Friday, December 3, 2010

Martha's Quilting Tips: Preparing Your Quilt for Machine Quilting

As much thought, time, effort, and expense that goes into creating a quilt, taking time to properly prepare your quilt for the quilter is an area I often see neglected.  The following few steps should help you get the best results from your project!

First, the top should be properly squared, straight on all sides and lay flat. Also, clip all loose threads and press seams flat. If the top and bottom of the quilt are different, be sure to attach a note (with a safety pin) to the top to clearly indicate the top of your quilt.

For backing, I always recommend a 100% cotton fabric. I like to stay away from polyester or poly blends, because of their tendency to be stretchy, which can cause puckers. Also, it's best to avoid using bed sheets for backing, because in many cases the weave is too dense. The backing needs to be 8" longer and wider than the quilt top. The extra 8" will give 4 additional inches on all four sides of the quilt top. For example, if your quilt top is 70" x 80" your backing should measure 78" x 88". This allows the quilt to be loaded properly without stretching the top. When piecing a back use a 1/2" seam allowance, remove any selvage and press the seams flat. To avoid having to piece a back you may want to consider using 108" Wide Back Fabrics.

Lastly the batting should be of good quality, and also be 8" longer and wider than the quilt top.

Happy Quilting!  Martha

1 comment:

  1. Love your quilt!
    I've seen some people make tote bags that same way.
    This is all so new to me!
    Thanks for the quilt tips!