How to Prepare a Quilt for Longarm Quilting
Baste Edge Seams-If there are seams around the outer edges of the quilt top, baste through these seams about 1/8th of an inch in from the edge. This will ensure the seams don’t pop open when loaded onto the longarm. You may have to baste around the entire quilt if there are multiple seams or just baste through each seam if there are only a few.
Clip Threads- If the quilt top has a light fabric that might easily show loose threads from the underside, clip those threads. No one wants to see a red thread underneath a nicely quilted area on the quilt top. If you have a fabric that seems to fray a lot, use Fray Check. I will clip threads for an additional charge of $20 at your request.
Mark-If your quilt is directional, please pin a note on the top center of the quilt top.
Square Quilt Top-Make sure your quilt top is squared and even on all four sides and that your borders do not wave. Press the quilt top and fold neatly.
Piecing-You can purchase an extra wide backing fabric (up to 110”) or you can piece the back together. Stitch 5/8” seams when piecing the back and press them open. This helps spread the bulk.
Measuring-The quilt back should measure approximately 6” larger than the quilt top.
Square Quilt Back-Square up the backing on all four sides. Press the backing and fold neatly.
Caution!! Stay away from creating a symmetrical look. It is extremely difficult to guarantee symmetry of the quilt top and quilt back at the same time. My focus will be on the quilt top. If you want your pieced quilt back to look symmetrical to the front, I will charge an extra $50 for the time I spend marking it and lining it up.
How Will It Be Used-Ask yourself how your quilt will be used. Do you want the quilting to show or simply hold the quilt together?
Hobbs 80/20-A loftier batting will show off the quilting more than a dense batting. Hobbs 80/20 batting provides more loft and enhances the quilting.
Bamboo-Bamboo batting has an excellent drape. It is durable and eco-friendly, grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers.
Warm and Natural-Dense batting, great for a flatter finish when very little loft is desired. This shows off the piecing more than the quilting.
Wool- Wool batting is also a great choice for showing off the quilting. A double layer of Hobbs 80/20 and wool can give extra prominence to the quilted areas and is great for show quilts.
Color-Do you want your thread to blend or stand out? A neutral thread color is great for blending, while bolder colors will stand out more. If you have many contrasting colors and want threads matched to each color, there will be an additional charge of $25 for time spent changing thread.
Caution!! I match the bobbin thread to the top thread to avoid the ‘pindot effect’ on the quilt top. If you are concerned about the thread matching the backing fabric, I recommend you choose your backing fabric based on the color the thread will be. A busy backing fabric is also a good choice, as the thread will blend into it.