Preparing Your Quilt for Long Arm Quilting
It is important to apply your borders squarely. If borders even slightly longer than the top are put on without accurate measurement, the top will not lay flat. Pleats and puckers may develop during the quilting process.
To apply borders:
- Measure your pieced top (before the borders are added). Lay your top out on a flat surface and measure at least three different places across the width and length.
- If these measurements are not equal, calculate the average measurement and use this result to cut the borders.
- Apply the border to the quilt top evenly.
- Fullness and/or puckers within a border cannot be quilted out. We try our best to work in some fullness, but cannot guarantee that puckers and tucks will not be sewn in. Just remember, the flatter your quilt top lays, the better your finished quilt will look.
Preparing the Quilt Top
- Make sure all your seams are secure and your threads are clipped. Unclipped threads will show through lighter fabrics.
- Press all seam allowances to leave the least bulk at the seams.
- Mark the top edge of your quilt top with a safety pin
- Press your quilt top. Fold it gently. If possible, hang it over a hanger like a pair of slacks.
- Do NOT layer top, batting and backing. They are loaded on the quilting machine as separate layers.
Preparing the Quilt Back
- Quilt back should be quilt quality material. A sheet or blanket cannot be substituted.
- Cut off any selvage edges before stitching a seam joining backing pieces. Use at least a 1/2" seam allowance. Leave the selvage edges on the outside edges of the quilt backing. They help to keep the quilt back from stretching when being pinned onto the longarm canvas leaders.
- The size of the quilt back must be at least 8" wider and longer than your quilt top. I need at least 4 inches on each edge to attach the quilt to the leaders and side clamps on the longarm.
- Trim the cut edges of your backing so they are straight and square. This ensures that the quilt loads onto the machine straight; this is important for keeping the design square on your top. (I prefer to tear the ends of backing fabric rather than cutting them. This ensures that the back is perfectly square.)
- Mark the top edge of your quilt back with a safety pin.
- Press your backing. To keep your backing from getting creased fold it gently. If possible, hang it over a hanger like a pair of slacks.