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Preparing your quilt for machine quilting

To ensure the best results are achieved from long-arm machine quilting, it is important to prepare your quilt top and backing carefully.  If you do not wish to prepare your back or top I am happy to do this for you.  A fee (outlined in Pricing) is charged for this service.

 Below is a list of recommendations.

  • Please be sure your backing and wadding are 4" larger than your quilt top on all sides after squaring your backing.  When buying backing allow enough extra fabric for shrinkage (if you prewash your fabrics) and squaring.  The extra 4" allows the quilt to be pinned and clamped correctly on the quilting machine.  If your backing isn't 4" larger than your quilt, my machine can be damaged during the quilting process. 
  • Remove selvedges from your backing fabric and ensure your backing is square.
  • If you are joining your backing please ensure each piece is square before joining.  Join pieces with a 1/2" seam and press all seams open.
  • Please have your top and backing well pressed.
  • Trim off all loose threads from the front and back of your quilt top. Loose threads on the reverse side of your quilt top may show through the top after quilting.  Loose threads on the top of your quilt can get caught in the hopping foot of the machine.
  • Use a good quality backing fabric (sheeting is not recommended).

A couple of things to think about

Do you have any ideas for your quilting design, for example, from your books or magazines. If so, bring them along to your consultation and we will discuss your ideas. I have lots of books and magazines that you can look through and am happy to make recommendations about quilting designs. It is important that the quilting design enhance your quilt.

What effect do you want to achieve with your backing.

If you choose a plain backing, the quilting will be more visible than if you choose a patterned backing.  This is great for an all over edge to edge design.  The pattern will be highly visible on the reverse.

A patterned backing makes joins and thread colour changes less visible.  This is great for custom quilting.