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Thread: Should I ditch the stitch-in-the-ditch?

  1. #1
    Member Silvia75's Avatar
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    Question Should I ditch the stitch-in-the-ditch?

    Do you stitch in the ditch around square or rectangular blocks when you start quilting? I always thought this was good for "anchoring" the quilt down before doing other stitching like FMQ. But now as I look at my latest quilt, it seems like overkill so after I am done with all the FMQ I have decided to pull all of these early stitches by hand (yes a very tedious process) because they seem to make the quilt look worse otherwise.

    Should i reconsider my strategy or ditch the stitch in the ditch?

  2. #2
    DJ
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    Super Member DJ's Avatar
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    Personally, I would do one or the other. If you're going to FMQ, I doin't think SID is at all necessary.
    DJ_____________________

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    It's all personal and dependant on what look you want and like.

    Another time, if you're wanting to anchor your quilt, but not keep the stitching ... you could use water soluble thread and it will just melt away when you wash it! Plus you wouldn't have to SITD .. could be anywhere!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  4. #4
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I don't use anchoring stitching unless it will eventually be part of the final design. If you have used basting spray, or washable school glue for sandwiching/basting your quilt, the anchoring stitches are unnecessary as the fabrics will not shift. But I do like the idea of water soluble thread....why can't I ever have those brilliant ideas?

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    For me, the answer is "it depends". If I'm doing an all over FMQing design like meandering, stippling, or circles, pantos etc. I don't SITD first. But, if I'm doing different designs in different areas of blocks or more intricate, smaller FMQing I do SITD first to anchor the blocks. This is for sure more custom, labor intensive work. But, if I'm putting more quilting on it, in a smaller area I want to be sure there aren't any puckers or shifting.

  6. #6
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    if you want to stitch to anchor your quilt use wash out thread so when you wash your quilt the anchor stitches would be gone

  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I've never stitched in the ditch before quilting - that's what pins are for. I've never had a pucker on the back yet.

  8. #8
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I just took a Craftsy class by Cindy Needham and she recommends "ESS" (stitching in the ditch, every stinking seam) even if you're doing fmq stitching. She did some samples with and without, and I have to admit, it did anchor them nicely and did make the end product look great. I just did it with my current king size project and trust me it was NOT fun (and I probably won't do it again). It took me forever and it is not my favorite thing to do! It did turn out nice though and this quilt actually needed quite a bit of it anyway, so not a waste.

    I also bought some of that wash away thread, but my thought was to use it to stitch one of those fmq practice panels. This way I can use the panel multiple times (its not the wash out kind) and not waste backing and batting.

  9. #9
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omaluvs2quilt View Post
    I just took a Craftsy class by Cindy Needham and she recommends "ESS" (stitching in the ditch, every stinking seam) even if you're doing fmq stitching. She did some samples with and without, and I have to admit, it did anchor them nicely and did make the end product look great. I just did it with my current king size project and trust me it was NOT fun (and I probably won't do it again). It took me forever and it is not my favorite thing to do! It did turn out nice though and this quilt actually needed quite a bit of it anyway, so not a waste.

    I also bought some of that wash away thread, but my thought was to use it to stitch one of those fmq practice panels. This way I can use the panel multiple times (its not the wash out kind) and not waste backing and batting.
    Yes, many long time FMQing experts recommend this.

  10. #10
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    I learn so much from all of you! Never would have thought about wash away thread for this purpose. I've used it when doing trapunto. Also like the idea of using it on a practice panel! Thanks for all the hints.

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