Preparing your Quilt Top for Quilting

You've spent a lot of time and effort piecing your quilt top. Take a few more minutes of extra time to follow the steps below in order to ensure a beautiful finished piece.

Important Preparation Tips:

  • Press your quilt top and backing.
  • Trim any stray threads on the surface and underside of the top. Be sure to remove dark colored threads on the underside of the quilt top, as they will show through light background fabrics.
  • Your backing and batting must be at least 8 to 12 inches larger than the quilt top. That is, a 4 to 6 inch margin (4 inches is the minimum) is required all around the quilt top.
  • Please be sure to square up the quilt top and backing fabric on all sides to ensure that the quilt will lie flat when loaded onto the quilt frame. The top and bottom of your quilt is pinned to rollers. It will not mount straight if it's not trimmed square. This means 90 degree angles. This is also important for turning the quilt and quilting side borders.
  • If you piece your backing, remove the selvedge edges where seaming to prevent puckering. Please use a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and press backing seams open. Puckers, tucks and wrinkles cannot be quilted out.
  • Do not pin or baste layers together.
  • Mark the top of your quilt top and backing if it is directional.
  • If your quilt back is pieced and needs to be centered, please note that on the backing.
  • If you are planning to bring the backing over to the top to bind the quilt, rather than trim it and put on a separate binding, then it's important to note that also.
  • Think about thread color that will be used for quilting. It will help you decide on your backing fabric. Quilting looks best when using the same color thread on top and bottom. Tone on tone fabrics show off the quilting design beautifully.