Preparing Your Quilt

Now that you have your quilt top completed there are a few things to double check before you bring or ship your quilt to me for quilting. Taking the time to go through this list will help insure the success of your quilt.

Quilt Top
  • Press. Press. Press. This means all seams are pressed flat and in the direction they are supposed to be in. This is especially important where several seams intersect as the lumps are hard to quilt over.
  • Give a final pressing from the front to the whole top just before sending it for quilting to be sure no pleats or tucks are pressed in.
  • Using steam is preferable, but it's your choice.
  • Secure all seams, especially along the edges.
  • Trim all piecing threads. Remove all loose threads from the back and front of the quilt. (Darker frayed strands of your fabric or thread tails left on the quilt may show through lighter fabrics when the stitching compresses the layers together.)
  • Check to make sure borders lie flat and do not ripple. Bumpy or rippled borders cannot be quilted out and made to lie flat so take care when attaching them.
  • Make sure top is square. Measure diagonally in both directions. This measurement should be the same . If it is more than 1 inch, I may have problem loading your quilt top.
  • Make sure all edge seams are secure. Once the quilt is in the machine, I cannot fix these seams so please double check all seams.
  • Mark the TOP of your quilt by pinning a slip of paper labelled “TOP” on that part of your quilt. The top is the edge that will be at the head of the bed or top of a wall hanging.
  • Fold the quilt and backing carefully to prevent wrinkling
Quilt Backing
  • Print or Solid? To showcase stitching on the back choose a solid fabric and then your quilt is “reversible”
  • Another common preference is to use a print which hides stitching and any “tie-off knots” as in 100% cotton is generally preferred, or at least a fabric which has the same fiber content as the top so all fabrics will wear evenly. I have used fleece, Minkee and other stretchy fabrics with success. However, the use of stretchy fabrics may increase the chances of tucks or puckering during quilting.
  • Remove all selvages
  • Use half inch seam allowances, for stability, if piecing the backing.
  • Cut your backing and batting at least 6" wider and longer than your quilt top. (3” larger on each side. Example – 60” x 80” quilt top needs a back and batting that is 66” x 86.”)
  • If you use a stretchy fabric I require 8" wider and longer than your quilt top. (4” larger on each side. Example – 60” x 80” quilt top needs a back and batting that is 68” x 88.”)
  • IF you preshrink your fabric, measure size after it has been pressed.
  • Square backing AND batting.
  • Double check, after squaring, that the backing and batting is indeed large enough by laying them side by side with the top.
  • Press backing. (To be sure no pleats or tucks are pressed in at seams, press from the right side.)
  • Mark the “TOP” of the backing on the right side so any seam(s) on the back or directional backing will be oriented the way you wish in relation to the “TOP” of the quilt.
  • Fold backing carefully to minimize wrinkling.
Please use quality batting and remember what you want in the end result as wool and cotton do not have the same look when finished. Make sure your batting is specifically labelled as “suitable for machine quilting.”
HELP! - My Quilt Top Is Not Perfect

I have quilted some ”less than perfect” tops and was very pleased at how much the stitching enhanced the final product. Is is especially fun to help finish a beginning quilters very first quilt.

So, all is not hopeless even when piecing is not perfect.

Careful construction of your quilt top from the beginning is recommended to help it lie flat. While quilting can enhance an “imperfect” top and even look beautiful when finished, yet only so much fullness in the top or waviness in a border can be “quilted in.” Even then there is no guarantee that there won’t be puckers unless the top is flat, so you may want to carefully consider the construction your next project.



  • Campbell River
  • Comox
  • Courtenay
  • Duncan
  • Hornby Island
  • Ladysmith
  • Lantzville
  • Nanaimo
  • Nanoose Bay
  • Parksville
  • Port Alberni
  • Qualicum Beach
  • Saltspring Island
  • Tofino
  • Ucluelet
  • Victoria