Longarm Quilt Preparation & Instructions in Ashland, NE | A Better Quilt - Longarm Quilting & Custom T-Shirt Quilts in Ashland, NE | A Better Quilt

CO: 303-425-4000
NE: 531-240-0184
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Preparing Your Quilt for Longarm Quilting
Multi colored quilt on a table
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.
A note with your name must be pinned to each item (quilt top, backing, batting, binding material, etc.). If there is more than one quilt, be sure to also number each piece (Quilt 1, Quilt 2, etc) so we get the right back with right top, etc.  Make sure any choices for thread color or quilting patterns are also clearly identified as to which quilt.
By far the most common problem we get is with borders that have too much fabric. It is very important you measure carefully for your borders If your border fabric is too long for the quilt you will most likely end up with some foldovers on your borders
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 extra charge.
Check your quilt for extra or stretched fabric.
This is another very common problem we see. 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.
Quilt top should be as square as possible.
Check to make sure your quilt is as square as possible. A quick check to see if your quilt is fairly square is to fold it in quarters and see if the outside edges and corners line up well. Out of square quilts tend to gradually move to one side or another during quilting. When your quilt is not square it can lead to wrinkles, folds, or waves in your quilt top. It is very important the back is large enough so if quilt top is not square it doesn't run off the backing before it is finished.  We can make only minor adjustments to length and width of quilting patterns to compensate for out-of-square quilts. Make sure edges are straight
Check quilt carefully for loose seams. Then check again.  If the machine catches a loose seam it can greatly damage your quilt top! If your top has no borders, stay-stitch 1/4" in all the way around the edge. Without stay stiching the seams between your quilt blocks can open up when we attach it to the canvas on the rollers.
Loose theads will show through!
Be sure to remove all loose threads. Dark threads will show through light fabric and it isn't pretty.
Press Quilt Top
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, etc.
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 & 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).
Your best choice is a good quality cotton or muslin fabric. Low quality backing material is prone to stretching and fold overs. You spent a lot of time and money on the top - please do not scrimp on the backing. We can provide high quality backing if needed.
Backing must be 4" larger than quilt top on all sides!
It is your responsibility to provide the correct size backing. To get 4" on all sides it must measure 8 inches longer and 8 inches wider than your quilt top. For example, if your quilt top measures 64" wide and 90" long, the backing must be 72" wide and 98" long. This very important because if the back is not wide enough we cannot quilt to the edges of your quilt top. If your back is too short we may run out of back before the quilt is finished.
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!

We do not accept bed sheets for backing!
Wide Quilt Backing
We recommend a one piece backing whenever possible. We stock a number of wide back fabrics in different colors and styles. Wide-back quilt fabrics come in wide (108") widths so no piecing is required.
Pieced Backing
Since wide back choices are limited, many quilters make their own backs from quilt fabric (common width 44").  It is best if backing is sewn together so seams run horizontal. The less seams the better. 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.  Be sure finished back is 8 inches longer and 8" wider than your quilt top. (4" on all sides)
A Note About Backings Made From Many Pieces.
Please avoid the temptation to try to create a "fancy" back or two sided quilt. Keep in mind we cannot see the back when quilting, so there is no way for us to monitor and adjust it if there are any issues. 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 if making a back out of many pieces of fabric to insure it is square and flat. If there is any extra material it may create foldovers and puckers that we have no control over.
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.
We use only thread we supply that is designed for machine quilting. We use Signature 100% cotton threads and keep several hundred colors on hand.
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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