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How to Prep Your Quilt for Longarm Quilting

Tips for getting your quilt ready for longarm quilting

The holidays are around the corner and we’re headed into prime longarming season! Our team is comprised of several talented longarmers, five dedicated machines and tens of thousands available longarm designs. No other shop offers full service longarming like Quilters Quest. We pride ourselves on our unique conveyor system (think similar to a dry cleaner!) where we can organize, store, and manage over 460 quilts packaged in individual garment bags to keep your quilts clean. Our resident quilting expert, Robert Cornella AKA Longarm Bob has worked on and quilted more than 12,000 quilts! We offer beautiful edge to edge quilting services (unfortunately, we do not offer custom quilting any more) and a variety of finishing services to make completing your quilt projects a breeze!

We are sharing some quick and easy tips for getting your quilt ready for our longarm services.

First things first, when you’re ready to bring your quilt in, complete the Longarm Information Sheet. If you don’t have a printer, we have printed copies available in store.

Please note that you will be given a “target” date for expected longarm completion. This is an informational date, not a promised date; however, if you need your quilt by a specific date, we will get it done for you!

Following the Longarm Information Sheet, let’s walk you through all the things you’ll need to consider, prior to bringing your quilt in.
  1. Press the quilt top. Ensure that your quilt top is clean and trim any loose threads. Press your quilt top with an iron to remove wrinkles and creases. A smooth surface is ideal for longarming. Please, make certain there are no open seams.
  2. Measure the quilt top. Measure the width and length of your quilt top. This is important to determine how much backing you will need. Is the quilt top directional? If so, mark the top.
  3. Piece or cut the backing fabric. Your backing needs to be at least 3” larger than the quilt top all around for quilting cotton fabric. If you’re using cuddle, flannel, or minkee for the backing, the piece needs to be at least 4” all the way around. For example, if your quilt is 60” wide x 72” long, your cotton backing would need to be 66” wide x 78” long OR your cuddle/flannel/minkee backing would need to be 68” wide x 80” wide.
    • The extra fabric allows for clamping the backing to the longarm.
    • If your backing is pieced, press the backing.
    • Is the backing directional? If so, mark which side is the top. If you run out of time (or steam!) Quilters Quest also offers backing services. We can construct your backing for you at a nominal charge.
    • Select your batting. Will you bring your own batting or purchase from Quilters Quest? We have a large selection of Quilters Dream cotton batting available! We also offer Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting on a roll and you are only charged for what is actually used. If you have a very specific batting preference, you can include it with your quilt.
    • When selecting batting, consider loft (how puffy you want your quilt to be), use (will this be a quilt for display or will you be using it as a bed covering)
  4. Select your thread. Do you want the quilting to blend in or pop?
    • Select a complementary thread color if you want the quilting to blend in. Select a contrasting thread color for a pop! Additionally, would you like a variegated (thread color changes throughout) or a solid (thread color is the same throughout) thread? We have more than 350 threads to choose from!
    • Determine your quilting design preferences. What kind of design do you want quilted? Geometric, floral, we even have animals! We have more than 30,000 designs available to choose from! You can view some popular edge to edge design selection options here.
    • How densely would you like the quilt to be quilted? More quilting will make the quilt stiffer, while less quilting will allow for more draping.
  5. Trimming the quilt sandwich Once we complete the quilting, would you like us to trim the quilt sandwich? This means all you would need to do once you have the quilt is add the binding and your quilt is complete!
  6. Binding If binding is not your favorite thing, we also offer a binding service! This means when you pick up your quilt, it will be completely done, binding and all! We offer both machine and hand binding. You can supply the fabric for the binding or ask us to select a complementary fabric.
We hope this helps answer any questions you may have about longarming! As always, feel free to email, call, or visit us in person with any additional questions! Don’t delay! The last day for Holiday 2023 delivery of longarmed quilts is October 15th!