- Make sure you catch the seam allowance in every seam - quilting can't fix holes in your quilt top!
- Take care when adding borders that you don't stretch the quilt top - wavy borders can't just be 'quilted out'. Measure the width and length of your quilt through the centre and use these measurements to cut your borders to size, then pin them carefully before sewing them on.
- Make sure your completed top lies flat, without tucks or areas which balloon out. Again; these can't always be quilted out.
- Press the completed top thoroughly, ensuring that the seams don't flip from one side to the other half-way along.
- Carefully trim any threads which come through the seams to the front of the quilt; if left they can get permanently caught in the quilting stitches.
- Trim loose and frayed threads from the back of the quilt. This is especially important if your quilt includes pale fabrics, as they easily show through these after quilting if not removed.
- If the outer edges of your quilt include a lot of seams, stay-stitch 1/8 -1/4in from the edge to stop them from pulling undone through the basting and quilting process.
- Don't squish your quilt top into a parcel which is too tight - this will scrunch it terribly; a parcel which it will slide into easily will allow your pressed quilt top to stay much flatter, and it will only need a quick freshen up with the iron.
- Make sure that the backing (and backing, if you're sending your own) are at least 8in longer and 8in wider than the completed quilt top.
- Remove the selvedges before joining pieces of fabric for the backing, and press the seams open.
Preparing your Quilt
There are several things you can do before you send your quilt off to be quilted which will result in a better finished quilt, and which will save your quilter time (and therefore save you money). Below is a short checklist: