Can I stitch in the ditch by hand?

As a quilter, stitching in the ditch is something you must have done several times on your various patchwork. This technique is not only limited to quilting alone as it can also be done while working on parts of sewing projects like the waistband and the collar, and it is done for two primary purposes: to stabilize quilting and to reinforce the seam line further. 

Most of the time, quilting is done with the sewing machine, and this makes people wonder, can I stitch in the ditch by hand? Certain situations may warrant you to stitch in the ditch with hand, but can you or can you not? You will find out after reading this helpful article. 

Can I stitch in the ditch by hand

What is stitching in the ditch? 

For simplicity, know that the term stitch in the ditch is a technique used to refer to the process of stitching along a seam line or in the tiny gaps between fabrics in a seam. This method is used primarily for quilting, finishing bands, and attaching waistbands.

Stitching in the ditch allows quilters and sewers to bring additional beauty to their project and also helps inexperienced sewists to learn to sew faster. 

Can you stitch in the ditch by hand?

Yes, you can stitch in the ditch by hand. It might interest you to know that stitching in the ditch by hand is much easier than doing it with a machine. Asides from that, this style allows for more precision because you will be able to tuck the stitch slowly and accurately between the fabrics.

How to "Stitch in the Ditch"

What does stitch in the ditch look like? 

You can easily recognize stitches made in the ditch by their invisibility. A stitch in the ditch, although done on the right side of the fabric, will not be visible from the outside, so that’s what makes them different from regular stitching. 

Do you have to stitch in the ditch? 

No, you don’t have to stitch in the ditch. Stitching in the ditch is optional, but since it offers some comfort and adds some extra beauty to your work, you should consider the technique for your various projects. 

Do one stitch in the ditch before quilting? 

No, you have to quit before stitching in the ditch. Stitching in the ditch is done towards the end of a quilting project, and they are done along the seam line between two square blocks. This process is more or less a finisher; it has to come after quilting. 

How does a stitch in the ditch footwork? 

  1. Ditch quilting foot usually has a flange that allows quilters or sewers to hold seams open while they stitch in the ditch. 
  2. Snap the sewing machine foot and select a straight ditch. 
  3. Align the fabric to allow the flanges to rest on the seam. You can adjust the needle to control the closeness of the stitches towards the flank, or you can adjust the speed. 
  4. Be mindful of the flange and make sure it doesn’t get out of the seam. 

How do you stitch in the ditch without a walking foot? 

If you do not want to make use of a walking foot to stitch in the ditch, one other option you can utilize is by making use of the Edge joining foot. If you don’t know how this can be done, read the instructions below to guide you through the process. 

  1. Align the canter blade ditch foot with the seam’s stitch. Make sure the blade is resting directly on the ditch, and also ensure that everything is appropriately set so that you wouldn’t have to make further adjustments when you begin to sew. 
  2. Be mindful of the blade’s position: it should be well positioned on the seam and not be allowed to move freely to another patchwork row. As for the foot, it should be set at a right angle for it to perform efficiently. 
  3. Once the alignment is perfectly set, then you can start to sew. The only thing you may have to do is run the blade along the stitch line and also make sure that the needle is in the middle of the blade. 

Can you stitch in the ditch with a regular foot? 

Yes, you can stitch in the ditch with a regular foot. If you don’t have a walking foot or an alternative like the one suggested earlier, you can stitch in the ditch with your normal sewing machine foot only that it will be much easier to sew with a walking foot or its alternative. 

Should you always stitch in the ditch? 

Yes, you can always stitch in the ditch if you want it to appear on all your project. Stitching in the ditch has lots of advantages, and if you believe it will add extra appeal to your project, you may always use the technique.

However, as I said earlier, stitching in the ditch is optional, and if you feel it will affect your project in any way, you may ditch the technique. 

What foot is best for stitch in the ditch? 

The best foot to use for making a stitch in the ditch is the stitch-in-the-ditch foot. This foot is popularly used by sewists and quilters, and it is available for all types of sewing machines. You may want to know how we arrive at this conclusion.

Well, this type of foot can be used to perform all stitching styles, be it heirloom sewing, edge stitching, and of course, stitch in the ditch. Apart from the versatility of this foot, it is easier to use. 

What is the best stitch length for stitching in the ditch? 

The best stitch length for stitching in the ditch is between 2 and 5mm to 3mm. This stitch length will securely lock your quilting fabrics together. 

What thread do you use for stitching in the ditch? 

One of the best threads you can use is the Invisavil. It is a 100w thread made from cotton and polyester blend. This thread is extremely tiny that it makes stitching almost invisible to the eyes. All you need is to use any color of this thread that matches your fabric, and that would be enough to make your stitch in the ditch almost disappear. 

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