Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips from SewVeryEasy,
my name is Laura. “Stitch in the ditch” is a form of quilting. What makes it really easy is we get to quilt with the feed dogs up. Let’s establish what a ditch is. When we sew our two layers of fabric together, we normally press the seam allowances to one side. The side where it’s just a single piece of fabric would be considered the “ditch” or the lower side. The side where you have the top fabric and the two seam allowances would be considered a hill. If we turn it over we have the single piece of fabric here and the three layers of fabric right there. This area along the lower side is the ditch. If you think of a road and a ditch, the road is higher than the ditch. This seam right along here is the ditch. That is where we’re going to sew. The stitch line needs to come as close as you can to that row of stitching that put these together. As you’re stitching this line you’re going to have the high end and the short end, which will make this foot of your machine go high on one side and low on the other. Even though it’s not a lot, it will have that foot go on a bit of an angle. Even though we want to stitch right along that area, the foot is going to want to come off so we’re constantly having to pull this foot back into place. The walking foot does help because it is feeding the fabric from the top and the bottom, but you still might have that foot wanting to go to one side so you’re having to constantly keep that straight. We need to have a foot that’s going to follow that edge. You can get feet with this little edge sticking out from underneath the bottom. You can get a foot that’s designed with this little edge in it and it is a “stitch in the ditch” foot, but you can also use other feet. You can use a blind-stitch foot or an edge foot. Both of them have these little bars. That bar is going to run right in that ditch. Having that edge, it’s going to be very easy to follow that seam. Some walking feet will come with an attachment that has that edge on it. My Bernina does have that edge foot. It’s very easy to replace that foot. There’s a little screw on the end. You’re going to loosen that screw, the bottom foot will come off, and I’m going to be able to replace it. Once those little pins are snapped into place you just need to retighten that screw. Now I have a walking foot that has that edge and it’s going to really help stitching in the ditch. When you’re stitching a full quilt, most times you’re not going to have all of your seams going in the same direction. For example, I have my road or hill here and this is my ditch. On this side, I have the hill and my ditch is on this side. So you’re going to stitch along the ditch side and when you come to an intersection you might need to just move the fabric slightly one side or the other to line that ditch up with your foot. Then you’re going to be able to continue stitching. But by maintaining, always stitching in the ditch and not in the hill, it’s going to have that nice straight line and it’s going to bury those threads right in that ditch so that stitching becomes almost invisible. Let’s go to the machine and try some stitching. I’m going to stitch this entire baby quilt in the stitch-in-the-ditch technique. It’s quite manageable, so I’ve only put pins in it to hold my layers together. To stitch I’m going to start with the seam in the center, then I’m going to work those seams going out. Going in the other direction I’m going to do the same: I’m going to find a center seam and work my rows out. As I’m stitching with the edge foot, this little bar is going to be able to run along the ditch on one side. When I come to an intersection I’m going to be able to take that edge and have it run along the ditch on the other side. I’m not having to look at that needle going up and down. I just need to focus on this area right in front of that needle. When I come to that intersection I’m just going to pick that needle up and put it right in that ditch. Now my edge is going to run along the ditch on this side. By using this edge as a guide, my needle is always going to follow right behind. To put the walking foot on, take this little U-bar and line it up with this edge and slide it on. From there you can lift it up and attach it onto the post. My needle is centered so I’m going to be able to put that bar right in the ditch, regardless if it’s on the right or the left side. So it’s going to work the same as the edge foot. I will be able to just guide my fabric following that edge. Here’s an example of the stitches going right in the ditch. My high point, or my hill or road, is along this edge and along this edge. I was able to stitch all the way along here, but when it came to this area, I had to come here and then stop and come along this edge. And you can see how those stitches just get buried in the ditch. Stitching in the ditch is a very simple way to get your quilting done. It’s as simple as following those seams and stitching right in the ditch. You could try many different feet on your machine and see what foot works best for you. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!