4 Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Quilt for Stitching

You’ve finished your quilt top and are ready to jump into stitching, but before you get started, you need to do some prep work with the best notions from Dollar Quilting Club. Follow these steps for a beautiful finished product.

Visualize the Stitching

Image via connectingthreads.com

Consider the fabric designs and how the quilt will be used as you plan out your stitching, and put the pattern you envision down on paper prior to machine quilting. When it comes to patterns, traditional stippling may be best if you’re not yet a seasoned quilter. If you’re comfortable experimenting, you can play around with free-motion quilting or outlining shapes and images on the quilt.

Draw your stitch design out before trying it on scrap fabric to make sure it works in practice. Use the same thread you’ve chosen for the actual quilt so that you can see if the color looks right.

Measure Your Backing

Image via dollarquiltingclub.com

The backing of your quilt should be six to eight inches longer than the quilt top. For accuracy, measure the top lengthwise across the center instead of near the edge, and use this measurement to determine the final size for the backing.

If you’re piecing the backing instead of using a single piece, sew half-inch seams to reduce bulk. Use an offset or a split seam pattern instead of just one seam down the middle to avoid putting stress on the fabric of the quilt top.

Trim Loose Ends

Image via allpeoplequilt.com

You want your quilt top to be as neat as possible when feeding it through the machine, and any excess material creates unwanted bulk. Examine the quilt top and backing for stray threads and excess fabric. Trim these off to prevent bumps and shadows in the finished quilt. If any seams are unraveling, fix them right away.

Check the Pressing

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Pressing also keeps bulk to a minimum and minimizes bunching as you stitch. Press all the seams on the quilt top in the same direction, and press seams on pieced backings open so that they’re flat. As you go, check for and correct twisted seams. Give the entire quilt top one final pressing to smooth it out and get it ready for stitching.

Patient preparation ensures smooth sailing when stitching your quilt. Your results will look neater and more professional when you give the quilt top a little extra care before putting it on the machine and embellishing it with your favorite patterns.

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