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Preparing your Quilt for Long Arm Quilting

Linda Simpson came along to the Peterborough Area Day last autumn to share with us her preparation guidelines for tops, backing and wadding.  Long arm quilters may vary in their requirements so this is just a guide – do check with your quilter before sending your precious top away.  Be clear about what you want to achieve to ensure you are delighted with the end result.


The quilt top should have all loose threads removed. 

All folded areas on the quilt must be securely tacked down to avoid the machine foot from getting trapped and causing damage.

The top and the backing should be pressed.

Generally there is no need to sandwich your quilt as this is done on the machine.

Backing and wadding

The backing fabric needs to be good quality cotton, it can be pieced or plain and must be at least 4 inches larger than the quilt top on all sides. The backing should have straight sides and square corners even if the quilt top has shaped edges or rounded corners

The wadding should be the same size as the backing.  Consult your quilter about wadding suitability.


Binding is usually provided at an additional cost, the process is a double fold continuous binding with mitred corners, machine stitched to the top of the quilt and either hand finished or ready for you to slip stitch to the back.  You would need to allow extra fabric for this process.


Quilters will provide a price per square yard for simple - edge to edge designs.  If you require custom quilting including stitch in the ditch, feathers etc. or a border design you will need to agree the details with your chosen quilter.  If you select a specific thread you may find there is a small additional charge.


You can opt to have your quilt basted withlong stitches in a grid pattern ready for you to quilt by hand or machine.  This is a really helpful service if you have a large quilt and limited table top or floor space.