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Preparing Your Quilt

Below are a list of elements that make my job easier – and your quilt more beautiful.  Some of these (like size of batting and backing) are crucial, while others are not.

  • I’d like to see your quilt–front, back and close-up before you send it (unless we have partnered before).
  • Select your long-arm IQ design pattern. I can help with this but will not make the decision for you.
  • Call or Email to receive an accurate price quote for your specific quilt top, design & optional services.
  • Square your quilt top, press your seams flat, and trim clumps and long unraveled threads. Know that dark threads will show through white fabric and look like unsightly varicose veins on your quilt.
  • PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. If your borders do not lay flat, fix them before you send them to me. They must lay flat to make a nice quilted product.
    • I do use Best Press and can ease in a certain amount of fullness, but it is best to check before you send it over.

  • Square your quilt backing. Backing must be 6 inches wider & longer than your quilt top.
    • Note: This means 3″ on top, 3″ on bottom, 3″ on each side. More is okay but not better.  This is needed for pinning to the canvases at the top and bottom & to allow room for the clamps on the sides that hold the backing in place under the quilt top and batting.
      If you do not have enough backing, add of strips of any fabric as needed to the sides or top & bottom. The 6″ needed for loading will not be quilted so it can be anything.
    • Important: Mark the top of your quilt if it is not obvious. (both top and back if necessary)
      A safety pin or a bit of fabric loosely stitched on or near the top works well.
  • Optional: If you do not purchase from me, provide batting the same size as the backing, i.e. at least 6 (not 12) inches wider and longer than your quilt top.
  • Optional: If you want me to complete your quilt, provide enough fabric to make the binding 2.5 inches wide & 12 inches longer than the distance around your quilt edge (2L + 2W + 12) to allow for corners. I only do hand binding.
  • Squaring means to have a straight fabric edge 90 degrees from the adjoining sides. This will ensure proper alignment of the top and bottom edges of your quilt top and backing when pinned to the longarm canvases. Please read the setup process below to see why this is critical.
  • NoteSquaring the top & backing is NOT the same as squaring the quilt. To square the quilt after longarming before attaching binding, you want the distance from the edge of the quilt to an inner border or row of blocks to be the same all the way around giving the visual effect of being square. Big difference in the case of wonky quilts. BTW, most quilts are a bit wonky somewhere.
  • Keep in mind, as I do that when you send me your quilt top & backing, I am but the framer of your art. I respect that to the fullest! I am not comfortable with the notion of cutting on your fabric. You do your part and I guarantee you I will do mine!
  • For these reasons, I reserve the right to send your top & backing back to you untouched if not properly prepared. In certain cases with your permission, I may choose to do what is essential for an added fee. I minimize my charges for your sake, so it is only fair that I charge you for this extra work.



The guidelines above help me to do my very best quilting your top, but if it is a little off here and there don’t sweat it.  Unless you are wanting me to do a full custom quilt with double batting for a show, the guidelines above can be fudged here and there.

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