There are a few things which you can do to prepare your quilt for quilting on the longarm quilting machine. These things not only make life easier for your professional long arm quilter, but can often safe you money too (depending on whether the quilter charges for "preparation time" prior to the quilt being loaded onto the rollers).
1. Ensure that your backing fabric is at least 4" larger on all sides of your quilt top. This is becuase the backing fabric (top and bottom of the quilt) is pinned onto rollers and then attached to clamps on both the left and right sides of the quilt. This keeps your quilt stable whilst being quilted. For example, if your quilt measure 60" X 60" then your backing fabric should be at least 64" square.
2. Make sure that your backing fabric is square and sits flat - no puckers if you have joined your backing. If you have joined your backing, you should always remove the selvages along the seam line. I will ask you at the time of consultation which way you would like your backing fabric to run. Do you want your seam to run down the middle of your quilt or would you like it to go from side to side. Please keep this in mind for directional fabric.
3. When choosing a backing fabric, please take into consideration what colour thread you would like to use on the top of your quilt. I normally like to use the same or a very similar colour thread top and bottom.
4. Wadding, please ensure that your wadding is large enough - for all the same reasons as above. Also if you have joined your wadding, make sure it doesn't have a seam which will be felt through the quilting - just butt the edges together and either hand or machine the pieces together. Another option is to fuse the two pieces together using an iron on interfacing.
5. Most longarm quilters are busy people and time is money. So when presenting your quilt rolled up in a ball in a pastic shopping bag means they will have to iron it and most quilters will charge a fee for this. A better way is to iron your quilt top and backing before it leaves your house.
6. Have a think about what quilting designs you want on your quilt. Is is a present? What sort of things do you like? What colour do you like? Do you like the look of blending threads or contrasting threads? What sort of money do you want to spend - generally speaking, and all over or edge to edge quilting is cheaper than custom quilting. Have a look through my Quilt Patterns pages, these are just some of the patterns available.
7. Remember, if you say "Quilt what you think is best" then you will get what the quilter interprets your quilt top needs, it makes it easier if we have some sort of effect you are looking for. After all, it is your quilt and you have spent a lot of time and money buying the fabrics and making the quilt. (Not every one likes cowboys boots in bright orange thread on their hand priced dresden plate quilt do they).
These are a few suggestions for preparing your quilt top. If you have any questions about the preparation of your quilt, please do not hesitate to contact me to disucss any concerns. You can either call me on (03) 9775 1601 or email me at