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Thread: A gentle discussion about paying a long arm quilter and what is a reasonable rate?

  1. #1

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    Think my subject line covers it all but... I love piecing but I don't have the stamina or determination to learn how to do an overall quilting design with my little sewing machine. So, I send out an occasional quilt top. However, I just contacted someone referred by someone who showed examples of the quilts she had quilted, and admittedly, they were beautifully done. But the cost floored me! What seems to be the going rate for doing a quilt top, say 50" x50" or a single bed size?

    I really want to know so I can just make pieced tops and be happy or learn how to do free motion quilting.

  2. #2
    quiltmaker101's Avatar
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    I just paid $47 for quiting in gold metallic thread on a 40x48 lap quilt. This included the cost of the thread and tax. She tried many different kinds of gold metallic before she found one that really worked without breaking, and this took a lot of her time.

    This may sound like a lot to some, but like you, I don't have the time or the patience to tackle these on my regular sewing machine, even if this one is small. And until I have $10,000 for my own long arm machine, I can pay her to finish my quilts with her great work.

    .0154 per square Inch for larger meandering designs

    .0184 is her price if you want it "echo" quilted to outline an applique or print design. The prices go up from there.

    I have seen much higher (like 25 cents a square inch!) You just have to shop around. I found my first long arm quilter through the ads in the back of McCalls Quilting mag.

  3. #3
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I am debating on having my quilt done on a long arm. We have a few folks in town that does it. hoping it will be around 50.00.

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    There's not really a single "going rate." It really depends on what style of quilting you want. For pantograms most longarmers in my area charge a penny and a half a square inch. If you use an average size for a queen size quilt of 84 X 92 the quilting would be 115.92 plus possibly thread and batting charges and in some places taxes. A pantogram is a single, edge to edge, all over quilt design. Once you get into custom and heirloom quilting the prices jump considerably. A local longarm quilter here charges 5 cents a square inch for heavy custom work and 7 cents for heirloom work. There are also additional charges for turning the quilt and thread changes. So that same 84 X 92 inch quilt would cost 540.96 plus turning, thread changes, batting and taxes for heirloom quilting.

    Quilting can make take a quilt from ordinary to spectacular or it can ruin it. I saw a Vintage Valentine quilt at the quilt show in Loveland that was pretty much ruined by the quilting. The Vintage Valentine quilt is a gorgeous block of the month appliqued quilt and the quilting on that one was a simple all over meander. It made what should have been a spectacular quilt very ordinary, verging on ugly.

  5. #5
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Thank-you this is really helpful. I would not spend 500.00 on any of my quilts...I am not that good. this gives me an idea of the costs. Now to see how much per inch they are charging.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    There's not really a single "going rate." It really depends on what style of quilting you want. For pantograms most longarmers in my area charge a penny and a half a square inch. If you use an average size for a queen size quilt of 84 X 92 the quilting would be 115.92 plus possibly thread and batting charges and in some places taxes. A pantogram is a single, edge to edge, all over quilt design. Once you get into custom and heirloom quilting the prices jump considerably. A local longarm quilter here charges 5 cents a square inch for heavy custom work and 7 cents for heirloom work. There are also additional charges for turning the quilt and thread changes. So that same 84 X 92 inch quilt would cost 540.96 plus turning, thread changes, batting and taxes for heirloom quilting.

    Quilting can make take a quilt from ordinary to spectacular or it can ruin it. I saw a Vintage Valentine quilt at the quilt show in Loveland that was pretty much ruined by the quilting. The Vintage Valentine quilt is a gorgeous block of the month appliqued quilt and the quilting on that one was a simple all over meander. It made what should have been a spectacular quilt very ordinary, verging on ugly.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have sent a few quilt tops to a LA but only for simple all over quilting for utility quilts. I have not been impressed enough with any of the LA around here to ask for special quilting. I do better doing my own SID. The going rate here is $65 bed size for an all over pattern, using cheap batting and thick thread. The last LA I used I asked her if she had ever been in a quilt shop much less been to a quilt show.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it varies by location too, some areas you can find really inexpensive beautiful quilting and some locations you can find very mediocre quilting for alot.
    the first quilt i paid to have quilted was HUGE! as in really big! large KING the quilting job is really really wonderful! it is beautiful; when i went to pick up the quilt and saw the bill at ($385) i about fell through the floor. when he said .025 per square inch that really did not mean alot to me i guess...
    i try to be reasonable for my area and i also keep in mind my main customer base and what they can afford, the kind of quilts they make. lots of long-armers charge by the square inch and offer alot of 'services'
    i have one lady who took a quilt to someone for quilting and asked what it would cost to have the binding attached too...$125 was the answere! i am assuming this long=armer hates doing bindings, or really doesn't have time.

  8. #8
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    a queen sized quilt in an average size stipple or swirl I would charge about 125.00.It takes a whole day to load,quilt and unload and trim a queen sized quilt-plus the longarm to do it.to do a queen sized with decent quilting.artistic quilting is another world.just my 2 cents

  9. #9
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    I am not a LAQ, but I'm thinking/guessing the prep time can be quite time-consuming, also.

  10. #10
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    There is not a set rate, I guess. Depends on what you want. I just do freehand quilting and I charge a penny a square inch plus three dollars for thread and needle and that's it.

    I use polycore thread by Efried, it has many colors, and it is a very strong thread. I shy away from pure cotten thread as they will rot over time. I don't do tight meandering. My quilting is like scrollwork that blends into your quilt.

    I feel that my price is very reasonable. A 40x48 quilt would cost 22.20 local. My price never changes, unless there is shipping and that is added.

    I wanted to be reasonable as I was appalled at the prices I was getting in my area when I needed to get some quilts quilted. I just kept them until I got my own machine.

  11. #11
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    I usally hand quilt but recently had my last quilt done by a local machine quilter. I knew his work was excellant and told him to do whatever on the quilt. It cost me $150 for a quilt about 100 x 120. He did a beautiful job and choose a beautiful design. I will be using him again. It saved me hours of work. I was told the cost would depend on whether I wanted special designs, threads etc. I provided the batting and backing.

  12. #12
    JJs
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    Most people don't realize that mounting the quilt/backing/batting on the frame takes time and effort.
    When I was having quilts done at the LQS (which went out of business) they were only charging $40 for a double quilt and that included their batting (with you supplying the backing)

    I've since gotten a Bailey and frame and frankly I wouldn't bother to put a quilt on the frame for only $40! I'll do freebies for my daughter but won't do any quilting for anybody but myself.

    People try to guilt you into doing quilts for them - "you have a machine and frame, don't you feel selfish?"
    NO I DO NOT.... I might if someone, somewhere had GIVEN me the setup and said go forth and quilt for the masses for free.... but they didn't, I had to - get this - pay MONEY $$$ for the frame and machine.... so I don't have any problem at all saying a resounding NO!

    I did quilt a quilt for the guild that was being given to a charity for a raffle - wasn't paid penny one and guess who supplied the back and batting - I did, the quilt was taken from my hand, I got a "thank you" and that was it - no, 'do you have a bill' or what do we owe you for the back/batting or anything - keep in mind that the guild PAID THE LQS to do the quilt they did but since I have my own setup I guess they figured I'd do everything free - well, that came to a screeching halt -
    call me a mean ole crabby old lady but there ya go..

    I did pay more for each of the quilts I had done at the LQS - because I had special pantos done or one thing or another. It's a good idea to have everything in writing or at least an estimate so the you don't have sticker shock and you have a general idea of what you will be paying. Fancy costs more, larger quilts cost more, backing and or batting costs more.
    My friend has all of her quilts done by a LA quilter - and the prices vary by what is done. Some she is very specific about what she wants, some she leaves up to the quilter, but she always knows 'about' what it is going to cost...

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