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Thread: Anyone make a living at quilting?

  1. #1
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Does anyone one here quilt and earn a good wage doing so?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Grinster's Avatar
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    I love you Ruth Buzzy...............such good memories from Laugh In!

  3. #3
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard! This is a great bunch of people!

  4. #4
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I used to belong to the MasonDixon Quilt Professionals Network. Many of those ladies make money at quilting. Most of them teach, demostrate or create designs for other quilters. I hired them as speakers and instructors when I was program chair for two different guilds. I know several nationally known quilters. I think they make money from selling their designs or teaching etc. I don't know of any who are totally supporting themselves or a family that way. The longarmers in my area are the ones that seem to be making money. Or course you have to do a lot of quilts to pay for that machine. When I did a lot of handquilting the money was nice but I sure didn't count on it for a regular income.

  5. #5
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I WISH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I make a living waitressing to support my quilting, lol!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have been doing better and better in the past couple years, used to be i was very busy quilting for people and completing commissioned items between October and March; the past year or two i have found myself busier during what used to be the 'non-quilting months'
    so, if i would just catch up with myself i'd be making pretty good $$...the pick up in business is great i just wasn't prepared for all of the busy changes that have been taking place this summer. my goal has been to be making enough to pay my bills by the time i am again out of work (i work private duty home nursing/my client is 97 years old, he's not going to last forever :( )and i think i am doing good staying on track for that goal. it used to be i only worried about making enough money to keep my self quilting without having to dip into the household budget. i've managed that for about 5 years now. the beginning of this year when i changed jobs was when hubby and i decided i should re-assess my business plan and make some positive changes so when the time comes i won't have to go out and find another job i will already have one at home. :)

  7. #7
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I don't have time. Maybe after all the kids are on thier own I might try. By then I should be really good at it.

  8. #8
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    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!

  9. #9
    sally's girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrieAnne
    I WISH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I make a living waitressing to support my quilting, lol!!!!!!!!!!!
    Not me. I barely get one finished...

    CarrieAnn, did you get job at Joannes?

  10. #10
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BRenea's Avatar
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    My MIL and I used to do a lot of craft fairs in years past, in the last couple of years we have shifted more to quilts...we do a lot of commissioned work. Last year we opened a new business, and this year I launched a blog. We do okay, make enough to buy what we need, it helps that we work from home. I'm glad my hubby has a good job, though! :D

  12. #12
    Super Member Teresa 54's Avatar
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    I did it for 15 years and burned out. All the deadlines!
    I machine quilted for a business, made quilts for fabric companies, taught in a quilt shop, lectured, workshops at guilds, and worked in the quilt shop 4 days a week which kept me grounded. I was always tired and my relationship took a tole, I was always sewing, even as a passenger in the car.
    now I work a real job and I feel like I go to work to rest because I am still doing the quilting for others, lecturers, workshops, classes at shops.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I haven't yet, but I plan to try longarm quilting and custom quilting for just a little extra income per month. By the time I get some more of my tops done, I should be comfortable taking in other people's precious tops. I don't need to make a living, just add a little extra each month to be able to pay some of my bills off that just don't ever seem to get smaller.

  14. #14
    Super Member Friendly Quilter's Avatar
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    I machine quilted for others for over 10 years. At one point I had a bus. partner and we both had machines. We did about 40 to 50 quilts a month. I also made quilts for people. But you get tired of standing at the machine for 6 to 8 hrs a day. We made a good living at it but was very hard work. I still quilt for some but have really cut back. I have 12 quilt tops of my own waiting to be quilted. so there is a down side to quilting for others. I love the people in the quilting world and would not change a min. of any of the time I have spent quilting for others.

  15. #15
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    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.

  16. #16
    Super Member calla's Avatar
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    I made a bargello jacket with lots of Judy Murrah techniques from Jacket Jazz...........I used high end fabrics lots of them.........has flying geese, PP fans, prarie braid..........sheesh.........a family friend asked my how much I would charge to make one for his wife. I told him he didn't have enough money.......gggg..........but that I would help his wife make on. Haven't heard another word about it from him............go figure..............calla/Sue

  17. #17
    Senior Member MomtoBostonTerriers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    Does anyone one here quilt and earn a good wage doing so?
    Just reading this question makes me laugh me head off. It's hard to even imagine such a thing -- people who do it are talented geniuses for sure. It would be about the same as me making a living by selling my homemade chocolate chip cookies (my coworkers tell me I should do that).

  18. #18
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    I just made a throw quilt and a lap quilt for a friend and I received money for it. It's hard to figure out how much to charge because, if you charge by hour, a quilt could cost into the high hundreds or more.

  19. #19
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I quilt for fun! And they're gifts for family.....the most expensive they'll get! I did sell totes, but I burned out after selling about 50 of them.

  20. #20
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    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.

  21. #21
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I keep thinking about doing LAM quilting as a business, but I am afarid it will take away the fun I have now. This was a good thread and answered some of my unasked questions. Think I'll keep doing what I am doing.

  22. #22
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics'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.
    Hear, hear! You are so right!

  23. #23
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    I have been selling my patchwork gift items to a local gift store for 12 years. She could have sold more if I had had more time to make more. I am now writing EBooks on my methods and do ok on it all. I don't get rich off of it and I plow the money back into the business in the free templates and all the materials. But it is satisfying.

  24. #24
    Super Member kittenquilts's Avatar
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    I have sold pre-cut kits on Ebay. Must say it is a lot of work, but I enjoy the design process and picking out the fabrics. And cutting fabric is done on my Accuquilt Studio die cutter for the most part. I don't have anything for sale at the moment as I burned out on it for awhile too. Thinking about putting some kits up for sale again in time for fall and Christmas. Can I live on what I earn - most definitely not! But it does help keep me in fabric! :) And, since that was my goal, I guess it's all OK.

  25. #25
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    I love your cut down method. Good way to use up scraps.

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