Tuesday Tutor - machine quilting your quilt

Posted by Ruth on 27 March 2011 | 0 Comments

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Now that we have the quilt layered and pinned securely, it is time to begin quilting. The first quilting I like to do, when possible, is one or two securing rows through the quilt, just to help prevent the layers from moving. We will start by stitching two lines through the center of the quilt. I will use Stitching in the ditch (also known as Ditch Stitch quilting) so let's see how that is done first.

Remember, we pressed the seams to one side. Not only does this help us butt the seams together when we are joining the sections but it also helps us with Ditch Stitch quilting. With Ditch Stitch you always quilt on the lower side of the seam. That is, the side that does not have the seam allowance under it. If you run your fingers across the seam, you will feel a bump where the seam allowance is. It is slightly higher than the other side.

When you stitch on the low side the stitches disappear into the quilt. If you stitch on the high side, a small ridge appears along the edge of the seam. That type of stitch is more like a topstitching technique and not one we want at the moment.

Let's put that into practice. Ditch Stitch along one of the two most central horizontal seams using your walking foot. You won't stitch into the border, just through the main section of the quilt.

Now Ditch Stitch along the other central horizontal seam.

horizontal quilting for securing layers

First horizontal stitching lines - securing the layers

Looking at the vertical seams, you can see we do not want to go all the way through to the border this time. We can Ditch Stitch as far as the Flying Geese block and then go around the Flying Geese triangles without stopping.

vertical quilting for securing layers

Vertical stitching lines - securing the layers vertically

That should do it for the securing so let's move on to a little more Ditch Stitching. You can now Ditch Stitch around both sides of the central octagon.

Stitching in the ditch around the octagon

Ditch Stitching around the central octagon

..... and all the stars.

Stitching in the ditch around the stars

Ditch Stitching around the stars in the Friendship Star Blocks

Finally Ditch Stich around the border. You may include the outer edge of the Log Cabin block that is the same fabric as the border as well.

Stitching in the ditch around the border

Ditch Stitching around the border including part of the Log Cabin blocks

That is all the Ditch Stitching we will be doing this week. Next week we will look at some other forms of quilting. How are you coming along so far? I'd like to hear about it.

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting


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