Preparing Your Quilt

Preparing the Quilt Top, Batting, and Backing

  • The quilt top should have seams pressed flat
  • Check for any loose or unravelling seams and repair
  • Any Decorative embellishments should be added after quilting
  • If Quilt top (or backing) is directional please mark the top edge clearly
  • Batting needs to be 6” total longer and wider than quilt top, 3” larger on all 4 sides
    • Example: a 60” x 80” quilt top needs 66” x 86” batting minimum
  • Backing needs to be 8” total longer and wider than quilt top, 4” larger on all 4 sides
    • Example: a 60” x 80” quilt top needs 68” x 88” backing minimum
    • See attached for an explanation of why this is so important
  • Selvedge edges are OK on outer edges of backing, but should be removed from seams, press any backing seams open
  • Square up the Quilt Backing and press it flat

Why all the extra Fabric?!

  1. I’m not trying to break the Bank
  2. Top and Bottom of backing Fabric is attached to canvas leaders that are attached to the frame.
  3. The sides of the fabric are held with clamps to provide even tension and prevent puckering.
  4. The sewing Head outlined in red is 6 inches wide and must travel off the sides and top of the quilt

Problem & Solution: Scanty Backing

Trouble Ahead! What’s going to happen when the 6” sewing head travels to the edge of the quilt and hits the clamps or pins?


A collision with the clamps, jerking the quilt and distorting the quilting design. The same thing happens when it moves too close to the top or bottom. The sewing head will snag on the safety pins that attach the backing to the canvas from the frame.

The solution is to cut long strips of muslin, sew them onto the backing, press the seams open, square up the backing, then start the original task at hand of loading and quilting your quilt.

But it takes significant time and material for the longarm quilter and added cost to you for getting your quilting done.

Please double check your sizes and provide the right materials to avoid all this rework, wasted time and added cost.


Problem & Solution: Poorly Squared Backing

It is Hip to be Square – Why is it so important to square up your backing?

Poorly Squared backing will sag and pucker when attached to the frame causing issues with thread tension and the risk of puckering to the quilt back.

View this info as a PowerPoint