Preparing your quilt for longarm topstitching

Preparing your quilt for longarm topstitching

Preparing a quilt for longarm quilting is very different to preparing a quilt for machine quilting so here are some tips on what you need to do. This will also save you money as most longarm quilters will charge you for any addition work they have to perform on a quilt.

  • Press the quilt.
  • You do not need to baste your quilt as the backing and quilt top are put onto separate rollers.
  • If you have a preference identify the top of the quilt by placing a safety pin on the front and back of the quilt.
  • All loose threads need to be trimmed, this is especially important if you have any white fabric as loose threads will show through your fabric.
  • The backing needs to be cut square as it is pinned to a roller.
  • The backing and the batting must be at least 4-6 inches larger than the quilt top on all sides. There are several reasons for this:longarm_0
  • You need around an inch of backing and batting at the top of the quilt before you attach the quilt front.
  • You need extra backing and batting for shrinkage


  • The backing and batting needs to be clamped at the sides to help avoid any puckering on the backside of the quilt. The clamps cannot be near the machine head as this causes damage to the machine.
  • Make sure that all seams are stitched securely otherwise when the fabric is loaded on the machine and is taut the quilt will pull apart.
  • We are unable to quilt with embellishments so it is best to embellish the quilt after it has been topstitched.

Tips when making your quilt:

  • Make sure your seam allowances are accurate. When the quilt is placed on the longarm the fabric is taut so you don’t want it pulling apart.
  • Piecing is very important as we cannot quilt out pleats and wavy borders.
  • your quilt should lay flat when placed on a firm surface, extra fabric will create tucks and pleats.
  • If you quilt does not have borders it would be wise to stay stitch 1/4″ all the way round the quilt as this helps prevents seams from coming apart and stretching of the fabric.