Tips for Working with a Long Arm Quilter

During the last Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I had the opportunity to talk about how to make the most of your experience with a long arm quilter. As I was typing up some notes for the talk, I realized that I've never shared these tips with all of you!

I want to do the best that I can with every quilt that enters my studio, but I can only control my own work. Here are some tips that help me to do my best work, which will result in both of us being happy!

Preparation:
-Invest in quality fabric, thread and batting: long arm quilting is an investment. Make the most of your investment!

While Piecing the Quilt Top:
Press seams to one side rather than open
Press to the darker fabric whenever possible
Fix any puckers or fullness in the quilt top, including wavy borders
Press the quilt top and stay stitch around the top (1/8" - 1/4" from the raw edge)
Trim loose threads
Mark border scallops (if applicable), but do not cut
Leave off any embellishments

Backing and Batting:
Choose a backing no darker than the lightest fabric in the quilt top
Batting and backing must be at least 6" longer and 6" wider than the quilt top
Use a bleached batting for quilts with a lot of white or light fabric
1 horizontal seam in the backing is preferred, although other pieced backing will be accepted
Remove any selvedges from the seams in the backing fabric
-Selvedges along the edges of the backing may remain
Square up and press your backing - Rip your backing for straight edges!
Do not assume that a backing design can be centered in the finished quilt

Shipping and Delivery:
Press top and backing well
Label the top and bottom of the quilt top and backing
Fold the top and backing around the batting to avoid firm creases
Do not baste the layers!
Place project in a plastic bag to prevent possible water damage from rain when shipping
Include the signed and completed Take In Form and Checklist with your project
Contact me before shipping or delivering
-I prefer shipping without signature required. Please note that requiring a signature upon delivery may result in as many as 3 business days delay in my receipt of your quilt.

Here is a printable version of these notes. This file can also be found on the Long Arm Quilting Services page.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions of tips to add to this list, please leave me a comment!