919-259-3555

PO Box 830 Oriental NC 28571 US

Preparing your Quilt for Long Arm Quilting

Please note:  If you are not local and would like to ship your quilt to our studio, that is absolutely fine.  However, please contact Margaret first so that all will go smoothly.  We have shipped hundreds of quilts back and forth over the years without a hitch, but please call first for some important information.


Quilt, backing and batting must be separate. Do not pin or baste layers together.

The batting and backing should measure at least eight inches longer and eight inches wider than your quilt top. For example, if your quilt measures 60" x 80", the batting and backing should measure at least 68" x 88". This will allow four inches completely around the quilt top. If it’s larger, no worries.  We return any unused materials.

If your quilt top or backing has a definite “head”, and you think we might not recognize it, please apply a marker  of some type to identify it. (i.e. –is either one directional)

The top must be free of embellishments such as buttons and beads. You may add them after quilting.

Clip all loose threads and press the seams well.

Backing: We recommend putting a good deal of thought into your choice of fabric and preparation. If your fabric needs seamed, you’ll want to trim the selvedge edges first. Pressing the seam to the side is usually best. Do consider matching the repeats if you have selected a backing with large motifs.  You’ll need extra fabric for this.  If you have fashioned a backing that includes a motif(s) requiring centering, we can do this.  It can be time consuming and sometimes difficult, so naturally, we will charge extra for this.

The Bears will not work with anything except quilting cottons for quilt backings. Low nap, good quality Minke is the only exception.  On the no fly list includes upholstery fabric, denim, bed sheets, double knit and fabric that is meant for clothing, not quilts.  Any questions, please inquire.  We've seen many quilts completely ruined because the incorrect backing fabric was used. 

Don’t enjoy preparing your backing? Three Bears will provide this service for you at your request.

Binding: Include one yard of fabric if you would like to utilize our binding service.

Consider your batting choices carefully. What will be the intended use of the quilt? Will it be a wall hanging? What season will it most likely be used? Do you prefer a vintage look and feel?  Do you prefer a heavy or lightweight quilt? Does the recipient have any allergies? (think wool)  Will the quilt be laundered more than normal? (think dorm room).  Whether you purchase your batting from your local quilt shop or from us, feel free to call on Margaret with any batting questions you may have.  It is our pleasure to help you.

Don’t stress about removing every little wrinkle from your backing.  We pride ourselves in delivering “Blue Ribbon Quilting” on every single quilt.  That said, included in our price is squaring your backing fabric as well as professionally steaming to remove heat set wrinkles from the bolt..