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Prepare a Quilt for Machine Quilting? Let’s Use Plywood!

Are you preparing a Quilt for Machine Quilting? Let’s use plywood! Are you tired of bending over, taping to the floor to prepare a quilt for domestic machine quilting? Do you dread preparing your quilt for machine quilting that you have a stack of nicely folded unfinished quilt tops laying around? Would you rather spend more money on fabric than on paying a long arm quilter to machine quilt your unfinished quilt tops? Do you have a quilt that needs to immediately get quilted because your long arm quilter can’t quilt it for several months and the gifting of the quilt needs to happen now?

Well I have a fast, non back breaking alternative for YOU!

What you will need to get started

You may already have all of the supplies listed laying around your home and can get to layering that quilt right now!

1. Plywood Thin 1/4″ thick (ideal if pre-sanded)

Get yourself a thin piece of plywood from your local hardware store! I promise it will fit in your vehicle and if not then take some old blankets and tie it to the top of your car! I have done it so many times! A standard piece of plywood is 4 by 8 feet. I get it thin because it is easier to manage within your home and pick up and move around without you breaking your back.

Sanded Plywood used to prepare a quilt for machine quilting by safety pinning the quilt layers together

Now you are probably going to say where do I keep a piece of plywood in my home! I have had the same piece of plywood for many years and no one ever sees it. I have stored mine under a rug, behind a large piece of furniture or under a bed. Sometimes it even has been in the garage. Your plywood can be multipurpose, for example my kids have painted on it, used it as a dance floor and more!

2. Painter’s Tape approximate 2 inches wide

I like to use Painter’s Tape that is almost 2 inches wide. With 2 inches wide you can get a good grip on the fabric and the plywood without tape residue sticking to your fabric. You can purchase quality painters tape below from my Amazon Affliate Link.

3. Binder Clips 1 1/4″ wide

I actually get Binder Clips that are medium sized 1 1/4″ Wide, 5/8″ Capacity. They usually come in black and can be purchased in a pack of 24. You can purchase them below from my Amazon Affliate Link.


4. Small table of any kind

Now any small table can work, but this is the one I use. First of all, I love this table because it is light and made of plastic. The table legs are adjustable in height. Maybe you want to sit in a chair and pin your quilt layers together while watching a favorite movie or evening news. Perhaps you want to stand up and pin. This table is very affordable, the last time I looked on Amazon it was only $34.00 and if you have an Amazon Prime account not only do you get free movies… but this item comes with free shipping! Just think you can order this table with my Amazon Affliate Link and not have to load it into your car to get it to your home. I also use this table to sew in different places around my home such as in front of the TV while my family is watching a movie together. My husband and kids use the table all the time and is perfect if entertaining in your home; we constantly vary the height of the table with the adjustable legs based on its usage.


5. Safety Pins

You will pin together your quilt with safety pins.  To purchase your pins from Stitches Quilting click the images below.

Quilter's Safety Pins Size 1 150 Count

Dritz Curved Safety Pins Size 2 Quanity 40


I used to tape it to the floor but sometimes I didn’t feel like my floor was clean enough and put off the preparation?  I got tired of asking my kids not to walk on my quilt taped to the floor.  My back and knees ached after pinning a quilt that was taped to a floor.  I got tired of finding a place to tape the quilt on the floor that wouldn’t be in the way as we use our home. I used to do this technique on my dining room table but I got tired of clearing the dining room table and then not being about to use the dining room table until my quilt was completely pinned.

What’s nice about this method is if you need to go prepare dinner and serve it then you just get to it.  I can set it all up and start pinning, then pick up kids from school, run errands and come back to it a day later with my quilt preparation untouched or dirty.  One time when we had company over, I picked up the piece of plywood with the quilt attached and put it into another room, took down the folding table and everything was back to normal.  You might have a surprise quilt gift for a family member and this method gives you a chance to prepare the quilt without them seeing or knowing what you are doing.

What do you think about this technique to prepare a quilt for domestic quilting?  How do you prepare your quilt for domestic machine quilting?  What do you think about this method?

Best Wishes for Happy Stitches!

Deanna Wall Stitches Quilting Stitching Through Life

    What are your thoughts?