BACKING AND BATTING
You do not need to baste your quilt layers together, as each layer is loaded separately on to my longarm frame.
I require the backing & batting to be at least 3 - 4" extra ON ALL SIDES
Smaller quilts require only 3" extra on each side. But larger quilts (queen and king) need to be at least 4" larger on all 4 sides.
This means, for baby to large lap quilts, your backing and batting need to be at least 6" wider and 6" longer than your quilt top.
Your queen or king size quilt needs to have backing and batting that it 8" wider and 8" longer than your quilt top.
If your quilt top isn't quite squared up (the quilt police don't work here), I suggest taking a few measurements from top/bottom and left/right. Use the largest number when calculating how much batting and backing you need.
Why do I need the extra? It allows room (ie fabric real estate) to secure your backing at the top & bottom of my machine, as well as leave room on the sides for clamps to secure the backing (plus a little bit extra for "wiggle room").
Please, contact me for options if your quilt backing is already cut and doesn't meet this requirement. There is always a solution!
Selvage edges on backing fabric are a great guide to match your edges together when piecing the backing.
However, they should be trimmed off after.
Why? Selvage edges are not intended as usable fabric, as it is stronger and shrinks differently once washed.
Best to sew a larger seam allowance than usual, so enough is left after you trim the selvage off.
Personally, I am partial to a 1/2" seam on my backing.
Press your seam(s) - open or to the side (your preference).
Selvage edges at the top and bottom are a great guide for me when loading your backing, and I am always super happy when they are there. Just not ideal in your seams.
In my experience, some wide backs (not all!) are just made... "differently" (let's say "economical").
On these types of wide backs, the sewing machine needle doesn't go through the backing as smoothly, leaving more noticeable holes that look like the needle "pushed" through, despite interventions I can offer.
Typically, these holes will "heal" with its first washing. Just something to be aware of.
Press your top so that it's flat and ready to load.
Clip stray threads or unravelling fabrics as best as you can.
You might not be able to get them all (and that's okay!) but to prevent dark threads from shadowing through your quilt top, please don't skip this important step!
If your quilt top (and/or backing) is/are directional, please mark the top (safety pin, painters tape, paper and pin etc.) so that it gets loaded in the correct direction.
QUILTING & THREAD CHOICE
I want this to be fun for you and not overwhelming!
If you know exactly what you want - great!
You also have the option of having me make the quilting decisions for you, which is by far the most common scenario.
Or we work together to find what's best for your quilt.
It all depends on your comfort level, purpose for the quilt and/or who it's for.
And, sometimes "done" is best!
And most importantly - the quilt police do not work at Arrow Quilting, nor do they stop by for inspection. I swear the only judgment that happens here is from my kittens when I fail to bring snacks to our morning huddle.