Preparing your Quilt

Computerized Long Arm Machine Quilting (and other Treasures)

Here are some suggestions in preparing your project for quilting.  These can keep the extra costs down as well as help ensure a finished project that you will be pleased with and proud to show off.

You may choose for Granny Fay's Closet (or one of it's referrals when needed) to do any preparation such as pressing, squaring, mending seams or trimming threads for an hourly charge. Any quilt accepted that has not been properly prepared will be prepared and the fee associated will be added to the total cost.

Please note - we are not responsible for old fabrics in old quilt tops.  As the quilt tops are gently stretched, some seams or fabrics may give way.  Please check and double check old quilt tops for weak fabric and or seams or we can address this when you bring them in.



  • No buttons, charms, pins, etc. on the quilt top.

  • Trim excess seams or points that can cause undesirable lumps.

  • Eliminate loose threads that can show through the quilt top or backing. 

  • Press Seams Flat.

  • Place a safety pin at the head end of the quilt backing and the pieced quilt top.  Some quilting designs are one way and I need to know what you consider to be the top. 

  • Backing and Batting need to be at least 6 - 8 inches wider AND longer than the quilt top so it can be put into the quilting machine. 

  • Stitch around the outer edge seams of the quilt top.  Your quilt top will be gently pulled during the machine quilting so it lays flat.  This stitching will keep the seams from coming unstitched.  Stitch just less than 1/4" from the outer edge so it won't show when the binding is finished.

  • Each layer  (quilt top, batting, backing) is laid into the quilting machine separately.  Please do NOT baste layers together.

  • Backing must be squared up and selvages removed from any seams that will be quilted over.  Squared backing will have both sides the same length, with 90 degree corners.  Selvages, especially in a backing seam, can cause undesirable pulling and lead to puckering or uneven seams.

  • No bed sheets for backing please. Many wonderful fabrics come in wide widths and can be used for backing. Preferably use the same type of fabric the quilt top is made out of.


• Print or Solid?  To showcase stitching on the back, you could choose a solid fabric and then, in effect, your quilt is “reversible”.  Another common preference is to use a print which hides stitching and any “tie-off knots”.

• 100% cotton is generally preferred, or at least a fabric which has the same fiber content as the top so all fabrics will wear evenly. Some quilter’s prefer other types of backing fabrics.
Use of stretchy fabrics may increase the chances of tucks or puckering during quilting as well as additional prep work to provide stability in the fabric. 

• Remove all selvages

• if piecing the backing, use ½ inch seam allowances, for stability. 

• Cut your backing at least 6 - 8" wider and longer than your quilt top. (4” larger on each side. Example – 60” x 80” quilt top needs a back and batting that is 68” x 88.”) This is a miminum  This allows the project to fit appropriately in the quilting machine.. 

• IF you preshrink your fabric, measure size after it has been pressed.

• Square backing.

• Double check, after squaring, that the backing is indeed large enough by laying it side by side with the top.

• Press backing. (To be sure no pleats or tucks are pressed in at seams, press from the right side*.)

• Mark the “TOP” of the backing on the right side* so any seam(s) on the back or directional backing will be oriented the way you wish in relation to the “TOP” of the quilt.

•  Fold backing carefully to minimize wrinkling.

* The viewable surface when quilt is completed is the right or outside of the back.


We offer quality batting by Hobbs at a competitive price.  You, however, are welcome to provide your own batting as long as it is specifically labeled as “suitable for machine quilting.” Please check with us first if you have some other type of batting in mind.  
•We stock Hobbs 80/20 cotton blend batting in widths of 96", 110" and 120".

• We can purchase other batting as needed such as wool batting or other brands if you have a specific preference.  There may be an additional cost for special orders for batting or  a time delay in receiving special orders.

IF you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call and we'll be happy to help you.


Last Updated:  September 10, 2011