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   Kristin Hoftyzer   
4060 350th Street   
Boyden, IA 51234   

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Tips & Suggestions

Tips and Suggestions

Adding Borders to your Quilt

Click here for a simple diagram showing how avoid wavy borders.

Preparing your Quilt

  • Very important: Your backing & batting need to be at least 4 to 6 inches bigger than your quilt top on all sides. To square up the fabric I may need to trim a few inches off, possibly leaving your backing too small.
  • Printed backings will hide any stops & starts. I use the same color thread on the top & in the bobbin. Keep this in mind when choosing your backing fabric.
  • Your quilt top and backing fabric should be pressed and neatly folded. The backing should be pieced (if necessary) and squared up. I recommend pressing the backing seam open to reduce bulk.
  • While constructing your quilt, please press all seams to one side or the other. If the seam allowance flip-flops back & forth, I cannot accurately do stitch-in-the-ditch on your quilt.
  • The layers of your quilt do not need to be basted together--each piece is loaded individually.
  • Borders that do not lay flat may cause tucks or pleats in the final quilt. See the hints under "adding borders to your quilt" to avoid this problem.
  • Trim any loose threads on your quilt top. Unclipped dark threads can show through underneath light fabrics.
  • Identify the top of your quilt & the top of your backing with a note pinned to each. This is especially important if your back fabric is directional.

    Choosing Batting

    I prefer that you use the batting that I carry--I buy batting by the roll which lays very flat when I load it on the machine. The individual packaged battings are often difficult to work with. They are rolled up & folded many times & are very wrinkled when taken out of the bag. (One exception is the Quilter’s Dream battings--they come out of the package without wrinkles or folds & I am happy to use any QD product you bring along with your quilt.)

    If your quilt requires any stitch-in-the-ditch, please choose a low-loft batting. Quilter’s Dream Cotton or Dream Poly are both excellent choices for this type of quilting. Batting with a high loft can be too thick for dense quilting. I can assist you in choosing the best batting for your quilt.

    Also think about shrinkage when choosing your batting--most cotton or cotton blends will shrink 3-5% when washed. Quilter’s Dream Cotton is labeled as having 1% shrinkage, and polyester battings have no shrinkage.