Preparing a quilt top and backing

I do provide a selection of wide backings as well as batting for my customers, but if you are preparing your own backing, please review this article before sending in your quilt and backing.  Thanks!

  1. Preparing quilt top.

So…the quilt top is done! Hurray.  We all know what a great accomplishment that is.  Some of these pieces of art take years for us to finally get around to completing them.  Taking the time to ensure that seams at edges are not coming apart and trimming the loose strings will make the final outcome at the longarm services that much better! If there is a lot of piecing at the outer edges (small blocks?) then run a  tiny (1/8 inch) seam around the very outer edge and no seams will be coming apart and the quilt will remain stable until you get it quilted.


Backing should be 2-3 inches each side wider than the top and 3-4 inches on the top and bottom longer than the quilt top.

That means the backing should be 6 to 8 inches longer and 4 to 6 inches wider than the top.

If it’s larger, that’s fine.  I will put it on the frame to maximize the pieces/remnants of the back you will get back at the end.  Better to have a bit more.  Most quilts are not exactly square so it’s nice to have a bit of working room. If you are going to use the backing to wrap around the top instead of traditional binding, please let me know as well and the quilt will be put in the middle to allow you room to accomplish this.

If you need to piece a backing:-

it is much nicer if you place the seam across the width of the quilt.  The seam  is dealt with once, and is easier to keep straight than to have it running down the back of the entire quilt–although I have done this before and keep an eye to things to try and keep it in the middle (but remember how quilts are not usually perfectly rectangular?).  Some fabric patterns don’t allow this and that’s fine too.

take the selvedge off the 2 pieces of fabric and use a 1/2 inch seam and press it out flat. Ensure you use the correct colour of thread as the backing.    Usually you can take the width of the quilt, add 5 to 6 inches and cut 2 pieces of 44 inch wide fabric.  (usually you can get 84 inches long at least using this method).  If your quilt is longer, then you can either put the seam down the length or add another strip.

I quite often receive “back art” and will center that as well.  So far, at no extra charge.