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Thread: LA Quilter's "going rate"

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    LA Quilter's "going rate"

    So, I've been quilting just personal stuff on a friend's LA machine for a couple of years now, and she is super awesome! She has allowed me to use her machine if she didn't need it and just pay her for the thread (I provide all my materials, top, batting, backing). And I have to get it done in one day so she can use it the next day, which is totally understandable. So, when I say I just got my machine, it's not that I am totally inexperienced.

    Anyway, I've just gotten my very own LA machine and love using it! So, I am wanting to start doing quilts for people. But I am newer at this, I've never been paid to do quilts for other people and I really usually only do stippling. I'm planning to just do stippling for people to start. I'm thinking about offering different designs when I have more practice at the other designs, but really for who knows how long I will only offer stippling.

    So, I'm wondering, what is the going rate for a quilter to charge for stippling? I had a lady ask me for pricing just the other day, and since I'm new at offering this to people I just told her $85 for a queen, and that I'm currently just doing stippling. She said that was pretty good.

    So, now I need to work out the pricing for all the other sizes.

    I'd love some input! Maybe I should also ask around so I know what others in my area are charging?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    I love my new machine!
    (Babylock Crown Jewel)

  2. #2
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    You are establishing a business and therefore must approach it as such.

    Have diagrams or pictures ready of the designs you are using up to date in a large ring bound notebook.

    Make a listing of all you want to discuss with your 'clients' and put it in a written format. This will hopefully prevent customer complaints. You will be able to show clients what you discussed as far as design, thread, etc. Also have room for any special comments on what is desired.

    It is nice to have receipts for customers so you can prove they paid and when you said you would have the quilting done by. Also the receipt numbers will help you keep track of incoming quilts. This means you will need to keep some sort of a record book.

    If a customer makes any changes then get it in writing before doing it!!!

    Make it fun and keep it affordable.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Around here stippling goes from any where between .01 - .02 per square inch... but some charge a mimimum set up fee ..some charge for bobbins.. some charge for thread..some charge a trimming fee if you what the excess fabric trimmed... some charge for all of the items I listed ! I can tell you what I feel comfortable paying.. .0125 or .015 per inch .. no set up charge no extra charges that is for stippling. It also depends on how tight or close the stippling is. I paid a LQS .0225 for all over stippling , paid the mimium set up charge .. and got stippling that was about 5-6 inches apart... needless to say I found others .

  4. #4
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Are there any LQS's in your area? Often they have brochures for long arm quilters in the area. You can get an idea of what is reasonable for your neighborhood. It does vary across the country. Also, you can look on line and get an idea for any additional charges: pressing, sewing yardage to make the backing, extra charges for thread color changes etc.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  5. #5
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    It totally depends on your area. Some areas the going rate for meander is as little .005 (one half cent) per square inch. Other areas it is .015 (one and a half cents) per s/i. As Lori S points out, it also depends on how dense your meander is.

    True stippling is a micro stitch and very densely placed but that is just semantics. Micro quilting (very, very dense background quilting, can be stipple, pebbling or any other dense small fill design) can command upwards to .06 to .10 cents per s/i and more but it should never be used as an all over. It is a background fill used to make other elements such as applique or a quilted feather wreath pop.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 11-29-2012 at 09:47 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    It totally depends on your area. Some areas the going rate for meander is as little .005 (one half cent) per square inch. Other areas it is .015 (one and a half cents) per s/i. As Lori S points out, it also depends on how dense your meander is.

    True stippling is a micro stitch and very densely placed but that is just semantics. Micro quilting (very, very dense background quilting, can be stipple, pebbling or any other dense small fill design) can command upwards to .06 to .10 cents per s/i and more but it should never be used as an all over. It is a background fill used to make other elements such as applique or a quilted feather wreath pop.
    Agree with Feline Fanatic - you don't state what your location is.

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I agree with feline fanatic's semantics, as far stippling being (technically) a very tight stitch. What many call stippling is actually meandering, which is just a bigger version of stippling. Whatever... I think we know what you mean.

    Part of running a business includes paying taxes. If you make more than a small amount ($400???) you will have to pay your social security and medicare taxes on the profit from the business, and that's a hefty percentage (over 13%?) that has nothing to do with your overall taxes. (In other words, even if your total income is so low that you don't pay income taxes, you still have to pay the social security and medicare tax.) Be sure you account for that in your pricing and keep records! There may be additional business costs, such as state and local taxes, business license, additional insurance if people are coming to your home, etc.

    $87 for a queen is about $.01 per inch (figuring 87"x100") so it's definitely not too much for meandering and might be very low, depending on your area. Some people make much larger quilts and still call them queens, so you might want to state your charge by the square inch. Good luck with your new business.

  8. #8
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    Sorry, you're right, I didn't state where I am. I'm in Utah, Salt Lake County. There are a few LQS, I will ask them for info as well. And yes, meandering I suppose would be a more accurate term for what I'm planning on starting with.

    Thank you for all your input! I am finding it very helpful!

  9. #9
    Member KyTriplets's Avatar
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    I think you'll find the majority of longarm quilters price by the square inch since everyone's "queen" is a different size "queen". Of course, there are also charges for batting, binding, backing, etc. For a basic meander quilting I charge .017/sq inch. For an actual edge to edge quilting pantograph I charge .02/sq inch. Custom starts at .037/sq in and goes up from there. If you are interested, you can check out my pricing on my website- QuiltedJoy.com It is always a good idea, though, to see what the going rate is in your area. Keep track of your time spent working and determine what you are actually making an hour. Operating a longarm machine takes practice and practice takes time so don't lowball your pricing. You are selling your skill and expertise. I'll get off my soapbox now.

  10. #10
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Good luck with your new business. Hope you get lots of quilts to do. Don't forget to take photos of every one you do and post them here so we can enjoy them too.
    Proud grandma of Coast Guard grandson and Air Force granddaughter!

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