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Thread: Need Opinions on Machine Quilting Costs!!

  1. #26
    Senior Member mrsmail's Avatar
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    I recently took a quilt to be machine quilted and was shocked at the price. I'll admit it had 3 different patterns to be used on it, but it was $477 for a queen size. I could have had it hand quilted for roughly $200. She does do beautiful machine quilting, but not that great. If I had not been in a hurry, I would have had it done by hand. My hand quilting lady takes only about a month, but I have to mark it. ( I positively hate the marking part!) Either way, I would furnish the batting, backing and thread. I do my own binding. :shock:

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty_mo
    I agree that pricing varies by areas. I've heard that the East and West coast prices are dearer than here in the Midwest. There are a few quilters in my area from long arm quilting to smaller home systems that charge $60 - 65 to stipple a quilt, batting not included. I had my very first quilt quilted by a lady that lives the next town over. I supplied the batting and purchased binding (didn't have a clue I was to make it :oops: ) She charged me $40 to quilt and bind....now that's a bargain!!
    Where do you live? Mary Mo and does she do a good job? I'd mail them to her for that price.

  3. #28
    Senior Member tulip43's Avatar
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    Hi, just giving an answer on machine quilting. I live in ON. Canada and we pay quite a high price for our quilting. Some of my freinds have paid more than $300. to get one machine quilted. I have had 4 machine quilted 2 twin @ $90 each and 2 double @ $135 and they were just stippled but not close together. Ithink in the US machine quilting is far less then what we pay here.

  4. #29
    Super Member sdeaaz's Avatar
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    I am pretty thrifty too and that is why I stick to smaller projects that I can quilt myself. I am doing a fun and your done or quilt as you go for that very reason. I just have a hard time justifying all the expense. Someday, when I am reallllllllyyyyy good maybe.
    Quilter 1234 :roll:

  5. #30
    vjquilter's Avatar
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    I agree with many of the above comments and feel compelled to add my own 2 cents, too! Remember the saying , "You get what you pay for." ? Please keep in mind when you take a quilt to a quilter that is more going on behind the scenes. When I started long arm quilting 2 years ago, I had NO idea how much learning I had to go through before I could make even an old sheet look good with quilting. Long arm quilting requires a quilter to educate herself about the different threads available for quilting. The threads are not the same as for piecing in most cases. A long arm quilter needs to learn about troubleshooting a variety of problems that can pop up at any time-wavy borders, open seams, tucks in piecing seams, thread that won't cooperate, saggy backing fabric, linty thread, thread that breaks, machine that acts up, tension problems and the list could go on! It is a different story with each quilt top that I take in. Sometimes things go quickly and sometimes it takes much longer than I think.
    Very seldom have I had a quilt top that was a snap to decide what to do on it. I spend hours of time on some quilts trying to figure out what design is best for the quilt if it is to have custom quilting done on it. I have also learned quite a bit about batting since I am a former hand quilter and used thin poly batting before. Now I know with machine quilting and the experiences I have had that different battings can give a different look to the quilt when it is done. The same can be said about thread as well. My customers really look to me for good practical advice about these things and it's up to me to research and keep on top of the latest trends and products too. Many long arm quilters travel to national quilting shows on their own dime and a trip can be very expensive to take, not to mention time away from their frame.
    A long arm quilter also has the joys and trials of running her own business and having to keep track of a number of things besides doing the quilting.They need to keep track of ther schedule, thread inventory, batting inventory, appointments to be made and kept, records to be kept and taxes to be paid, etc. Long arm quilting can be a challenge at times to do well and it's something that I really enjoy. I have heard that there are many long arm quilters that are doing it for supplemental income. It would be a true challenge to make a good living at it these days.
    Just some of the things that I have learned along the way in my journey as a long arm quilter!

  6. #31
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Thank you, Vickie!

    You said what I've been try to find the words to say.


  7. #32
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I just do my own thing on my quilts, as my piecing improves so will my quilting. I play grandma I do my own completely. It sure isn't going to win any prizes, but my family enjoy them :D

  8. #33

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    I agree with the Grandma/family issue - I have made several and they go to family members who are thrilled to have a piece of Grandma's heart. I have made quilts or lap quilts every year for gifts for 3 years now (since I started quilting). This year will do table runners and placemats - as I think they are afraid they (daughters) will get yet another quilt. Youngest daughter brought up old t-shirts and we cut them out Easter weekend - she requested a quilt for next Christmas made from her T-shirts - so the outcome will be a surprise - but not the gift. It was fun to "relive" her T-shirts as each one has a story about her travels. Since these T-shirts are fragile - will probably tie rather than quilt.

  9. #34
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    This one was a freebie. Occasionally I am asked to do something charitable as far as long arm quilting, and I am happy to assist others as I am able. This might be a certificate for a shop hop, a big discount for a church organization, or other such requests. This particular quilt was put together by a number of volunteers in honor of a lady who worked for the store that refers me to others for quilting. She died of breast cancer a little over a year ago. This quilt will be raffled off and the proceeds given to a family in need. Sue would have liked that! I'm almost certain that other long arm quilters are asked to do the same and probably comply??? So, I guess my point is, long arm quilters aren't really greedy after all....

  10. #35
    kd124's Avatar
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    ditto what Vicki said.

  11. #36

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    It is too bad that there isn't some type of certification process or something comparable for those that would have the 'knowing' of that 'long-arm' quilter. What so many do seem to forget is those that appreciate the art and always strive to do better and strive to perfect their skills.....that you on the flip of the coin...have ,what I call,' the back yard machine quilter'. The person that has sewn for many years and says they can do it and then does by simply buying a frame, parking their sewing machine and viola...becomes the machine 'long-arm' quilter. Yes, we applaude those that are serious and are passionate of keeping their 'long-arm' quilting or machine quilting professional and serious. But, how many of you out there have earned their stripes (classes, classes, study, etc)are finding around the block from them the gal that is charging the same prices as you ..though w/o the exprience, classes, education, etc. You can say you get what you pay for...but, how many of us don't really know. Yes, there are the obv. ones...and, then there are the others that might appear to look great...but, wait till after the 2nd washing...then what?! No one here is trying to minimize the serious long arm quilter..but, around here I can say there are many that are charging the same...w/o the schooling, classes, etc. All I can say since I am not a professional...they look okay:0) In fact, I'd call myself 'ignorant' on it....yes word of the mouth would be our only advantage...if the word was right after the 2 washings!! I think you that are doing it right and wanting to do it right have missed the point here. I do think this has been a good topic for those that do and have taken the time for classes and know it is ongoing learning...your opinions have educated all of us. And, I know I can not be the only one thinking this:0)IF so....stuff a bobbin in my ear!:)Skeat

  12. #37
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    As the new owner of an HQ16, I can't imagine anyone spending the money for a longarm setup and not being interested in bettering her skills. Furthermore, I bet there aren't many of us who weren't surprised by the learning curve. It certainly isn't "plug-and-play" to achieve control.

    I became a graphic designer without any formal training, classes, etc. It started as a hobby that I got good at, and ended up doing it as a business for 13 years, at the end of which I was charging $65/hr (in 1998!) and had more business than I could handle. Was I a "backyard" designer? Maybe, but a screwup on my part sometimes had the potential of costing thousands of dollars to correct at the printer. Needless to say, I was very careful not to overreach my ability, and to make use of colleagues' knowledge.

    Quilters seem to be a remarkably "open" and giving bunch, freely sharing knowledge and tips, even with those who are or may become competitors. Here in Indianapolis, the guild is several hundred strong, and includes piecers and quilters at all levels. I think people know who to go to for simple quilting and who for show-quality, or can easily find out.

    But then again, I'm a bit mystified by what a longarm quilter can do that wouldn't show up until after the second wash...


  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabbit2b

    But then again, I'm a bit mystified by what a longarm quilter can do that wouldn't show up until after the second wash...
    Amen! Yes, that has me wondering also... Could the one who wrote the initial statement about the quilts falling apart or whatever happens after being washed twice please explain a little further? And what exactly is so compelling about the second washing??? Are we long armers being accused of using water soluble thread or what??? Or as we touch the quilts with our evil hands and our evil mechanical devices, does something magically cast a spell and after 2 washings, voila!!! Gone??? Is there an ugly, jealous witch in control of the quilt police, egging them on with infuriating statements; ie... Long arm quilters will destroy our craft, they must go, they must not be allowed to continue this...they are undermining our world; they are evil and greedy; we must stop them now!
    On a much more serious note... I do believe that long arm quilters have contributed a great deal to the quilt industry, cottage and otherwise, to make it what it is now. How many people, unless retired, unemployed, empty nesters, or those with just an incredible amount of time on their hands for whatever, would be able to complete their quilts in any reasonable amount of time without the aid of long-armers? There are the purists, the hand quilters, and there will always be; I certainly respect and admire their patience and their skills. But let's be honest? If your favorite local quilt shop had to depend on just the hand quilters to purchase fabric and complete their quilts, how many shop owners do you think would remain in business today? (And believe me, not every hand quilted quilt I see is a prize winner by any means!) :D I think the initial expense of a long arm is usually enough to inspire the new owner to be the best that he/she can be to achieve and maintain a good reputation and work ethics.

  14. #39
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    Just to empasize the number/lack of hand quilters..this past week, I attended a small local quilt show. There were probably a hundred or so entries. Just guessing on the number, I would say there may have been 12-15 hand quilted and the rest machine quilted. So we old long armers are needed, no matter what some may think!

  15. #40

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    Thanks to all who answered the pricing questions and education. I appologize to those that feel offended by this subject as I did not mean to cause such a conflict. This was NOT meant to offend the serious 'long arm' quilter-So sorry-Skeat

  16. #41
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    Gee Skeat....that is what this place is for you asked and we answered....it's all good....:-)......We all have got an education.....:-)

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