Home Quilting 101Quilting TechniquesMachine Quilting Want to Learn to Stitch-in-the-Ditch?

Want to Learn to Stitch-in-the-Ditch?

by Beth Cooper

Are you tired of waiting on a long-arm quilter to quilt your beautiful quilt top? Would you like to quilt it yourself on your own sewing machine? Want to take your quilting game to the next level? Well, friend, it’s time to learn about stitching in the ditch.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “What the heck is stitching in the ditch?” Don’t worry, it’s easy and fun! Stitching in the ditch is a quilting technique that involves sewing directly along the seam lines of your quilt top, following the “ditch” where two pieces of fabric meet. The result is a beautifully quilted project that looks polished and professional.

This is a Stitch-in-the-Ditch Sewing Machine Foot from Tacony. 
It works on Baby Lock sewing machines and Brother sewing machines.  The black metal piece in the center glides down the “ditch” and keeps you where you need to be to achieve
perfect in-the-ditch stitches! Buy it here.
It is helpful tool, but not necessary to stitch-in-the-ditch.

Some quilters may argue that stitching in the ditch is too easy or too boring. Rest assured, there’s nothing wrong with a little simplicity! In fact, mastering the art of stitching in the ditch takes skill and precision. It’s all about finding that sweet spot where your needle stays exactly in the “ditch” without veering off into the fabric.

So, how do you stitch in the ditch? It’s simple, really. Using a walking foot or a quilting foot with a guide, stitch directly along the seam lines through all three layers of your quilt. And voila! You’re now a stitching-in-the-ditch pro.

This technique can be done on any sewing machine, a mid-arm quilting machine, or even on a long-arm quilting machine. It works well with nearly any quilt pattern too. The finished project always looks great! (It’s especially a good idea if you don’t want the quilting to detract from the piecing!)

Stitching in the ditch is a versatile quilting technique that can elevate your projects to the next level. So, the next time someone tells you it’s too easy, just smile and nod, knowing that you’re a confident and skilled quilter who knows the value of simplicity.

This video by Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Co. is all about stitching in the ditch! Be sure to check it out!

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