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How to Prepare Your Quilt for Longarm Machine Quilting

Here are some important tips that everyone should know when preparing a quilt for longarm quilting.

Press Seams: Ensure your seams are flat, avoiding folds and bulges. We love to use the Acorn Easy Press Pen with Fabric Treatment to get crisp, flat seams.

Square it Up: Using a rotary cutter and a long ruler, ensure that your quilt top and backing are square (see below about backing fabric requirements). Find the centre of the quilt top and put a safety pin to mark it. You should find the centre for the side of the quilt that you want loaded onto the longarm bars.

Stay Stitch Quilt Edge: If your quilt has seams around the outer edges, baste through these seams about 1/8th of an inch from the edges to secure any seams on the outer edge. You don’t want them folding back onto the quilt when stitching with the longarm machine.

Trim Threads: Remove any stray threads from the quilt top, both back and front. You don’t want to see coloured threads showing through after you quilt it. Using curved scissors such as the Karen Kay Buckley Curved Scissors makes it easier to trim threads close to the seam.

Prepare Quilt Back: The quilt backing should be 6” larger than the quilt top on all sides. For example, if your quilt top measures 50” x 60” , it requires a backing fabric piece that measures 62”x 72”. Simply add 12” to the width and length of your quilt top. If you are piecing your quilt back, be sure to trim the selvedges off before piecing. Use a 1 /2 inch seam allowance and press the seams open to reduce bulk.

Find the centre of the backing fabric on the 2 edges that will be loaded onto the bars. Pin the centres with a safety pin.

Batting: We offer a variety of Batting Choices for purchase or bring your own. Batting should be the same size as the backing fabric.