Facts & Tips

Frequently Asked Questions & Tips About Long Arm Quilting

What should I be aware of when choosing my batting and backing?  There are alot of batting types available, when choosing consider durability, shrinkage and warmth.  Some types of batting are just right for a bed quilt but will not be work in a wall quilt.  The backing supports your quilt, therefore stability is important.

How much extra Backing and Batting do I need?  The batting and backing should be a minimum of 6 inches wider and 6 inches longer than the Quilt Top.  Example:  A quill top that is 40″ X 40″ has a batting and backing measuring 46″ X 46″.

Do I need to baste or pin my quilt?  No. The quilt top, backing and batting are loaded on the machine in 3 separate sections.

How do I prepare my quilt for a great looking finished quilt?  Make sure the quilt top is square.  Trim all threads and press your quilt top and backing.


Press quilt seams either to 1 side or open.  Unless the chosen pattern requires the seam to be pressed open, seams that are pressed to 1 side are stronger and wear longer.  

Trim:  Trim all loose threads from the front and back of the quilt top.  Loose threads on the front can be stitched to the top.  Loose threads on the back can shadow through to be seen on the front.  

Square:  Every care is taken to assure a square quilt top remains square after the quilting process is complete.  Bias, outside boarders are best avoided but if the pattern calls for one, staystitch around the edge of the quilt top, then proceed.  We all sometimes have a quilts that is less than perfect and may have fullness or puckers.  

Borders:  Borders are the number one problem for machine quilters. To avoid border problems you should always measure your quilt (take 3 measurements: middle, top, bottom) to see the exact length the borders need to be cut. Pin the borders to the quilt starting in the center of the side you are working with and then sew. This will prevent the fabric from walking due to the feed dogs on your sewing machine and creating fullness in the border or the body of the quilt.

Batting:  Some inexpensive batting does not work well with a long-arm quilting machine.  The color of a batting can change the intensity of a fabric.  For example: a neutral batting color can dull the color of the whites in a quilt.  (I do have batting available)

Backing:  A good quality fabric cut on the “straight of grain” provides stability for the quilt top.  This is especially important for bias cut quilts.  Bed Sheets are not accepted as backing on a Long-Arm, the weave on the sheet is too tight.  The high thread count causes stitches to skip on your quilt.