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How to prepare your quilt

In just a few simple steps you can ensure your quilt is properly prepared for longarm quilting.

  • Press quilt top and remove all loose threads.   

  • Ensure all seams are secure.

        – If you have any doubt about seams at the edge of your quilt, stay stitch 1/8” from edge just to be sure.

  • Square up top and backing.

  • If you piece your backing, use ½” seams and if possible press the seams open!

       – Not what we patchworkers are used to but the less bulk there is, the happier the machine is.

  • Have your wadding and backing material at least 4” larger than your quilt top on all sides, ie; 8” longer and wider than top.

  • No need to pin or baste

       – keep all layers separate.

  • Label top edge of quilt and backing if the pattern is directional, even if it's obvious.


When adding your borders measure your quilt through the centre as well as each side both horizontally and vertically and calculate the average.
This will give a more accurate measurement of your quilt top, particularly if there are any bias edges on the outer edge of your quilt. These can stretch so easily and alter the squareness of your quilt top. Have a look at the diagram below for reference.

Recap: Measure carefully, pin borders onto top laying it out on a flat surface – not just at the sewing machine!

Ask me how I know? I have a few wall hangings that refuse to lie flat.

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