This is what the Cricket loves to see when a top comes in to be quilted:
those threads. Stray threads can show through the finished quilt and detract
from the beauty of your finished quilt. If you trim those stray threads
before you give the quilt to the Cricket, she’ll appreciate it.
quilt top so those seams are flat. This
is really important and can make a big difference in the final look of the
quilt. It is okay if some of the seams are twisted; that happens when you
quilt. But you really want to iron them as flat as you can. Iron
from the finished side (the front), and if you use starch or sizing it will be
especially appreciated because it will be really easy to handle
and nice to quilt.
those borders lay flat not wavy. The
best way to make flat borders is to fold the quilt in half lengthwise and
measure the center of the quilt and make the side borders the same length as
the center measurement, NOT the edge measurement. After you attach the side borders, fold the
quilt in half the other way and measure the crosswise center (including the
borders you just put on) and make the other borders the same length as that
center measurement, not the edge measurement.
quilt flat on a bed or floor and see if the blocks lay flat. The Cricket can handle a little unevenness,
but if a block is a D-cup or even a sombrero, you probably should consider
re-doing it, because even puffy batting may not help in that case.
In summary, the Cricket LOVES to quilt tops that
are trimmed, pressed, borders even, and relatively flat.
Now let's talk about backs.
quilt back should be a MINIMUM of 4-5" bigger than your quilt top on each
side. That means a total of 8-10" longer and 6-8" wider. This
is because the Cricket will use that fabric to attach the quilt to the bars and
side clamps of her frame. She will also use the side edges to test the
tension of her machine to make sure her settings work perfectly with your
quilt. Also, backs and batting tend to shrink up during the quilting
process. The Cricket offers to trim the quilt for you after it is
quilted, returning it to you ready to be bound. The excess batting and backing are also
piece your backing, which is most often the case, make sure to trim the
selvages off. Use a 1/2- 5/8" seam and press the seam open.
That will minimize the bulk in one area as the Cricket rolls the quilt back on
the frame and minimizes any resulting waves. Ideally, the quilt back can
be loaded so the seam runs parallel to the bars, taking the bulk of the seam
out of the equation, but that may not always be possible. So don't worry to much about that.
your quilt back. You can do this by folding it in quarters and using your
rotary cutter and rulers to trim it even. Just make sure the back ends up
at least 8-10" longer and wider than the quilt top.
Using starch or sizing makes it easier to handle.
In summary, your quilt back should be big enough,
have pressed open seams without selvage, square and pressed.