Kantha quilting /Sashiko quilting Thanks in advance, You are now ready to stitch your quilt. This technique is used when you want to hide the stitching on the top of the quilt. You may create a quilt like a log cabin that would be a total beast to stitch in the ditch so you naturally look for new designs to avoid that headache. If you are adding extra background quilting around your design, that would be the last element to add to the quilt. Sometimes I've used the stencils in some of the blocks & finished with something like stitch in the ditch. Borders and sashing strips should look very straight; after all, the border serves as a frame to the quilt and gives it that “finished” look. There are four good reasons why you would stitch in the ditch: 1. I just finished quilting a jelly roll quilt made entirely of long strips and wish I’d seen Heartland Honey’s suggestion to use decorative stitches. Most common questions about APQS longarm quilting machines. His rationale was that you could pierce the seam threads and significantly weaken the quilt. Learn how to stitch in the ditch to secure your quilt with walking foot quilting. If you’re new to quilting, “quilting in the ditch” simply means quilting in the seams of your quilt top. Check out my monthly newsletter & my articles. I’ve done serpentine stitching over the ditch and it’s a perfect way to quilt for a male or on something uber modern. Importantly I never bind the quilt before the border is quilted. I have tried the machine stitched zig zag over seams and I like the look of that, too. Stitch in the ditch quilting can be stitched machine guided or free motion. This week, we will be covering two separate but related topics, stitching in the ditch and stabilizing. “But it’s too hard!” is a lament uttered often by quilters. Using a narrow-edge or stitch-in-the-ditch foot, Jenny demonstrates a method of echo quilting that involves stitching right beside the ditch created by the seam between fabrics. From doodling to quilting, I’m here in my Minnesota studio to help you get quilting. You don’t need fancy stencils or to learn any motifs. See how a foot can make a difference. To create your own samples this week, either find a few “orphan blocks” for practice or create two mini quilts shown here. One of Brothers newest feet is for stitch in the ditch (used mostly in quilting or dressmaking). Lori, I luv luv luv your lessons and posts. Six Tips for Quilting with Specialty Threads, To”set” the pieced design before free motion designs are added on top (a la Cindy Needham). Reply My personal preference is to do as much 'stabilizing' quilting as I can before starting the fun stuff...the feathers or the free motion 'from my brain straight to the fabric' stuff. Piece them in a 6 x6 checkerboard. Step 4: I now go back and quilt the rest of the quilt. All Rights Reserved. This tutorial is on how to stitch in the ditch using your sewing machine. (Clear for lighter colored quilts or smoky for dark quilts). 8. It is harder to maintain a perfectly straight “in the ditch” line when free motion quilting, however, it is not necessary to rotate the quilt as often. Whenever you stitch a seam between two blocks in a quilt, a “ditch” is created. In this article we explore another variation on the feather - we call this one the twisted ribbon feather. If you choose to stitch the ditch, do it as the first step before adding any quilting design in the border or sashing. 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