Quilt Prep Dos and Don'ts

DOs

  • Please ensure your seams are securely sewn, they will be placed under tension as they stretch across the longarm rollers.

  • If there are lots of seams at the edges of your quilt, the easiest way to secure them is to stay stitch around your whole quilt, keeping 1/8” away from the edge to stabilize it.

  • Trim ALL the loose threads! Threads that poke through the top run the risk of being caught up in the stitching, similarly any darker threads underneath may show through your quilt top.

  • Press Press Press! Your finished quilt will look much nicer if your seams are lying flat and it reduces the risk of scrunching and bunching in the quilting.

  • Please make sure both your quilt top AND backing have been squared up, if this is out then the pattern will stitch slightly out as well.

  • Your squared up backing needs to be 4” bigger ON ALL SIDES. This ensures there is enough spare fabric to attach and clamp it to the machine accurately. For example a 60" x 70" quilt will need a 68" x 78" backing.

  • If you have to join your backing fabric, it is preferable to use a ½” seam allowance, removing the selvedges if they are at the join and to press the seam open. Selvedges at the outer edges are not a problem.

  • Wadding also needs to be bigger on all sides and 6” longer and wider than the quilt top is enough. It can be more, so if you're sending a pre-bought size/pack that's absolutely fine.

  •  If your quilt top and/or backing are directional, please mark them with a note pinned to the top left corner. It's not always obvious and it's far better to be safe than sorry!

  • For EPP quilts please leave the outside edge seams open (rather than turned under to give the correct shape) and ensure the edge seams are securely fastened (backstitched by hand as you are joining them together or top stitched by machine as close to the edge as possible). All trimming i.e. to a regular shape is best left until after it has been quilted. ALL papers must be removed.

  • For FPP quilts ensure the edge seams are securely fastened, top stitching by machine 1/8" from the edge is preferable. All trimming i.e. to a regular shape is best left until after it has been quilted. ALL paper must be removed.

DON'Ts

  • Do not baste your quilt. It is attached it to the longarm machine as three separate layers (unfortunately you will be charged for unpicking) Let's be honest, basting is the devil so by sending your gorgeous quilt to me, you don't have to do it!

  • Absolutely NO embellishments allowed particularly buttons and beads. You couldn't quilt through them on a domestic machine and a longarm is exactly the same. Anything 'flappy' is also a problem, ribbon/ric rac etc can get caught up in the foot and cause a mess. Embroidery stitching is fine, although it is better to add this after your quilt has been longarmed.

  • Please take extra care to remove any pins from your work (with the exception of the one identifying direction above) where your domestic sewing machine might just catch a pin, on a longarm it will snap the needle and can also bend the entire needle bar.

  • If your quilt is EPP or FPP please make sure all paper has been removed from your quilt top. 

All of this information is in one handy PDF for you to refer to when prepping your quilt to send to me, simply click the button below.