Quilt Preparation

General Information

  • Please bring your top, batting and backing as three separate layers. Basting is not necessary for longarm quilting. I have 80/20 batting available for purchase (96″ and 120″ wide).
  • After pressing, lay out all three layers on top of each other for visual reference. Measuring and cutting mistakes happen, this is a quick and easy way to ensure there won’t be unpleasant surprises later on.


Note: In Covid times, please ignore the following instructions on how to fold your layers and transport them on a hanger. Fold them neatly and place them in a container that can be placed on the ground. Please click here for the full Covid-19 Update.


Jump to Preparation Instructions


  • The best way to transport the three layers is on a hanger. Fold all three layers separately, following the instructions in the pictures below. When you fold all three layers lengthwise and put them on a hanger, they will have fewer creases, and I will know which way they are supposed to go on the frame.

Folding 1

Fold in half lengthwise

Folding 2

Fold in half lengthwise again

Folding 3

Repeat until width fits a regular hanger

Folding 4

Place on hanger

Folding 5

Repeat with other two layers

Preparation of the Layers

Quilt Top

  • Your quilt top should be pressed and squared. Stray threads should be cut.
  • Press seams flat. It is not necessary to press all seams open but at thick seam intersections the seam allowances should be fanned. Please click here for instructions on fanning seam allowances.
  • No embellishments such as beads or buttons can be on the quilt top before it is quilted.
  • Please stabilize the edges of the top with stay stitching, making sure that there are no unsecured seams that could unravel.
  • If your quilt top is directional, please mark the top with one safety pin.
  • Please be aware:  Fullness and/or puckers within a quilt and its borders cannot be quilted out. I cannot guarantee that puckers and tucks won’t be sewn in. In some cases fullness in borders may result in the quilt corners not being square. The flatter your quilt top is, the better the finished quilt will be.
  • Correct border construction is very important to achieve a flat quilt top. Please click here for instructions on constructing borders.
  • If you want your quilt to have scalloped edges, please cut them after quilting.
  • Please note that I am no longer accepting quilt tops for longarm quilting that contain a Steam-A-Seam product. Fusible machine appliqué is fine but please choose a fusible product that is less dense and sticky. Quilting over Steam-A-Seam causes skipped stitches and thread breaks, and it is too time-consuming to fix these issues.



  • If you purchase the batting that I have available, I will cut exactly the required length (8” larger than the quilt top).
  • If you bring your own batting, please make sure it is at least 4″ larger than your quilt top on all sides (8″ larger in both width and length)



  • When joining fabric for backing purposes, please trim the selvages. Your backing needs to be pressed and squared as well.
  • Fewer seams are easier to handle on a longarm frame. Extra wide backing with no seams is the best option. If you piece the backing, horizontal seams are preferred. Vertical seams can cause distortion on the rollers of the longarm frame through the bulk they create. Please note: Depending on the design you choose, it might be possible to put your quilt top on the frame sideways and quilt from top to bottom instead from left to right. Take this into consideration when piecing your backing.
  • When joining backing fabric set your machine to a lower stitch length (approx. 1.5 mm). Press seams open.
  • It is not possible to center the top over the backing in both directions. A backing with a border for example is likely to be “off” in the final product which is why it is better to just use a single piece of fabric for backing.
  • Your backing needs to be about 6” larger than your quilt top on all sides to be attached to the rollers of the longarm frame. For example if your quilt top measures 90” x 60”, your backing should measure approx. 102” x 72”.
  • Please note: Bedsheets will not be accepted as backing fabric. They are usually thin and have a rather high thread count which means the needle will not just push the threads apart but very likely punch holes into the fabric. This will lead to bearding, and you will not be happy with the result.

It is very important that you don’t cut your backing too small. For a more detailed explanation why I ask for 6″ larger all around, please click here.



Header Photo: "Third Weekend in October" Pieced and Quilted by Beatrice Rieske, Design by Ruth Powers of "Innovations"
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