Preparation for Custom Quilting…

I love quilting!! I’d love to talk to you about your quilt and what your expectations are – so please feel free to contact me to discuss what you would like.

Custom quilting is not always as expensive as you may think and often the costs are comparable to what you might expect to pay for an edge to edge design, pantograph or even computer custom work. In any event – lets talk about what you think you would like and how we can go about it.

Before I can start though – here’s some important points that need to be sorted…

  1. Backing Fabric
    This needs to be at least 12″ bigger than your quilt top, on the sides as well as top and bottom. This is to allow for how the quilt gets loaded on to the frame and especially if the quilt is to be quilted sideways.

    If your quilt is on point and the design follows the patchwork, then more backing fabric may be required – so make sure you talk about this with me before we get underway.
  2. Pieced or Joined Backing Fabrics
    If your backing fabric needs to be joined, then use a 1/2″ seam allowance and press it open. This is to reduce the bulk of a seam plus the seams of your patchwork.

    Backing fabric must lay flat. If your backing fabric has waves in it once it is joined, there is a very high risk you will have tucks in the backing once it is quilted.

    Be careful that joined fabrics have the grain going the same way – if the grain changes then the backing may pull in a different direction and you run the risk of tucks in the backing fabric when quilted.

    Patchwork backings or pieced backings are a challenge… not only because the patchwork fabric can have a different ‘give’ but also if you want your backing fabric to line up with something on the top. It is really hard to align a top with the backing fabric and more often than not, it will move during the quilting process. Best to avoid if possible.
  3. Batting
    Same as the backing fabric, this needs to be 12″ bigger on the sides and top and bottom than your quilt top.

    I do have some battings in stock so can assist with this if necessary.

    It is not the quilting that makes a quilt stiff – it is the batting that is used. A quilt can be heavily quilted and still drape beautifully if a good quality batting is used. And vice versa – a quilt can be reasonably lightly quilted and still be stiff with a polyester batting. Batting plays a really important part in the finish of your quilt.

    If you want the quilt to drape, then you are better with a cotton or wool batting which will drape even with really heavy quilting.

    If the quilt is for a baby or child, then a polyester batting will handle the washing machine better than a natural fiber batting.

    Bamboo batting may need investigating – Bamboo batting blunts the needle quicker and you should check the fireproof rating – particularly if it is for a child.
  4. Thread
    Thread can be challenging through a long arm. Talk to me about what you have in mind as not all threads are equal and differing weight will also have an impact. Some threads which may be fine to run through a domestic machine, will not run through the long arm due to the speed it operates.

    A long arm can operate at speeds of over 1,000 stitches per minute, so the thread can be pulled through the needle at a very rapid rate. An older thread or poor quality thread (that shreds easily) will not hold up to a long arm’s operation.

Don’t be put off… talk to me about what you want.