Follow these hints before you send your pieced top to a longarm quilter:
Adding Borders: To prevent wavy border, I recommend following this practice: Measure the width and length of the top in 2-3 places down the middle and six inches from each edge. Take the average of these measurements and cut your border pieces. Pin the border to the top in the middle and on the ends then ease in the border, or stretch if necessary, and continue to pin. It is difficult to hide a wavy border with an edge-to-edge panto.
Buttons, Beads, Rick-rack: Whenever possible please add these to your quilt after it has been quilted. It is very difficult to quilt around buttons, beads, crystals, etc. The hopping foot may not be able to get around certain things leaving larger areas unquilted.
Consider who the quilt is going to be given to, as well as the intended use. If the quilt is for a man, you probably don’t want to use a flowery quilting design. If it is going to be cuddled or tossed around a college dorm room, you probably don’t want it highly quilted. On the other hand, if you make a Double Irish Chain or another design with lots of variation between the color/contrast and you wish to show it in a quilt show, (and your budget can afford it), you might ask your longarm quilter is he/she does custom quilting.
Press your quilt top. The quilting will look much better if the seams are all pressed down and in the right direction.
Trim any threads. Dark threads can show through under a lighter fabric.
Make sure the backing is the proper size. The backing fabric should be at least 3” larger than the quilt top on all sides after squaring. If the batting you choose is extra thick or you want dense quilting, please allow 4” on each side.
Square up the backing.
Backing Fabric: Believe it or not, this is an important decision!
99 percent of the time, it’s best to use a busy, multicolored print for a backing. It’s also best to use the same color thread in the top and the backing, so try to have your backing blend with the top. Stitches will blend into a busy backing fabric more than a plain backing fabric.
Remove selvages from the seams only, For best results, seam the backing with a one-half inch seam, and trim the selvage off. Press the seam open.
The batting needs to be at least 3” larger than the quilt top on all sides.