For Best Results

Beautiful Quilting Starts with Good Patchwork.

 “We work as a team to produce a beautiful finished quilt so, if you take a little time to prepare your patchwork top for machine quilting, I will be able to concentrate on the quilting to achieve the best possible result.”

The flat, open area in this log cabin block was the perfect setting for a pretty feather design

  • The use of 100% cotton materials in your quilt making is recommended.
  • To achieve a smooth flat top, cut patchwork pieces on the straight grain where ever possible
  • Check that the borders and middle of the quilt sit flat.
  •  The borders should not be wavy and the middle should not “tent” up. Both are signs of too much fullness in the border or the body of quilt. Many Patchwork books explain how to attach borders evenly to avoid these problems or go to Adding Borders to see some simple instructions now.
  •  Check that all seams on the edges of the quilt are firmly secured with back stitching.
  •  If the border is “pieced” a row of stay stitching along the raw edge will prevent the seams opening during quilting.
  •  Pressing the seams well during the piecing process results in a smoother finish to the top.
  •  Trim all threads hanging from both the front & back of your quilt.
    • Floating threads on the front of the patchwork top can wrap around the machine foot and cause damage to your quilt & my machine.
    • Floating threads on the back of the patchwork top can show through light fabrics and detract from the finished appearance of the quilt.

Quilt Backings are important too!

  • Choose a backing fabric which has an even weave & is a cotton fabric with a similar “feel” to the top.
  • Please note that the use of “sheeting” as a backing fabric is not recommended as the weave may be too dense to allow even needle penetration.
  • Patterned fabrics make more interesting backings than plain homespun.
  • The quilting threads will be chosen to match the top so it is a good idea to use a backing of a medium colour or pattern that “blends” with the colours in the top.
  • If you are providing the backing & /or the batting remember that each should be cut 15 cm longer & 15 cm wider than the top. (eg: Length + 15cm ….. Width + 15cm)
  • Follow the link to Joining Backing Fabric for some instructions for an easy method for joining fabric to make a backing big enough for your quilt.
  • Always remove selvedges before joining backing.
  • Ensure that the backing is “square” on all four edges by folding into four and levelling the raw edges.

Read more about how to choose the best quilt backing fabric to suit your patchwork top when machine quilting.

Deliver Your Quilt in Good Condition and Save Money! 

  • The seams in the quilt border should all be securely locked.
  • Pieced borders should be stay stitched along outer edge to prevent the seams popping open and distorting the border.
  • All threads on the front & back of the quilt should be trimmed to prevent “varicose veins” showing when the top is quilted. This preventative action is essential on light coloured tops.
  • Press both the quilt & the backing and ensure seams are sitting flat.
  • If you require ditch stitching,  the length of each seam should be pressed in one direction where ever possible.
  • Be sure to give the quilt a final look-over before bringing it for quilting to check that the seams are all stitched and holding and that there are no blocks turned the wrong way. Please advise me if you have included a humility block*so that I know to expect a variation in the pattern.
  • If the quilt is directional, or you plan to hang the quilt, indicate the top edge by attaching a label.
  • Do NOTmark your quilt top with any quilting designs. Instead, if you have a particular design in mind send it to me on paper.
  •  Do not pin/baste quilt top, batting & backing together. Fold all three pieces separately for delivery.
  •  If posting your quilt top, pack it in a plastic bag inside a box or post bag that will be large enough to hold the finished quilt for return posting. eg: a “GL” size Toughbag  post bag from Australia Post will comfortably hold a large queensize quilt.


Remember that your Heirlooms deserve the best materials available.

* a humility block is a deliberate mistake included in the quilt top – turning a block or a unit in a block – to acknowledge that the patchworker is not perfect. 


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