Quilting Tips:

Here are some tips that will maximize the quality of your project:

1. Remove selvedges. Reason: the selvedge has a different stretch rate than the main fabric.

2. Make a true square or rectangle of both top and backing.

3. Always make the backing 4 inches larger on all 4 sides. Reason: the top fabric and the backing draw at different rates while quilting. In addition, different fabrics draw at different rates. The added 4 inches allows room for this.

4. Backstitch all open edge seams as well as each piece in the quilt. Reason: the quilt top is under some tension as it is being quilted and could come apart if there are insecure seams.

5. Trim all loose threads. Reason: if during the quilting process the machine foot catches a loose thread, it responds like an emergency brake and could result in a hole in the quilt.

6. Press the quilt top and backing. When possible, press seam allowances flat. Reason: it makes for a nicer finish and reduces blousing. All seams roll on the machine at a different rate than single layer flat material.

7. If the perimeter does not have a border, a stay stitch (basting) all the way around is very helpful. Reason: the outside edge of a pieced quilt top is left unstable and has a tendency to stretch or droop. The basting helps stabilize this looseness.

8. Avoid using sheets. Reason: the weave (thread count) is generally too tight to produce decent machine tensions.

9. Avoid backing borders. Reason: the top and backing draw at different rates, so during the quilting process, the border on the backing becomes asymmetrical on the sides and could miss the end border altogether. If extra material is needed to make the backing of sufficient size, place this extra down the center of the backing.

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