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Tips and Techniques

Making A Quilt That Will Be Machine Quilted 

First, pick the right fabric. Try not to mix different types of fabrics in your quilt. This can cause tension problems or tucking and rippling on both the front and back of your quilt when we put it on the quilting machine. Using flannel on the backing can also lead to problems. Many flannels are very stretchy. The clamps we use to tighten a quilt stretch the fabric slightly on the bottom. When the clamps are released, the fabric relaxes and the top can wrinkle. If you really want to use flannel, be sure that it is really good quality and has very little stretch. Don't use a sheet for backing. Most sheets have a high thread count and are very difficult for our machine needle to penetrate consistently.

Second, square up your top as you go to the exact measurements called for in the directions. Press each square and trim the threads before attaching to another square. It will make a real difference in your finished quilt!

Third, pay attention to your borders. Make sure the seams of the border are all pressed in one direction with no twisting.

Fourth, measure your quilt to get the average width and length, and then cut your borders to that measurement. This will keep your quilt from having wavy borders. Getting wavy borders to lie flat is a challenge for our machine; sometimes we need to place tucks in them to be able to quilt over them. Before you bring your project to us, you should press your quilt top and iron the backing. It is a good idea to mark the top with a safety pin. The backing must be at least 6 inches wider and longer than your quilt top to allow it to be clamped. If you are supplying the batting, it must be at least 6 inches wider and longer than your top. If you wish for us to bind your quilt, then you should include enough fabric to allow for 2.5” to 3” wide strips. Feel free to call us anytime if you have a question about your project!

Backing hints: when you are pressing your backing, don't press the seams open. Press them to one side. Always cut off the selvage of the backing as it may affect the stretch amount of the fabric.

It is better to have horizontal seams rather than vertical seams.

Batting hints: The batting brand "Warm And Natural" may have husks left from the manufacturing process that can leave oil deposits on your quilt. If you plan to use this type of batting, always pre-wash it before using it with a quilt. Black Forest Quilting stocks Quilters Dream batting that does not require pre-washing.

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