Preparing your quilt top for machine quilting is essential for the beautiful outcome you envision for your finished quilt.
Give your quilt top an all over pressing from the front of the top. Make certain there are no pleats or deep folds anywhere on the fabric, on both sides, sticking up from the seams to the front, or that might be visible under the top when caught between the top and the batting.
Additionally, check that all seams on the edges are secure.
Mark the top of your quilt top with a safety pin (if there’s a top and bottom).
Carefully fold the backing and the top over a thick hanger if delivering your quilt top, personally.
If you’re shipping your quilt top to us, please see shipping instructions at the bottom of this page.
Please wait to sew on any embellishments such as buttons, beads, charms, rick-rack, etc to your quilt after it’s been quilted, otherwise, custom quilting charges will be incurred.
Squaring your quilt
Measure your quilt top through the center from one end to the other lengthwise, repeat for each end. Also do this for widthwise. If the measurements are off by more than 1″ then there may be excess fabric in the borders.
The best way to attach borders is to measure the length in three places – through the center of the quilt and half way between center and the edge on both sides of that center line. Take the average of those measurements and cut both top and bottom border to this average measurement. Pin the ends together then sew. You may have to ease in a bit of the top but this will ensure that you have flat, not wavy borders. Too much wave in your quilt top and it may not “quilt out” but have tucks instead. Do the same for your side borders. If your quilt top lays flat then your finished quilt will also be flat.
I’ll do my best to quilt out the fullness if these instructions aren’t followed, but in many instances, small pleats can’t be avoided.
Your backing needs to be 6″ (3” on each side) larger than your quilt top. For example, if your top measures 60″ x 80″ then your backing needs to be 66″ x 86″ up to 70″x90″. This extra fabric is necessary for mounting your quilt to the quilting frame. Your completed quilt will be returned to you with the backing untrimmed unless you’ve requesting the binding service. Please square your backing fabric so that it has 90 degree corners. Use straight grainlines for the backing edges. Bias edges will continue to stretch during the framing process.
Your backing can be pieced either vertically or horizontally. To join two lengths of fabric, leave the selvedges intact, place right sides together, and stitch using a one inch seam allowance, then trim to half an inch, trimming off the selvedge on the seam. Please leave the outer selvedges intact, and press open, your seam allowance.
I prefer quilts with a horizontal seam on the back, but we accept quilt backs with a vertical seam.
I stock an extensive selection of Hobbs Batting. We have Tuscany Cotton, Tuscany (80% Cotton, 20% Wool), Tuscany 100% Wool, Tuscany Silk (90% Silk, 10% poly) and Heirloom 80% Cotton, 20% Poly.
I will choose a complimentary thread color that will let the texture of the quilting shine but not overwhelm the piecing. Please be aware that I use the same or similar color of thread for the quilt top thread as well as the bobbin thread. If you have a high contrast backing the thread choices may be limited.
Thread weight will be determined by the quilting design selected, and whether or not emphasis on the quilting is desired.
For internet/mail order clients, please neatly fold your quilt top and backing, place in a plastic bag along with your name and contact info.
Currently shipping, via Priority Mail 2-Day™ Medium Flat Rate Box, is $14.35. Both quilt top and backing will fit this box. However, it’s advised that they be placed in a plastic bag, incase of weather.