preparing your quilt for machine quilting
remember–the better job you do on preparation, the better job we can do for you.
Most longarm quilters are booked months in advance. Be sure to allow yourself 4-6 weeks for us to longarm your quilt before having a gifting event in your schedule. We measure the top through the middle and along the edges. Any differences in the measurements alert us to the possibility of “ruffled” edges. As much as possible, we will check for any other possible problem areas, such as open or loose seams.
- Press your quilt top well. Make sure all seams are pressed flat on the back and facing in the desired direction. (This is especially important if you choose Stitch-In-The-Ditch quilting.)
- Secure all seams. Make sure there are no missed seams or other problems with your quilt top.
- Trim loose threads on the front and back of your top. Dark threads will show through to the front if you have fabric areas that are light.
- Stay-stitch 1/8” in from the edge around your quilt top, if your borders are pieced. This keeps seams from popping open and prevents stretching. Back-stitch any outside seams.
- Fold top and backing carefully and put on a plastic or pant hanger. If you are bringing fabric for binding, we will cut the fabric for you.
- Indicate the top of your quilt (as opposed to the bottom) if there is a direction.
- When choosing a backing, remember the same color thread is generally used on the top and in the bobbin. Choosing a busy print that includes the colors of any thread choices will disguise color changes, starts & stops, etc.
- Pieced backings are fine if you remember to remove selvage edges from any seams. Press seams to one side. Back-stitch any outside seams.
- Square up your backing. Cut your backing as SQUARE (90 degree corners) as possible. If you piece your backing, make sure all pieces are the same length. In other words, straighten the edges. Backing MUST be 6-8” wider and longer
- Backing MUST be 6-8” wider and longer (after backing is squared up) than your top to allow for putting your quilt on the machine. Longarm machines need the extra fabric to mount the quilt. Please don’t skimp.
- Indicate the Top of your backing (as opposed to the bottom) if there is a direction.
- Press well. Fold carefully and place on hanger with quilt top.
- Batting MUST be 4-6” wider & longer than your quilt top. Packaged batts do not need to be cut. We carry all of the Warm Company brand types. We will not use Mountain Mist.
- Do not pin or baste the layers together. Keep the quilt top, batting and backing separate.
something to think about
A lot of people think that because our machines are programmed and run by a computer that we just have to push the “Go” button and we are done. Our machines require constant hands-on operation – bobbin changes, advancement for each row, etc. We are attending to the machines often – never leaving your quilt unattended.
We look forward to helping you “finish that quilt!”