Preparing your Quilt for Longarm Quilting Services
Is Your Quilt Prepared For Longarm Quilting Services?
There are many suggestions out that as to what should be done before you take your quilt top to be quilted. Proper preparation of your top, batting & backing are crucial for obtaining the final outcome you want. If there is something you are unsure of or don’t have the time to do, I would be more than happy to assist for $15/hr.
- The three layers of your quilt will be loaded onto the frame independently of each other so please do not pin or baste them together
- The batting & backing need to be at least 8 inches longer & wider than your top
- Press seams flat. As a quilter, I have always pressed my seams to one side, typically the dark side, so that is what I would recommend. If you have many seams meeting up in one spot, please “spin” or “fan” your seams. For instructions on how to “spin” or “fan” your seams, please visit youtube.com. Here is one video that I found on youtube. I am in no way affiliated or endorsed by this video.
- Please remember that ripples & puffy places will not necessarily quilt flat so take care when adding your borders too (more on borders below)
- No embellishments such as beads or buttons can be on the quilt top before it is quilted
- Clip all loose threads on the front & back; if there are any loose threads on the back, they will show through the lighter colours & any on the front will interfere with the machine quilting
- The quilt top must lay flat. Before adding your borders, measure your quilt top across the top, middle & bottom; these 3 measurements should be the same, if not, there will be puckers in your finished quilt top. To read more on applying borders, please click here.
- Sew a seam 1/8” in from the outer edge all around the quilt to secure your stitches if you did not secure your stitches as you finished the stitching. Again as a quilter, I never secured my stiches as I pieced just in case I had to tear out the seam so I have learned that this keeps my quilt top from coming undone while loaded on the frame
- If your top has a definite “head” & you think I might not recognize it, please mark it with a piece of masking tape labelled “top of quilt”
- Highly recommend that you purchase through Quilting Stitches as it comes on a roll & is free of lumps & bumps-just take a look at the batting that comes in the bag & you will see what I am talking about! I suggest you keep the packaged stuff you purchased from the store for your smaller items that you can quilt on your own machine at home. Quilting Stitches carries Hobbs 80/20 Cotton, Hobbs Black Cotton as well as Quilters Dream 100% Wool Battings.
- Again, as a reminder, your batting needs to be at least 8 inches wider & longer than your top
- One solid piece of fabric is preferred, not a pieced backing. Pieced backings have more give in them, which can tend to go off center & I cannot guarantee that it will end up straight on the back of your quilt. Best option for a backing is something that is complimentary to the front of your quilt that has a small pattern i.e. muted flowers, waves etc. or something very busy if you don’t want to focus on the quilting on the back of the quilt. You should also keep in mind what colour of thread you are going to want the quilt top quilted with; if you have a light coloured top with a dark coloured backing, it will be difficult to hide the thread. For example, if you quilt top is white & you want it quilted with white tread but your backing is dark navy blue & you want the backing quilted with dark blue thread, one of the threads runs the risk of showing up on the other side in certain spots. Although tension is adjusted for every quilt if necessary, it is nearly impossible not to see the thread on the other side if the two threads are different in colour.
- Be aware that it is not possible to center the top over the backing in both directions. A backing with a center monogram or with a border is likely to be “off” in the final product which is again why it is better to just use a single piece of fabric for backing.
- No bed sheets allowed
- Your backing should be well pressed & transported neatly folded on a hanger
- Your backing needs to be squared up; you will need to trim it appropriately as not all quilt shops cut the fabric straight (& I sure hope you are not buying from anyone who tears!)
- If you prewash your top fabrics, you will need to prewash your backing fabrics
- Will gladly prepare the binding for you. Please supply one meter of fabric for binding & decide which option you would like: cross grain or French bias
- Will gladly baste your quilt for you for hand quilting. Please ensure all 3 layers are independent of each other.
- A 25% deposit is required to begin work on your quilt. You can either pay with cash, cheque, PayPal or email $ transfer