Quilt Prep

Quilt Top

1.   Check to make sure all seams are sewn securely, especially along the edges.

2.   Clip all thread ends from both front and back of the quilt.  Loose dark colored threads can show through lighter fabric if they are caught between the layers.

3.    Make sure that all the borders lie flat, and that the quilt top is “square.”  (Check the corners with something that has a 90 degree angle, such as a piece of paper or a box.)  The extra fabric that exists in un-square tops, wavy borders or quilts with fullness in the body of the quilt may not be able to be quilted without pleats or puckers.

4.   Press your quilt top well.  All seams should be pressed flat, to one side (not open).

5.   Mark the top edge of your quilt, if you have a preference, by securely pinning on a slip of paper with the word “top” written on it.

6.   Do not add embellishments until after the quilt is quilted.

7.   Do not baste your quilt sandwich.  Each portion is loaded onto the rollers separately.

Backing

1.   Backing must be at least 8 inches longer and wider than the quilt top.  For example, if your quilt top measures 60” x 80” then your backing fabric needs to be at least 68” x 88.” 100% cotton fabric is generally preferred. 
                   
2.   If you need to piece the backing, remove all selvages first, seam with a ½” seam allowance, and press seams open.
                   
3.   Make sure the backing is square. 
                   
4.   The color of the backing fabric should be similar to the top, as the color of the bobbin thread will match the thread used on the top.  A plain fabric will show the stitching, whereas a print will tend to hide it.                                 

5.   Press the backing, and fold carefully to prevent wrinkling or pleating.
                   
6.   Mark the top edge of the backing, if you have a preference, as with the quilt top.

Batting

1.   Batting must be at least 8 inches longer and wider than the quilt top. 
                   
2.   I carry quality 100% cotton batting, a cotton-poly blend, and a very nice polyester batting, which I will provide at a very reasonable price. 
                   
3.   If you want to supply your own batting, please use a very good quality batting, and send or bring the packaging along with your quilt top and backing.

Help!  My quilt top is not perfect.

I have quilted some “less than perfect” tops, and was pleased at how much the quilting enhanced the finished quilt.  So, all is not hopeless even when the piecing is not perfect. 
             
However, while quilting can enhance an “imperfect” top, and can help it to even look beautiful when finished, only so much fullness in the top, or waviness in the borders can be “quilted in.”  Even then, there is no guarantee that there won’t be puckers or pleats unless the top is flat.