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Preparing Your Quilt

Piecing Tips

  • Prewashing fabric is a personal preference.  Whatever your choice, it is a good idea to make sure all fabric on the pieced top and backing is prewashed.  This allows the shrinkage to be compatible with each other when washed.

  • Trim loose threads. If you have a light background there is a possibility of dark thread showing through. I will try to catch that when loading the quilt but it is not always possible to see them until the quilting starts. 

  • If the outside of your quilt has biased edges or multiple seams, please stay stitch around the perimeter approximately 1/8 inch from the edge.  This prevents additional stretching or seams coming undone.

  • To avoid the possibility of tucks on your quilt, take extra care to make sure your borders are flat and not wavy . Measurements are very important, and if you have questions feel free to call, contact your local quilt shop, or search tutorials online for avoiding wavy borders.

  • If possible, please wait until after the quilting to complete any scalloped or rounded edges. Also the addition of embellishments such as buttons and beads should be added after quilting.

Backing Tips

 

  • The quilt backing needs  to be 8" larger than the measurement of your quilt top. For example, if your top measures 70" x 70" your backing should measure 78" x 78". This allows adequate fabric to be loaded on the longarm frame.

  • If leaders are needed to accommodate the loading process, there will be an additional charge.  

  • If possible, wide backing is ideal for larger quilts. If you do need to piece the backing, use a larger seam allowance and then trim off the selvage. Press the seam open to prevent puckering on the back.  

  • You do not need to trim the selvage on the top and bottom of the backing fabric. 

  • Some quilters like their pieced back centered with the quilt top.  Because we fold quilts in half, it is recommended that the backing seam be off-center so it is less likely to compromise the seam.  I cannot guarantee that it will always be centered if that is your wish because of the fabric shrinkage in the quilting process.

  • Use quality backing fabrics. I do not recommend using bed sheets. We can discuss backing options at our initial consultation.

Batting

 

  • When considering what to use, think about the following:

    • Is your quilt top predominately dark or does it showcase a lot of white?

    • Will the quilt be for display or will it be used lovingly?

    • Will the quilting be more open or dense?

  • I would be more than happy to discuss options to help in your decision.

 

Thread

  • Do you want your thread to blend or contrast?

    • Blended thread can highlight the quilting pattern whereas contrast thread can detract  from the quilt top when combined with a high loft batting.

    • Conversely, when using a blended thread the quilting may be lost in the quilt top. Contrast thread would complement by adding another color element.

    • With a top that has many colors, you may want a neutral color that doesn't fight with the overall look.

    • To reduce the chance of bobbin thread showing through your quilt top it is recommended that the top and bottom thread  match.

Binding

  • Stay stitching around the perimeter of the finished quilt before attaching the binding makes the process easier.

    • Recommended binding strips are a width of 2.25" to 2.5" based on your preference.
  • Cutting your fabric on the bias produces a stronger binding.  However, it is not necessary for straight edge quilts.  It is recommended to make a biased binding where the quilt has scalloped or curved corners.
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