About Stitch In The Ditch With Open Seams

Stitch in the ditch doesn’t work on seams that have been pressed open. This style only works on seams that have been pressed to the side.

Securing the quilt top to the batting and backing requires the semi-flat surface created by side-spread seams.

Needle type that works best on batting

A quilting needle works best on batting because it has a thin shaft.

Machine quilting with a quilting needle is ideal for pushing through top, batting and binding materials.

The slightly rounded tip and tapered shaft of a quilting needle easily pierces several layers of woven fabric, without damaging them.

Best stitch length to stitch in the ditch

To lock your quilting pieces together securely, the best stitch length to stitch in the ditch with is 1.5 mm.

Several layers of stitching will ensure you don’t end up with a hole in your quilt, and 1.5 mm is sufficient to keep your pieces together tightly.

Why you should stitch in the ditch

Stitching in the ditch, also known as sewing between quilting borders, helps stabilize fabric and maintain straight lines while quilting.

Stitching in the ditch is optional, but can prevent pattern distortion and should be done before adding any quilting design above the border.

About stitch in the ditch with open seams

Stitching in the ditch by hand

Stitching in the ditch tucks two fabrics together along their seam, a process that can be done just as accurately by hand.

The main benefit of stitching the ditch by hand is that it allows you to place your stitches more precisely.

The choice is yours, but you can do this task by hand or by machine, whichever you prefer.

Properly setting sewing machine tension

A 4.5 sewing machine tension setting is the default position for normal straight-stitch sewing.

4.5 is suitable for most fabrics, however, if you perform any stitch that requires width, like a zigzag stitch, you may find the tension is too tight.

Fine threads may require less tension in order to prevent thread breaking.

About universal sewing machine needles

Style 2020 needles are universal and used for all woven fabrics. 2020 needles will penetrate the fabric threads of woven fabrics.

Style 2045 ball point needles are used for sewing on knits, the rounded tip allows the needle to pass between the fabric threads by separating them.

Choosing the best needle for free motion quilting

For free motion sewing machine quilting, choose the needle size that best suits the weight of your thread.

I prefer 40 wt thread, which requires a size 75 needle. Unless you are piecing together extra thick padding, a small to medium-sized needle that is sharp to slightly rounded will work fine.

How to finish silk seams

For the perfect silk seam finish, wrap the sewn edges together by sewing them in and make sure they are flat.

You’ll also want to shorten the stitch length to 2 mm to reduce the number of puckers you have.

Try not to pull the silk fabric through your machine, just guide it, and keep a little pressure on it before and after the stitch so the silk stays tight.

How to tell when your sewing needle is dull

A dull sewing needle will make a popping sound each time the needle penetrates the fabric. A dull needle will not feel sharp to the touch.

Using a magnifying glass, you can confirm a needle is dull by comparing it to a sharp needle. A dull needle can be sharpened with a sharpening stone.