Here are some pointers which should help make sure that your quilt top and its quilting process are pleasant experiences.
If you are using borders in creating your quilt top please make sure to measure your quilt top in the middle, not the edges. Cut your border to this exact measurement and pin to the top, easing in any fullness. Some people just sew the border strip as they go along. This a a recipe for wavy borders. If borders are wavy there is no way to "quilt out" the fullness.
It is helpful to baste 4" muslin strips to the outer borders of your quilt top on all 4 sides. By doing this you will add border stability. Please make sure that your strips are pressed to the outside. Your backing needs to be at least 3-4 inches larger all the way around than the quilt top. (This means that you need at least 6-8 inches in extra length and width).
Please make sure that your quilt top is squared off. You can visually see how square your top is by laying it on a straight line. If you will be doing an unusual edge --such as scallops, the best time to do this is after your quilt has been quilted.
Pressing the quilt top is important. Please avoid twisting seam and press in the direction which will cause the least bulk. Sometimes you will need to break rule about pressing to the darker side if it creates extra bulk. If you are shipping your quilt top and back to me it is very helpful to lay tissue paper down the length of the top. Fold the quilt top gently over the tissue and towards the center. By doing this you will not have creases folded into your quilt top. If you are piecing the back please trim off selvage edges prior to sewing together with 1/2 inch seams, then press open.
Please trim off loose threads on the back of your quilt top. Loose threads can show up undesirably in your finished qult.
Please do not do any embellishing on you quilt top before it is quilted. Choose backing fabric and binding fabric to complement your quilt top. Sheets and Batiks are not the best choice for backing. They can be very off grain and cause uneven thread tension in the quilt.