Jan 2021 - Yes we are accepting new projects;
No-contact Pickup and Drop off service, and Electronic Consulting services.
A quality quilt will begin with quality fabric. If the fabric is good quality, it will show in the quilting and the article will last a lot longer. The quality of the fabric is not related to cost - some excellent budget fabrics exist, and similarly some rather poor high priced ones exist (sadly!)
The next component is construction - be consistent. Accuracy is important, especially for diagonals and curves, but consistency is the key. If all of you 1/4" seams for a patchwork are out by a little bit, but the same amount, the quilt will be just fine, if not quite the calculated size. (We have a tip sheet for ensuring accurate 1/4" seams).
If your stitching is inconsistent, there will be stretched fabric, or gathered seams in during constuction. Even though you may be able to steam and press the fabric, once it is washed these inconsistencies will show up, and even during the quilting process, many of these 'pressed out' errors will show up.
Pressing your seams using a pressing board while you construct your quilt is an excellent way to ensure your construction is consistent. Also, trim excess threads and remove any 'ripped' seam threads as you construct them. They are difficult to locate on a completed project and are time consuming to clip while quilting.
If adding a border (or multiple borders) ensure that you have measured the borders prior to stitching, so that they don't 'grow' when the quilt is on the frame. Fabric stretches during handling and stitching, and if the borders are not the correct size the borders tend to bow making wavy edges and non-rectangular products. (We have a tip sheet for measuring and cutting accurate borders to eliminate this).
Trim the backing so that it is square with respect to the length and width of grain. The backing, as mounted on the frame is assumed to be squared. If it is not, then the backing will end up at an angle. The best scenario is that backing is one piece and there is good selection of material 108" wide. If the backing is to be pieced, the preferred method is to join across the width of the quilt.
We require 5 inches on each side larger than the top and another 6 inches to the length to allow for proper mounting.
On your final pressing, press from the back. Check for stray threads - especially if the top has both light and dark threads. Dark threads will definitely show through light material and once quilted, are impossible to remove.
Special note: If you are planning on using a polyester plush backing, such as fireside or minky, we need to apply a temporary adhesive to the backing for the batting. This is done each time the quilt is forwarded. These fabrics have a lot of stretch, are slippery, difficult to stitch and are notorious for curling along the edges. Handling these backings is time consuming and difficult, and will incur extra costs.
If you plan to make a top that is composed of stretchy knit material, as in making a t-shirt quilt, you must apply a light iron-on stabilizer before piecing. Without it, the knits will stretch and look terrible.