Keeping your quilt square

May 7, 2024

Achieving precise alignment on your longarm quilting machine is crucial for a flawless finished product. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or just beginning your journey, mastering the art of keeping a quilt square on the longarm can elevate your quilting game to new heights.

In this guide, we’ll explore a step-by-step approach to ensure your quilt stays perfectly aligned throughout the quilting process.

Start with a square foundation

The foundation of a well-aligned quilt begins with ensuring both the backing square and the quilt top are as square as possible. Take the time to iron your quilt top and trim any loose threads from the back. Starting with a square and well-pieced top sets the stage for success.

Utilize horizontal channel lock

Once the backing and quilt top are prepared, use the horizontal channel lock on your longarm to quilt a straight line across the backing. This line serves as a guide to align the raw edge of the quilt top perfectly.

Secure the layers

Seam or baste the quilt top to the batting and backing. Using a ruler can help with keeping the seams straight, especially when sewing down the top edge of the quilt top. This step provides an opportunity to double-check for any alignment issues before proceeding.

Keeping your quilt square - demonstrating how to use the ruler for the border

Check angles and alignment

Before sewing the raw side edges down, ensure that the inner seam for the outer border forms a right angle. Sewing from the belly bar towards the leveler bar can help prevent the raw edge of the quilt from shifting towards the bottom board.

Quilt in sections

To streamline the quilting process and maintain alignment, focus on quilting one section at a time. Only baste or sew the side edges for the portion of the quilt top within your quiltable area before advancing the quilt.

Utilize markings and locks

Use tape on the leveler bar and quilt top roller to mark side edges and vertical seams of the quilt top. These markings allow for gentle adjustments to ensure straight edges and seams. Take advantage of vertical and horizontal channel locks available on longarm machines to maintain alignment throughout the quilting process.

Keeping your quilt square - demonstrating how to mark the level bar

Keeping your quilt square - demonstrating how to mark the quilt top bar

By following these steps diligently, you will be well-equipped to keep your quilt square on the longarm, resulting in a professionally finished masterpiece.

Remember, attention to detail and precision are key elements in achieving quilting perfection. So, gather your supplies, prepare your workspace and embark on your quilting journey with confidence!