Preparing Your Quilt for a Longarm Quilter

Piecing Tips: Remember to steam press as you piece and trim or pull off any dangling threads. Avoid twisted seams by pressing to one side. If the outside edge of your quilt top is comprised of biased edges or has many seams, please be sure to sew a stay stitch around the perimeter of your quilt top. If you have borders, make sure they lie flat as wavy borders could result in tucks. If your quilt is designed to have rounded edges we suggest waiting until after the quilting is completed before rounding. Please try to wait to put embellishments like beads or buttons on until after the quilting is complete.

Backing Tips: Don't forget to treat your backing with as much care as you do the front. Use quality fabric - sheets are not recommended. Steam press out any wrinkles and folds; be sure to secure any seams and to square your backing. Also, be sure to trim your selvages preferably before (or at least after) using that edge on a seam. Remember to stay stitch any biased edges if necessary. Please do not expect your backing to be centered. (For more on that, please read through Adding to Your Backing for a Longarm Quilter.)

Batting Tips: Is your quilt top mostly dark colors or have a lot of white? Also think about the recipient of your quilt. Do they live in a cold or warm climate? Do you expect the quilt to get a lot of use, or is it a display piece? We can help you make a decision if you're unsure which batting type you would prefer.

Thread Tips: Think about whether you want your thread to blend or contrast with your quilt top. Blended thread can really highlight the quilting pattern when combined with a high loft batting, whereas contrast thread can be distracting from the quilt top. Conversely, blended thread can become so blended that the quilting is lost in your top, and contrast thread can really compliment the quilt top by adding another color element. If your top has many different colors, consider a neutral color that takes on an almost chameleon color. Variegated threads are also a great option. The thread color for your top and bottom should match to reduce 'pokeys', (when the bobbin thread shows through on your quilt top).

Show Tips: Remember to give credit to your longarm quilter when entering your finished quilt in a show, and, if it was a computerized pattern, give credit to the pattern and/or designer. Also, be sure to thoroughly read through and follow the instructions provided to you when registering for the show.