There are some things to keep in mind while preparing a quilt to to be quilted by a longarmer. For one, you won’t need to baste the layers together, but you do need to prepare the top, backing, and maybe the batting (or will your longarmer provide the batting?).
Also, wait to add embellishments such as 3D accents, beads and anything else that could impede the quilting process until after the quilting is done. When in doubt, ask your longarmer what they recommend.
The following video by Kimberly from The Fat Quarter shop provides a good overview of what you’ll need to do to prepare your quilt. Notice her advice about piecing the back.
Click here to view the video at YouTube if it doesn’t play on your device.
You’ll find additional information in the following article written by Karen Walker for Bluprint. You’ll find tips for choosing a batting and additional insights into creating a backing.
While Kimberly recommends 10″ of extra fabric on all sides for the longarmer to work with, others suggest as little as 4″. Ask you longarmer what they prefer.
Also, note the recommendation to stay-stitch around the outside of the quilt top.
A comprehensive article written by Christine Baker for Quilt Social goes more in depth about the longarm quilting process.
She also provides a list of things to discuss with your longarmer, as well as other important tips (be sure to read her tips about pieced backings if you intend to make one).
Image from Bluprint.
Once the quilt is prepared you’ll need to decide on the quilting design and density. All-over designs, whether created by a computerized or hand-guiding longarm machine, will be the least expensive option.
However, a custom design that treats various areas within a quilt differently may be just what your special quilt needs. Your longarmer will help you decide.
The tips provided here are guidelines to get you started. Be sure to ask your longarmer how large to make the backing (longarm machines have different requirements), whether or not you need to provide the batting, and what else they require.
Image Source: The image at the top of the page is from Quilt Addiction.