Common Questions

The Info You’re After


I finished my quilt! What do I do now?


You have likely invested countless hours constructing your quilt and can't wait to get it finished. You are almost there! Here are your next steps. 

  1. Review the Quilting Services page and fill out the Quilting Order Form as best you can. 

  2. Email me with details of your quilt to include size, pattern idea, and a copy of the order form or picture of your quilt if possible.

  3. After our initial call to discuss your quilt and timeline, I will follow up with suggested quilt designs.

  4. When you are ready, place your quilt in a plastic bag with a signed copy of your order form and mail in your quilt to me. I will let you know when it has been received and I've started work!

What should I discuss with the quilter prior to mailing my quilt?

Prior to mailing in your quilt, email ahead to determine availability and turn-around time. Discuss your chosen pattern for the quilt and general theme you are trying to accomplish.  Review thread and batting choices. Finally, if you have any questions on how to prepare your quilt for the longarm machine, please ask. I am happy to help and can help you decide on the right design for you.

What are the different level of design available?

I have two categories of quilt design available. 

  • All over edge-to-edge quilting, also called pantograph, uses rows of a design, interlocking together, traveling from one side of the quilt to another using one continuous line without stopping. You cannot usually see the individual rows in edge-to-edge quilting. The pattern travels across the quilt regardless of block or border placement. Pantograph patterns come in many themes and can be set to any size to best fit the quilt. 

  • Semi-custom designs use a simple overall design but includes a custom border and/or block design. One pattern can be chosen for the quilt center and a different design can be used for the border. Alternatively, a pattern can be chosen to go inside a quilt block and repeated across the quilt along with a coordinated sashing and border design. 

Custom quilting is not available at this time. 

How do I prepare my quilt before mailing it to you?

Proper preparation of your quilt top and quilt back is essential to obtaining a good result, so please read the following instructions carefully! Any preparations that you choose to have me do here (e.g. seaming backing, pressing seams, etc.) will be billed at $20/hr. If you are having trouble with some of the prep, feel free to reach out to me and I can help you do most or all of this yourself for free!

Quilt Top

Press all the seams well and clip all loose threads. Be sure the top lies flat and is square. If you plan on adding embellishments to your quilt such as buttons, please wait until it is returned to you.

Since your quilt will be stretched and rolled on the machine you may want to add a row of stay stitching, applied ¼ inch or less from the edge of the quilt. This will prevent stretching and will keep seams from separating.

The three layers of your quilt will be loaded on the machine independently of one another. Please do not pin or baste them together.


If you are providing the batting, it must be at least 8 inches larger than the length and the width of the quilt top. So if your quilt top measures 50″ x 50″, your backing must be at least 58″ x 58″. Indicate on the order form what type of batting you are providing. The batting should state that it is suitable for machine quilting. If necessary, pre-shrink or prewash the material if recommended. Keep in mind that a loftier batting will show off the quilting more than a dense batting.


Ensure the backing is at least 8 inches larger than the length and the width of the quilt top. So if your quilt top measures 50″ x 50″, your backing must be at least 58″ x 58″. The backing should be square and on grain. If the top and backing are not square, when the top, batting, and backing are pinned to the parallel rails of the longarm machine, you can end up with tucks or puckers.  Press all seams and trim loose threads. Be aware that wide-back fabrics shrink more than standard width cottons. Bed sheets do not make good quilt backing for longarm quilting. 

If you are piecing your backing, horizontal seams are better than vertical seams, because of how the quilt is loaded on the rollers. Press your seams open when possible.

Thread used on the back side will be matched as nearly as possible to the top thread. (I find that top and bottom threads that contrast too much result in the appearance of specks of the other color.)

If your quilt top or backing has a definite direction, please pin a note to the top of the fabric to indicate the upper edge or how you want it positioned.

How do I calculate the amount of binding I need?

Binding adds the finishing touch to your quilt. As an option, I can attach the binding to the front of your quilt by machine and to the back by hand. Here are the steps for calculating how much fabric you need for your binding:

  1. The strips should be cut 2 1/4" wide.

  2. Add the measurements of all four sides of your quilt. Then add 20” extra for seams, corners and finishing.

    • For example, if you have a finished 55” x 65” lap quilt, you’ll add 55+55+65+65+20 and end up with 260 total inches of required binding. 

  3. Stitch together the strips of binding and press in half.​​

How do I choose my thread color?

I am happy to choose a thread color that complements your quilt without overwhelming the piecing. I use  Fil-Tec Glide thread. If you woud like to choose your own color, you can choose any thread from here. Just send me the color number.

How do I determine the amount of batting I need?

For a quilt top that is wider than 40 inches and narrower than 72 inches, you can use the following calculation. In order to calculate the yardage needed for you quilt, take the length of you quilt top and multiply that number by two. Then add 16 inches to that number. This adds about half a yard to your total to allow for shrinkage and uneven cutting. Divide the total number by 36 to get the yards needed for your quilt. Round this up to the nearest quarter yard. 

  • For example, your quilt top is 60 inches wide and 42 inches long. 

    • 42 multiplied by 2 = 84 

    • plus 16 = 100 

    • divided by 36 = 2.77 —> rounded to 3 yards

This calculation accounts for batting seams that run down the length of the quilt, which is ideal for longarm machines. This allows for the seams to lay down the length of the roller bar.  

If your quilt is wider than 72 inches, multiply the length by three instead of two in the above calculation. 

How do you ship my quilt back to me?

Return shipping is a set cost of $15.00 and will be via UPS or USPS. The quilt will be insured for $100 minimum. More insurance can be added upon request.

What are my payment options?

A $50 deposit is required to begin work on your quilt. You may either include a check in your shipment or submit a payment via PayPal (Payable to Kathy Murray). Please indicate on your order form which payment method you are using. Final payment is due prior to shipping the quilt back to you.

©2018 by Little Sailor Quilting. Proudly created with

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now