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Thread: Any Long-Arm quilters out there?

  1. #1
    Junior Member greenfairy's Avatar
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    I have a quilting machine, and have started quilting for people around the city. I do it out of my home, and now have 8 customer quilts sitting in my closet waiting to get done. Each time I finish one, someone else calls with another. I can't seem to catch up. I can't decide if I should charge a little more, or tell people it will take longer. Any suggestlons?
    -Judi aka the Green Fairy of Green Fairy Quilts

  2. #2
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I have sent you a private message.

  3. #3

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    I have a friend that is a long arm quilter. She's been quilting (just
    backing and binding) for people as a hobby.
    she now wants to suppliment her income (she's close to retirement).
    How much should she charge for her labor, materials and equipment?
    When she told me she charges $80.00 for a medium sized quilt, I almost
    lost it! Hand sewing of the binding is minimum of three hours labor!
    I've seen her equipment and all her sewing supplies, she's got quite
    a set-up, I'd love to see her actually turn a profit.
    Thanks in advance for your advice!
    Signed,
    a friend called the CT Stang Gal

  4. #4
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    both

  5. #5

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    greenfairy;
    Can you respond to my inquiry?
    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Junior Member greenfairy's Avatar
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    That's a good question. I start my prices at a cent and a half per square inch, and charge as much as 4 cents per square inch if it's custom. That's a pretty basic method for charging. I then charge an additional $1 per bobbin, $6.95 per yard for batting, and $30-$40 for the binding. It can get expensive, but what most people don't realize is that when you break it all down to how much quilters make hourly, we have to charge that much.

    Thanks!

    Judi with Green Fairy Quilts

  7. #7

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    wonderful : )
    Thanks "sew" much for the information!

  8. #8
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    how do you feel when you calculate the price for a customer? do you feel as though you're charging far less than your work is worth? do you set your prices out of fear of rejection? or, do you know the price is fair exchange for the value of your work? if you know the prices are significantly lower than the going rate in your area, do you feel good about that, knowing you're a resource for less affluent quilters? when you answer these questions for yourself, you'll know whether or not you should raise your prices.

    either way, you should definitely give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get to, and complete, each commission. you aren't being fair to yourself or to your customer if you promise to have it sooner than you can actually get it done. (in addition to the quilts-in-the-que, you also need food, sleep, and occassional interaction with other human beings. don't push yourself to exhaustion.) just let each new customer know they are in line and then give a realistic estimate of the wait for theirs to be done. if the customer doesn't want to wait, encourage her to go elsewhere. make a referral to another quilter you trust. the customer will appreciate your honesty and either come back next time or at least spread good words about you.

  9. #9
    Junior Member greenfairy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments. I hang the quilts in my closet in the order I get them, and then I try to tell people it will be 3-4 weeks. Usually I get them done sooner, but what I need help with is trying to not feel guilty about taking time off to be with my kids. I feel like I always need to be quilting. People like what I do, and I keep getting more and more quilts, so I either need to tell them it will now take 4-6 weeks, or charge a little more for my efforts. I'll probably tell them it will take longer, because I'm too nervous to raise my rates.

    Judi with Green Fairy Quilts

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    it sounds like you know inside what you have to do to feel comfortable. if you're satisfied with your $$$ then they have to wait a little longer. if they INSIST they cannot wait, THEN i would give them the name of another quilter, in a very nice way. certainly not before. if they like another quilter, you'll probably never see them again even though they like you. people don't like like to switch back and forth.

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