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.
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.
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
Backing must extend at least 3" beyond quilt top on all sides!
your responsibility to provide the correct size backing. 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 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
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
Since wide back chocies are limited many quilters make their own backs from quilt fabric (common
width 44"). Backing should be 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 6 inches longer and 6" wider than your quilt top. (3" on all
Backings Made From Many
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
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
Quilt top should be as square as
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 (see above) so quilt top doesn't run off the backing before it is
finished. 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 ALL SEAMS ARE
Check quilt carefully
for loose seams. 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. This keeps the seams between your quilt blocks from
opening up and stretching when attaching it to the canvas on the rollers. Please, no serger
Loose theads will show
Be sure to remove all loose threads. Dark threads will show through light fabric and it
Press Quilt Top
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
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
use 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 binding.