My recent cartoon on this subject led me to consider the issue of to “ditch” a quilt or not. Whether you are a die-hard “SIDer” or “SID adverse,” I hope you will read my post below and share your opinion. Thanks, Carla
Stitch in the Ditch: to stitch carefully in the seam on the top side of a quilt. In the quilting world, there are many machine quilter’s who strongly believe in Stitch-in-the-Ditch (SID). However, there are also just as many non-SID quilters, too. This has been an age old debate among stand-up machine quilters, but I would like to take a closer look at both sides of this issue:
Pro-SID: Many machine quilters are- and were taught that you SID to stabilize your quilt sandwich. It is how they learned, it looks very crisp and clean, and every quilt needs this. To not SID a quilt on a custom quilt is something they would never do. Period.
Con-SID: For machine quilters with stand up systems, SID takes time, is laborious, and takes practice to acheive a crisp, clean look. If you are a fraction out of the seam, it shows, and not in a nice way. If you are in business, SID adds time, and your profit margin is bound to be affected.
Pro-Non SID: Many modern stand-up machine quilters were taught that SID is actually not needed to control your quilt sandwich, and that a good machine quilter can control a quilt sandwich without SID. SID is a holdover from hand and sit down quilting, and frankly, not needed. To not SID is better for your bottom line if you are in business.
Con-Non SID: If the quilt is being shown, will it be marked down for not SID? Questions over conforming to a historical belief.
I actually see both sides of the debate, and so, several years I ago taught myself how to SID on my longarm machine. In case anyone is curious, I use Madiera’s monofiliment (light or dark grey) for most of my SID. My decision to ditch or not ditch is made quilt by quilt. Thus said, many quilts I have shown were not ditched. My quilts hang perfectly straight on quilts that came to me square- all achieved with no SID work. This holds true for King plus sized quilts. I have never had a comment from a judge saying one of my quilted quilts needed SID.
Let’s hear from you!
Do you feel strongly one way or another? I would love to hear your opinion on the subject. Do you SID or not? If so, why or why not? Have you ever had a judge write that your quilt needed SID if placed in a show without it? Judges, do you have an opinion on this- or does it depend on the individual show rules?
Take care, Carla