A long arm quilting machine is a very large sewing machine that sit on wheels which move on rails. The rails run the length of a very long table/frame. The quilt top, batting and back are attached separately to roller bars on the frame. The long arm quilter can then guide the machine, quilting in all directions across the quilt at thousands of stitches per minute. Long arm quilting will give your quilt a professional finish leaving you more time to start your next project.
How to prepare your quilt for long arm quilting.
- For the best results it is important to square, trim and press for each step of your quilt making.
- Check for a full 1/4” seam allowance and make sure it is pressed in one direction, this is especially important for stitching in the ditch.
- On a borderless quilt, back stitch all outer edge seams or stay stitch entire outer edge. This prevents edges from opening in the quilting process.
- Trim and remove all threads, especially if your background is light coloured, this will prevent varicose threads.
- Press your entire quilt top from the front and if it is directional mark the top.
Wavy borders are a long arm quilter’s nightmare!!!
- Measure your well pressed quilt top in three places and calculate the average.
- Cut your borders to that length.
- Mark the middle and quarter sections on both quilt top and border.
- Pin, and sew with a walking foot if possible, easing in any fullness.
- Repeat for borders on top and bottom of quilt.
- Please use a good quality and cut 3-4 inches larger than quilt top on all sides.
- Should be square and 4 inches larger than quilt top on all sides.
- Any seams on the back should be a ½ inch and pressed open. For the best results seams should run horizontally across the back. All selvages should be removed as they do not have the same give as the rest of the fabric.
- Think about the colour of thread you would like to use for quilting when choosing your back, especially if you do not want it to be high contrast.
- If you are attempting to use the leftover quilt blocks or any other type of back art, make sure it is placed off centre. A long arm quilter cannot see the back unless she crawls under the machine; once the quilting starts it is impossible to guarantee having your top centred over your pieced back. If you need to increase the size of your back, rather than put borders on the outside edge , consider putting them on one side and across the top or slice your back off-centre and insert your extra width.
Services provided by a Long Arm Quilter
If you wish to hand quilt your quilt, I can baste your quilt to stabilize it.
Edge to Edge
Edge to edge or pantograph quilting is one design quilted over the entire quilt top regardless of borders. I have a variety of patterns/pantographs to choose from and together we will choose a pattern that will enhance your quilt. These patterns vary from very simple to complex and are priced accordingly. This type of quilting is the choice of most quilters as it is budget friendly.
Meandering is a random design that can vary in size. It can be quilted over the entire quilt or only in sections to enhance a design. It is quilted freehand by the quilter.
Custom quilting consists of different co-ordinating designs and motifs placed on your quilt top to enhance your design. Examples include piano key or swag borders, feathered borders, feathered wreaths, continuous curve, appliqué outline and background meander, ruler work, cross hatching and stitch in the ditch.
I would be pleased to turn your unfinished top into a quilted treasure for you and your family to love and cherish.
Please contact me at if you have any questions.