Rose's Quilting Blog – Page 2 – roselewisquilting

Rose's Quilting Blog

What is Ditch Stitching & Why will Ditch Stitching give many more Dimensions Your Quilts?

Ditch Stitching

What is Ditch Stitching and
How do you use it within your quilts, and patchwork?

Why will Ditch Stitching give many more Dimensions your quilts? 
Keep reading to find out.

For many years, I used to make all our clothes, which with four children
that amounted to a lot of sewing. I was very particular with my seams and
the way that I got them to sit nice and the top stitching to not only make
edges look sharp and crisp, but also for the effect it gave.

When I started doing patchwork so many years ago now, it was only
natural for me to add in extra stitching. In fact I never really thought about it,
I just did it, as if it was a normal practice.

Over the years I discovered that not many people would actually do this
extra stitching within their quilts, that is known as ditch stitching. You do see
more of it these days than you used to, but still there seems to be a bit of a
stigma about doing it. People say to me sometimes that they can’t be
bothered as they want to move onto their next quilt and it would take too
much time.

Wouldn’t you rather have three quarters as many quilts that have a more
dynamic look, then many quilts that are flat and one dimensional?

I know which I would prefer, but then again we all live in a world of
personal choice and it’s not my place to tell you what to do, but I do like to teach people things that can enhance their personal quilting journey if they so choose to try out the things that I may write about. I’m often suggesting to people to slow down a little and really enjoy the journey of this one quilt that they’re working on, and create something that’s just that little bit more special.

What is Ditch stitching you may ask?

Ditch stitching is where you sew around every individual shape that you
have created, every little flower petal, every little leaf and every little “other”
shape that you’ve created within your quilt. Or if you’re doing piecing work,
then around every block, square, triangle, hexagon, etc.

When ditch stitching around appliqué shapes etc, you do this with your
feed dogs dropped, quilting foot on and do it after you’ve layered your quilt,
but just prior to your actual quilting, usually using either a monofilament  thread, which is my choice or a matching thread to your top fabric.

If you’re doing this within pieced shapes, then I’d use your normal
sewing foot, preferably an open toed foot for better vision, feed dogs up,and sew within the ditch of the actual seam. Once again I’d prefer to use a monofilament thread here, but some fabrics, shapes or designs may be better with a matching thread but do make sure that you sew right into the seam otherwise it’ll be very noticeable.

By doing this very simple extra step, your flowers will look more like
flowers, your shapes and designs will have more dimension. Every part of
all my quilts are sewn like this, including sashings, borders, piecing, etc, etc.

You can see within this image of the back of my “A Caterpillars dream” 
quilt that shows you the effect, but you must remember that mine has
much more impact once again as I use “Trapunto” under ALL my work. This image though will clearly show you what I mean when I say I stitch around “EVERY” piece. I used Monofilament thread for the top, and a matching 100% cotton Aurifil thread for the backing.

If you feel uncertain about using monofilament thread, or if you say my
machine doesn’t like it, or if you think it’s too hard of a thread to use then you need to check out this paperback book that I wrote several years ago now.

I’ve been using huge amounts of monofilament thread for over 30 years
now and at different times I’ve been asked by different companies, shops etc
to trial out certain brands of monofilament thread etc. You may now
understand by this that have a lot of knowledge about monofilament thread.

Over the years with teaching many classes within the area of patchwork,
quilting etc, I quickly discovered that the majority of students didn’t understand “How to use monofilament thread”. The majority of students would say that their machine doesn’t like it, it always tangles, it melts under the iron, etc, etc.

I then started and still do even now, that when teaching appliqué the first
hour of the class is spent teaching students how to get their tensions set, and how to have their appliqué stitch set to easily sew monofilament thread. I’ve never had a class where I was unable to have everyone & every machine set to use & sew monofilament thread perfectly.

This was such a success and I felt it was so important that I then put all
that “exact” information into this very very popular paperback book called....
Understanding & Using Monofilament Thread, including How to set your
machine. The information contained within this book is very valuable for when ditch stitching, as well as doing appliqué and many other things that we use monofilament thread for.

You can check that out here as well.

Moving back to ditch stitching, you’ll also find that with this extra
stitching, it also really holds your quilt layers together much better and it is also easier to quilt.

So I hope that today’s little inspiring tip will help you in some way within
your personal creative sewing journey.

I’ll be back once again next week, with something else.
In the meantime
Try to find a little time just for you, yourself,
as your very important in your life as well.

Have the most beautiful & creative day


What Would You Do if You Got Blood on Your Quilt, Fabric or Sewing that you were working on?

What would you do if you got blood on your quilt, fabric or sewing that
you were working on?

Accidentally getting some blood on your work, can happen quite easily sometimes, from just a pin prick or a hand sewing needle that has being accidentally poked into your finger, or maybe a slight snip with your fabric scissors, or maybe from an injury that you have.

Blood will normally always show on your fabric regardless of what the colour of your fabric is, but more so if you’re working with very light fabrics especially plain colours. Now this little tip here will sound rather gross,
but believe me, most times it’ll work 100% in removing that blood

While the blood is still wet, take some of your own saliva, and dab onto
the blood. The amount of blood and your fabric will determine how much
saliva you’ll need, and don’t be afraid of how “wet” you make the spot of
blood. Once you feel happy that it’s lightening and you have enough saliva
on it, then just let it dry naturally, don’t wash it at that stage.
Don't rub this, just let it dry.

The interesting and important thing here is, that it needs to be
"your blood and your saliva".

As I’m not a biologist or physics instructor, I do not understand the ins
and outs of this, but this is how it seems to work........ Your blood, Your saliva.

The very first time that I came across this method was many years ago
when I had entered my first quilt into a major state show and had won several ribbons for that quilt.
Now a few minutes after the ribbons had been handed to me, I looked down
at these and to my horror my very pure white ribbon had this spot of blood on
it approx the size of a five cent piece.
I realised that the pin on the back of the ribbon was undone, and as the ribbons had been passed to me, this opened pin had scraped across my finger.
The type of fabric that a show ribbon is made out of, allows a small prick of
blood to spread very quickly.

Feeling rather shocked that my now white ribbon had blood on it,
I didn’t
know what to do with it, when someone told me the above “trick”.

Yes I did this there and then, in front of others watching as well, otherwise
it'd have dried into the ribbon never to be removed, and Yes it all came out
and you cannot see any trace of that blood in that very white ribbon.

So next time you get a little blood on your work, try this and see if it
works for you.You may choose not to tell anyone that you’ve actually done
this, but this little Inspirational tip could save your work, particularly if you’re
giving your quilt, etc away as a gift or entering it into an exhibition.

I always keep a couple of  band-aids within my sewing box especially if
I’m going to a quilt - in etc, as even the very slightest pin prick can make a bit
of a mess of your fabric. It’s far better to place a band-aid on for a few minutes than to risk getting blood on your work.

As I always use 100% cotton that I’ve pre-washed in hot water first,
I never have any issues on doing this, but if you’re using something other
than 100% cotton, like silk etc, then you may need to test on a small place
first. I take no responsibility for damage to anything that you try this on.

Hoping that you enjoyed today’s little tip.
You can find many more like this in my paperback book
100 Inspirational Tips to help you on “Your” QUILTING JOURNEY

You can find out more about this paperback book by clicking here
and also watching a video on this.

Hoping that if you ever get blood on your work, that this brilliant little tip gets you out of a spot.


That's it for today.
I'll be back again real soon with some other tip that'll help you on your creative journey.

Have a beautiful & creative day





How to Pixilate Your Fabrics to match the True Colour of Your Fabrics for within your quilt.

How to Pixilate Your Fabrics to match the True Colour of
Your Fabrics for within your quilt.

Have you just purchased a new pattern or design for a new quilt?

Do you have an image of something like a flower that you’d like to add into a quilt?

Are you a little unsure if you’ve chosen the right coloured fabrics for
what you’re working on to achieve the same effect of colour as within your
image, pattern or book?

Never fear, I have a brilliant and simple solution to make this really easy
for you to be able to easily find the same colour fabrics that match your image
or photo that you’re wishing to use within your quilt.
Before you rush out the door to purchase your new lot of fabrics for
the new quilt that you’re very excited about starting, take a little time and load
the photo or image into your computer, or for the purpose of trying this out, just choose any image that you already have saved into your computer.  
Faces & trees are often very interesting to try this out on, but then again, so are flowers...

When I’m making something real life, like my Through the Garden Gate
quilt below, I tend to take many, many photos, as these can become my templates, and by doing the below exercise was how I was able to easily choose the shadings of fabrics that I did.

Now it doesn’t matter if it’s like the many images of flowers that I used
within the above quilt, or it’s an image of your beloved cat, dog, elephant,
your husband’s beloved car or even his old worn out boots that he won’t part
with, once you have the image on your screen, click the mouse on the area
that you’re wanting to look at, and just click the -- & + button at the bottom
of your screen for easier enlarging. Just keep enlarging until it’s as far as it’ll go.Then click on the screen to move the image around to see other areas
of the image.

You may be totally amazed at just what colours, shades and tonings that
you’ll see.

Also be aware that it’ll also show the places that have “light” on the images as you’ll see this as quite a bit brighter or even more like a white light. This’ll help you to achieve better results when it comes to highlighting your

You may think......I’m not going to put those colours into my quilt as it
won’t look right, but by adding all the shadings that you see, it’ll certainly
help you within the choosing of not only your colours, but the shades of
those colours as well.
You’ll possibly be more tempted to use mottled fabrics or to really see
just where you’re able to fussy cut the fabric..... more about this below.

By pixilating images, it’ll also help you to choose different cottons and
threads for highlighting your sewing.

Take an image of a branch or tree trunk and you may be totally surprised
by the colours within these. So go and have a play around on your
computer and you’ll really see that colour...

It’s also fantastic for if your painting an image as well, to really be able to
see all those colours that blend together to make the colour & shadings
that our eyes see. It’ll help to take the “flatness” out of your design, as also
adding some white into your quilts as well will. You may like to also check
out this other blog posting about adding white into your quilts, just like
Monet did with all his painting’s.

Another thing that can really help you to create the desired effect & 
colour when working fabrics within your quilts, is this below technique that
helps you to be able to fussy cut areas with fantastic results, that I always use
when creating my quilts, especially my exhibition quilts.

I just “Love” talking about colour as it’s so diverse and there’s so much
to learn about colour, that if I can help you to be able to understand it more,
or to achieve better result within your quilts, then that’s good.

With this all said or written I’ll leave you all here today & I’ll be back again
real soon, with something else to help your grow within your very own personal “creative Journey & masterpieces”.

Think it's time for a cuppa


 Ps... Join me on Pinterest as I have many things happening there.
         Just click the above image.

Have a beautiful creative few days