No matter what, your backing MUST BE 4-5" larger than your quilt top, on ALL sides. So, if your quilt top measures 50" x 50", your backing must be at least 58" x 58". The extra backing is needed because of the loading process, to do thread tension testing, and also to insure that the machine doesn't bump into the side clamps that are supporting your quilt.
Your backing MUST BE SQUARE. I need straight edges in order to attach the backing to the rollers. If the selvage edge is on the outside, I can use that as a straight line, but please do not leave jagged edges. If the backing is not square, it can cause there to be pleats in the backing.
Please do not make backings that need to be matched with the center of the quilt top. As this may not be possible. Remember that on a long arm machine we quilt from the top to the bottom. So, if there is a design on the back I will get it somewhere near the center.
Remove selvage edges before piecing (unless the selvages are on the outside). Selvages are the tightest weave of the fabric without any give, and leaving them on can create puckers and inconsistent seams. They can also cause pulled threads in that area if the needle hits them in the wrong place.
Use a 1/2" seam allowance when using large sections of fabric. However, if your backing is scrappy, normal 1/4" quilt seams are fine.
Press your backing flat, from the back, so you can direct the seams correctly.
If the back has a definite "top" edge, please pin a note. This will help me to make sure that I have it going the correct way. Some fabric are not obvisouly directional, but may have a sutle direction.
I carry Dream Cotton batting which is of good quality. The cost is on my price list if you want to purchase it from me. If there is a specific type of batting you want please let me know and I will do my best to get it for you.
You can provide the batting if you prefer. But please remember that not all batting is the same. If the batting is uneven it will cause an uneven stitch.
Quilting thread for a long arm machine is different. I have a variety of threads that I use depending on what your quilt needs.
If you have a specific thread you would me to use, please let me know. I will do my best to use it or match it.
Your quilt top must be square to be loaded and quilted successfully. Measure the opposite sides of your quilt to see how closely they match. If the opposite sides are off by more than 1-2", you may want to correct this before having it quilted. If not it will more than likely be returned to you a little wonky.
Embellishing your quilt top with beads, buttons, and other objects should be done after quilting. I cannot quilt through them and they can prevent the quilt from being loaded flat and square.
Press your top flat, from back, so you can direct the seams correctly. ( Large hard lumps can cause issues when quilting)
Trim any loose threads, especially those that may show under lighter areas of your blocks.
Inspect your quilt top for any seams which have come loose, and repair them. Also check for puckers. These can get caught in the foot of the machine and cause the top to tear or rip.
Please pin a note on the top edge of the quilt if it needs to be directional.
If your quilt top has embroidery, applique, or folded fabric techniques such as prairie points or pleats. Please be sure to let me know if it is okay to stitch over them.
DO NOT layer your quilt top, batting, and backing together, pin, or baste them in any way. The quilt gets loaded on three separate roller bars, and I can not load the quilt if it has been basted. I will need to take it apart, which requires extra time.
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