Preparing Your Quilt For Machine Quilting

Here are some tips that will help you get your quilt ready for machine quilting. We hope you find this useful.

machine quilting1. Do not baste your quilt.

2. Identify the head of quilt top and head of back, if necessary.

3. The quilt backing and batting should be a minimum of 4 inches wider and 4 inches longer than quilt top. Backing should have the selvedges removed and be squared up.

4. Measure the center of the quilt top vertically. Then measure the outside edges vertically. If there is more than a 1-1/2 inch difference, it is possible that your top will have tucks when quilted. Do the same measurements horizontally. The most common reasons for measurement differences are stretched bias edges and mitered corners that leave extra fabric on one or both sides of the miter. Too much easement when piecing blocks can result in small tents or puckers, which will cause tucks when the quilt is quilted. See our instructions on our borders page for more information.

5. The edges of the quilt top should be straight and square with seams intact to the edge. Also, the quilt top should be free of embellishments, such as buttons, charms, pins, etc. You may do those after the quilt is quilted.

6. Check quilt top for seam breaks. Old quilts and hand stitched quilts are prone to seam breaks. These can cause tearing of the quilt top and sometimes the back.

7. The quilt top and backing should be clipped of loose threads, both front and back, that can cause snags and uneven stitching. On lighter fabrics, loose threads on the back side of the top will show through.

8. Top and backing should be pressed with seams pressed open or to one side. See our page on pressing.

9. Note: Some quilting patterns are copyrighted. If you prefer to use one of these, we will apply them. There may be additional delay for delivery from our supplier. There may be additional expense to you depending on our inventory.

10. Be sure to cut or tear off selvages before applying to quilt top or sewing the back together.

If you are interested in some tips to save money around the house please visit my friend’s website Crafty Frugal Mom. It’s a useful and fun site with lots of tips to help your budget go further.

Choosing Fabrics for Quilting

Before any quilting can begin, it is important to pick the right fabric for your project. There are several things that you need to keep in mind before you start picking your fabric. Here are some of the most important pointers when choosing your fabric for quilting.

Color Palette

quilting fabricWhen you have single color in mind, you might want to pick fabrics that possess that color in differing tones, hues or shades. Some prefer to work with colors of the same vibrancy – warm or cool – others prefer to mix them up. If you are doubtful and a newbie in quilting, it is best to use the color wheel.

Create a cohesive color palette for your quilt by locating the color you desire on the color wheel. Check what colors are near it and those that are located on the other side – the complementary ones. Complementary colors will add an extra pop to your quilt and make it more interesting, not monochromatic.


quilt fabricScale refers to the size of the prints or designs on your fabric. First, you need to consider the size of your quilt. For large quilts, you can work with big prints while for smaller quilts, it is best to work with cloth that has small prints.

Big prints can be cut off and the individual prints cannot be seen. But, just mix up some sizes of the prints to add interest to your quilt-to-be.


If you still find it hard to come up with a good quilt fabric combination, you can easily find pre-cut bundles. These are cloths that have been machine-cut and piled together, ready to be sewn to become a quilt.