Preparing Your Backing for Long Arm Quilting

This step is very important for the final appearance of the quilting on your quilt.  Please do not underestimate it’s importance.

  • Size requirements are a MINIMUM!  If you have more fabric, please don’t trim it off.  The larger the back the less distortion from clamps and the less interference from clamps running into the machine as I quilt.
  • Backing needs to be a minimum of 8” longer than the quilt and 8” wider than the quilt.  That gives me 4” all the way around the quilt– the minimum I need, assuming this back is square.
  • Extra wide quilt backs ( the 108” wide stuff) are wonderful, but should be torn, not cut off the bolt.  It is impossible to get them square unless they are torn.
  • Please press your backing, especially where the fabric was folded on the bolt.  My loading system removes all minor wrinkles that happen when the backing as folded and stored, but will not remove sharp creases such as the center fold from being stored on the bolt.
  • Pieced backs are very pretty, and a good way to use fabric but are very difficult to use on a Longarm.  I cannot accurately center a design on the back.  Seams that run perpendicular to my rails cause build up as the back wraps around the rail, and distorts the backing, making pleats on the back more likely.  · Remove selvages from seamed edges but NOT from outside edges of backing.  This is how I make sure I mount it square.
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One response to “Preparing Your Backing for Long Arm Quilting

  1. Congratulations on your new blog, I enjoyed reading about your Longarm.
    It is quite funny sometimes trying to explain to non Quilty friends what a long arm is. They kind of look at me strangely 🙂

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