Q:  How do I prepare my quilt for longarm quilting?

Preparing Quilt Top

  • Press well, check for loose seams.
  • Clip all hanging threads as much as possible so that they will not show through the quilt.
  • Quilting does not correct piecing problems.  If there is fullness in the center or wavy borders, you may wind up with pleats or puckers.  I suggest you measure through the middle of the quilt and cut your borders to that length.  You may need to ease the quilt to fit the borders.
  • Quilt must be clean and free of offensive odors
  • Identify the top of your quilt and top of your backing with a safety pin if it has a directional print.
  • If you want curved corners, please wait until the quilting is finished to cut the curves.  Proper attachment of the quilt to the longarm machine depends on straight, square corners.

 Preparing Batting

  • Cut batting to at least 8” larger in width and length, or the same size as the backing.
  • You can supply your own batting or purchase it from me.
  • If you provide your own batting I recommend that you choose a good quality batting.
  • Also, if you bring your own batting it should be cut 8” larger in width and length than the top.

Preparing Backing

  • 100% cotton fabric is recommended.I know flat sheets are popular for backings but I do not recommend them.If you really want to use a sheet, please be sure that the thread count is no more than 180, and that you wash and dry it at least 5 times.
  • If the backing fabric isn’t big enough and must be pieced, please use a 5/8” seam to piece the backing.Press the seam open.
  • The backing must be at least 8” larger in width and length than the top.
  • Press well.
  • A busy print fabric backing can hide stops and starts much better when doing custom quilting.

    Do not baste the quilt top, batting, and backing together. All three layers must be separated so that they can be attached individually to the frame.

 Q:  What happens to the extra backing fabric and batting (8”) once the quilt is quilted?

  • After the quilt is machine quilted, your quilt will be trimmed to remove the excess backing fabric and batting, at no charge, and returned to you.

 Q:  Should I embellish my quilt before I provide you my quilt?

Embellishments here refers to beadwork, buttons, or other objects that can add 3 dimension to the quilt and that are inflexible to bending or flowing with the quilt’s fabric.  Keep in mind that your quilt will be mounted to the quilting frame using straight pins, or perhaps even leader grips.  Once loaded to the quilt frame it will be rolled and wrapped around several rollers as it is being quilted.  Any embellishments on the quilt have the potential of damaging the work you have done by tearing your quilt, piercing through to other layers, or breaking the quilting needle.  Therefore, any embellishments are best saved for when the quilt has been quilted.

Q:  Should I remove any selvage?

Always remove selvage.  Selvage is the finished edge of fabric.  It is tightly woven, does not fray, and runs along the entire length of the fabric bolt.  Because selvage is tightly woven, it does not have the same stretch as does the rest of the fabric and can pucker.  Selvage also contains tiny holes that have been created during the manufacturing process and will always show through the front side of your quilt blocks if used.   Also, because the selvage is seldom straight, it is always best to cut a straight edge by cutting it away. 



FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Below are some questions customers have asked me when preparing their quilts to be dropped off for finishing.