Borders, Backing, Batting and more . . .


After the body of the quilt has been pieced, gently press before adding borders. The logical place to measure the finished top is along its outside edges, and this is a useful measurement. However, measurements should be taken across the center and in at least two more places for both the width and length. If these measurements
are different from that of the outer edge, accidental stretching has occurred. To keep the finished quilt as straight and square as possible, you must measure the centers.


  1. Determine the length of the quilt border by measuring across the center of the quilt, and about half way between the center and the raw edge. (fig. 1)
  2. Take these measurements and find the average. Cut two border pieces that ength. 
  3. Divide the border piece and the corresponding quilt edge into quarters and mark with pins.  Pin the border piece to the quilt edge, matching pins, easing or stretching in the fullness as needed. Sew and press.
  4. Repeat process for width. (fig. 2)

  Continue to measure this way for every border that you need to apply to the quilt.

Ripples in the borders will not quilt out so be sure to measure them carefully.

Adapted from: 

Cindy Roth ©2009

Longarm University, Inc.®


Preparing Your Backing

You have spent countless hours and money making your quilt top - but the backing is just as important.  Use good quality fabric, and if piecing you backing, try to have the seams so they are HORIZONTAL on the quilt back.  Remove the selvages before stitching and press seams open.  This helps reduce the bulk of the seam as the quilt is rolled during the long arm quilting process.
Backing must measure a minimum of 6 - 8 inches wider and 8 - 10 inches longer than the quilt top. A few extra inches doesn't cost that much more.  The quilt backing is attached to rollers on the long-arm, so needs that extra for pinning.  Also, the sides are held tight with clamps, so there needs to be at least 3 inches on each side to attach the clamps and keep the quilt backing nice and even.
Try to make sure your backing is wrinkle free and SQUARED. A back that is not square may mean that pleats will occur in your backing it is quilted.  There are many different methods to ensure a square backing - but my best advice is to measure - and piece carefully. 
I always measure the backing before loading on my long-arm - and will contact you if it is too small.


 If you provide the batting, it must measure at least 6 inches wider and 8 to 10 inches longer than your top. The extra length is important especially with larger quilts or with higher loft batting.  The backing should never be wider than the backing (it can be longer).  There will be an additional charge for cutting backing that is too wide. 

I carry Hobbs 80/20 Batting. Quilter's Dream 70/30  and Tuscany Wool Batting for customers who wish to purchase batting from me.  Contact me for pricing.  Specialty battings can be ordered on request.

Preparing Your Quilt Top

  1. Don't baste or pin your quilt.  When quilting with a long arm, this step is not necessary.
  2. Clip loose threads from both sides of the quilt top. On lighter fabrics, loose dark threads on the backside will show through.
  3. Quilt top should be clean and all seams pressed flat. Seams should be pressed to one side or the other, seams that are pressed in 2 directions per seam or don't lie flat will make stitching difficult and you may have lumps that show through on the finished quilt.
  4. If your piecing extends to the edge of your quilt, please stay stitch 1/8” from the raw edge to  prevent your seams coming undone..
  5. If there is a definite top and bottom to your quilt please identify it with a label (paper) pinned to the top.
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