Preparing your quilt

Preparing your quilt for longarm quilting.

  1. Square your quilt top and backing. Please, no uneven or ragged edges.
  2. If your quilt top has a final border which is pieced with seams exposed to the outer edge, please stitch around the entire quilt top close to the outer edge (less than 1/4”) so when your binding is stitched on, you will not see this running stitch. This running stitch secures your pieced border from coming apart or popping at the seams when it is loaded onto the longarm machine. If your border is one solid piece of fabric, there is no need to do this step.
  3. Cut your batting 3” larger than your quilt top. (3″ larger on all sides).
  4. Cut your backing 4″larger on all sides than your quilt top. I like to see each layer as I quilt. If you need to piece your backing fabric, the seam should be approximately 1/2” wide and pressed open. If sewn on the salvage edge, the salvage should be removed. If your quilt back is pieced and needs to be centered, please note that on the backing.
  5. Press the quilt top and backing. Wrinkles may not always quilt out.
  6. Do not pin, baste or sandwich your quilt. It will be loaded onto 3 separate rollers.
  7. Clip threads. You don’t want dark threads showing behind a white sashing or quilt block.
  8. If needed, indicate the top of the quilt and backing with a safety pinned note.
  9. If you are planning to bring the backing over to the top to bind the quilt, rather than trim it and put on a separate binding, then it’s important to note that also.
  10. Think about thread color that will be used for quilting. It will help you decide on your backing fabric. Quilting looks best when using the same color thread on top and bottom. Tone on tone fabrics show off the quilting design beautifully.