Edge stitch your top for a better quilting experience
When I finish piecing a quilt top I have a one final step before it is really considered “done” – sew around the edges with an eighth-of-an-inch seam allowance.
I learned this trick from a professional longarm quilter. Sewing the running stitch around the edges does a couple of things that will make for a better quilting experience, even if it’s not you doing the quilting.
The stitch acts as a stabilizer. This is especially important if any of your outside seams are on the bias. But even fabric cut on the grain can stretch and warp slightly every time you handle the quilt top, leaving you with wavy edges and corners that aren’t straight.
If you have a pieced border, the running stitch locks everything in place, which is especially important if you’re you to have it quilted on a longarm or a large frame. There’s lots of pulling and tugging to keep everything flat and the tension correct. If you have a pieced border, then it is really easy for those edge stitches to pop open and then you’re stuck sewing them back together by hand before you put the binding on.
Plus, if you’re like me and have more tops than time to quilt them, the edge stitch keeps everything nice and tidy while it waits its turn to be quilted.