Preparing Your Quilt for Machine Quilting

General Information

A printable version of these instructions is available.

The three layers of your quilt will be loaded on the machine independently of one another. Please do not pin or baste them together.

Fullness and puckers pieced in the quilt top or borders cannot always be quilted out. If you take a few precautions while adding borders to your quilt top, you will ensure a nicer finished product that will lay flat and not have puckered or wavy borders.

Applying borders to avoid waves:

Layout your quilt flat.

For side borders, measure the height of the quilt through the centre of the quilt.

Cut your borders to this measured length.

Mark the centre point of each side border.

Pin the borders to the side matching ends and centre, pinning every 2-3 inches.

Sew the borders to the quilt top, gently stretching or easing in any fullness on the quilt top, not the border.

For the top and bottom borders measure the width of the quilt through the centre, and repeat the process for pinning and sewing.

Check the Internet; there are good resources on how to successfully attach borders without waves.

Quilt Top

Your quilt top should be pressed flat, and all of the seams should be flat. Try to avoid pressing a seam in different directions.

There will be a bit of wrinkling during packing for shipment or delivery, but the top will be lightly pressed again before quilting to ensure that it will look its very best.

All loose and stray threads should be clipped. Stray threads may show through on light coloured fabrics.

If your quilt top does not have any borders, please stay stitch around your quilt top to prevent the seams from separating.

Please ensure your borders are flat and square. Refer to the section on how to apply borders to avoid waves.

If there is a definite top end on your quilt top, please mark it as such with either a pinned note, or a piece of masking tape.

Quilt Batting

Please ensure your batting is a minimum of 6-8 inches wider and 8-10 inches longer than your quilt top.

Please ensure that the batting you provide is suitable for machine quilting, and the creases have been dryer fluffed out.

Quilt Backing

If your quilt backing has a top or bottom edge, please mark it as such with either a pinned note, or a piece of masking tape.

Please ensure your backing is a minimum of 6 inches (8 inches is even better) wider and longer than your quilt top.

If your backing looks the same on both sides (i.e. sateen), please mark the side that you wish to be on the outside.

Please ensure that your backing is squared off and ironed.

If piecing your backing, do not include selvage edges in the seam they tend to pull the fabric tighter and will cause a puckering in the area of the pieced seam. If possible please use a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Selvages can be left on the outside edges of the backing fabric – they provide a straight firm edge.

Please do not use bed sheets for backing. Sheets have a higher thread count, and this can cause skipped stitches and tension problems.


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