When your quilt top is completed, you need to make a decision about how your quilt will be finished! You can decide to tie your quilt, machine quilt your quilt, hand quilt your quilt or bring your quilt to a professional long-arm quilter to be quilted for you.
If you decide to bring your quilt to a long-arm quilter, there are a few things you can do to prepare your quilt for quilting.....
You should press your quilt top and remove as many threads as possible. A lint roller can help with this task!
Do not baste your quilt and make sure there are no pins left anywhere in the pieces of the quilt.
When you prepare the back for your quilt, make sure it is large enough. You want to make sure you include a little extra fabric for ease in handling your quilt. This extra will be trimmed off after the quilt is quilted and before the binding is attached. A good rule of thumb is to make the back at least 6 inches longer and 6 inches wider than your quilt top (three inches all the way around). The extra fabric comes in handy for a couple of reasons. First, the quilt top, batting and backing are attached to the longarm machine seperately, they are not basted together. Secondly, the pieces have some "give" and you want to make sure there is enough fabric for the backing so the top can be flattened completely. Also, if the pieces are exactly the same size but the backing isn't exactly straight, problems can occur. If you decide to wrap the backing fabric around for the binding of the quilt, you will need extra fabric all the way around. Finally --- it makes it easier for your quilter!!!
If you are bringing your own batting for your quilter to use, make sure there is plenty of batting too. If you cut your batting to fit, it is difficult and time consuming for your quilter to keep the batting from shifting.
Whatever you decide, remember.....It's not a quilt until it's quilted!!!