Preparing for Longarming
Getting your project ready to be machine quilted can be super-simple. You can just bring your finished project
to the shop along with your backing. If you do not have backing, I have a wide variety of 108” wide fabric that
would most likely work for you. Of course, you could also use 44”-45” wide fabric, but it would probably have
to be pieced. I find many times that the 108” fabric ends up being less expensive because you don’t have to
buy as much, plus it saves you time. Keep in mind that your backing must be AT LEAST 4” larger than your
pieced top on all sides. (Ex. Your pieced top is 68” X 84”. Your backing must be at least 74” X 92”.) Otherwise,
it makes it very difficult to attach the backing as I have to allow for the clamps.
I would encourage you to purchase your backing fabric either here or at another quilt shop as we will all carry
name-brand, quality fabric. You may pay a bit more, but as they say, the backing is what is going to be next to
you and it should be of good quality and not stiff and scratchy.
If you find that you need to purchase fabric at a discount store, or if you’re going through your grandmother’s
stash, just make sure that you wash it first. The inexpensive no-name fabric is full of sizing which makes it
stiff. Soften it up by washing it. You have put a lot of work into your beautiful quilt top. You should want
your back to be just as nice.
Piecing your backing
Always piece your backing by stitching selvedge edges together. A lot of people say to cut the selvedge off. It
doesn’t matter to me whether or not you do. I’ve never seen any difference either way. Try not to stitch the
other way, which is on the stretch. You will see in figures 1 and 2, the seam is on the selvedge. That’s great! It
provides the stretch going in the other direction. In figure 3, you have selvedge going two different ways. This can pose problems.
You are more than welcome to bring your own batting. If you purchase your batting here, you will receive
10% off it as I will be doing the longarming. I generally use Bosal Katahdin 100% cotton batting.
If we find that the borders on your quilt top are excessively wavy, or if the top does not lay flat, your project
may be rejected. However, we rarely turn any quilt away and will work with you as much as possible to help
ensure you have a beautiful completed project that will last for years to come.