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Thread: A gentle discussion about $ for long arm quilting

  1. #21
    stitchesbymindy's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    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.
    Mindy

  2. #22
    Super Member
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    no, Mindy, you are absolutely right. What you do is a service that is worth a lot of money. We women tend to underrate our worth. Personally, I think $200 for a queen size quilt is a reasonable rate. You have a LOT of time and overhead into that price.

  3. #23
    lin
    lin is offline
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    Thank you Mindy. I appreciate the honest assessment of how you go about the business of machine quilting. Your post didn't sound short to me. :)


  4. #24

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    I agree we have to defend the value of our time, expertise, and of course our investments. I know myself I'm in no position to pay $200.00 for a custom quilt job. But I certainly would not hesitate to ask that price if I were spending my time on someone else's work. :) Let's not forget how expensive those machines are! But, I personally think finishing the entire job my self is a major part of the overall piece, and under most circumstances, would not dream of having someone else do it for me. :lol:

  5. #25
    stitchesbymindy's Avatar
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    I know many women who do all their own quilting, either on the sewing machine or by hand. Even before I had my longarm I never did my own quilting. I either didn't finish them or sent them out, and I too looked for an inexpensive way to finish them. Now that I have tons of quilts finished in all different ways, I can really see the difference and I know usually when I start a quilt whether I will finish it fast and easy, show worthy or somewhere in between.
    Mindy

  6. #26
    Super Member 2 Doods's Avatar
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    Kathy-
    I have a grace frame set up and just extended it out to the king size.It is now 109 inches long and I have it along a wall with room in the back side and the front edge is 45" from the wall. There isn't enough room to work from the back side unless I pull it out a little further. I do all mine from the front so I can see better. I just do free motion. If you need to follow a pattern then you would be on the backside. Hope that helps. More? Let me know. :)

  7. #27
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2006
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    Take a look at this site. There is a discussion about quilting for others and just wait until you read how long it takes for one quilt. Read it and see it at:


    http://www.apqs.com/quiltboard/viewthread.php?tid=8329

    Most interesting.

    June in Cincinnati





















  8. #28

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    I have not yet, nor do I have any immediate plans to handquilt. It would be too slow and I have carpal tunnel as well. I use a zig zag singer that's over 30 yrs old and just do what ever type of manipulation I have to in order to quilt them. Or I should say so far it, as I've only barely finished 1 large throw size. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  9. #29
    Senior Member
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    CLARIFICATION: Susan, please note the number of bobbins she used. This is not hand quilting. It is done on a long arm machine. I was not sure you understood, or perhaps that was not what you had reference to in your post.
    June

  10. #30
    Super Member azam's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Sunny California
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    I'm thinking of purchasing a frame/machine combo. But not sure what to look for. Can you tell me what a CAD is? What else should I consider when purchasing one?
    HELP!

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