There hasn’t been a lot of quilting going on at my house these last several days and I think it might be because of these cuties:

My adorable niece and nephew

They arrived on Thursday, with their Momma and Nanna, Uncle and his fiance’, and my sons. They stayed until Sunday, and we have had so much fun. The reason for their visit? My mother’s 80th birthday celebration. We had a surprise party for her and I’m happy to say we managed to keep it a secret. She had no idea. I love being able to pull off a surprise, and even though almost all of her children lied to her at least once this past week to keep it a surprise I’m sure she has forgiven us! 🙂

All of my brothers and sisters were able to come to the party. We haven’t all been together in a very long time, so we took the opportunity to snap this quick picture of us with Mom.

The Wilson Family photo

Kathy, Me, Missy, Jamie, Don, Carleen. Mom is seated in front.

Even though I didn’t get a lot of quilting done, I was able to start on my next customer quilt. Lynne gave me a wall hanging to do for her. She pieced the center using the pattern I wrote for Quilter’s World, added a border of tiny houses, and then the final Seminole border. I love how she made the pattern her own. She told me to ‘go crazy’ and ‘work your magic’ on it. So while I know how I’m going to quilt most of it, those houses are troubling me a bit. They are about 4-1/2″ x 6-1/2″, so not very big. I’ve had a dozen ideas and discarded about 11 of them. Any thoughts you have for a quilting design would be most welcome.

Pieced Mini Houses

After loading the quilt I started stitching in the ditch (SITD). While I was doing that I could definitely see the difference in the section that had been stitched and the section that had not. I thought it would be good to share this with you so you too could see the difference.

Many quilter’s, especially those new to the craft, will question why we should take the time to stitch in the ditch. Not all quilts will need SITD. If an all-over design, or edge to edge design is being quilted, then SITD is not really necessary. I will stitch the ditches along the borders if I’m doing an all-over design in the center section of the quilt and a different design in the border. This just helps me keep the quilt straight and aligned properly on the quilting frame, and makes it easier to square up when trimming.

With a quilt that will be custom quilted with many different designs, like the one above, I will SITD to secure the quilt and define the areas I will be stitching. If a quilt isn’t pieced perfectly (and seriously, how many quilts really are?), ditch stitching will help prevent puckers and allow the quilt to lay flatter making it easier to quilt. The pic below shows the quilt before any ditch stitching:

Before SITD stitch in the ditch

And after stitch in the ditch:

Stitched in the ditch

See the difference?

I haven’t done any other stitching, yet the quilt already is laying flatter and looks better. The difference is also visible in the next two photos, which show the Seminole border before and after stitching.

Seminole border before stitch in the ditch

Border before stitch in the ditch

 

Seminole border after stitchin in the ditch

See how much nicer the border looks now that it is stitched?

These stitched borders will keep the quilt square and flat. I have always SITD, even though it does take extra time. I feel that it is worth the time, and I like the results I get in my quilting. I know there’s many different opinions on the subject and would like to know yours. Do you stitch in the ditch on your quilts?

My plan is to finish the quilting on Lynne’s quilt this week. But I have a heavy work/class schedule, so I’m giving myself permission to take longer than normal on this one. Hopefully inspiration will hit soon for those tiny houses!

Now it’s your turn to share the projects you are working on, and the projects that have you excited to be in your sewing room. What are you crushing on for Main Crush Monday? You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic  – here’s how:

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