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Thread: Starting a Machine Quilting Business

  1. #1
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    Starting a Machine Quilting Business

    My husbandandIare thinking about Starting a small machine quilting business. Can recommend any good bsites, books, or classes? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    If you want to improve your LAQ, the craftsy classes online are great. You could also see if a member of a local guild will mentor you.

  3. #3
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    The first thing, do you have a longarm and do you have experience using it, and using it well? They are not the same as a DSM by any means. Unless you are planning to use a DSM, same questions: can you quilt well with it? Do you have cash reserves for time (6 months ) to build a client base? Do you have room (square footage) to devote to client quilts? Not to overwhelm you, but these are basics IMHO you need to strongly consider first and foremost. MQX will be in Kansas City in May, I believe, and there are oodles of classes to take, but they may already be filled. Is there a market for another quilter in your area?

    Also, and this is also very important, do you have passion and heart for quilting?

    This is just a teenie tiny list of things to consider. I'm sure others will also respond.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by knlsmith View Post
    The first thing, do you have a longarm and do you have experience using it, and using it well? They are not the same as a DSM by any means. Unless you are planning to use a DSM, same questions: can you quilt well with it? Do you have cash reserves for time (6 months ) to build a client base? Do you have room (square footage) to devote to client quilts? Not to overwhelm you, but these are basics IMHO you need to strongly consider first and foremost. MQX will be in Kansas City in May, I believe, and there are oodles of classes to take, but they may already be filled. Is there a market for another quilter in your area?

    Also, and this is also very important, do you have passion and heart for quilting?

    This is just a teenie tiny list of things to consider. I'm sure others will also respond.
    Agree and can/are you willing to put aside any/all plans to do this?
    When life gives you scraps, make a quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member sweetpea's Avatar
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    I;m with knlsmith and love-2-quilt: frist and formost make sure that you will have a client base in your area!!!
    is this something you will enjoy done and not get burned out.
    you should all so know that you may have client that will have you do a quilt for them and when it time to pay they don't have the money. have been holding one for 9 mouths . I have the time and money in it but not comeing back in to the busines to many of these and it not gone to work out to well. So you many think about some money up front.
    Scrapy quilts have more love in them.

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    First of all, are you a quilter? Have you pieced your own tops?

    If you have never pieced a quilt top, I have to be honest and say I would not bring my tops to you to quilt.

    There have been several very disappointed quilters here lately, posting about the disasters they had on their hands because the person who had quilted their top was someone who had simply started a quilting business with no experience and no creative vision.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Write a business plan. Even if you don't use it to seek financing, it's the only way to examine all the aspects of starting any kind of business before you actually start the business. There are tons of websites on the subject, but the SBA is a good place to start.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  8. #8
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    Too many people sink money into these long arms and then think that they will quilt for other people to help pay fot it. Hence the problems we have heard about here.

    Do you have samples worked up? Do you enjoy trying new quilting patterns? Are you experienced at loading quilts and knowing how to fix problems?

    Have you investigated the finance aspects and tax situation if you are serious about a real business?

    If you are really serious and have thought this through, I hope you are wildly successful in your new business.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for your responses. They are all very good and valid points that I have considered. However, I am looking for resources, specifically to the long arm quilting business; books, classes, articles, etc. I guess you can say I am doing my "homework" in order to get started and started well.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kaelynangelfoot's Avatar
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    I don't know about long arm quilting because I've never tried it but I really like Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project. I do my FMQ on my little sewing machine (although not very well yet)

    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com

    I was/am also considering starting my own sewing/quilting business and I picked up this book from Amazon. It deals with apparel production but has a lot of things that need to be considered such as location, hours, pricing, that are applicable to any sewing business.

    Sew To Success
    : How to make money in your home sewing business by Kathleen Spike

    Hope that helps.

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