Please read and follow these simple guidelines to prepare your quilt.
Your quilt top should be a perfect square or rectangle. The edges of your quilt top should all line up and have 90° corners. If the quilt doesn’t have straight edges and correct angles, the backing and batting will not align either. This could lead to insufficient backing fabric to complete the quilt.
All seams should be pressed properly. Pressing to the dark side of the patch or in the direction that allows the quilt to lie flat is perfect. Please make sure that your quilt lies flat when you lay it out.
If it waves or wrinkles when you lay it out, it will wave and wrinkle when I lay it out. These are difficult to manage when quilting and will result in tucks and waves. I don’t steam or iron your quilt top before I load it, it goes straight on and if it’s not flat there will be gathers and tucks in the result.
Your backing fabric is as important as your quilt top. Make sure you buy good quality fabric. If you have to join the fabric, please make a horizontal seam. As the quilt is rolled onto the poles a vertical seam will get bulky and the quilt will not roll evenly resulting in alignment problems.
No basting required
Please don’t baste your quilt – each layer is loaded separately. Here is an example of how I load a quilt:
Which way is up?
Please clearly mark the top and bottom of your quilt top and backing. Which way is up is important to ensure that your quilt top and backing is oriented in the way that you would like it. Generally, this will be obvious, but there are quilt patterns and backings that are not as clear.
Staying on the edge
Seams that meet the edge of the quilt should be backstitched. If you forgot to do this, or couldn’t plan for this eventuality, simply stitch a quarter inch around the entire quilt top. This will ensure that when the quilt is loaded, those blocks that are on the edge don’t stretch, unravel, and mess up your angles.
Loose threads that make it through patchwork end up in the quilting stitches. If they’re at the back, you’ll likely be able to see them on the front when the quilt is done. I’ll remove what I find as I quilt, but I can’t be sure that I’ll get them all, especially on the back. Please check the entire quilttop and snip threads off.
4″ extra each side
It is very important that there is at least 4″ extra on the width and length of the backing fabric. When the layers are stitched together there is movement and shrinkage. The additional allowance will compensate for this.