Preparing Your Quilt The Harrogate Quilting Studio

Preapring your quilt

Preparing Your Quilt

For best results, there are some basic do's and dont's to bear in mind before having your quilt top Longarmed:-


  • Please ensure your seams are securely sewn, as the top and back will be stretched across rollers under tension.

  • Trim all the loose threads – any poking through the top are in danger of being caught up in the stitching and any darker threads underneath may show through your quilt top.

  • Press your quilt. The finished quilt will look much nicer if your seams are lying flat – and it reduces the risk of little pockets forming in the quilting.

  • Long arm machines love a square quilt! This applies to the top and the backing.  Both are attached to the frame at a perfect 90˚ angle, so if this is out then the pattern will stitch slightly out too.

  • Your squared up backing needs to be 8" longer and wider than your quilt top (so, a 70" x90" top will require a 78" x 98" backing). This gives us enough spare fabric to attach and clamp it to the machine.

  • If you join your backing fabric, please use a ½" seam allowance, remove the selvedges at the join and press the seam open (a totally alien concept to us patchworkers!). You can leave the selvedges at the outer edges if you wish.

We supply the most fabulous waddings, which quilt really well on the long arm machine, however if you do supply your own wadding please ensure it is 6" longer and wider than the quilt top (so, a 70" x90" top will require 76" x 96" of wadding).


  • Please do not baste your quilt. We attach it to the machine as three separate layers… and will have to charge for unpicking…
    Basting is, in my opinion, the most tedious part of quilting, so relax… have a cuppa… and rejoice in the fact that you don't have to do it!

  • Remember we said the long arm machine loves a square quilt? Well, it hates embellishments! Buttons and beads especially are a big no-no. If you're going to add them, please do so once we've returned the quilt to you.
    Embroidery is fine but, unless they're sewn down (and any flappy edges secured), ribbon and ric rac can be problematic as they can get caught up in the foot.

  • The same rule applies to pins… the machine REALLY hates pins! If your domestic sewing machine catches a pin it will simply snap the needle… on a long arm machine, it can not only snap the needle but can also bend the entire needle bar.
    Please please please remove any pins from your work (apart from the one I'm about to ask you for next)…

  • If your quilt top & bottom are directional, please mark both with a note pinned to the top edge. You may think it's really obvious, but it's worth telling us to be on the safe side.

To find out more, contact Althea 07970 785705 or email