Tamarack Shack Longarm Quiltin


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Tamarack ShackServices → Preparing Your Quilt Top

Preparing Your Quilt Top

No basting required!

That is right, you do not have to baste your quilt tops before bringing it to a longarmer. The roller system on the machine eliminates the need for basting and provides even tension across the quilt top while it is being quilted. No more basting your quilts on the kitchen floor!

When loading a quilt onto a longarm machine it is important that the top and backing be square. Here are some tips for preparing your quilt.

Adding Borders:

The best way to add borders to a quilt top is to measure the top in three places (down the middle and on each edge). Take the average of these measurements and cut your border pieces. Pin the border to the top in the middle and on the ends then ease in the border and continue to pin. By adding the borders in this manner, it reduces the chances of the border fabric being a different length than the center block of the quilt. If the border lengths are different, then the extra fabric in the borders or in the center will pucker during quilting process.

Please take the time to check your quilt top to make sure it is square. After all the hours that go into a quilt another hour to fix a border is well worth it and will result in a flawless quilting job.

Piecing Back Fabric:

When stitching your backing fabric together first trim off selvage, stitch using a ½″ seam allowance, backstitch start and ends of seams, and press seams open.

It is important to make the backing and the batting 6″ to 8″ larger than the top. For example, if the quit top is 86″x98″ then make the backing and batting 92″x104″ minimum. The extra fabric is used to keep the machine head from getting too close to the side clamps. As well the extra length is used to pin the backing to the canvas leaders on the rollers and insures the backing doesn’t run short during the quilting process.