If you are looking for a simple yet effective way to quilt your quilt, stitching in the ditch may be just the technique you are looking for.
If you press both seam allowances under one side of a patch, one side of the seam will sit slightly higher than the other.
The side where the seam allowances rest is higher because there are at least 3 layers of fabric compared to just one layer on the other side of the seam allowance.
Long ago quilters figured out that if they quilted on the side of the seam that was lower, it was pretty easy sewing – since there is usually only 1 layer of fabric on the quilt
In addition, stitching on the lower side of the seam allowance caused the higher side to stand up even more.
Because of the dimension, quilters started calling this technique “Stitch in the Ditch.”
When I first learned to stitch in the ditch, I quilted right next to the seam – or as close as I could – whether I was hand quilting or machine quilting.
Since my machine quilting skills aren’t very developed, often my stitches would go from “in” the ditch to “on top of” the ditch (onto the higher side of the seam).
I wasn’t too happy about that, since it was really obvious that my stitching wasn’t straight. But I didn’t really know what to do about it.
Then my friend, Pam Bauer, expert machine quilter, mentioned that she never stitches in the ditch exactly along the seam allowance. She always stitches 1/8 to 1/4 inch away from the seam allowance.
That way, it is less obvious if the stitching isn’t exactly
To see a picture of stitching in the ditch, visit: