How To Prepare Your Quilts
For Longarm Machine Quilting
The better you prepare your quilt, the better it will be when finished. We are very good at
what we do, but we can't work miracles. Please review this page carefully. It is very important that you follow
these guidelines. By making sure a few things are taken care of ahead of time you can keep your cost down, reduce
the time it takes to get your quilt finished, and most importantly, make sure your quilt is a beautiful finished
Backing must extend at least 3"
beyond quilt top on all sides!
This means it must measure 6 inches longer and 6 inches wider than your quilt top. For example, if your quilt top
measures 64" wide and 90" long, the backing must be 70" wide and 96" long. This very important because if the back
is not big enough we cannot attach your quilt to the machine. If your backing is not big enough we can add material
to make it work (extra charge). However you may end up with some different colored fabric on the back of your
Your best choice is a wide width good quality cotton or
good quality muslin quilt back fabric. Quilt back fabrics come in wide widths so no piecing is required. Low
quality backing material is prone to stretching and fold overs. You spend a lot of time on money on the top -
please do not scrimp on the backing. We can provide high quality backing if needed.
We do not accept bed sheets for
Avoid a "Pieced"
backing if at all possible.
We recommend a one piece backing
whenever possible. The less seams the better. If you do use fabric that must be pieced, except for
an extremely long quilt, there should never be a need for more than two
horizontal seams. Pieced backings greatly increase the chance for tucks and
fold overs on the back. Vertical seams can make it even worse. Pieced backings should be pressed with
seams open. Unless you want nice little words and funny colors showing on your quilt all
selvages should be trimmed off prior to piecing.
There are two big reasons to avoid the temptation to try to create a "fancy"
back or two sided quilt. First, be aware we cannot see the back when quilting. If you are hoping to have
perfect borders on the back or something centered on the back of your quilt you will probably be
disappointed. Second, backs with extra piecing will
almost always be out of square and have extra material that will create foldovers and puckers.
Extreme care must be taken with pieced backs to make sure they are very square and flat.
Embellishments: We cannot quilt over them and
they can damage our machine. If we have
to remove any embellishments to
complete your quilt these will be returned to you with your quilt so you may re-attach them. This may incur an
Check your quilt for extra or stretched fabric.
This by far the most common problem we see. This often happens when attaching borders, but can occur anywhere in
the quilt top. When placed on a firm smooth surface the quilt top should lay flat. If you see any tenting or
bubbles these areas may end up with small folds or overlaps when quilted. If there is too much extra fabric, even
if we slow the machine down and manually adjust as we quilt, tucks and overlaps may occur.
Make sure quilt top
If you measure your quilt in all directions there should not be more than a 1/4" difference in any direction.
Measurements should be taken at both ends and middle of both length and width and across both diagonals (corner to
corner). We can make only minor adjustments to length and width of borders and patterns to compensate for
out-of-square quilts. Make sure edges are straight
sure seams are
If you have loose seams, the machine will find them! If your
top has no borders, stay-stitch 1/4" in all the way around the edge. This keeps the seams from "popping" and
prevents stretching when attaching it to the canvas on the rollers. Please, no serger stitching. All loose threads
should be removed.
Your quilt top should be well pressed with seams
closed. Care should be taken to press seams toward similar colors. If you press a dark colored fabric
to a light colored fabric the dark fabric may show through your quilt top!
DO NOT pin, baste, or use adhesives to attached top to batting and backing.
We will need to take it all apart in order to quilt. We cannot quilt any materials that have adhesives applied.
Prairie Points, Pockets,
If your quilt top has any overlaps, pockets, or other loose
fabric it must be must be temporarily tacked down for quilting. These may incur an extra charge.
Directional quilt tops &
Mark the top of the quilt so we will know which way the quilting pattern should run. If
the backing has a top and bottom, please mark that also. (Safety pin a note to indicate the top).
We supply high
quality batting at very competitive prices. Due to the requirements of long arm quilting we generally only use
batting we provide. You can supply your own batting, however it must meet our quality and size
requirements for machine quilting. We do not quilt with any battings that contain more than 20%
polyester. All customer supplied batting is subject to our approval.
only thread we supply that is designed for machine quilting. We use Signature 100% cotton threads and keep several
hundred colors on hand. You may also specify colors, however, if we do not have them in stock it will increase the
turnaround time for your quilt.
All quilts will be returned trimmed even with the quilt top
unless you request us return your quilt untrimmed. This is important if you plan to roll backing for your