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 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
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 besewn 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.
Check your quilt for extra or
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
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
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.