Bottle Blonde, I pay to have my quilts quilted. The lady charges .01 a square inch for an overall design. She charges more for custom work.
I have rented machines at quilt stores and find that the hourly rate ($30) was not a good way for me to quilt. I was in a race to get as much done in the hour as I could. It wasn't a good way to learn how to quilt. I believe the quilting is an art.
I hope to get my own LA within the next year, but it is still less expensive to have an experienced LAQ quilt my quilts. Eiltcoq.