This is what I do as a beginner quilter. I haven’t got into free motion quilting designs, yet! Quilt in the ditch means following the lines or the seams of the patchwork, quilting in the valley where the stitches are that hold the patchwork together . In this video Mary Fonts introduces a walking foot for the sewing machine. A walking foot is for straight stitching. You can’t use it for free motion quilting. For free motion quilting you will need a darning foot.
Thanks to Fons and Porter
I quilt in the ditch with my regular sewing machine foot but I can see will get a much better result with a walking foot. The walking foot provides extra feed dogs for the top of the fabric that helps with the thickness of the quilt so that the whole thickness of the quilt walks together: the feed dogs on the bottom feeding through as well as the top. This helps prevent the top fabric going one way and the bottom going another! In this video Mary Fons also shows how she changed the sewing machine’s foot.