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On All USA Orders
Over $65
Complementary Swatches Available

Preparing Your Quilt for Longarm Quilting

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Whether this is your very first quilt, or you are experienced with many years of quilting, we will walk you through the process with attention to every detail. So, let’s get started…

Proper preparation is imperative for successful machine quilting.
  • Careful pressing during quilt construction and a final pressing on cotton, steam setting before machine quilting is a must. This will ensure seams lie flat and wrinkles are pressed out. This preparation will aid in the quilt lying flat, and avoiding any puckers or pleats during quilting, and your quilt will look its very best when completed.
  • Trim all loose threads – this prevents dark threads from showing through lighter fabrics.
  • Please make sure all of your seams are secure. We can do minor repairs, but it is much easier to fix before your top is on the quilting frame.
  • Make sure your quilt top lies flat and square. A quilt with fullness in the body or borders may not lie flat when loaded on the frame. When a quilt top is not square it can lead to wrinkles, folds, or waves in the quilt top. A quick check to see if your quilt is square is to fold it in quarters and see if the outside edges line up well.
  • If you are unsure how to square your quilt or just don’t have the time, we can provide this as a service to you. Just let us know during the consulting visit.
  • The top should be free of embellishments such as buttons, beads, etc.
  • Please do not layer top, batting and backing before shipping.
  • Mark the top edge of quilt top and backing with a safety pin if directional.
  • Fullness and / or puckers within a border cannot be quilted out. I will do my best work in the 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.
    • To apply borders correctly:
    • Measure your pieced top (before borders); lay your top out on a flat surface and measure at three different places across the width. Fix any discrepancies over 1″ – square your top (90-degree corners)
    • If these measurements are not equal, calculate the average and use this measurement to cut your border pieces.
    • Apply top and bottom border to quilt evenly, and then repeat the same procedure for the side borders measuring from top to bottom.


  • The backing must be at least eight (8) inches bigger than the quilt top in length and width (Four inches on each side)
  • Press your backing well and fold carefully before shipping.
  • Non-pieced backing is ideal; however, this is not always possible.
  • Cut off any selvage edges before stitching the seam. Use at least a ½-inch seam allowance on the inside seam and press open.
  • You can leave the selvage edges on the outside edges.
  • If backing is not large enough – please check out our selection of wide backing, or you will need to add a leader to each side. (Call if you need assistance.)
  • Square up the backing – we can help you do this if necessary.
  • If you have a pieced block or design for the back, perfect centering is not possible as I can’t see that back of the quilt once it is loaded on the frame. Please indicate the part of the back that you would like to show the most.

Choose Your Batting
  • Batting should be at least 2-3 inches larger than the quilt top on all four sides. (You do not need to trim the batting down if it is too large)
  • Batting should be a good quality product for optimum results. We carry Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/poly blend in bleached white or dark options as well as 100% wool batting.
  • You may also provide your own batting. Please note that some lesser quality battings do not produce optimal results though. And, some battings produce a different look and feel (e.g., soft draping, more/less dimension in the quilt design, heat retention, etc.). We recommend before finalizing your purchase that you call to discuss your desired outcome.