At Longarm Magic we offer a complete range of quilt-finishing services, starting with economical edge-to-edge continuous line/meanders. Our, combine our edge-to-edge with standard or custom borders, piece-matched block quilting, custom patterns from your art/photos/designs, and color matched bindings!
Preparing Your Quilt
Note: Your quilt will be quilted in the condition it is received and will be as free of puckers, pleats, and tucks as your piecing will allow.
Press your quilt top. Make sure all loose threads are removed from the front: trailing dark threads can really detract from the quilt if they are caught between layers. Are all your seams sewn together with no holes or gaps? Did you have pieces that you had to ease in to make them fit? If so they may not be able to be quilted without creating puckers in the quilt.
Do your borders lay flat or are they wavy? If wavy, see below for how to properly attach borders.
Turn your quilt top over and check the back. Are there any dark threads that need to be trimmed? If your quilt has light areas, those dark threads can really detract from the finished product. Make sure that the top edge of your quilt is square. Then mark the TOP side of your quilt (where it would lie on the bed) with a piece of paper marked “TOP”. Attach the paper to the top of your quilt with a safety pin.
Be sure your top is well-sewn and has no pulled apart seams. Please baste your edges all around the quilt within the quilt seam allowance. There will be an additional charge of $20/hour if repairs need to be made to your top to prepare it for quilting.
Keep in mind that you can use the back of the quilt as a “second quilt top”. If all the threads are tied neatly and everything has been tucked under properly, then often the back looks nearly as good as the front. So if you have a brightly colored quilt top, perhaps choose a simple backing color such as a beautiful warm red or a soothing green and get two quilts instead of one!
Your backing should be 100% cotton. Sheets are not appropriate for quilt backings. If you have had to piece your backing together, make sure that you remove the selvages on the seams. Press all seams open.
Cut your backing and batting at least 8″ larger than your quilt top (4 “ on all four sides). Cut them as square as possible. If folded in half and laid on a flat surface, you should have 90 degree corners. It is helpful when you are piecing the backing that all pieces are the same length and edges are square. I can square your backing for you for $10.00. Be sure to allow extra fabric for this.
While polyester and sometimes wool have their place in certain quilting applications, I make it simple: needle-punched cotton is Longarm Magic’s preferred batting. Cotton is natural and easy to work with, and you are often more able to achieve a more even look using it. It will not separate or bunch either durng the quilting process or over time, it will not ‘beard’ (work its way through the quilt-top or backing fabric) as some synthetics might.
Attaching borders correctly to your quilt top is very important. If not attached properly, you may find that you have wavy or bad fitting borders that may cause tucks and puckers when quilted.
CUTTING FABRIC FOR BORDERS
If you need to piece your fabric for the correct length, do so at an angle. This will be less noticeable. The borders should be attached to the sides of your quilt first. Attach top and bottom borders last.
1. Measure across the center and each side of the quilt from top to bottom. Take the average of these 3 measurements. Cut strips of fabric for the side borders.
2. Match the center of your quilt top, with wrong sides together,with the center of your border strip and place a pin at the center and at each corner. Pin between these three pins and ease in fabric. Sew your border in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
3. Press the seams after sewing on the side borders. The seams should be pressed towards the dark fabric. Using a square, trim off any excess fabric on both ends of the side borders.
4. Square the corners before measuring for the top and bottom borders.
5. Measure and attach the top and bottom borders in the same way as the side borders.