Preparing Your Quilt
For Long Arm Quilting
Your Quilt Backing
The size of your backing must be 4-6" wider on each side, top and bottom, than your quilt top. (A total of 8-10" larger than your quilt top) If your quilt will have custom quilting that requires ruler work, the backing should be 10-12" larger.
Trim the top and bottom edges of your backing so that they are straight and square. This will allow the backing to be loaded on the frame straight.
Press your backing
Mark the top left edge of the back if it is directional.
If you piece your backing, try to make the seams horizontally. Random piecing is better than a backing that needs specific placing. This requires me to use my math skills (lol)
*Trim threads on top and bottom. Unclipped threads can show through lighter fabrics.
*Make sure all seams are secure.
If you have a lot of seams on the outside, you may want to seam around the entire quilt 1/8" away (i.e. piano key borders). This will secure the seams so that they do not come unsewn.
*Mark the top left edge of your quilt top with a safety pin.
*Press your quilt top
Applying Quilt Borders
It is extremely important that borders are sewn on correctly! If borders are applied without accurate measurements, the top will not lay flat. Otherwise, puckers and pleats may occur when quilted.
1. Measure your pieced top before your borders are added in three separate locations. If the measurements are not equal, calculate the average measurement. Use this measurement to cut your border.
2. Apply your border to the quilt top evenly. Use pins and ease the fabric.
If you piece your backing, I recommend sewing the seams horizontally. In addition, random pieced designs are better than symmetrical designs that require me to use my math skills. It is often difficult to calculate placement when the backing needs to be exactly in one spot.