Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a plush backing for my quilt?
Plush backings make for a very soft warm quilt, but there are things to be aware of
When quilting, sometimes the needle will pull some of the plush back up to the top of the quilt. If the backing and quilt top are similar in color this is not very noticeable, but if the colors contrast with each other it will be noticeable.
If you use a very thick plush material (like luxe, etc...) we will need to adjust the hopping foot height on our machine which will incur an additional charge. If the adjustment is not done correctly, it can damage the machine and we prefer not to do it.
Since some plush backings stretch much more than a cotton backing, it can cause the quilt edges to not lay flat. This is due to the fact that we must stretch the backing while it is being quilted and the backing returns to its original size when removed from the quilting frame. We attempt to minimize the amount we stretch the plush backing, but we can't always avoid the edges being a little curly. Some plush backings have a mesh backing that stretches less.
What are your recommendations concerning quilt backing?
Quilt backing seems to be the ugly step sister to the quilt top. Often times the backing seems to be an afterthought and just kind of thrown together. Since this is the first thing that is loaded on the quilting machine and is used as the basis for loading the batting and quilt top, it is important that it be as straight and square as possible. Here are some of our suggestions for making your quilt backing.
Make sure that the backing is at least 8 inches wider and 8 inches longer than the quilt top. If it is smaller than this, it can cause any number of problems during the quilting process.
If you need to piece together fabric to make the backing, try to make the seams so they go horizontally (from side to side) rather than vertically (from top to bottom). When the seam runs vertically, the seam rolls up on itself on the quilt frame rollers and causes the seam to be pulled tight and the material next to it to be loose. This could lead to the loose material becoming puckered or pleated during the quilting process. When the seam runs horizontally, the backing is stretched smoothly and consistently.
Click on the link below to see a video showing how a quilt is loaded on an APQS quilting machine. We use the full floating method.
Can I use a sheet as a quilt backing?
Using a sheet is fine. Please follow these guidelines when using a sheet.
All hems must be removed from the sheet before it can be used.
The sheet must be 8 inches wider and 8 inches longer than the quilt top when the hems have been removed.
The sheet should be as straight and square as possible after the hems are removed.
The sheet should be ironed after the hems are removed.
If we need to remove the hems, there will be an additional charge added..
What kind of thread do you use?
We prefer to use Fil-Tec Glide.
Glide is a trilobal polyester thread produced from high-tenacity filament yarn.
Here are some of it's features and benefits
Glide has a brilliant sheen and has the look of Rayon
Glide runs through our machine clean and is virtually lint-free
Excellent wash-fastness and strong resistance to bleaches and most chemicals
Lubricant is uniformly applied throughout each spool for maximum tension consistency
We have used Glide almost exclusively. It creates less lint than cotton, and is more durable. We will certainly use whatever thread you would like, but we prefer to use Glide.
What kind of quilting machine do you use
We have an APQS Millenium mounted on a 12 foot quilting frame. Options included are:
Quilt Path Computerized Quilting System
Bliss Track System
Quilt Glide Stitch Mode
Automatic Quilt Advance
APQS quilting machines are manufactured in Carroll, Iowa.
Our experience with APQS service and support has been excellent.
How do you set your quilting schedule
For the most part, we schedule the quilts in the order that we receive them. If we get a quilt that needs to be done for an event (birthday, graduation, wedding, etc...) we do our best to try and complete the quilt by the requested date. You can make quilting requests whenever you would like, but we don't actually schedule the quilting until we have the quilt in house. We feel that this is the fairest method of scheduling the quilts.
What is the best method to attach my borders so they lay flat?
The quilt should be measured and the borders cut to the length of the quilt. The borders should then be pinned to the quilt. Here are a couple of tutorials for adding borders.
Adding the the borders by measuring the center of the quilt: Click here to open the tutorial.
Adding the borders by measuring the quilt in 3 places and averaging: Click here to open the tutorial
Do you provide discounts for quilts that will be donated to charities.
We do provide discounts for quilts that are being donated to a 501(c) charitable organization. We will do one free charity quilt a year for our customers. Any additional charity quilts will receive a 50% discount off the quilting cost.