Backing and batting need to be at least 4 inches larger than quilt top on all for sides. Example...if quilt top measures 60 x 70, then the batting and quilt backing need to measure at least 68 x 78. If your batting and backing are larger - DO NOT cut them off.
Make sure the edges of your quilt back are even. The edges will be pinned to the rollers of the machine, they need to be even to minimize the chances of puckers in the back of the finished quilt.
If you need to piece your backing, please remove the salvege edges of the fabric. The best way to do this is to tear it away.
DO NOT baste your quilt layers together. Each layer will be mounted on the quilting machine separately.
Think about what color of thread you want to use to quilt your quilt. Keep in mind if you are a beginner, you will probably want your thread color to blend with your quilt and therefore not show very much. Don't worry if your not sure, we will "audition" some different threads during your quilting appointment. Remember, the priority is the quilt front - the thread may show on the back side of your quilt, unless you choose a backing fabric that coordinates with all the colors of the quilt front. A fabric with a "busy" print will "hide" most quilting.
Think about what type of design you want to quilt onto your quilt. Take into consideration your personal skill level. If you are beginner you may be limited to meandering or loops. Research ideas by looking at long arm design websites such as www.favequilts.com. Using a pantograph is also an option with the long arm. One of many websites available to research different pantos is www.sewthankful.com. I have a few pantos available for use in the shop, however, if there is a specific panto you find - please feel free to purchase it on your own and bring it with you during your quilting session. You will need to practice the design on a scrap before you do it on your quilt. If you choose to purchase a pantograph- the machine at MFQS has a 24" throat - make sure you purchase a design no larger than 16".
When your quilting remember to stay relaxed and have fun. Long arm quilting is like everything we do in life - the more you do it the better you get at it. Practice, practice, practice - there simply are no shortcuts to becoming better.