Category Archives: How to prepare your quilt

Strings and Snippets!

Strings and Snippets!

bag of strings for tummy time quiltsWhat is a string?  In my world it’s a strip of fabric perfect for creating some of my favorite scrappy projects.string blocks from retreat 15-001Such as 36 string blocks for the next Tummy Time quilt!skinny strings for bowlsAnd then it’s 1/2″ – 3/4″ strips, perfect size for clothesline bowls!string bowl and dog bed scrapsAnd then we’re down to the little snippets that are saved, yes, saved for dog bed stuffing!trash bag full of scrapsAnd when I’m leaving a recent quilting retreat, my friend hands me a trash bag full of scraps for me to sort into strings and dog bed stuffing!  I have the best friends!

🙂 Linda

Addendum:  some of the trash bag scraps became postage stamp charms, people will throw away anything!

Adding Borders Tutorial

Adding Borders Tutorial

As a longarm quilter for hire, I see lots of quilts and sometimes there are border issues.  I have often shared my easy method for attaching borders, so here’s a quick demo outlining my method for you.  I’m a very visual person, and this method always makes sense to me.  This is not an original idea, and I don’t remember where I first saw this!

This technique is for “I” borders, the vertical borders are added first, followed by the top and bottom horizontal.  However, this method works for “H” borders, too, where the top and bottom horizontal is sewn first, followed by the vertical sides.


Step 1 – Lay your quilt center on a flat surface, for me it’s usually the floor, smoothing without stretching.  Lay 2 lengths of prepared borders across the quilt vertical, keeping the 2 layers together.

note:  Your quilt should lay flat.  If it doesn’t, fix it before you attach the borders!




Step 2 – Slide a cutting mat under the fabric and cut slightly off the edge of the quilt (do not cut the quilt!) using the ruler to make a right angle cut of the border.  Carefully slide out the mat and repeat on the other side of the quilt.



Step 3 – Pin border to the vertical sides of the quilt, easing if necessary.  Sew and press borders.






Step 4 – Lay the quilt on a flat surface, smoothing without stretching.  Lay the prepared border across the horizontal middle of the quilt top and repeat Step 2, cutting the border to the width of the quilt top.  Again, do not cut the quilt when trimming the border, trim slightly off the edge.

Repeat Step 3 – pin and sew borders to top and bottom horizontals and press.




All done!

This works for multiple borders, too.  Just repeat all the steps.

I also use this method for borders with cornerstones.  For that I cut the vertical and horizontal lengths in the first step, adding the cornerstones to the horizontal lengths, pinning and sewing after step 3.


I hope that makes sense!  Let me know if it works for you.

Thanks for looking and just keep stitchin’ !


Backing fabric continued…..why it needs to be “square”

Backing fabric continued…..why it needs to be “square”

Here’s a couple pictures showing the backing fabric attached to the leaders of the longarm.  Two parallel backing fabric edges are pinned to the longarm leaders, rolled up and pulled taut.  If the backing fabric is not squared off, it will not load onto the longarm leaders smoothly.  I hope these pictures help you understand the importance of proper backing fabric.  Pieced backs are great but if they lay wavy and skewed on the floor they will be wavy and skewed on the longarm!  For a small fee I will prepare your backing for you or you can purchase wide neutral backing fabric from me.  I’d be happy to help you figure the yardage needed for backing fabric, too, just let me know how I can help you!

How to prepare a back for longarm machine quilting

How to prepare a back for longarm machine quilting

1.  Backing must be 3-4 inches larger than the top on all sides.  For example, if your quilt top measures 50″ x 50″ the backing needs to be 58″ x 58″.

2.  Press seam open and trim selvages from the seam.  Selvages can be left on the outside edges.

3.  Backing must be “squared up” (see “Why it needs to be square” post) and lie flat.

4.  Wash (if your top is prewashed) and iron fabric.    Sharp creases can become puckers when stitched.

5.  Do not use sheets for backing fabric.

6.  When selecting fabric consider the color and pattern in reference to the quilting to be done.  A busy patterned back will hide the thread where a plain solid back will show the thread.  The top and bobbin thread are usually matched for the best looking stitch so think about that when selecting the fabric color.

7.  Many wide backs are available which eliminate seaming and squaring.  Usually tearing the fabric results in a straight edge.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...