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How To Prepare Your Quilts
For Longarm Machine Quilting

longarm 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 product.

BACKING

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 quilt!

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.
 We do not accept bed sheets for backing!

Pieced backings should be sewn with seams running horizontal.
Vertical seams increase the chance for tucks and overlaps on back of quilt. 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. Please 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.  Extreme care must be taken with pieced backs to make sure they are very square and flat.

 

QUILT TOP

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 is square.
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

Make sure seams are secure.
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!

Embellishments: Please wait to add these after quilting. We cannot quilt over them and they may interfere with machine movement!. 

Prairie Points, Pockets, etc.
If your quilt top has any overlaps, pockets, or other loose fabric it must be must be temporarily tacked down for quilting.

Directional quilt tops & backs:
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).

BATTING
We supply high quality batting at very competive prices. Due to the requirements of long arm quilting we generally only use batting we provide.  Any batting you supply must meet our quality and size requirements for longarm quilting. 
 

THREAD 
We use only thread we supply that is designed for machine quilting. We use primarily Signature 100% cotton threads and keep many popular 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. Thread changes, variegated threads and other brands are available at additional cost.

FINAL THINGS
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 binding.

 

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Our Customers Say....

"Received my quilt and I could not be happier. I will be happy to send more quilts for finishing, just let me know your schedule.Thanks again for such good work!" - T.S.

"Oh my gosh! He LOVED it! He said that was all he needed for Christmas... What an amazing job!  Thank you for creating a quilt my son will cherish forever!" - S.W.