Quilt and Binding Preparation Checklist
o No Basting – Good news! There is no need to baste your top, wadding and backing, as each layer is attached to the long arm quilting machine separately. If you have a quilt that you have already basted together in the past, which you now intend to have long arm quilted, you will need to remove the basting stitches or pins before you hand it over for the best results. If required this can be done for a small fee.
o Backing fabric dimensions – your backing fabric will need to be at least 8” wider and 8” longer than your quilt top. This allows the quilting frame clamps to keep it taut to prevent tucks and to keep the stitching even right up to the edge. (See this article for further information).
o Backing Fabric – There are a range of extra wide 108” backing fabrics available at quilt shops and online and these provide a back without having any seams on it. I have a small selection available that may be suitable for your project. Alternatively, piece together your backing fabric with a ½” seam (preferably with a horizontal seam), removing the selvedge edges, and press these seams open. To ensure your quilt drapes nicely, square up your backing fabric beforehand.
o Wadding dimensions – your wadding will need to be at least 6” wider and 6” longer than your quilt top. During the quilting process the wadding and the fabric will be drawn in slightly, so a little extra is required to accommodate this. (See this article for further information).
o Wadding Choice – there are a range of waddings on the market, all of which I am happy to work with. I can provide wadding ( Hobbs 80/20, Hobbs Polydown) if required at an additional cost. Different waddings will offer different results, please consult the manufacturers guidelines to understand the shrinkage rates for washing and the maximum distance required between stitches.
o Press your quilt top and backing fabric – press your seams flat and make sure your quilt is delivered at its best. As you press your quilt remove any loose threads on the top of the quilt, as these can get stitched into the quilting.
o Trim loose threads – Check the front and the back of the quilt top for loose threads. Stray threads can get stitched into the quilting, usually in the most inappropriate place. In particular, light coloured fabrics will allow any untrimmed dark threads to show through.
o Embellishments – If you intend to add buttons, beads or sequins to your quilt top, please do this once it has been quilted. Any embellishments or pins left on the quilt can damage the long arm quilting machine.