I am a longarm quilter in WI and am very happy to share my pricing with the group. My work can be viewed at my webshots at the folowing link http:\\community.webshots.com/user/stitchesbymindy
When I read back through my own reply it sounds a bit short. Believe me, that is not my intent.
All of my pricing is based on the square inch, the denser the design, the higher the price. I belong to 2 different longarm quilting groups and my pricing is AVERAGE for the area. I am consistently booked 2-3 months in advance. The square inch pricing is for the quilting only, batting, attaching and/or finishing the binding, making the backing, etc, is all extra. Basically, this is my full time job and I charge for my time and to cover my expenses (I must maintain a current list of assets for insurance purposes and it is currently over $75,000 including my machines and all of the many pantos I have to choose from). Working for other people is not my hobby. Making my own quilts is my hobby.
My overall pantogram pricing is divided in to 4 price ranges, .012, .015, .018, and .02. I assure you that if a customer chooses a design that is in the .02 price range, I will be sewing more on her quilt than she did.
Custom work starts at .03 cents per square inch and goes up from there. Yes, this is costly to the owner but that is what they choose. Every area of the quilt is discussed and designs are custom made to fit her quilt. I do not make the choice of what to do on a quilt. A quilt that I have custom quilted is show worthy. I always ask the customer what the intended purpose of the quilt is and this helps to guide them to the level of quilting . If you don't intend to show your quilt, and cost is a factor, then don't choose custom quilting.
I also ask my customers if they want the quilting to show or the piecing. I have over 150 customers and assure you that the answer is all over the board and changes with every quilt. If you want the piecing to show and the quilting to be simply a method of holding the layers together, then don't choose custom, or an expensive, dense panto for that matter.
I have hundreds of stitched out samples for my customers to view and choose from. I have customers from different states, some mail their quilts and some vacation in my area and bring them to me when they are here. I stock many types of batting which again, I review with the customer so that the correct batting is chosen for the intended purpose of the quilt. I carry over 200 different threads and special order when necessary, again, to meet the customers needs. I attend seminars on batting, thread, quilting and whatever else I can find to keep my knowledge level up so that I feel confident advising my customers.
I am amazed at how so many women are concerned about the cost of their hobby when if they sat back and figured what their husbands pay to support their hobbies they would probably be shocked. My husband pays over $120 per year on all of his hunting and fishing licenses. Add to that the cost of gas every time he goes fishing, new lures and expensive poles every year, all of the doe pee (yuck) he buys for hunting, special soaps, camoflauged clothes and the list goes on. Yes, we have fresh meats in our freezer but I'll bet it is over $20 a pound. That's the price of his hobby.
I'm done now, I hope I have not offended anyone with my to the point pricing.