LONG ARM QUILTING INFORMATION
Here at A Scarlet Thread, we offer professional, edge to edge, long arm quilting services. All of our designs are computerized and are priced per square inch, ranging from $0.02-$0.03. To find the size of your quilt in square inches, simply multiply the length by width.
Proper preparation of your quilt top and quilt back are essential to a good result, so please read the following instructions carefully! The good news is that long arm machines eliminate the need to pin or baste your quilt top to the batting and backing. But there are also some other preparation steps that must be followed to insure your quilt turns out incredible!
- For best results and to avoid additional charges, we ask that quilt tops are brought in clean, pressed, and free of noticeable lint and loose threads, both front and back.
- The three layers of your quilt will be loaded on the machine independently of one another. Please do not pin or baste them together.
- The batting and backing should measure at least ten inches longer and ten inches wider than your quilt top. For example, if your quilt measures 60″ x 80″, the batting and backing should measure at least 70″ x 90″. This is an essential step for long arm quilting because it allows the machine to quilt off the edges of your quilt and still have something for the clamps to grab a hold of.
- If you have pre-washed any of the fabrics in your quilt it is recommended that you pre-wash all of them, including your backing fabric.
- Press both your quilt top and your backing fabric well. Then neatly fold and drape quilt over a hanger or bring in a bag. This will help your quilt travel well and allow us to get your quilt on the long arm machine quicker!
- Press seams well. Be sure the top lies flat. Ripples and places with excess fabric will usually not quilt flat. Take special care that the borders do not ripple or wave.
- Check your piecing for open seams as you work, making sure all seams are sewn closed. The long arm machine can't detect open seams and may get caught in the gaps, damaging the fabric.
- The top should be free of embellishments such as buttons, beads, crystals, etc. We also do not recommend long arm quilting for quilts with loose edge appliqué designs.
- Clip all loose threads from the front, back, and edges of your quilt. This is especially important if you have a dark color thread behind a light colored fabric, as it may show through after being quilted.
- If your quilt has a specific direction it should be loaded on to the machine, please be sure to tell us when dropping off your quilt.
- A row of stay stitching, applied ¼ inch or less from the edge of the quilt, will prevent stretching and will keep seams that extend to the edges from separating. ( optional – but recommended )
- If you are bringing your own batting with your quilt, please check the package to be sure it is suitable for machine quilting. We do not accept extra loft polyester batting due to the way it looks when quilted on a long arm machine.
- You batting should be ten inches wider and ten inches longer than your quilt top. If you don't have batting that is large enough, you are welcome to buy it from us when you drop your quilt off.
- We sell Quilter's Dream Batting at A Scarlet Thread and offer three types of batting available to purchase when bringing in your quilt for long arm quilting. If you have any questions about batting, please ask one of our Fabric Divas when you drop your quilt off.
- If you are seaming your backing, we recommend trimming off the selvage before sewing together. For best results use a seam allowance between 1/4 and 1/2 inch, then press the seam to one side. Your backing should have straight edges, with opposite edges parallel. Corners should be right angles.
- We do offer several 108 inch wide quilt backing fabrics ranging from $12 - $21 a yard. You can purchase backing when you drop your quilt off, or before. (Please note that often times the 108 wide fabric can be very wrinkly when cut off the bolt or pre-packaged. You have the option to iron your own backing in our classroom or we can iron it for a $15 charge.)
- Be aware that it is not possible to perfectly center the top over the backing in both directions. A backing with a center monogram, or with a border, is likely to be “off” in the final product.
- Thread used on the back side will be the same as the top thread. (Top and bottom threads that contrast result in the appearance of specks of the opposing color.)
If you have any additional questions, please give us a call at 678-583-2296.