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Quilt and Back Preparation
- Make sure all seams are pressed flat. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
- Make sure that all your borders are correctly attached. Often borders are just sewn on and not measured. If not measured, this will create a "wavy" border and make it very difficult to keep the quilt square. It also helps to prevent tucks. Visit our borders page to learn how to measure your borders.
- When you have light and or sheer fabrics in your quilt top, stray threads on the back can shadow through and show on the top. Please trim these.
- If your quilt is directional, please put a safety pin at the top.
- If your quilt will have curved corners or scalloped edges, please mark them with a marker and DO NOT CUT THEM. Please leave the corners and edges square and straight.
- Do not baste any layers together.
- Flanges - must be basted down by customer. If you do not want to do it, I will do it for a fee.
- Bias edges and pieced borders - to prevent stretching and seams coming apart, please stay stitch 1/8 inch from the edge.
- Make sure your quilt top is square. If one side is longer than another, I can ease a little of it in. If it is significantly different in size, I may end up with pleats and or puckers, and it may not be square when it is done.
- Please do not embellish the quilt in any manner until AFTER the quilt is quilted.
- Backing must be a minimum of 4" or bigger ON EACH SIDE than your quilt top. More is better. If you consent to have me trim your quilt I will return all of your backing fabric to you neatly folded at no charge.
Why does it need to be bigger? The way quilts are attached to a longarm machine requires it. The backing is attached to leaders that are attached to a longarm table and this takes a couple of inches at the top and bottom of the backing. Also, the size of the quilt backing are attached to clamps, to help hold the backing out flat. Because quilt backings have very few seams, and quilt tops generally have a lot of seams, quilt tops can grow or stretch a little bit, so making the backing larger ensures that the quilt backing will be large enough.
- If you are short just a few inches, you can simply sew some scrap fabric or muslin to both the top and bottom and or both sides. If you do not want to do that I can do it for a fee.
- Make sure your backing fabric is straight and square. No uneven edges. The top and bottom edges of the backing are attached to leaders on the longarm machine. If the backing is not square or straight, it is very difficult to try to keep the backing flat. If it is not square, you will most definitely get tucks.
- If backing is pieced, please use a half inch seam allowance and you must remove selvages. If left on, the back will load on the frame unevenly. The selvages on fabric are more tightly woven and shrink differently.
- Please do not use bed sheets for a backing. Most of them will result in uneven and or skipped stitches.
- If your backing is directional, please mark it with a safety pin and note it on your order form.
- On a longarm machine, quilts are quilted from top-left to top-right, back and forth in the same manner as reading a book. Quilts are not basted the same way as they are when you quilt on a domestic machine and it is very difficult to center a quilt top on a backing on a longarm machine.