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Quilt Preparation

Everything You Need to Know

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.

Batting

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.

 

Backing

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.

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