Are you having your quilt top machine quilted? This class will give you all the ins and outs of making sure your quilt is ready for a machine quilter. Marje will review the right questions to ask of a machine quilter to be sure you get the results you want. She will also cover ways to prepare your quilt, if you are quilting it at home.


How long I've quilted

My other background and current endeavors

Where I came from and where I am (samples)

Experience with machine quilting

Organization of talk.

What is longarm quilting vs home machine quilting?

I'm not going to talk (much) about the specifics of layering a quilt for home machine quilting (there are excellent resources available for that).

I'm not going to talk (much) about the quilting process itself for either home or longarm quilting.

I am going to give you information on what you can do with your quilt top, back, batting, etc…. to get ready for machine quilting.

Points may apply to either Longarm quilting or home machine quilting. I will identify where they are specific to one or the other.

Things to do:

The top:

Accurate quilt top construction will make quilting process easier and results better.

The wavy border problem.

Consistent block sizes.

Chose a color of thread that blends with the fabric. Some seams will inevitably be stretched open exposing the piecing thread.

Remove stray threads that might show through other fabrics. Fabric selection and fabric preparation (starch) can lessen this problem.

Secure seams, especially in pieced outside borders. Also look to make sure there are no seams coming apart in interior of the quilt.

Carefully press.

For home quilters, test your marking tools in advance. Marking by quilt top owner most likely not required by LAQ.

Make sure the backing and batting are 4" to 8" bigger than the quilt top.

For home quilters you may want to wrap and baste the back around the outside edge of the quilt to protect the edges of the quilt during quilting.

For LAQ actual size difference is a personal preference. Ask your quilter.

The back:

If a pieced back, try to use same weight and content (ie. cotton) fabric for the entire back.

Different fabric types have different properties: ie. stretch, wearability.

If a pieced back using large pieces, try to have straight of grain going the same direction.

Remove all selvedges from the fabric on the quilt back, preferably before piecing the back.

For LAQ Square up and straighten the back

All corners should be 90°

Top, bottom, sides of quilt should be straight lines.

Carefully press the top

The batting:

Many types available. Batting may have BIG impact on appearance of quilt after quilting.

Dark, neutral, white batting

Chose a batting that is appropriate for amount of quilting to be done (ie.. read label 4" apart, etc….)

Prewash or not prewash - Follow the manufacturers instructions on prewash.

Turning the components over to the LAQ

Label the pieces with your name & phone number

Do not baste or pin the layers together.

Have some idea about what you want done to the quilt. Request brochure with general price info in advance of dropping off quilt.

Consider quilting thread choices.

Things to think about:

Before choosing a LAQ ask to see a sample of his/her work.

Back to front binding - Starts and stops for machine quilting are easily hidden in edges of quilt usually encased in the binding. Not so with back to front binding.

If you really want back to front binding be sure to let the quilter KNOW as it will affect the way the quilter mounts the quilt.

What to expect:

On home machine, straight stitiching like stitch in the ditch may be easiest quilting. Not so on Longarm.

Home machine and LAQ are both hand guided, not computerized quilting.

If you can't meet above suggested guidelines it may impact the finished product.


I have yet to see a quilt top that was not improved by becoming a quilt!

©2002 Marjorie Rhine for Quilt Design NW;