Preparing Your Quilt for Machine Quilting


Your top needs to be squared, pressed and free of excess threads.

Every quilt is always lightly pressed before quilting to remove any creases caused by folding. But if excessive pressing needs to be done, there will be an additional $10 charge.

Excess threads left on the back of your quilt are not a big concern unless your quilt has light colored open areas. Medium to dark colored threads left under a light colored fabric will resemble varicose veins... and that's not very pretty.

Beware of wavy borders!  Before you bring in your quilt to be quilted, lay it on a flat surface and make sure your borders lie flat. Measure the outer edges of your quilt, as compared to the measurement taken about 10" down from the outer edge. If the outer edge is more than and inch or two bigger than the inner measurement, you have created a wavy border. Quilts with wavy borders or other areas that will not lie flat require extra work that WILL result in extra charges. Here is an example of a quilt with a very wavy border (one of four). This much fabric was left after easing in all that could be eased in. A "false seam" had to be created and basted down before quilting over it.

Minimal fullness can be eased in without problems, but too much fullness will result in pleats or tucks if additional work is not done to fix the problem areas before quilting. There is a minimum charge of $0.40/sq.ft. to deal with wavy borders and fix each serious problem area that will not lie flat. Wavy borders can be prevented by following the directions on the Quilt-Making Tips page. Fullness within the body of your quilt is caused by blocks which are different sizes. This can be prevented by squaring up your blocks before joining them together.


Your backing needs to be at least 6 inches longer and wider than your top. (That's 3 inches wider on each side.) The extra fabric is needed for loading the quilt on the quilting machine. There are clamps that are attached to the backing to keep it taut and smoothed out. If there are not at least 3 inches of extra backing on each side, then when the machine head is near the edge of the quilt it will hit the clamps and mess up the quilting. If there are less than 3 inches of backing on the sides, then muslin strips will have to be attached to your backing and there is an extra charge for this (depending on the size of the quilt).

The backing should also be squared, pressed and have the selvedges removed.

It is absolutely necessary that your backing be squared up (top and bottom) in order to be loaded onto the quilting machine. If its not square the backing will not be smooth and tucks and wrinkles can be quilted into your quilt. Squaring up a wide backing can be a little tricky. If you are unsure about how to do this, I would be happy to show you how. If it has not been done, and I need to square it up, there will be an additional charge of $5.00-$7.00 for larger quilts.

If you have pieced your back the selvedges need to be removed from seams. It is not necessary to remove them from the outer edges of your backing.

A word of caution about pieced backings. Piecing your backing from leftover fabrics from the top of your quilt is a great way to get rid of excess fabric and looks very pretty on a quilt........ BUT if not done correctly can cause huge problems for your quilt. When piecing your back, please be sure that you cut the fabric along the grain lines. If this isn't done, pieces of your backing can have "saggy" spots that keep it from lying flat. This can cause fabric tucks that are quilted into the back of your quilt, which cannot be prevented.


Your batting, if you supply it, should be at least 6 inches longer and wider and your quilt top.

I reserve the right to reject certain inferior battings, for the sake of your finished quilt! If you've taken the time to purchase good quality fabric for your quilt top and back, please invest in a good quality batting. Your quilt will last much longer with it.

Note: Please do NOT baste or pin the 3 layers of your quilt together.
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Longarm machine quilting, custom-made t-shirt quilts