Preparing your quilt for long-arm quilting
The better care you take preparing the quilt top, the better the finished result will be.
Press the quilt top well from the back and make sure that all the seams are pressed. Clip threads, especially dark ones that may show behind lighter colored fabrics.
The quilt top and the backing should lay flat, be 'squared up' at the corners and straight on all sides. (note: a peice of printer paper is a perfect 90 degree angle)
Fold the quilt top carefully and use the following checklist to ensure your quilt is ready to ship.
Mark the top of quilt, with a note held by a safety pin, do the same with your backing if it is a directional fabric.
Top should be clean, pressed & threads clipped.
Press the backing well, seams to one side, trim all the hanging threads.
Quilt and backing should be squared
Please DO NOT pin or baste layers together.
Remove all the selvedges
If applicable, include fabric for binding, 1 yd. of fabric for all quilts
Place quilt top, and any fabrics in plastic bag to protect during shipping.
Please contact me by e-mail or phone 757-613-9613 to let me know that your quilt top is on its way.
Choose backing fabric as carefully as quilt top fabric. An excellent choice is 100% cotton in a print that compliments your quilt top. You can use leftover blocks from piecing the front. Quilt shop quality flannel makes a cozy backing. The use of sheets is strongly discouraged.
Back stitch all seams that come to the edge. Press the seams flat. The backing should be 4" to 5" larger than the quilt top on all four sides. This means it should be 6 to 10 inches larger than the top in both directions. This is critical in order to properly load your quilt onto the longarm machine.
For example: if your quilt top measures 90" x 90", the backing and batting should measure at least 96" x 96".
If you are providing the batting, it also must be about 6 to 8 inches larger than the quilt top. Cut it as square as possible. We recommend better quality battings. Some are made with uneven density or are too fragile and may shred in handling. Others may beard and spoil your quilt. If using black or very dark fabrics, you may want to consider using black batting. I can provide batting, see cost below.
Hobbs Heirloom Premium Cotton 80/20 (80% cotton, 20% polyester) 96" wide on roll. Has more loft than typical cotton batting and gives more definition to the stitching than 100% cottons. Expect shrinkage of 3-5%, can be pre-shrunk to minimize shrinkage. A strong, long wearing quilt batting. Lightly bonded, drapes well, resists bearding and bunching. Cost: $8 per yard
If you need help with piecing the backing, I can do that for you. I can also prepare and bind your quilt for a nominal fee, see quilting cost page.