Quilt Prep

Listed below are some guidelines for having your quilt top machine quilted for optimal results!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, I am happy to help explain the reasons behind these guidelines or even talk through how to do any of these things.

I am not the quilt police and will not judge or refuse any quilts that may have missed a step or two!


Preparing your Quilt Top

  1. Your quilt top should be trimmed down to final finished size.

  2. Make sure your quilt top is well pressed and seams are flat. When piecing, try to arrange seams in a way that is least bulky.

  3. Check to be sure all seams are secure. You should stay stitch around your entire quilt to ensure seams do not pull apart.

  4. Trim all threads from the back and edge of the quilt top. Loose threads may show through the quilt top in lighter areas and detract from all your hard work!

  5. Ensure that borders are pieced on correctly. Wavy or full borders can be avoided by measuring the sides and middle and getting the average length and width. This will be the length to cut your border strips. You will want to work the quilt top into your border, not the other way around. I will do my best to quilt a certain amount of fullness in but cannot guarantee there will not be tucks or puckers. If borders are too wavy or full, I will contact you before proceeding. I can either send back to you or charge an additional fee for correcting wavy borders.

  6. Make sure your quilt top is as square as possible. Using the above method to piece your borders helps make this happen! Squaring up blocks throughout the piecing process also helps.

  7. If your quilt top or backing has a definite “top”, make note of it and apply a safety pin to identify it.

  8. Remove all pins, buttons, and other embellishments. Plan to add your embellishments after quilting is complete.

  9. The three layers of your quilt will be loaded on the machine independently of one another. Please do not pin or baste them together.

  10. Your quilt must be clean and free of any odors.


Preparing your Backing

  1. Backing fabric should be 100% cotton, flannel, or minky. Please do not use old bed sheets! The weave is much tighter than quilting cotton and could cause issues when quilting.

  2. If the backing isn't large enough for the entire quilt, you can sew a few pieces together. Make sure that the seam is horizontal and pressed open and flat. Densely pieced backs will not be accepted as they can be too bulky to quilt through and may damage the longarm machine.

  3. Batting and backing must be at least 8” longer and wider than the quilt top and backing must be square. If you are shipping your quilt to me, I recommend using the batting I have on hand - it will save you some money in shipping! If you send batting, check the package to be sure it is suitable for machine quilting.

  4. If you pre-washed the fabrics in your quilt top it is highly recommended that you pre-wash your backing fabric also.

  5. Backing fabric must be completely pressed.