For the best possible results, you will need to first do some simple things before giving me your quilt tops.
Your backing should be 4 to 6 inches larger than the top on each of the four sides. It is very important to have the extra on all sides of your quilt backing while it is loaded onto the quilting frame.
Please snip loose threads from the back and front of your quilt top. Dark threads may show through lighter fabrics and cause "shadows". Those threads that have come through seams on the top may catch on the longarm machine and cause problems while quilting.
Press your top and backing and make sure all seams are pressed flat. Especially make sure you press the crease on the backing fabric where it is folded on the bolt. If the top is not pressed before I get it, I will need to charge for the time it takes to press seams flat and take out heavy creases (this includes backing fabric as well). I will always consult with you before charging for this service.
Do not pin, baste or use spray adhesive to create the quilt "sandwich". I load each piece separately onto the quilt frame so they should all come to me separately.
Please indicate the top of your quilt and the top of your backing if the direction is important.
If your backing is seamed in any way, please remove all selvages from the seams. The selvage is woven tighter than the rest of the fabric and may cause puckering, is hard on the needle and will shrink at a different rate. You may leave the selvages that are on the edges of backing (will not be quilted inside the quilt), in fact they make it easier for me to load the quilt square.
Please make sure both your quilt top and backing are square and lay flat. It is very important for your quilts to be square and lay flat. If they are not, this could cause pleats or puckering in your quilts when I quilt it. Ask me how to measure and put on borders which eliminate those wavy borders.
If you are providing your own batting, please make sure the batting is 4 to 6 inches larger than the top on all four sides. You are always welcome to use my batting since it comes on a large roll and does not have the creases that packaged batting has.
It is not necessary, but it may help to stay-stitch 1/4" around the edge of your quilt top to help prevent stretching while quilting. This especially helps if you're borders are pieced. The stay stitch will help keep those seams from opening up on the edge of your quilt top.
Always remember that quilting, especially dense quilting, will shrink your quilt by at least 5%. If you are measuring your top for a specific length and width, make sure you make it an inch or two more to compensate for the shrinkage.