Machine quilting is the process of stitching your pieced quilt top to a backing with a layer of batting in between, using a decorative quilting pattern. In order to ensure the highest quality finished product, your quilt top and backing should be prepared as follows:
Quilt top and backing must be squared and pressed. Backing must be 8”-10” wider and 8”-10” longer than your quilt top. For example, if your quilt top is 80”x90”, the backing needs to be approximately 89”x99”. There will be a fee for cutting oversized backings to the proper size. Please make sure your backing is squared (the two sides are at right angles to the two ends), the edges are even, and the selvedges have been removed.
Please remove selvedge edges from seams of pieced backings and press seams open) this does not apply to patchwork backings). Do not baste or pin the players of your quilt. If your quilt top or backing has a “top”. Mark it with a safety pin. Some quilting designs are directional.
Quilt top must lie flat and smooth in order to be quilted flat, without possible puckers or pleats. Please make sure your borders are properly measured and sewn on so as not to add extra fullness. The best way to ensure that your borders are the proper length is to MEASURE the center of the quilt (not the edges), and cut the borders to that length, then attach then to the quilt.
Please clip any excess threads and remove all markings from your quilt top. Quilts with any embellishments cannot be quilted.
Tips for Borders and Sashing
In order for your quilt to be flat when it is finished, it is very important to MEASURE everything! Here are some suggestions for sashing and borders:
When cutting sashing and borders, cut the strips with the lengthwise grain of the fabric (not selvedge to selvedge). The lengthwise grain is more stable and is less likely to stretch out of shape.
To determine the length of your sashing pieces, measure the center of your blocks. Be careful not to stretch the blocks out of shape. If necessary, take several measurements and average them. If your blocks are all supposed to be the same size, your sashing pieces should all be the same size! Cut your sashing pieces to the proper length, pin the sashing to the blocks, and ease one or the other if necessary as you sew.
To determine the length of your borders, measure the center of your quilt top in three places and take the average if necessary. If the measurements are not the same or very close, now is the time to figure out how to correct the problem! Cut the side borders to the proper length. Mark the center of each strip and each side of your quilt, use these marks to align the two. Pin the side borders to your quilt top and ease if necessary as you sew them on. Repeat this process for the top and bottom borders, measuring through the center of the quilt top.
DO NOT just sew an unmeasured strip of fabric to the edges of your blocks or quilt top, and then cut off the extra! If you do this, the corners will not be square, and the quilt will not be flat!