Preparing Your Quilt for Longarming
Batting and backing must be 3-4 inches larger than the quilt top on all four sides and they MUST be square, especially the backing. To ensure that you have the correct amount of batting and backing, measure your quilt, add 8 inches in length and width, and buy your batting and backing based on these measurements. Add an additional few inches to your backing numbers for shrinkage if it using wideback backing.
To square the backing, I recommend tearing at it across the width. If you use extra-wide backing, you should shrink it. Put it through the rinse cycle in your washing machine, then dry it. The wide backings are often not square until you do this, and it will make your quilt wash better later on. Make sure, before you start, that you have enough backing to tear it. Please leave the selvages if it is wide backed. If you piece it, you should cut the selvage off the seamed part, but not the edges. If you buy your backing from the store, I always tear wideback fabric so you can be sure to have enough. If you do not leave a straight edge and there is not much extra, I have a hard time loading it on the frame. It’s also a lot easier for you to tear rather than cut.
Batting must also be square. However, more is not better. Try to get batting that is the correct size for your quilt. You can buy batting by the yard at the store so you get only what you need. If your batting is a lot bigger than the quilt top, especially the width, it creates a lot of extra work for me and a lot of waste for you.
DO NOT SANDWICH YOUR QUILT! Again, it creates a lot of extra work, both for you and far me. One of the advantages of having a quilt done professionally is that you don’t have to do that extra work. If there are pins, you will need to take them out prior to bringing your quilt in for longarm services.
If you follow these guidelines, it keeps it all simple, for you and your longarmer.