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The Basics of Long Arm Quilting

A quilt has 3 layers, the top, the batting, and the backing. Basically with a home machine, the needle stays in place, and you move the fabric under the needle to place the stitches where you need them. With a Long Arm machine, the fabric stays in place, and the sewing machine moves. You literally draw the stitches with thread by rolling the machine around with handle-bars. Quilters who love to piece tops often seek Long Arm Quilters to complete the quilting process.

How to prep your quilt top...

1. Your backing and batting must be 8 inches larger than quilt top (4" on each side) to allow for stretching of the quilt top when quilted.

2. Always square your quilt top and your quilt backing material. I will be pinning the top and bottom of your quilt to canvas leaders that are attached to rollers. If your quilt is not square, it will not mount straight and therefore you could end up with puckers or little tucks because of excess or uneven fabric. Puckers, tucks and wrinkles cannot be "quilted-out."

3. Press your quilt top and backing. If you have properly pressed during the construction of the quilt top, you will have no problem doing a final pressing. Pressing will make your quilt top quilt more easily and look so much nicer. Also press the backing so that no creases will form on the back.

4. Trim selvage edges.

5. Clip all loose threads that may interfere with the quilting process.

6. Do not pin or baste your quilt together. I will make the “sandwich” when I mount your fabric to the rollers.

7. Mark or label the top of your Quilt Top and the Top of your backing. If your quilt needs to be oriented or centered in a particular way, please give me precise instructions.

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