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Thread: Calling all Professional quilters

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    If you do quilting for others as a business, can I ask a few questions?

    1) How long had you been quilting before you thought "Hey, I'm pretty good at this!"
    2) How long were you quilting before you started to do it as a business?
    3) Are you making the amount of money you need to/want to?
    4) Are you a long armer or do you do it on your table top machine?

    I finished a quilt a while back and having no experience machine quilting, had the LQS quilt it for me. I was not all that impressed when I got it back. I thought, well, heck... I bet I could have done a better job. So I started working on my kids quilts and you know what? I'm kind of impressed with my FMQ - for a beginner :) And I do think that I could do a better job than the LQS on that quilt I took in. Part of me wants to rip it out and try, but the other part of me just says to move on!

    So... I am starting to think that pretty soon all the kids will be in school full time and I need to find a job. But with school vacations and summer vacations and sick kids - it is hard to find a job with such flexiblity. I'm thinking of taking this next year and really working on my skills. Taking classes etc. Is it realistic to think that in one year I could be good enough to do this as a business? I know some quilters and they have been doing it for years and years...

    Give it to me straight ! I can take it!

  2. #2
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    Having done FMQ, I can testify I did a wonderful job on hangings and crib sized quilts, fair on twin and not so good at all on full sized. I just have an older computerized Singer with not much room to fit in a roll. This was before LAQ. I have seen some fabulous LAQ products. Which are you thinking of using?

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    It sounds like your Long arm quilter wasn't very good. Find another! There have been many threads about starting a business longarming. If you do a search using the search feature above, it may be helpful

  4. #4
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    yes in 12 months you could have the skills to quilt for other people. you might want to master pantos, freehand edge to edge, and some basic feathers and such.

    i did it to supplement my income as a quilt artist and now that aspect of my business is doing well i no longer accept tops for quilting.

    i was happy with the income within the second of of being self employed.

  5. #5
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    I'm going to take lessons at the Quilting with Machines show in October before I start anything. I have been asked by my fellow guild members though when I am going to start quilting for them. I think that may be a sign.

  6. #6
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    start showing your quilts you've quilted to friends who quilt- see if they like what you are doing- and would like you to quilt theirs---word of mouth is the only way to build a quilting business- as more and more are happy with your work- they tell more and more people- before you know it you no longer have time to make quilts any more- you get to spend all your time quilting other peoples quilts instead.
    i know a few who after 5-10 years of that they quit---because they didn't want the stress- didn't want to spend all their time working on other peoples quilts- and just plain burned out.
    before taking on other peoples quilts make sure you are good at the size they may bring you- if your only quilted kids size quilts and someone brings you a king...you may find yourself in a bad situation...so practice practice practice is important---and before you decide to quilt some one elses quilt have policies figured out and prices---ask lots of questions...
    it really is not something to jump into without tons of PRACTICE and research...
    did you tell the folks at the lqs you were not happy with the quilting job you got? problems can not be fixed if they do not know there's a problem.
    communication is very important. .. as important as the quilting

  7. #7
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripped on Scotch
    I'm going to take lessons at the Quilting with Machines show in October before I start anything. I have been asked by my fellow guild members though when I am going to start quilting for them. I think that may be a sign.
    Well, Ripped, the quilt you did for me was great. You'll be good at it!

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