All Quilt Tops Must be:
· Flat - with 1/4" seam allowances. fullness in the quilt or wavy boarders cannot be quilted out & may cause tucks or puckers
· Squared - An out of square top will not roll onto the frame properly. See Squared Up directions below
· Pressed and Free of Threads
· Do not pin, tack or baste your quilt together - just fold
· Do not apply embellishments (trims, notions or decorative items) until after the quilting is completed
· Marked if Directional - Mark the center top edge with a safety pin
All Backings Must be:
· 6-8" Wider & Longer than the Top and Remove all salvages
· Squared, Pressed and Free of Threads
· Marked if Directional
· Do not use sheets for backing fabric. (Causes thread breaks)
Customer Provided Batting Must Be:
· 6-8" Wider and Longer than the Top.
When using dark fabrics for quilt top & backing it is best to use the black batting, if lighter colored batting is used you might have batting fibers showing on the dark backing of the quilt
How to Square Up Your Quilt Backing:
In order to figure out how much backing fabric to buy, start with the measurements of your quilt top. Take these measurements, and add 6-8 inches to the length and the width, plus extra to allow for squaring and shrinkage, the more complex and dense patterns shrink more. If you prewash, buy at least an extra quarter of a yard more than you think you need.
It is very important to square up the backing of your quilt so that it gets loaded onto the quilting machine straight. If your backing edges are uneven, then chances are your backing will get loaded crooked, will roll up crooked, and can cause not only your backing ending up crooked, but also tucks or puckers in the back.
1. Make sure all the wrinkles are pressed out of your backing fabric.
2. Lay it out on the floor or a table that is large enough and fold it in half, selvedge edges together. Smooth it out so that the fold is nice and flat and there are no wrinkles. You can also do this with a helper by holding the fabric up by the selvedges and shifting the layers until the fold hangs straight, but this is usually not practical with a large backing. (This can take some time!)
3. Continue to fold your backing in half and smoothing until you get a width that is small enough to fit your largest cutting mat.
4. Place your cutting mat under a non-selvedge end of your folded backing, and using your ruler and rotary cutter, make a nice straight cut to even up the edges. Repeat for the other end.
5. To square up the selvedge edges, bring the side edges together that you just trimmed, and follow steps 2 -4 above.
6. After squaring your backing, measure it again to make sure that it is a total of 6-8 inches larger than the top.
****You can also square your backing by folding it in half as described in Step 2 above, and then folding it in half again by bringing the non-selvedge edges together to form a "square". Using your mat and rotary cutter, trim the two edges of your backing so that they are nice and square. This method is easier if you have a large backing and are squaring without a helper.****