Preparing Your Quilt Top and Backing For Longarm Quilting

©2012 Jo Ann Gruber – Eagle River, AK

  • Ensure that all seams, appliquéd pieces and embroidery stitches are secured.  If your border contains pieced elements (for example...checkerboard squares, piano keys, etc.), you may want to place a row of stitches 1/8th of an inch away from the edge to secure those seams.

  • Remove all pins and loose threads from the quilt top; trim those threads that may be caught in the seam allowances.  (On white or light fabrics, those stray threads on the back of the top may shadow through the fabric and be quite noticeable especially if the threads are a dark color.)

  • If you plan on embellishing the quilt (buttons, beads, crystals, etc.), please do not add them to the quilt top until after the quilting has been completed.

  • Give the quilt top and backing a good pressing.  Remember to press and not iron to avoid distortion.

  • The backing fabric should be cut 4”-6” larger than the quilt top on all sides.  (If you take the length and the width of the quilt top, add 8”-12” to those dimensions.  Cut and/or piece the backing to that size, and you will be good to go.)

  • If you need to piece the backing, I recommend that you use 1/2” seam allowances and press those seams opened.  Remove any selvedges that would be otherwise caught in a seam allowance.  It’s fine to leave them on the outer edges of the backing fabric.

  • Do not baste any of the layers together with pins or basting spray.  Please keep the quilt top, backing and batting layers separate.

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