Preparing Your Quilt for Long Arm Quilting

  1. If you are considering using something other than quilting cotton for your quilt top or backing, please consult with me ahead of time to make sure I can accommodate you.
  2. Make sure you have nice, flat borders. Click here for a free how-to download.
  3. DO NOT pin or baste your quilt layers together.
  4. Label your top or backing with "top" if your quilt top or backing is directional--just pin a paper note on your fabric.
  5. I reserve the right to refuse quilts with strong odors and/or excessive pet hair so as to avoid contamination of my equipment and the work of other clients.
  6. Ask any questions you may have.  I am happy to answer them for you!

  1. Trim any stray threads from your top (front and back).
  2. Make sure there aren't any holes in your seams.
  3. Make sure your seams are pressed really well.
  4. The edges should be straight.  Square would be ideal, but straight is best.  If you want to have rounded corners or scalloped edges, please wait to cut those in until after your top has been quilted.  (And be sure to let me know ahead of time so that the quilting doesn't go into the areas that will be cut off.)
  5. I need to know in advance if your top has appliqué, embroidery, or folded fabric.
  6. Add buttons and other embellishments after quilting.
  7. If your quilt top seams extend to the edge of the quilt, please stay stitch them 1/8" from the outer edge.  
  1. Provide an oversized, flat backing that is 3-4 inches bigger on each side (6-8" larger) and 6 inches bigger on top and bottom (12" overall)
  2. Wide backings are great.  Leave the selvedges on.
  3. Seamed backings are great too, but care needs to be taken.  I prefer the selvedge edges to run horizontally on the back.  If you can leave the selvedge on the top and bottom, that is perfect.  Selvedge should be cut out of any seam though.  You do not want a selvedge in your quilt backing seam.
  4. Use a 1/2" - 1" seam when seaming backing if possible, and press the seams open if possible.  Again, no selvedges.  Consider using a walking foot to have as even a seam as possible.  This is a good time to try matching a pattern if you have a bit of extra yardage.  The seam then becomes virtually invisible.
  5. Be aware that it is next to impossible to keep backings perfectly straight and centered. If you have a pieced backing, don't plan on it being exact.
  6. Whichever method you choose, make sure that the backing is square and lays flat!
  1. If you are providing the batting, please be sure that it is 6-8" wider and at least 12" longer than your quilt top.
  2. I will not use inexpensive polyester battings such as Mountain Mist because it tends to clump and wrinkle during the quilting process. I reserve the right to refuse batting if I feel that it won't hold up to the machine quilting process.  You've spent a lot of time and money making a beautiful top, so put nice batting in it!

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