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Our Best Tips for Machine-Quilting

Whether you quilt a project yourself or send it to a professional long-arm quilter, you'll get better results if you prepare it properly. See our best tips for getting perfect quilting on your finished quilt!


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Do's and Don'ts

  • Don't use sheets as backing. Sheets have a higher thread count than quilting cottons and the difference can cause skipped stitches and broken threads or needles.


  • Do realize that a backing with a border, a pieced backing with a design, or a reversible quilt means the quilt top needs to be centered with the backing for quilting. A reasonable effort can be made to do this, but the quilt layers shifting as they are rolled up, bias in the quilt, or a quilt top that is not quite square can lead to the backing being off-center.


  • Don't put embellishments (crystals, buttons, beads, etc.) on your quilt prior to quilting as they might get broken during the quilting process or they could break the needle and damage the quilt.


  • Do make sure you press backing seams open. Because there's no way you can predict exactly where seam lines on the backing will fall in relation to the quilt top seams and because most seams on the quilt top are pressed in one direction, pressing backing seams open prevents bulk where seams might overlap. Use a 1/2" seam or a true 1/4" seam (not a scant 1/4") for the backing seams.


  • Don't baste quilt layers together prior to loading them on the long-arm frame or taking them to a long-arm machine quilter. 


Print our guide for machine-quilting here.