The better you prepare your quilt, the better it will be when finished!
Backing (and batting) must extend at least 4" beyond quilt top on all sides!
This means it must measure 8 inches longer and 8 inches wider than your quilt top. For example: if your quilt top measures 60" wide and 80" long, the backing must be 68" wide and 88" long.
If the back is not large enough I cannot attach your quilt to the frame. If your backing is not large enough I can add material to make it work for an extra charge of $10.
Your best choice is a wide width, good quality cotton, or good quality muslin quilt back fabric. Quilt back fabrics come in wide widths so no piecing is required. Low quality backing material is prone to stretching and fold overs. You spend a lot of time and money on the top, please do not scrimp on the backing.
Although I do not recommend it, if you want to use a sheet for the backing, please use a sheet with a thread count no higher than 200. Open up or remove any seams, prewash and dry the sheet to pre-shrink the fabric. The sheet must still be 8 inches longer and wider than the quilt top after washing and drying.
Pieced backings greatly increase the chance for tucks and fold overs on the back. Please use 1/2 inch seams and press the seams open.
- All selvages should be trimmed off prior to piecing.
- Do consider matching the repeats if you have chosen a backing with large motifs. (You will need extra fabric for this.)
- Please be aware I cannot see the back when quilting. I cannot guarantee that the quilt will be perfectly centered or placed with a pieced backing.
- Care must be taken with pieced backs to make sure they are square and flat.
I supply high-quality batting from Quilters Dream at very competitive prices or you may provide your own.
Make sure quilt top is square. If you measure your quilt in all directions there should not be more than a 1/4" difference in any direction. Measurements should be taken at both ends and middle of both length and width and across both diagonals (corner to corner). I can make only minor adjustments to length and width of borders and patterns to compensate for out-of-square quilts. Make sure edges are straight.
Make sure seams are secure. If you have loose seams, the machine will find them! If your top has no borders, stay-stitch 1/4" in all the way around the edge. This keeps the seams from "popping" and prevents stretching. All loose threads should be removed.
Your quilt top should be well pressed. Care should be taken to press seams toward similar colors. If you press a dark colored fabric to a light colored fabric the dark fabric may show through your quilt top.
DO NOT pin, baste, or use adhesives to attach top to batting and backing.
Embellishments: Please wait to add embellishments after quilting. I cannot quilt over them and they may interfere with machine movement.
Prairie Points, Pockets, etc.: If your quilt top has any overlaps, pockets, or other loose fabric it must be temporarily tacked down for quilting.
Directional quilt tops & backs: Mark the top of the quilt so I will know which way the quilting pattern should run. If the backing has a top and bottom, please mark that also. (Safety-pin a note to indicate the top.)
I use only thread I supply that is designed for machine quilting. I use primarily Superior Threads Omni, So Fine and King Tut threads and have many popular colors on hand. I use the same color in the bobbin and top. If quilting with variegated thread, I will match/blend the bobbin thread with the most neutral color in the variegated thread.
By making sure a few things are taken care of ahead of time you can keep your cost down, reduce the time it takes to get your quilt finished, and most importantly, make sure your quilt is a beautiful finished product.