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J-Quilts blog

Stitching in the ditch

I often get asked to quilt a quilt ONLY in the ditches, so that the quilting is not visible.

This is certainly not the cheapest quilting option, costing more than a general allover quilting design, purely because of the extra time that ruler work takes.

Stitching in the ditch on a longarm machine involves the use of acrylic rulers to guide the machine in a straight line which gives much better results than purely freehand moving the machine.   This is a skill which takes time to master and thankfully I mastered the ruler skill early on in my quilting career.

Now if recent offensive comments towards longarm quilters on a well known U.K. Forum are to be believed then we are actually the spawn of the devil that we dare to quilt a hand pieced quilt!  Therefore please do not believe such "opinions" because mostly they are based on lack of knowledge about the longarm quilting process. 


These two beautiful hand pieced quilts by Cynthia are great examples of the style quilt that suits stitching in the ditch.  Although officially there is actually no "ditch" to speak of when there is hand piecing involved, or if the seams have been pressed open, and in these cases I must stitch slightly to one side of the ditch so as not to add stress points to the hand or machine stitching.  

To stitch in the ditch is much easier when the seams are pressed to one side and the stitching is then stitched on the "low" side of the ditch. 


Liberty fabrics look stunning in this patchwork of the crosses design, pieced by Cynthia Dennis. Quilted by Janette Chilver
Liberty fabrics look stunning in this patchwork of the crosses design, pieced by Cynthia Dennis. Quilted by Janette Chilver
Pieced by Cynthia Dennis, quilted by Janette Chilver. Patchwork of the crosses design.
Pieced by Cynthia Dennis, quilted by Janette Chilver. Patchwork of the crosses design.
Back of quilt. Stitched in the ditch around the shapes of the patchwork.
Back of quilt. Stitched in the ditch around the shapes of the patchwork.
Cynthia's second quilt using the patchwork of the crosss design in Lindbergh fabrics.
Cynthia's second quilt using the patchwork of the crosss design in Lindbergh fabrics.
On the longarm quilting frame.
On the longarm quilting frame.
Patchwork of the crosses. Hand pieced by Cynthia Dennis. Quilted by Janette Chilver.
Patchwork of the crosses. Hand pieced by Cynthia Dennis. Quilted by Janette Chilver.












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