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Thread: Machine Quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member jdeery's Avatar
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    I would love to hear from anyone that does machine quilting
    as an income. If it is profitable and how much time is involved.
    What kind of machine (relative cost) How do you figure how
    much to charge?

  2. #2
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i do machine quilting for part of my income. many quilters charge different amounts, i believe that location has alot to do with charges. some people charge by the square inch, some by the project, some by the hour...it depends on you...first you have to buy a machine (not cheap...it is an investment, as large as buying a car) then you have to learn to use it, then you have to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. some people find that they enjoy doing panto's, some like to do free-motion-free hand quilting; everyone has their own style. and their own learning curve...some people take hold, jump right in and start out doing quite well, others practice, practice practice and never feel as if they are doing good enough to work on other people's quilts. and time....well, if you like making quilts you may just find you spend all of your time quilting other peoples quilts and never seem to have any time to make one yourself, or you do manage to get one made once in awhile, but it stays folded up under your quilting table because someone else's is always loaded up.
    before even thinking about such a commitment you need to start with trying out as many machines as you can, take lessons, demo machines and get in some practice. the only reason i have my machine is because the person who originally bought it thought they would set it up, load up a quilt and be making money hand over fist...well with their second quilt reality sunk in, it takes time it takes practice, it takes commitment...and it takes up a huge amount of space. you can not just buy a machine set it up and be a great quilter. anhd along with experience and practice you need to do a market survey...are there 40 really good quilters already in your town? or is there no one for 100 miles doing it? it takes time to build a customer base. if you do decide to jump in and give it a try it will take some time to build up enough return customers to reach the point where you actually are making any money. i think it took me about 4 years to reach the point where i believe the machine has been paid for and then i was finally making money with it

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    ck is right on!

  4. #4
    Dave-Jane's Avatar
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    I agree, you spend a lot of time marketing yourself too! The best is word of mouth, you, your quality, guilds that will try you out, then there's all the organizations that want you to quilt for free. That is a very good way to advertise though. I try and do my best on all I do even the freebies! I especially do after I overheard one lady who was binding a Q.O.V. quilt I did for a guild; "Not bad for a guy, if he does this nice of a job on a donation quilt, just imagine what he does on the pay ones! Made me feel pretty good! She's now a dedicated customer too. Oh well, just thought I'd stick my nose in here, it is a wonderful profession and I love it!-----Dave B.

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I think ck hit it right on the head!

  6. #6
    Senior Member jdeery's Avatar
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    It is a scary venture, but I think I will try a lot of machines.
    And I know it does take a lot of practice, in my situation it
    probably isn't a good idea, but I can dream. I always wanted
    to have a quilt/fabric store, it has been my passion, but life
    just seems to always get in the way. I guess I will put it on
    my bucket list for now. Thanks for all the advise, it is a
    reality check for sure.

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