Wednesday 23 March 2016

Staggered Strips Cushion

Are you a ditch quilter?

Ditch quilting is when you quilt in the seams of your patchwork, so that it won't be seen! This secures all 3 layers (top, wadding, backing).

Traditionally, quilts and other quilted projects were always ditch quilted first, before any decorative quilting was added.

However, as with most things, attitudes and trends have changed. No longer do we have to try to 'stay in the ditch' and hold our breath as we try to get from one end of a seam to the other!  (Imagine how nerve wracking that is for a beginner!).

As long as you quilt sufficiently (manufacturers state the minimum intervals on wadding packaging) so that there is no bagging between layers, then ditch quilting isn't always required.

However, that doesn't mean it can't still be used as a quilting technique in its own right.
Sometimes when you have pretty fabrics and an effective design, decorative quilting isn't required.

Simple Strips Cushion

This is my Staggered Strips Cushion.  Hopefully you can tell that it is quilted without seeing the quilting!

Simple Strips Cushion

I have quilted in all the vertical seams using my ditch quilting foot.  If you don't have a ditch foot, use an applique or open foot to maximise your view of the seams and ditches!

If you would like to learn more about ditch quilting, get my step by step guide in the current issue of Popular Patchwork (pg 34).  You can also get the pattern for my Staggered Strips Cushion.

Staggered Strips Cushion / Popular Patchwork (April)

Happy Ditching!

Jude xo


  1. Hi Judith, what machine do you use? and are those quilt in the ditch feed available for every machine, are there universal feet like the one you use?

  2. That's a lovely cushion! I'm a big fan of quilting in the ditch and tried a ditch foot but it slowed me down as I couldn't see the needle! It works wonderfully well for me when the ditch is always on the same side of the needle (as in your cushion), but not when the seam allowance changes side (like when you join one row of blocks to another). If it's the former then I use the ditch foot, if it's the latter then I just use my open toe walking foot. I'm going to see if my brother can shave off part of the ditch foot to make the needle more visible.


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