How to Prepare your Quilt for Machine Quilting

How To Prepare Your Quilt Top for Machine Quilting
QUILT TOP:
Press from the back of your quilt top first, then the front. Make sure that all seams are pressed flat on the back and facing in the desired direction (it does make a difference – press each way, then take a look – which do you like better?)  Note: this is particularly important if the quilting style you choose requires Stitch in the Ditch (SID) for stabilization or effect.  Cut off all trailing threads from the back of the quilt. If there are light areas on your top, dark threads can show through and detract from the finished product.
Indicate the top of the quilt if applicable with a piece of paper marked “TOP” and attach with safety pin.
BACKING:
100% cotton is recommended and pieced backs are fine, just ensure all selvages are removed.  I like to load with the seams parallel to the pick up bars if possible as a single perpendicular seam will have sagging along the edges which could cause tucks and pleats. Indicate the top of the backing if applicable with a piece of paper marked “TOP” and attach with safety pin. Backing AND batting should be at least 4″ larger than the quilt top on all sides.  Please ensure your backing is square.  
*** PIECING TIP ***

Make your quilt fit the borders, instead of the borders fitting the quilt.  Measure your quilt in the middle and use that measurement to cut your borders.  Fold the border and mark the middle.  Pin it to the middle of the quilt.  Next, pin each end.  Finally, pin the rest of the border, making sure the fabric is spread evenly. 
Here’s a youtube video that demonstrates this:

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