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I will give you suggestions on preparing your backing before you send it to me.
1. Make sure the backing is larger than the top. I need the backing at least 6 to 7inches longer and 8 to 9 inches wider than the top.
2. Measure the quilt top in the center both vertically and horizonally. Use these measurments then add the extra inches to prepare your backing.
I need the extra because the quilt is pinned to leaders on the machine and the sides are clamped so when finished we will have no puckers in the backing. It doesn't matter how large or small the top it they all attach the same way.  Please make sure you backing is large enough it saves us both time.

Preparing your quilt top for Quilting

Please notice on the two pictures below the little bump in the quilt top.  This is what I call fullness, I don't know what else to call it. This is caused by the way the top is pieced.  It is NOT because I have put the quilt on the machine wrong or do not have enough"tension" on the top.  I can't quilt it out, I can't make it go away.  The best I can do it to try not to stitch through it, this isn't always possible, but I try.   (The clamps hold the backing tight not the top.)




This is a picture of the hopping foot as I should see it above the quilt.

If the borders have fullness it will cause problems also. I can't force them to lay flat if you streatched the quilt while sewing the borders on.


This is a picture of the same hopping foot, caught  in the quilt because of a hole in the seam.  Very hard to get out, and almost always puts a hole in the quilt top.

I want you to be happy when you receive your quilt back.  To help me do that  make sure there are no holes in the quilt top.  Cut off any stray threads, they can get caught and pull. Make sure there is nothing sticking up that is in the way of the needle, this includes fabric and the small folded border we use sometimes as a first border.  This can be used it just needs to be basted down, I will be sewing over it, then the basting can be removed. Double check and make sure that all pins in the seams on the back of the quilt top are removed.

Make sure you square up your top before sending it to me..  When I say square  I do not mean 90" by 90".  I need the ends to be even.  If one end sticks out further than the other I don't have a straight edge to pin to the leader.

1)Lay your quilt flat on a bed or floor and see if the blocks lay flat.

2) Press the quilt top making sure seams are flat. This is important and can make a big difference in the look of the finished quilt. THEN Iron from the finished side.

3) Be sure the borders lay flat and are not wavy. The best way to make flat borders is to fold the quilt in half lengthwise and measure the center of the quilt and make the side borders the same length as the center measurement, NOT the edge measurement. After you attach the side borders, fold the quilt in half the other way and measure the crosswise center (including the borders you just put on) and make the other borders the same length as that center measurement, not the edge measurement.

4) I can make your quilt look better if you have prepared your top and backing with care.


Now to work on the backing

1. Your quilt back should be a MINIMUM of 4" bigger than your quilt top on each side. That means a total of at least   8" longer and 8" wider.    This is because I will use that fabric to attach the quilt to the bars and side clamps of their frame. I will also use the side edges to test the tension. new update 7/30/2017   If I have to sew fabric to the sides of your backing to make it big enough to clamp there will be a small charge for this.


2)  If you piece your backing, which is most often the case, make sure to trim the selvages off. Use a 1/2- 5/8" seam and press the seam open. That will minimize the bulk in one area as I the quilt back on the frame and minimizes any resulting waves. Ideally, the quilt back can be loaded so the seam runs parallel to the bars, taking the bulk of the seam out of the equation, but that may not always be possible.

3)Square up your quilt back. You can do this by folding it in quarters and using your rotary cutter and rulers to trim it even. Just make sure the back ends up at least 8 longer and wider than the quilt top.  

4)  And finally press the back.