Frequently Asked Questions


Why is it so important to measure borders before they are sewn onto a quilt?
This is one of the single most important things you can do when constructing your quilt to ensure a finished product that you'll be happy with.  Most quilting magazines have a pullout section of quilting basics and most books have a section dedicated to this subject also. 
  1. Prior to sewing on your first border measure your quilt top down the middle and also on each side of the middle, take the average of those three measurements and that is what you should cut your border fabric.  For example:  your 3 measurements equal 70 down the middle and 70 1/2 on each side of that, cut your border strip 70 1/4.
  2. Find the center of your quilt side (where you are going to attach the border) and mark it with a pin.  Do the same for the border fabric.  Pin your border to your quilt working outward from the center to the ends.  Stitch.
  3. Press seams toward the border.
  4. Repeat with each remaining side.
  5. As you sew on multiple borders your quilt will need to be remeasured before starting a new set.
If you sew the border strip onto your quilt and then cut off the excess fabric you will end up with a quilt that has ruffled borders that will NOT quilt out.

How do I prepare my backing for machine quilting?
This is a 5 step process.
  1. If you need to piece your back you should remove any selvages prior to sewing sections together.
  2. Seams should be pressed open and lie flat.
  3. It should be 6" larger overall  than your quilt top.
  4. The sides should be trimmed evenly and square (no jagged edges or sections that are longer than other sections)
  5. It should be pressed and free of wrinkles.

How much larger should my backing and batting be than the quilt top?
Your backing and batting should be at least 3" larger on each side than your quilt top.  Example, your quilt top measures 60" x 80" therefore your backing and batting should each measure 66" x 86".

Should I press my quilt top and back prior to having it quilted?
Definitely, it is actually best if you press as you sew on your quilt top and then give it a final pressing when finished.  Your backing should also be pressed especially if it is heavily wrinkled.  You should also press open any seam allowances in the backing.

How do I calculate square inches?
You calculate square inches by multiplying the width by length.  For example if your quilt measures 60" wide by 72" long then it would be equal to 4320 square inches.  This measurement would then be multipied by the price per square inch (ppsi) to calculate the cost of machine quilting before thread, batting and tax are added on.  Therfore a quilt measuring 60" x 72" would cost $43.20 with meandering, $64.80 with a pantograph and $86.40 & up depending on the type of custom work you want to have done.

How do I determine which batting is best for my quilt?
This is a personal decision based on the finished look you want to achieve.  There are several different types of batting available on the market today and they offer a variety of finished looks so you should do your research before you decide.
  1. 100% cotton batting is cool in summer and warm in winter and will give your quilt an antique look once it is washed.
  2. 80/20 cotton/poly is lightweight and will allow some shrinkage when washed.
  3. 100% Polyester is lightweight and will keep that smooth polished look even after it's washed (particularly if you pre-wash your fabrics).
  4. Wool is warm and good in cooler climates.
I carry some batting on the bolt see "Pricing" for a full list.

For those crafters out there I also have Warm Tator and I sell it by the yard.

If you want to piece leftover batting together to make one larger piece you can do that as follows:
  1. Ensure all batting is same type, thickness and/or brand.
  2. Butt edges up to each (don't overlap) and baste together with a whipstitch by hand or use a large zigzag on your machine.
  3. Trim all edges even when finished sewing pieces together.

What color thread should I choose?
That depends on a couple of important questions.
  1. How much do you want to see the quilting design?
  2. Do you want a contrasting thread color?
  3. How busy is your fabric and/or quilt top?
If you have a quilt with very busy fabrics and lots of colors chances are most threads and designs won't show up in great detail unless you use a bold contrasting color.

Unless you tell me you have a specific color in mind or you want a high contrast I will choose a color that I feel compliments your top the best.

Should I baste the 3 layers of my quilt together prior to bringing it to you?
No, I need to load each layer onto my machine separately so they should remain apart.

Can I add a label to my backing prior to having it quilted?
Yes, this is not a problem for me.  Be sure to place it within the boundaries of the quilt top not the backing or it may end up half on and half off the quilt when finished.

Are long-arm quilters magicians?
*LOL*  Unfortunately no we are not.  I do my best to enhance your quilt but the real magic begins at home with you the sewer.  Trimming threads, pressing seams, measuring & cutting borders all go a long way in helping turn your quilt top into a lasting heirloom to be enjoyed by many generations.  Happy Quilting!