Preparing your Quilt

It is very important to prepare your quilt properly before sending it to me. Please read through the following hints and guidelines to help me produce a satisfying finish for your beautiful quilt!

Scheduling quilting:

For any non-custom quilting job such as edge-to-edge or overall design, I schedule on a first come first served basis. However, if you want a custom quilting job, I am currently scheduled three months out. If you wish, before I get your quilt, I can put you on my waiting list and assign you a date I expect to begin quilting your quilt.  For a custom job, I require that you get your quilt to me 2 weeks prior to your assigned date to allow for design planning time. If I don’t get your quilt 2 weeks ahead of your date, I will remove your quilt from the lineup list until I hear from you again.

Borders:

It is very important that all borders lie flat.  You can achieve this by measuring your quilt top and cutting your borders to size.  I measure down the middle of the quilt from top to bottom and cut my borders to that length for the sides. After I attach the side borders, I measure across the middle from left to right and cut my borders to that length for the top and bottom. After cutting the borders, fold the borders in half and quarters and mark the half and the quarter points with pins.  Do the same for the edge of the quilt. Matching the quarter and half points, pin and sew the borders to the edge of the quilt easing as necessary.  When pressing, make sure not to stretch the border fabric, which can cause wavy, distorted borders.

Backing:

Preparing the backing properly is very important! Your backing should measure 8-12 inches longer and 8-12 inches wider than your quilt top. The extra inches are necessary in order for me to be able to properly attach your quilt to my quilting machine.

Make sure you purchase good quality cotton or flannel for your backing.  I will also quilt with Minky or Cuddle fabrics.  I do not suggest you use bed sheets for backing, because bed sheets can shrink wonky and be difficult to square. They also tend to wear out more quickly than high quality quilting fabric and tend to stretch during the quilting process, which will affect the look of the quilt top.  I cannot guarantee the quality of my quilting if you provide a bed sheet as backing.   If you do not have a backing, I am willing to shop for one for you.  I have on hand only a few backings for purchase at cost. I charge $10 for washing and squaring the backing.  If I need to piece the backing, I will charge depending on size.

Extra Wide Backing: If purchasing an extra wide backing, purchase a half a yard extra to allow for shrinkage.  Wash your backing before squaring it. Some quilters suggest tearing the backing instead of cutting it to make it square, but I have found tearing does not always work.

Piecing your Backing: If piecing your backing, please run your seams horizontally to the quilt top. Trim off all selvages to avoid selvage shrinkage and puckering.  To strengthen seams on the back, use half-inch seams and press seams to one side. It may not be possible to line up or center a pieced portion on your backing. Please let me know if this is something you are expecting.

Squaring your backing: This is extremely important!  When loading your quilt backing onto the quilt frame, I line up the center of your backing with the center of my runners.  If the quilt back is not square, it might cause a twist in the backing fabric.  Here is a great demo on squaring your backing made by Leah Day.  She uses a regular size piece of fabric but it is the same process with a larger piece of backing.  Squaring all sides is also important.  If I am custom quilting the borders, I may need to turn the quilt on the frame to do the borders. I will need the backing to be cut at 90-degree angles on all sides.  If I need to square your backing, I charge $10.

Quilt Top:

Check your quilt top to make sure it lies flat on a table, the floor or any other flat surfaceBe sure your borders are not wavy.  If you see extra fabric in some areas, this could cause puckering. Please tell me about these possible trouble spots when you turn in the quilt. If your quilt has no borders, please stay-stitch ¼ inch all the way around the edge of the top to secure the piecing. Press the top and make sure all seams lie flat.  Make sure all seams are sewn and secure to avoid seams getting caught by the longarm during quilting.

Please do not pin, baste or use adhesives to attach the top to the batting and backing.  I need to be able to manipulate all three layers separately to load the longarm. Do not add any embellishments to the quilt top prior to quilting.  Embellishments such as rick rack must be tacked down. I charge extra for this.

Batting:

I keep a supply of batting for purchase.  I carry Quilter’s Dream Wool, Select Cotton, 80/20 and Dream Black.  I carry queen and king size rolls for most batting.  This is high quality batting that leaves little or no lint while quilting. Check my price list for costs.  I will accept batting you provide as long as it measures at least 8 inches bigger than your quilt top.  The only batting I will not quilt on (so far) is Mountain Mist. If I think I will have problems with the batting you provide, I will let you know.

Thread:

I only use high quality thread that I provide.  I currently carry Superior and Glide thread.  These are polyester threads.  If you prefer cotton thread, please let me know so I can order the correct color for your quilt. I only use thread I provide. See pricing for cost of thread.

Final Things:

Safety pin a slip of paper marking the top of your quilt top and quilt backing. I do not trim quilts before returning them to you.  I do not know how you prefer to bind or square your quilt after quilting, and by trimming, I would be limiting your choices.  I do provide binding services if you wish.  See my pricing for costs.

Checklist:

  • Called ahead to schedule an appointment.
  • Top and backing are clean and pressed.
  • Top and backing are properly squared.
  • Backing and batting are a minimum of 8 inches longer and wider than quilt top.
  • Top of back and top are marked.
  • Think about what you would like quilted on your quilt. What look are you going for?
  • Think about thread and batting. Communicate your preferences to me.
  • Your quilt is very important to me. I want you to be happy with the outcome.  The more specifics about your vision you can communicate with me, the happier you will be with the finished product.

karriesquilting@gmail.com

(907) 399-2085

Mailing Address:

PO Box 763

Homer, Alaska 99603

Physical Address:

4620 Natalie Circle 

Homer, Alaska 99603