Preparation of your quilt for Longarm machine quilting or basting:
- A well prepared quilt top will make all the difference to the finished effect so it is worth spending a bit of time checking the following.
- Press seams flat – it is better to press the seams to one side rather than pressing the seams open. Also make sure that your seams are sewn securely.
- Remove any loose threads and thread tails. Dark threads may show through a lighter fabric.
- Make sure that your quilt top is square. If your quilt starts off crocked, it will still be a crocked shape after quilting has taken place.
- Make sure that the quilt top is nice and flat. Any extra fullness in the quilt top or boarders cannot be quilted out, making small tucks which have to take up the surplus fabric.
- The quilt top should have a good press.
- If you wish one of the edges of your quilt to be treated as the top please pin a small piece of paper to it labelled “TOP” (this only applies if your quilt is directional
- If your border is pieced, stay-stitch the edge of your quilt top about 1/8” inch from the edge.
- All waddings need to be if supplied by the customer at least 4” bigger on all four sides of the finished quilt top. e.g. if your finished quilt top is 60” x 80” then the wadding and backing should be 68” x 88”.
- There is a large selection of threads for you to choose from.
- The backing needs to be of good quality cotton.
- It can be pieced or plain. However, if backing is joined together with a seam please ensure that a generous ½” inch seam is used rather than the standard quilting ¼” inch seam. This is necessary due to the backing fabric being under some tension whilst on the Longarm Machine. Also press the seam open and stay-stitch the ends in place.
- If joining the backing needs joining and the edges being joined are the selvedge’s, cut the selvage part away. You do this because the selvage doesn’t stretch as much as the rest of the backing fabric.
- The backing should be 4” inches larger on all 4 sides than the quilt top.
- Also square off the backing fabric on all sides making them straight, also make sure that the corners are square (this applied even if the quilt top has shaped edges).
- Please note that it is unlikely that a pieced backing will be centred exactly.
- Make your quilt top fit the border, not the other way around. Taking the extra time to apply the border properly will result in a flat, square and nice looking quilt top.
- First you measure the quilt from side to side through the centre, then top to bottom, again through the centre. This will give you the actual length and width of the quilt top. Measuring through the centre allows you to be sure the sides are equal after the border is added.
- Second step is to pin the border to the quilt top. Fold the border in half to find the centre, and mark, then in half again to find the quarters and mark again. Do the same with the quilt top. Pin border to quilt top matching these marks.
- If there is a noticeable difference in size from one side of the quilt top to the other, measure both sides of the quilt and through the centre in the same direction, average these three measurements. This will square up your top nicely when the borders are added.
- This does take some extra work, but I think you will be very pleased with the results and it certainly makes for a much better finish to your quilt top.
When you need to back a quilt top, it is much easier to use Extra Wide Backing Fabrics which is the entire width of the quilt without having to join two pieces together. That’s where our Extra Wide Backing Fabrics come in to their own. Our range of Extra Wide Backing Fabrics are all 100% cotton and of a high quality fabrics and the widths given – 108” inches is sufficient for a king size bed quilt.
Copyright Dragonfly Quilting 2014