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Thread: Anyone make a living at quilting?

  1. #26
    Senior Member cindyg's Avatar
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    I only quilt my own quilts. If I quilted for pay it would become a job and I already have one of those. I make quilts for family, totes for friends and family. My BFF and I bought an HQ-16 together and it's set up at her office/warehouse. She lives an hour and a half away so I don't get to practice much. If I did quilt a quilt for someone they would be sorely disappointed - LOL.

  2. #27
    Power Poster Tweety2911's Avatar
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    I only quilt for pleasure. A few friends wanted quilts made, then balked at the cost (that is my cost, no profit). Once they started making change after change on the colors, I gave up and told them I would show them how to quilt, but would not make one for them. All receivers are thrilled with their unexpected quilt gifts and that is what keeps me quilting. Love of family and friends!

  3. #28
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    I used to but it became like any other job and now I just don't like to do the quilting even on my quilts.

  4. #29
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    Noway, I hand quilt for pay and no one wants to pay for it. So occasionaly I sell one but mostly I piece and quilt for the enjoyment and therepeutic effect on myself. lol

  5. #30
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    I think this is a very legitimate question and have often wondered about it myself. I am a sahm after 10 years of working outside our home. I have found that if I have enough word of mouth (and it's spreading) I can get enough business to bring in enough extra money to help out with our bills. Could I make a living if I had to? Probably, but it would entail alot more work on my part - both with advertising and with the actual working end of it. Right now I just quilt for those who ask me to... I sold a table runner - the one in my avatar for $50 because the person was at my house and liked it - so it was hers - it actually goes with a wall hanging I'm making for her - for free because she can't applique. She knows I do this for money and if she chooses to pay me - I'll not say no. :)

  6. #31
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    Do be careful taking a loved hobby and converting to a business. It can go from fun, relaxing, and exciting to a chore, just like any other, and no time/energy for what you want to do.
    I second that. I use to love to sew and design clothes started doing it as a business out of my home when my son was small. I grew to hate the sight of the sewing machine.And I won't even mention the people. I rarely make clothes anymore. Just quilts and belly bands for dogs. Even the belly bands have gotten old I would rather quilt. I did just repair a quilt for a friend and charged her $45 anyone else would have been twice that. But its ok. She gave me some free vitamins which is her business. I would love to be able to supplement my disability though and still have time to do what I want

  7. #32
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    I make extra money. Most of the time I give the quilts away. I am making a baby quilt and a Tee shirt quilt for money. I'm trying to buy hardwood floor for 3 rooms.
    Thank goodness I have a brother that can install it.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Sewze's Avatar
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    I'm happy that this thread came up........have often wondered about this question. Think I'll just keep doing what I am doing.....for my own enjoyment.

  9. #34
    Super Member klgreene's Avatar
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    I was thinking of buying a long arm quilter to try and make some money, but after thinking about it, I thought that as soon as my love of quilting becomes a job, I will hate it. So No, I just quilt for myself, family and friends. Some I've even told them, you buy the material...and I'll make it for you. Then it's still not a job just a good friend who can't afford to buy the material for everyone.

  10. #35
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I love doing my own quilts and what appeals to me. If someone wants to purchase one these, fine. I was a professional seamstress and made a good living at that for years. All the years I stayed home and raised our son, that is.

    I had my sewing studio at home. I used the same studio to teach folk art years later when I got sick of the sewing business lol.

    Funny thing tho, I never got tired of teaching folk art or quilting. I used to teach quilting at my local LQS and sometimes I feel to go teach again but am having too much fun at home.

    I got the longarm about 4 years ago and it has already paid for itself so I dont' care if I quilt another quilt or not lol. I don't advertise and just people who really know me bring their quilts and that is just fine.

    I have worked out of the house jobs too, when My son was grown, for some years too and traveled a lot for the paint company. I guess that is way I feel like I just really want to do what I want....I have payed my dues lol....

    I have done craft shows with my folk art. I did two a year and those were so fun. I sold very well but not enough to make a living. It payed for christmas and for more supplies, well it's good if it can support itself and it did. When I got out of that, I sold all books patterns etc on ebay and made quite a bit. It's amazing how much money we have invested in our crafts.

  11. #36

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    My wife is an avid quilter and wanted an easy way to document her quilts, so my partner and I developed a software program and are selling it on the internet and at quilt shows. Not quite a full time income yet, but a fun retirement income supplement, plus we get to travel to quilt shows all over the country. If anyone is going to Houston for the quilt show, stop in and say hi at our booth. QuiltAlbum.com

  12. #37
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    My daughter and I got a longarm and we make quilts to sell,[baby quilts, lap quilts and queen sized].Not many sell around us-would like to make a little money to cover expenses.

  13. #38
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    I just started a couple of weeks ago and within the first week I had 8 orders and now I am up to 18 so we will see how everything goes.alot of people are ordering for christmas right now.I put up a page on FB and I have orders from Australia the UK and more places already.

  14. #39
    vjquilter's Avatar
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    I have a long arm quilting business that I do at home. My DH and I thought it would work well with our ever changing schedule in our family and it really has worked out well! I quilt when I am home and can participate in one of our daily 2 carpools. I also make T-shirt quilts and photo quilts from start to finish. I also teach long arm quilting classes at a LQS as well as new owner classes for frame quilters at the shop. I get a discount at the store, which is a nice perk as well.
    To answer the question-do I make a living at quilting? No, but it supplements my DH's income nicely. Since I do work at home most of the time, I look forward to going to teach at the quilt shop-gets me out of the house and I get to see all the wonderful new things that are constantly coming in at the shop! My biggest challenge these days is finding time to sew my own projects and hem DH's slacks! :D

  15. #40

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    Hi Friends, can you give me a ball park idea on how much a
    long arm quilter would cost. I am handicap and have to rely on my husband taste when it comes to my fabric purchases. He complains but still does it. He said if I could find out approx. how much the machines cost he might just get one to help me. How nice is that?
    Angeline

  16. #41
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    I don't have a longarm so hand or machine quilting for money wouldn't work for me.

  17. #42
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlehud
    I just quilt for relaxation. When I got my frame I swear quilters came out of the walls at the hospital I work at. I could have quilted tops for a year. The only problem I have is when it becomes a paying business it's not longer relaxing for me. I will quilt tops for my sis if she wants but that's all I'm looking for right now.
    I experienced the same thing with other crafts. I did some jewelry and painting in the past for money, and although I had fun making the first of the designs, when I started doing it for others it became a job and it wasn't fun anymore. Now I have a regular job, when I come home I put it out of my mind and enjoy my quilting (knitting, weaving , spinning). I am totally burned out on the painting and jewelry I used to do.

  18. #43
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    There are 2 ladies here in town that are doing very well quilting for a living. Buttttttt on the downside, their hobby has turned into a bunch of deadlines. I quilt for the public also, but there's also a LQS that goes along with it. So I KNOW that my main objective is my customers.

  19. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    Quote Originally Posted by mlaceruby
    It is possible, I have accomplished this by being very diversified!
    Also it doesn't happen overnight!
    I have had my longarm for 6 years so it is now paid for, as well as my other equipment(machines,cutter etc.)
    and you have to build a client base
    right now I have a steady flow and can't take on more clients, this is because I want to keep them happy. they know that I will have no more that a month turn around on a top and a 2 month on a commissioned quilt.
    I also discovered that to keep my costs down I had to buy wholesale, but the buying minimums are high.
    So I started making kits, these I sell at very little over my wholesale cost. I don't make a living with these but they do help get my money back for the overpurchasing to meet my minimums. Some of which are $1000-$2000 per order.
    you need to be creative and market yourself and your product!
    also keep very good records!
    And just so you know, her kits are wonderful!! Good fabric, nicely cut. So if you haven't ordered one you're in for a treat when you do. These aren't like kits that you buy in a store. The pieces in her quilt kits actually fit together and the threads in the fabrics are close together unlike the cheesecloth that comes in a lot of the "store bought" kits.

  20. #45
    Super Member humbird's Avatar
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    Well, if I quilted for a living, I'd be sure to lose weight..........by starvation! I'm a slooooow quilter! My grandmother used to hand quilt for others, however, it was just to suppliment their income. She also sewed garments for others, catered meals, and sold eggs and cream! She had a huge vegetable garden every year, and sold produce, and canned nearly all their winter's food supply. And, her house was always spotless!!! Boy, when I think back to her busy life, it makes me feel like a lazy slob!!! :oops:

  21. #46
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humbird
    Well, if I quilted for a living, I'd be sure to lose weight..........by starvation! I'm a slooooow quilter! My grandmother used to hand quilt for others, however, it was just to suppliment their income. She also sewed garments for others, catered meals, and sold eggs and cream! She had a huge vegetable garden every year, and sold produce, and canned nearly all their winter's food supply. And, her house was always spotless!!! Boy, when I think back to her busy life, it makes me feel like a lazy slob!!! :oops:
    People her age got used to keeping themselves busy without tv or computer.

  22. #47
    Senior Member Sewze's Avatar
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    If you 're my age....I remember my grandmother taking care of her aging in- laws, canning, killing chickens that could no longer produce eggs, cooking food in the Summer on a wood stove for the 6 children, their spouses and the 12 grandchildren, the two Great-Grandparents,
    not only housekeeping her house, but her in- laws house at the back of my grandparents lot in Santa Monica, CA . I remember the only entertainment as being a radio. I would sit on my Pampa's lap while he listened so intently to baseball games while holding his pipe in his mouth. I have those favorite pipes and cherish those memories from a time in the past that my grandchildren will never experience. I often wonder how my grandchildren will explain what life was like in the 21st Century to their grandchildren.... And I wonder too , what will happen and how much will change in this century .

  23. #48
    dforesee's Avatar
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    I "want" to but seem to be having some trouble getting started. I have the use of the classroom at Hancock's two nights a week for teaching classes, but I have had trouble getting a lot of interest for night classes. I am on my own as far as advertising; I can't put signs up at Hancock's and most of the calls I get through other local advertising sources are just for information, and I wonder sometimes if they are mostly competitors checking out my prices and what I am offering. I don't expect to make a living at this, but would love to supplement my day job income, and maybe have a good business going one of these days. Any advice any of you novices might have would be appreciated.

  24. #49
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dforesee
    I "want" to but seem to be having some trouble getting started. I have the use of the classroom at Hancock's two nights a week for teaching classes, but I have had trouble getting a lot of interest for night classes. I am on my own as far as advertising; I can't put signs up at Hancock's and most of the calls I get through other local advertising sources are just for information, and I wonder sometimes if they are mostly competitors checking out my prices and what I am offering. I don't expect to make a living at this, but would love to supplement my day job income, and maybe have a good business going one of these days. Any advice any of you novices might have would be appreciated.
    Diane, what is your business? Is it limited to teaching workshops? Do you make quilts? Do you quilt for others?

  25. #50
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I make enough to support to my habit (quilting)
    teaching folk art painting, quilting, 3 craft fairs, all around Nov and Dec. LAQ for friends and word of mouth. I have never advertised, I want to keep it as a hobby not a job. Before being laid off I worked 40 hours and still did the teaching, etc. It helps with a bill or two, or a special purchase, but does not make a living.

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