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Prepare your Quilt

Every long arm quilter will have slightly different requirements for preparing quilts to be loaded on their machines. Whether or not you choose to send your quilts to me for finishing, I hope that you will find these tips helpful. Anything you do to help make your quilt as trouble free to finish as possible will be time well spent for both you and your quilter. Also, many quilters charge extra for performing these services for you, so you can often save money by doing some simple preparation in advance.

Quilting on a long arm frame is very different from quilting on a domestic machine, and as a result, you’ll find that there are many additional steps and watch-outs for you to prepare successfully.  The good news is that you never have to baste again, and once you get the hang of it, preparing your quilts will come more naturally.

Click below to find a great tutorial on how to add borders correctly.

Preparing Your Quilt

   I am looking forward to longarming for you!!  I hope the below directions are helpful.  Of course, if you have any questions, please let me know.


  • Press the quilt top and backing, especially pressing out those hard creases.  There is a charge for me to press your backing or tops. 

  • Your quilt top should be trimmed down to the final finished size.  While I will not trim your Quilt top, once the quilting process is finished, I will be happy to trim your quilt.

  • Please trim all loose threads from the quilt top, on both sides. Dark threads will show through white fabric if not trimmed prior to quilting.

  • If your quilt top does not have an outside border, I ask that you “stay stitch” less than 1/4″ around the edge of your   entire quilt to ensure that the seams do not pull apart.  This stitching will be hidden once your binding is attached to the quilt.

  • Quilt backing must be 10″ longer and 10″ wider than quilt top.  This is needed in order to  attach the backing to the longarm frame.  Also, please remove fabric salvages from your backing.

  • Mark the top of the quilt with a pin and post it note, do this for both the quilt top and the backing if your quilt is directional.

  • For best results, quilt top & backing must be square. It cannot be properly loaded if it’s not square. I cannot accept responsibility for tucks and puckers on quilts or backings that are not squared. 

  • If you are shipping, place all items in a strong plastic bag before placing in the shipping box.  I recommend using            USPS Flat Rate Priority Box or UPS Ground shipping.



I prefer to use the batting I carry as I want to achieve the very best stitch quality on your quilt. If you choose to provide your own, please make sure it is only 5" bigger on all sides and wrinkle free.  There is a $10.00 fee if it needs to be cut to correct size.

I stock the following batting: 

  •    Quilter's Dream 100% Cotton Select (mid loft) in white, Cotton Deluxe in natural, 80/20 in white, 70/30 in natural, Bamboo and Wool


I cannot stress enough that backing must be at least 5" inches larger than the quilt top, on all 4 sides.  (10" width and 10" length) If you send backing that is not large enough, I will not be able to load it to the long arm frame without adding additional yardage.  Wide backing fabric is a fabulous choice for your backing. Back fabric seams should run horizontally  <------------------------> I prefer not to use any backing with more than 2 seams (in the same direction.)  Heavily seamed backing is very difficult and time consuming to load on the frame.  There is a $20 surcharge for any backing with more than 2 seams and I cannot accept responsibility for pleats or tucks that may result from a heavily pieced back! Remember- I can't see the back while I'm quilting.

I trim all quilts at quilt top edge.  If you do not want your quilt trimmed, please let me know.


 We cannot promise absolute perfection since we are human but we always provide the absolute best work possible. Our reputation depends on it.

• If your quilt top and backing are square (or rectangular as the case may be) and the borders lay flat, then we should not have a challenge.• We will talk together throughout the process to make sure that any challenges are communicated and addressed appropriately.

• We respectfully request that you indicate that Quigley's Quilts performed your long-arm quilting if you enter your quilt in a competition. We will provide business cards with full company information.

**What to expect from Quigley's Quilts::• We will use a new needle to perform the long-arm quilting on your project.• Your project will be provided within the timeline specified to you. Our turn around is usually 2-3 weeks. Graduation (April and May) and Christmas (October – December) season may run a couple of weeks longer depending on work volume

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