Preparing Your Quilt For Long Arm Quilting

May 31, 2022

Cover image for blog

Hi quilty friends! We are Brooklyn and Rhylee of Two Crazy Stitches. The two of us are best friends that found a love for quilting when we took a beginners quilting course together just months after we both had our first babies in 2017. We haven’t stopped quilting since! Soon after taking that course, and barely dipping our feet into the quilting world, we bought our first long arm quilting machine and decided to start a business together. Our husbands thought we were crazy but from day one, we’ve loved every second of it. Fast forward roughly 5 years from when our Two Crazy Stitches began, we now have multiple long arm machines, we’ve become quilt pattern designers and together we run a successful business quilting from our homes. We’ve loved learning, working and quilting together. Most of all, we have loved getting to know all of our amazing customers and quilt friends. We hope that you will come be our friend on INSTAGRAM

You can also find us at our website HERE 

Brooklyn and Rhylee of Two Crazy Stitches in front of pink flowers holding quilts


We are so excited to share all of our tips and tricks for getting your quilts ready to be long arm quilted! We hope this takes away the stress and nerves that come with sending your quilts to a Long Arm Quilter. We’ve heard countless times from people how nervous they are to send in their quilts to be long arm quilted fearing that their quilts aren’t good enough! We are here to squash those thoughts!


Most long arm quilters ask for at least 4 inches extra backing on EACH side (8 inches horizontally and 8 inches vertically). This is to give your quilter enough room to pin the quilt onto their quilting frame. If you are piecing your backing it is best to have the seam running horizontally. Horizontal seams on your backing help with your quilt not sagging on the frame.

Measuring tape showing 4 inches of fabric backing


If you are taking your quilt top to a local long arm quilter it is best to give your quilt top a good iron and then fold it loosely right before dropping it off. If you are going to be shipping a quilt to your quilter, still give your quilt top a good iron. Folding your quilt on the bias is also helpful in preventing excessive creasing. Some quilters charge a fee to iron your quilt top if needed, so make sure to be aware of that.


Trim all four sides or your quilt and clip away any loose threads. If your quilt has appliqued pieces or any extra embellishments, make sure they are secured properly so that they don’t get caught in the machine as it’s being quilted. If your backing is pieced together, make sure that all the edges are cut evenly across as well.


Now that we’ve talked about how to prepare your quilt, we want to go over some of the information that your long arm quilter will need to know to be able to quilt your quilt. Most long arm quilters have a form that you’ll fill out with the following information before sending in your quilt to be quilted. 

You can find our quilting request form HERE


Picking a thread color depends completely on your preference. Some prefer a thread color that blends into the quilt top such as neutral colors. Some prefer a thread color that pops or stands out such as a neon color. Take a look at your quilt top and decide what your style is. If you have no idea what you want or like, you can ask your long arm quilter to give you some suggestions. It is also important to keep in mind the color of your backing. Take note that for example, if you have a black backing and choose a white thread, it will REALLY show on the back.

Different thread colors


Most long arm quilters will have batting that you can purchase through them or you can bring your own if you prefer. The most common batting that quilters keep on hand for customers is 80/20 cotton/poly blend batting and 100% cotton. Getting batting through your long arm quilter is a great option because you do not have to go out and purchase the batting beforehand and they can cut the batting correctly to fit your quilt. If the quilter does not carry the type of batting you prefer, you can always provide your own, just keep in mind that your batting also needs to be 4 inches bigger on each side of your quilt top.


You will be able to choose what design you would like quilted on your quilt. Most long arm quilters will have a gallery of designs that they offer on their website for you to look through.

You can find our gallery HERE

This can be overwhelming, so make sure to communicate to your quilter if you are unsure of what quilting design would best fit the flow and design of your quilt top. Your long arm quilter may also ask what density of quilting you prefer. Some prefer less dense or “loose” quilting while others prefer very dense. Refer to the pictures below for examples of different types of density and designs.

Stars and stripes with swirl long arm pattern
Example of lined Long arm quilting on white and tan fabric
Peach and Teal quilt with flower long arm quilting
Curved ong arm quilting on white, yellow and blue quilt
Curved long arm quilting on peach and white fabrics
Example of long arm quilting on peach and pink quilt

We know that every quilter is at a different skill level and that it can sometimes be nerve wracking to send your quilt off to a long arm quilter for fear that it might not be good enough, but we hope our tips and tricks helped you feel more comfortable and prepared  when doing so!

We would love for you to come be our quilty friend on SOCIAL MEDIA

If you have a quilt that you would like us to quilt for you, you can fill out our quilting request form HERE

Happy quilting!



If you liked this tutorial, be sure to check out these other free quilting tutorials!


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