Guidelines for preparing your quilt for machine quilting:
Whether you are renting time on the Handi-quilter, or want us to do your quilting for you, some basic preparations steps should be followed.
1. The backing and batting must be at least 6" – 8” larger than the quilt top around all four sides. I need this to ensure that everything can be loaded onto the machine properly and to compensate for any shrinkage that occurs due to quilting.
2. If your back is pieced, the selvages must be removed and the seams trimmed to 1/4" and pressed open.
3. Backing and batting must be square with straight edges.
4. Please, do not pin the layers together.
5. If your quilt has scalloped edges, cut the scallops after the quilt is quilted.
6. Do not sew buttons or beads on the quilt top until after it is quilted. If your quilt comes to us with buttons or beads you run the risk of us cutting them off or the machine breaking them. It takes extra time to deal with them.
7. Measure the size of your quilt top. This will help you determine the cost for us to do your quilting, or help you approximate the time it will take to quilt the top yourself.
8. Choose or create an appropriate quilt back. A good backing material complements the front of the quilt. It is possible to purchase extra wide material specifically designed for quilt backs. The back can be pieced if needed, but it is a good idea to keep the number of seams to a minimum. Batiks or sheets may not be used as backing material on the long arm machine.
9. Measure your quilt back. The back must be at least 6 inches longer and 8 inches wider than the quilt top (front of the quilt).
10. Check your quilt to see if it is flat and squared off. Lay your top on a flat surface (usually the floor for a large quilt) and see if the borders lie flat without ripples. If your quilt is not flat, be aware that there may be some gathering of the material either on the front or the back when it is quilted. We cannot guarantee a gather-free quilt unless the top is flat and square.
11. Check for any loose seams and correct them before quilting. This is particularly important around the edges of the quilt. The machine creates some tension on the quilt and there is a chance seams may pull open, if they are not secure along the edges.
12. If you want to use batting other than what we can provide at a reasonable price, call and check first. We want you to be happy with the results of your quilting. Some types of batting work better than others and we can make suggestions. If you are supplying the batting, it must be at least 6 inches longer and 8 inches wider than the quilt top (front of the quilt).
13. Fullness Disclaimer – Fullness and/or puckers within a quilt and its borders cannot be quilted out. We can not guarantee that puckers and tucks won’t be sewn in. In some cases excessive fullness in borders may result in the quilt corners not being square. The flatter your quilt top, the better the finished quilt will be.
Mechanical Disclaimer – Please be aware that sewing machines including longarms are mechanical devices. Although we do our best to ensure perfect results every time, on very rare occasions mechanical problems can occur which may cause minor damage to a quilt top and/or backing.
If you have questions or need an estimate, please contact us regarding our machine quilting service.