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Preparing your Quilt for Longarm Quilting

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Press Your Top

Give your quilt top a good pressing. This is an essential part of the quilting process. If your quilt top is not pressed it runs the risk of puckering. Do not skip this step. You put in a lot of hard work, time, and money to create your top and all that can be wasted if ironing is not done.

  • Some, if not most Longarm Quilters will not quilt an unpressed top. They will complete this task for an additional charge.

Don’t Skip the Pressing!

Square Up Your Quilt Top

After pressing, if the piecing was not done correctly, or if it's a strip quilt, square your quilt top.

I have linked a video on how to square your top, or read the blog on " Squaring up your Quilt Top".

Trim all Loose Threads

Make sure to trim all loose threads from your quilt top. Some quilters charge a fee for thread snipping, as well.

  • If you have a light color fabric pieced with dark color fabric, trim the dark threads from the back of your top. The dark thread can sometimes show through the light fabric from your quilt top.

That is not fun!

Measure Your Top

Measure your finished top and give that information to your Longarmer.

Label The Direction of your Quilt Top

If your quilt has a top and bottom direction make sure to add a label with that information. Write top and bottom on two small pieces of paper and safety pin in place for the Longarmer to see.

Provide Enough Backing Fabric

Make sure your back is 4” wider than your top around all sides. An example is 60” x 65” top will need a 68” x 73” backing.

Piecing Your Backing

If applicable piece your quilt backing with horizontal seams, or choose a 108" wide backing. This eliminates piecing!

Press and Square your Quilt Backing

I have linked a video on how to square your backing, or read the blog on "Squaring up Quilt Backing for Longarm Quilting."

Label the Direction of Your Backing

Label top and bottom if your quilt backing has one.

Provide Enough Batting along with the Brand and Type

If you supply your own batting, it needs to be 6” wider than your quilt top on all sides. An example is 60” x 65” quilt top will need 66” by 71” of batting. Make sure your Longarmer knows the type of batting and the brand of batting you will be providing.

Thread Choices and all Other Details

Discuss, with your Longarmer, the type and color of thread you want. And, the type of fabric used for you top and back, if it is not cotton.

After Quilting Options

If you would like your quilt to be trimmed and squared after its quilted, make sure to discuss this with your Longarmer. Let them know if you want it trimmed right to the quilt edge or if you prefer batting left around the quilt edge. Specify that and how much to leave.

Some Longarm Quilter’s offer a binding service. If this is something you are interested in, make sure to discuss this as well.

Shipping your quilt

If your Longarmer is not local prepare to ship your quilt.

1) Fold your top, back, and batting as efficiently as possible and place in a bag. This will help protect the fabric from the environment.

2) Place in a sturdy shipping box. Make sure the box is not too large or too small. Use the Goldilocks Rule, “it’s just right.” The correct box size will keep your quilt safe during the packing and traveling process.

3) Once you have shipped your quilt, let your Longarmer know. And, provide them with the tracking number.

Get excited! Your quilt is one more step closer to snuggling!!

Happy Quilting,

Amber Foret


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