Preparing your Quilt for Long Arm Quilting:
- Please send the top, backing, and batting as separate items (although they can be in one package). DO NOT pin or baste the layers together.
- Quilts should be free of any embellishments; Buttons, beading, ribbon, ric rac, and other types of embellishments should be done after quilting.
- Backing should be 8-12” WIDER AND LONGER than the quilt top in each direction. That’s 4”-6” all the way around. If larger, that is fine. You don’t need to cut any extra off.
- If buying wide-back, please have backing torn so fabric will be on straight-of-grain.
- Backing can also be pieced from yardage. If piecing your back, be sure to
o Square up all yardage that you will be using and remove any selvages that would be in a seam. Leave the outside selvage edges on the backing.
o Pin pieces together, then using a walking foot stitch a 1/2” seam allowance and then press your seam open.
o Pieced backing should also be 8-12” larger than the quilt top in each direction.
o Do not try to create a symmetrical look or want something ‘centered’ on your back. We cannot load the quilt in a manner that would allow for this, and we cannot see the back when quilting.
- No sheets.
- Press well and fold neatly.
- Please avoid using selvages in your piecing.
- Borders should be sewn onto your quilt top squarely. If the borders are longer than the top, or put on without accurate measurements, the top will not lay flat and may create puckers in the top when quilting. If you need help with how to accurately measure and sew on borders, please see the instructions below.
- We try our best to ease out any fullness when quilting, but we cannot guarantee that any puckers or pleats won’t occur. Just remember that the flatter your quilt top lies, the better you quilt will look when quilted.
- Please make sure that seams on the edges are secure. For any seams on the edge of the quilt top, it is a good idea to stay stitch, or baste, about 1/8” from the edge to make sure these seams don’t pop open when the quilt is loaded onto the longarm.
- Please clip all stray threads from the back of the quilt. These stray threads will show through the quilt top if the top is light-colored. For fabrics that fray badly, a drop of Fray Check or Fray Block will help. Our choice is Fray Block since it does not get hard when dried.
- Mark the top of your quilt top with a safety pin, if not evident.
- Press quilt top well. As you are pressing, check for gaps and loose stitching. Make sure all seams are pressed to allow for the least amount of bulk where seams join. Fold neatly.