Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stitch in the Ditch

Let's talk about Stitch in the Ditch, (SID).  I will share why and when I SID, and when I make exceptions.  Whenever I am doing custom work, I SID a lot.  I do my ditch work before I do the decorative stitching because the ditch work stabilizes the piecing and eliminates distortion when the decorative stitching is done.

First off, I would do the SID on the seam lines before the loops, but for this picture I did not.  See how the seams don't lie nice and flat?  In the next photo I did the SID and I think it shows how the triangle shape lays nice and flat.

In this photo, I did ditch work on all sides of the green, and then I did the decorative stitching.  By doing the ditch work first, my edges are nice and crisp and there is no distortion when I start the other stitching.

In this photo, I wanted to show that I would do SID along all the edges of the colored piecing, but I did not do any stitching in the white areas.  I am going to fill the white area with dense swirl stitching, and I will stitch right over the seam lines, so in my opinion, SID is not necessary here.

All edges around the colored bands are SID, giving them nice crisp definition.  Again, I do all ditch work before I do the decorative stitching.

I hope some of this made sense and I was able to explain myself.  SID takes more time, and often thread changes, but I think the difference it makes is worth the extra time and effort.  A lot of time was put into piecing the top, and giving that piecing the extra benefit of SID to emphasize the detail of the piecing is well worth it.

So, SID is up to individual quilters, this is just why and when I do it.  Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.



  1. Very good advice! I am always disappointed with myself when I don't take the time to do the SID as you suggested. It really does make a huge difference in neatness.

  2. You're absolutely right! Great explanation & photos. An Esther tutorial -- the first of many I hope!

  3. Thanks! I was wondering about SID. This was really helpful and i like the difference the SID makes. I am still not that great at it but am piecing a quilt top that i want to use for practice.
    Another ???? i had was do you ever roll up, then unroll off of the leader rail to do quilting or do you usually do all of the quilting that is required in the quilting space and then roll to next space. (hope this makes sense)

  4. Thank you so very much for sharing! I'm always unsure about when and where to SID.

    You have a lovely blog, looking forward to following you and learning more =)

    Happy Holidays!

  5. I just found you! I love it when I come across great finds!