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Thread: Please share how you got into LAQ

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2010
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    Hi-

    For those that dabble in LAQ would you mind sharing how it all started?? And, can you also share if you have done work for others, or now actually teach classes or rent to others?

    I would love to buy a LA machine, but I am scared over the price and secondly the space, but more importantly if I would ever get good enough to USE the thing??!!

    For those that rent/sell to other, have you paid for your machine doing this work?? Curious! And by no means will I be quitting my day job anytime soon! HA!

  2. #2
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i got into because i like to have ownership over the entire creative process.

    i start quilting on my sewing machine and soon felt limited by the throat space so i got a LA setup.

    i do quilting for others but only for close friends or for charity.

    the more quilting business that i take in takes away from producing and selling my quilts which is my only source of income.

    my setup and costs are covered by selling my quilts.

    i do not let any one use my LA setup except me because it costs a lot of money and i don't trust any one with handling it properly.

  3. #3
    Junior Member ljfox's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    I just got mine in November so I am still learning. I have done two quilts and the third one is on the machine now. I work full time so my time is limited. I didn't want to send my quilts out to be quilted, and I was tired of wrestling with them on a regular machine. I decided that I was worth the money, you only live once.

  4. #4
    Super Member suezquilts's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    My Mom wanted to purchase one when she was very ill, but we put it off, our brothers would have been angry if we spent her money like that. So when she passed away, my sister and I both purchased one. otherwise I would have been scared to death.
    I know Mom would be thrilled with what we are doing now.

    My business began after I quilted all the quilts I had on hand!

  5. #5
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockeyrabbit
    Hi-

    For those that dabble in LAQ would you mind sharing how it all started?? And, can you also share if you have done work for others, or now actually teach classes or rent to others?

    I would love to buy a LA machine, but I am scared over the price and secondly the space, but more importantly if I would ever get good enough to USE the thing??!!

    For those that rent/sell to other, have you paid for your machine doing this work?? Curious! And by no means will I be quitting my day job anytime soon! HA!
    My mom and I bought our first long arm about 4 years ago. I love to make quilts and have done it for years and just seeing all the quilts that were machine quilted....made us drool!!! lol :) So we share our machine still now. I say that if you really want one...go for it!!! There is a learning curve to it. Be prepared to spend time practicing. You can watch lots of videos on youtube to get different techniques and practice on a dry erase board or on paper.

  6. #6
    Super Member tomilu's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    I wanted to do my own quilting. Started out with a Juki TL98e and a B-line frame. I quickly found out I was limited in how big the designs could be. Then I found a used Gammill, several years old and bought that. I have done some quilting for others, but don't any longer. If you decide to buy a LA, buy the best you can afford and try them out and do your research.

  7. #7
    Junior Member glassnquilts's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    I didn't know I wanted one but my husband bought me one as a huge surprise this Christmas. I love it. It is so much fun. I am hoping to do quilts for others very soon.

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    I am also a newby. I took delivery this summer but I do not have central air conditioning and it was a really hot, humid summer and my dealer told me not to run it if it was 90 or more in the room which it was! So I practiced when I could and the weather here finally broke in September. I completed my first quilt in November. I have since done 2 others and have the 4th loaded. My third quilt was for someone else and so is the quilt currently on the rack. I do want to quilt for others as I love LAing.

  9. #9
    Banned
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    Dec 2010
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    Colorado
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    I started with the original Handi-Quilter frame (yuk) and an old Pfaff and I outgrew it in about two months. I upgraded to a Juki and a stronger frame and then a couple of years later I bit the bullet and bought a Nolting with a 24 inch throat and a 12 foot table. In retrospect, I wish I'd have done this first. But it was such an investment, I wasn't sure I could justify it. But I've had it for five years and it is a great setup. I started doing customer quilts about a year after I got it.
    I took classes on doing pantographs and stencils and on how to use rulers and then ultimately taught those classes for the dealer that I bought the machine from.
    I don't rent my machine to other quilters because of the liability and because I usually have a quilt that I need to get done loaded on the machine. I also don't want the hassel of renting it.
    Could I support myself with quilting? Nope. I do make money quilting for others, but I couldn't meet my bills and feed myself if the only money coming in was through quilting. It can be a very fluctuating market. It depends on the season and the economy. When your're busy you are really, really busy and when your're not you can be really, really not busy.
    I hope this answers your questions

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    My mother had sent a few of her quilt tops out to be quilted and I loved watching the gentleman whom quilted them. When I retired several years ago I wanted to finish the quilt tops that I had pieced and husband mentioned that I needed to get a machine like the "gentleman" had. I purchased a new Gammill, quilted two of my tops. Then the stock market hit bottom and took my retirement with it. To make up the difference I started taking in customer quilts. There is no way that I can depend only on quilting for an income, but with the quilting, a small retirement income and social security I can live comfortably and have enough income to support my passion and addiction of quilting. I would not be comfortable renting my machine as it is set up for me; the height is as low as it will go and I have the tension set to handle the speed that it is driven by me. It is not stitch regulated so most people would need a lot of practice time on it to be able to quilt their tops and I need that time to quilt. Just my 2 cents worth.

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