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Thread: Long-arm question

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hi,
    I am new here, and relatively new to quilting, about a year. I have used my friend's long-arm and it comes pretty easily to me. My quilts look really nice when I am finished. I hasten to add that I have just been doing loopy stuff, or waves, or jigsaws. I have done some simply shaped flowers, too, just playing. Question: If I bought a long-arm, would I be able to make any money doing quilt-tops for people since I still do simple stuff? I know that every long-arm person I talk to has a waiting list of a few months in my area, and it seems like many people on here do, too, but I don't know if they are all experts.
    And I don't mean I would need to make tens of thousands, of course; I really want to know if you have to be an expert at all sorts of designs to get paid for this.

    Thank you for any advice, suggestions or info. I wouldn't be asking but I want to buy a long-arm and I would have to help pay for it with some work.
    Nancy

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I don't think expert would be the word I'd use. But, I wouldn't send my tops off to anyone who hasn't had some sort of training. For example, classes etc. I don't use a longarmer, but if I did they'd have to be experienced.

    Now, that being said, if you decide to do this you can start and build your experience but don't ask as much as an experienced longarmer. Tell your clients outright that you're new and your pricing is low to gain experience and build your technique level. I'm sure you'd get some business that way if your area is as you say.

  3. #3
    Super Member ssgramma's Avatar
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    It somewhat depends on your local market too. A woman here that does only very, very simple work charges $40 for a queen and stays quite busy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member katz_n_kwiltz's Avatar
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    Nancy-
    yes, there is work to be had, and yes, even tho you havent done it all your life, there are certain friends who still like what you do- some are really good friends, and dont mind if you learn on their quilts, i am a long armer, and i havent worked for months, just that the economy is so bad here, in ohio so, keep on, and you will get better, i promise!!
    good luck
    katz

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Hi all,
    Thank you for giving me some information and advice, and also for letting me know that there is not always work out there. The shops here are busy, I know, I don't really know about individuals. Best to all,
    Nancy

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    I'm sure of it; just take pictures of what you can do and then let the quilters decide. Don't plan on charging what a more experienced quilter would charge in the beginning and then as you gain experience. I don't go to a long arm only because I can barely afford the fabric to make the quilt and then to add a 100 plus dollars I can't see that. Not that some of the quilting that I've seen done doesn't warrant that high price. Some of these long armers are fantastic. I would hire you for like 50 for a king size and then go down from that. I have one now that I'd love to have quilted but can't afford it. I'm sure there are alot of people like me who would love to invest in your future by supplying you with work to build your skills on. Let me know if you decide to do it.

  7. #7
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    Just don't expect to be busy all the time right away! Be honest with people about what your skills are.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Upstate NY
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    Thanks, Judy and Carol, Yes, I would of course be honest with people about my skill level, and I would also love to take a long-arm class if I could find one. I find it relaxing and fun, much more fun than pushing my big quilts through the neck of my Janome. I end up with such neck and shoulder aches!!

    I will let you know if I can figure out a way to buy the one I am looking at!! Thank you!
    Nancy

  9. #9
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    You may be able to have a fine business long arming quilts. But, don't buy a long arm expecting it to pay for itself. Be sure that you are able to pay for the machine and not count on the eggs before they are hatched. Just saying...........

  10. #10
    Junior Member OCQuilts's Avatar
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    Not exactly sure where you are in NY, but I am the Gammill dealer for most of NY. The other dealer is Virginia Long Arm! Good luck in your search and decision making. If I can be any help let me know!

    http://www.oldecityquilts.com

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