Often times we get asked questions such as: "How large does my backing/batting need to be?", "What thread color should I choose?", "What's the fluffiest batting you have?", and so on; below you will find some helpful tips to help you Prepare Your Quilt for a Longarm Quilter.
If you pre-wash one fabric, be sure to pre-wash all fabrics in your quilt, including all top and backing fabric, and remember to account for shrinkage when purchasing. We recommend 6% for cottons and 10% for flannels.
If you do not pre-wash any fabrics and if they shrink, they will all shrink together in the first wash of your completed quilt.
Remember to steam press and square as you piece and trim or pull off any dangling threads.
Twisted seams cause bulk which can be difficult to quilt over. Avoid twisted seams by pressing to one side and alternating the direction with each row.
If the outside border or 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. There are many online tutorials for avoiding wavy borders.
If your quilt is designed to have rounded corners or scalloped edges, we suggest waiting until after the quilting is completed before rounding.
Please wait to put embellishments like beads or buttons on until after the quilting is complete.
Longarm quilters require more fabric than domestic machine quilters. Please ask your longarmer how much extra they prefer. We ask for a minimum of 8" in addition to the dimensions of your quilt top. For quilts larger than a queen, we ask for at least 10" extra. For example, if your quilt top is 90" x 90", we ask that you provide backing that is at least 100" x 100".
If you prewashed your quilt top fabric, be sure to prewash the backing fabric too. Remember to account for shrinkage when purchasing. We recommend purchasing at least 8% additional fabric.
Don't forget to treat your backing with as much care as you do the front.
Longarm quilters require more batting than domestic machine quilters. Please ask your longarmer how much extra they prefer. We ask for a minimum of 8" in addition to the dimensions of your quilt top. For quilts larger than a queen, we ask for at least 10" extra. For example, if your quilt top is 90" x 90", we ask that you provide batting that is at least 100" x 100".
We sell batting by-the-yard and We can help you make a decision if you're unsure which batting type you would prefer.
The thread color for your top and bottom should match to reduce 'pokeys', (when the bobbin thread shows through on your quilt top).
Cutting your fabric on bias will produce a stronger binding, though it's not necessary for straight edges.
It is recommended that you make a bias binding for quilts with scalloped or curved corners.
Some people find that staystitching around the perimeter of the finished quilt before attaching the binding makes the process easier for them.
Most quilter's will prep/piece their binding strips at 2.5".
Binding Amount = L + L +W +W
Quilt Show Tips
Be sure to thoroughly read and follow the instructions provided to you when registering for a quilt show.
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. If your quilt was finished here at Heartbeat, we can find this information for you, if you do not still have your receipt.