Being a long-arm machine quilter for over three years,
I have some advice for you before taking or sending your quilt top to be quilted.
I am of the "wash your fabrics first before you start
making your quilt" school. The needle goes through the washed fabrics so
much easier than the unwashed fabrics. Especially if you're making a baby
quilt. You don't even want to know how dirty that warehouse or ship was
before it came into your house. If you want that antique look, you can use
the cotton battings, which are going to shrink whether or not your fabrics
Before you put your borders on be sure to measure through
the middle of your quilt and cut your border strips exactly that measurement
and pin them to the quilt from the middle out taking up any slack. Cut both
the ends the same size and both the sides the same size. As a machine quilter,
the saying "it'll quilt out" doesn't work. I have had to take quilts off the
machine after quilting a few rows realizing there was a lot of slack in the borders.
Then I removed the borders and cut 3 inches out of the border before putting it
back on the machine to complete the quilting.
Sizing the backing fabric of your quilt for machine
quilting is different from hand quilting. We need at least 3Ē all the way
around. That's 6" longer and 6" wider than your quilt top. We use this
space to attach the backing fabric to the canvas rollers on the machine.
There is also some take up of the back if youíre using a puffy batting.
Most machine quilters offer extra-wide backings to be used for your quilt
so you don't even have to piece the back. Back Art is great but we can't
always be sure it's going to match the top evenly lengthwise.
It helps to have your quilt top neatly pressed. Even
though we fold it up and put it in a box for a few weeks before getting to it,
the time it takes to press it is minimal if you've done your job. You may also
find some seams that you may have missed stitching at that time instead of us
finding and having to charge you to fix them. We donít always find those
until the quilt is halfway finished being quilted and then it's too late to
©2003 Adell Davis
Quilting Between Friends
7379 Hopi Trail
Yucca Valley, CA 92284