Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: How realistic is it to make a go at the long arm quilting business?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    286
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new here and have been bitten by the quilting bug. I'm interested in making some supplemental income and preparing for another career after retirement from the military...hopefully a long way off:)

    Here is the scenario.please tell me your thoughts(especially those who are doing long arm work now or have dealt with hiring machine quilters).

    I have no experience at this time. I buy an apqs millenium with a computer. I practice on my own projects and charity projects but hope/plan to use the computerized system to quilt for a business as soon as I feel would not harm anyone's hard work with my lack of experience and produce a good product And practice free form for myself during that time.

    How hard is it to break in...is there enough demand in the metro dc area to at
    least do 4 quilts a month...enough to break even on business expenses. Can I be as busy as I want to be in this area or is the demand just not high enough.

    I'm going to talk to quilt shops but I wanted to talk to people that aren't also hoping to sell me something:)

    The other idea is to put my business on the side burner, buy a Bailey and a frame and just do it for myself. I would be happy if I were busy enough in the business to pay off the equipment each month and anything over that would be a bonus. I was very excited about doing something I find so interesting, but I also want to be realistic about my chances of success.

    Could you tell me your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,670
    Blog Entries
    2
    If you are depending on quilt business to pay for your LA then I would say don't. Just my opinion. But I can't know your determination or drive to succeed so follow your instincts.

  3. #3
    Junior Member mary j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Standish, MI on Saginaw Bay
    Posts
    172
    I say, when your hobby becomes work, it is not fun anymore. I used to make things and people would say, I'll pay you to make me one, then they would make demands and it wasn't worth the money to me. I would rather make things for friends and family.

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Enid, OK
    Posts
    8,929
    Blog Entries
    1
    first find out how many LA quilter's are in that area, call them and find out what they charge and what their turn around time...then find a show where you can take a class and use their machine to do your own quilting...then in say 2-3 years, if you have the drive, experience and money, you might give another looksie to see how things have changed in that time frame..as in how many LA quilter's are there now..more or less of them?? cost of doing quilting has it gone up or down...

    Then ask yourself this most important question...in today's economy, can YOU afford to spend $1,000 to have one quilt made???

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    At my laptop
    Posts
    254
    I get asked this question all the time.
    First please keep in mind, quilting for yourself and enjoying the process is one thing. Are you ready to take some thing that is relaxing for your own personal quilting and incorporate the stress of a business into it. If so, I do belive the the work finds you. You can be as busy as you want to be. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Super Member luckylindy333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, Washington
    Posts
    2,046
    I agree with mary J- but if you want to go ahead, take a class in starting a business and make a business plan. It would be fun to do that anyway even if you change your mind.

  7. #7
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,866
    There are places where you can rent time on a LA. Some places have a few different kinds/brands for rent. Some LA quilters may rent time on their LA. Why not try out several of them? See if you like to use a LA and are comfortable doing so.

  8. #8
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    4,802
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt
    There are places where you can rent time on a LA. Some places have a few different kinds/brands for rent. Some LA quilters may rent time on their LA. Why not try out several of them? See if you like to use a LA and are comfortable doing so.
    I agree with this. If you haven't done any quilting yet, you should probably try it out to make sure you don't hate the work. Also - I pray that if you DO go ahead and open a business, you PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE before taking on paying customers. There have been LOTS of stories here of people upset with inexperienced longarmers because their quilt was ruined in one way or another.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    286
    I did check out some long arms. I thought it was so cool...I was not very good, my designs were shaky in the little time I demoed it. I know that I wouldn't be good enough at free form to accept business for quite a long time, but had hoped having a computerized system would enable me to start quickly.

    I also have rheumatoid arthritis so I'd like to find a career that I can turn to if I can no long serve in the military...with the computer, and upgrades to the apqs it would be pretty decent for my body with some help from my husband.

    Please don't think I'm taking this lightly. I would never want to damage someone's work because of my lack of experience.

    I tried the handiquilter avante and found the experience very enjoyable.
    I am trying a millennium this weekend...that's about it for the area.

    Do you think if I went the cheaper route and bought a Bailey 15 and did a good job with pantographs, that I could also get work quilting? Could I be successful that way too...cause then I wouldn't have the pressure of a business loan.

  10. #10
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ephrata, WA
    Posts
    8,889
    Blog Entries
    29
    I think everyone has a different experience and it is hard to guage/ gather information based on everyone else..I have a different history than most.
    I would agree that you no longer get time to work on your own projects..either because you are so busy doing everyone else's projects..or because it is no longer a fun "hobby" it's a job.
    I would also say get used to long hours in front of a machine...sore shoulders/feet/back. Strained eyes from focusing so hard..LOL
    I would also say that so many things are just about experiences..I have cried many tears...but I have had far more joys. Just like with anything you choose in life. Can you handle the rejection when someone doesn't like your work? I know professional show quilter's (the ones that make it into PAducah every year) that have had people complain about their work...style or whatever.
    It happens to everyone......
    I think you need to pray about it....meditate...and the answer will come to you. It doesn't matter what anyone else says......I have never been in charge from the beginning.....

    On another note...I own Innova's..it's a really nice machine..if you need details let me know.
    But friend of mine just got a Bailey's and I tried it out last week..I think it's a great machine...moved easily on the chassey...good stitches...visibility...it is a very nice starter machine to test the waters.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.