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Thread: Need Opinions on Machine Quilting Costs!!

  1. #1

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    I know that I am a 'thrifty' quilter..but, I just dropped off a quilt to a quilter for a friend..and, I don't know the exact size but, it is no bigger then a twin sized quilt....the gal is charging a total of $90 to 'stipple' it for her and that was including charges for the 'thread' and so many bobbins...and, she had to supply the 'batting'...for the $90 did not include the batting!!! Have I knocked myself in the head??Is this normal? Is machine quilters that do just stippling cost that much?? I just have to know for I have been sick for her for the cost and keeping my mouth shut..but, know I won't seek out a machine quilter over this, I'll have to just keep plugging along w/my baby steps of doing this! Skeat........who doesn't mean to insult anyone out there trying to make a living and I am asking for I just 'don't know' what is norm!All I can think of is how much more fabric I would have bought instead! Please give an opinion!!

  2. #2
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I have a longarm for my own use, I don't do other people's quilts. I think the $90 price is about right, considering the time and effort involved in putting a quilt on the frame, stippeling a quilt, the costs of materials, her time planning with the customer etc. I do my own because I know what it costs to have them done.
    When you pay a profesional quilter you also pay for their skill and the use of the very expensive quilting machine and tools they use. Another thing most people don't give a thought to is the space the longarm machine takes in the quilter's home/studio, these machines are huge. It's not cheap!
    Mary

  3. #3
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I think that sounds reasonable. Around here it would be more.

  4. #4
    Cookn's Avatar
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    Most professional longarm quilters charge by the sq. inch. Depending on competition in your area it varies by region of the US. Base prices can range from $.01 to $.03 per sq. inch and then go upward from there. Charges for thread and bobbins are normal charges along with any other charges for any services such as suppling batting, any repairs the have to made to your friends quilt, binding if asked for. Quilting charge alone for a quilt say 80"X100" at $.01 per square inch would be $80.00 not including supplies or any additional services, and $.01 is a really good rate and there would have to be a lot of competition in your area for a rate that low.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    Skeat, that sounds close. Around here quilters charge between .0125 - .015 per inch; thread (especially variegated or specialty thread), batting, and sewing on the binding are all extra.

    Most will provide a price listing to help you figure out how much a particular quilt will cost, and it should list out any charges that are extras. A twin size is generally 60" x 90", but you should always measure the one you're sending so that you get a good idea ahead of time how much it will cost.

    Don't let one experience guide you; if she is much higher or charges a lot of extras, you may find someone else who doesn't :wink:

  6. #6
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    Most of the people I know who do basic quilting charge $0.02 per inch. I did have one lady who did it for less, but I must confess that I was not impressed with the quality of her work. Also, she would include the cost of the batting for that price, but it was a too-puffy poly batt and I didn't want that, so I provided my own. The important thing is to find a good quilter.

  7. #7

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    I have to admit I am 'shocked' by the price! I'm sure my gaping open mouth gave that thought away too:)The gal does beautiful work for I have seen it so that won't be a problem for my friend. There was no work for the prep of the quilt, it was pressed and ready and looked sharp. Also, she is on a gracie frame system. I'm sure there is much time involved as far as hooking the quilt up for I do it the old fashioned way and run it thru my machine...not have the machine guide easy (I wish for!) Her price was just stippling...no binding and no batting...just the price to stipple it w/thread figured in. I guess I am just a naive quilter here!! I honestly had no idea what others charged for I've done my own after paying for 3done...been awhile but, didn't seem high at the time. I just wanted to put my stash in fabrics instead. Guess as our economy goes and we are counting all of our fat quarters, I'm wondering if someone's time becomes out of reach for too many? Glad I said nothing!:)LOL Thanks for the input....hope there is more coming:0)Skeat

  8. #8
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    That prices seems a little high for my area especially with just stippling.... :oops:

  9. #9
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Think of it in relative terms too....

    how much would you spend on a night out? A dinner for two in a top restaurant? On clothes? Furnishings for your house?

    I think people sometimes get things a bit skewed. My partner is a tradesman, and he will often get people complaining over a bill of say $120 for a window. He points out that you can spend more than that on a dinner for two at a top restaurant here, and it's one night then it's over. A window is something in your house for a long time.

    Same with a quilt... if you want it done professionally it's because you want the best for that top, you want it to last a long time. So you pay for it. :-)


  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    How many dollars per hour makes professional quilting worthwhile?

    Based on what I've heard, it takes 4 or 5 hours to load a twin-sized quilt on a frame and stipple quilt. At $90 for the quilt, that would pay about $20 per hour. Around here, people pay that much per hour for cleaning, and cleaning requires much less skill and much less in the way of equipment investment.

    Sometimes when I add up how much a quilt costs just for the fabric (top and backing) and batting, I'm shocked!

  11. #11
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeat
    I have to admit I am 'shocked' by the price! I'm sure my gaping open mouth gave that thought away too:)
    I hear you and that is why I can't bring myself to send quilts out. (Me, myself, and I had long talks about the very subject.) My personal goal is to improve my own skills. Unfortunately, I have that attitude with home improvement too. If I can do it, why hire someone else? (I hope you can all see me beating my head against the wall.)

  12. #12
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    We have an excellent machine quilter in our area who can do a very good job, but she is not cheap. 2.5 cents per sq inch for stippled, 4.5 cents for specialty jobs. Her specialty jobs are just stunning, I've long admired her work. I don't know if she includes batting and backing, as I normally hand quilt.

  13. #13
    Super Member azdesertrat's Avatar
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    For stippling that is not bad,I paid about 125.00 for an all over pattern,stippling is more labor intensive.And that 125.00 did not include batting,but did include the threads and bobbins used.And did not include the having the binding done.But different areas of the country much less different long-armers charge differently.

  14. #14
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    The quilt shop I went to gave me some handouts with names and prices of quilters in the area and they are quite expensive and some have a minimum charge as well. If they do a great job it is worth it.

  15. #15
    Junior Member marty_mo's Avatar
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    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!!


  16. #16
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My quilt lady here in Phx is wonderful.
    She charges 45 dollars and that includes binding.
    She does fancy patterns that you pick out.
    You supply the backing,binding fabric and batting.

  17. #17
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    In my area the going rate for an all over design (by computer LA) for a twin size quilt is $65 , that does not include batting or backing.

  18. #18
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    I feel your pain....I was paying someone to quilt my quilts....cost for a baby blanket $40.00....and I've paid as much as $120.00 for custom Queen....

    Dad has a machine now and I can quilt my own...but let me say he has a Gammil......not the most expensive one but it did cost $15,000.00.....and that was used....not counting the light system....table was included.....So now maybe you can understand more why it is so expensive.......and if they do a great job which I hope they do you will be happy I hope.....it is a gift to be able to use a Longarm Machine....:-)

    Just letting you know....:-)....don't forget thread and bobbins and the batting and backing for those who don't come with it....:-)

  19. #19

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    gcathie...I guess I wouldn't have been shocked at the price if this person has a gammill...but, doesn't! I think the $65 some say would be more practical and not the sticker shock for quilting no designs, etc...only stippling. How busy would these people be if they were more practical? It's like driving the VW into a Mercedes shop to have work done. If this was a show quilt, and there was 'detail' and 'discussion of detail' and a person went to a professional shop...I'd understand. Otherwise, sorry...I just 'don't' get it!! No offense to anyone...but, I wonder if we are starting to outprice ourselves? Skeat........who would also understand if this quilt would be on 'show'....not prob dragged around in the college car. Hit me w/a bobbin!LOL

  20. #20
    Cookn's Avatar
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    You might be surprised, but Gammill is just a name of a brand. There are other machines out there that cost as much or more the a Gammill. Just because someone doesn't own a Gammill doesn't mean that they aren't just as invested in their business as you imply. If they are competent with their machine they are every bit as good as the next person. It's more important to be good with the machine you own than the name on it. It still takes the same amount of time to do the same thing with any brand of machine, and as such deserves the same fees.

  21. #21
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    And $20/hr is *not $20/hr to the quilter. Out of that she has to pay self-employment tax (15%) in addition to regular income taxes, not to mention insurance, maintenance, office expenses, utilities, etc. I think I read recently that the quilter is likely to end up with half of that after all the expenses. $10/hr is not a lot to make for skilled work.

    I was self-employed as a graphic designer for 13 years. By the time I left the business ten years ago, I was charging $65/hr and not getting rich. I was also as busy as I could get without hiring others. There's a lot of unbillable time, and I would think that holds for quilters as well.


  22. #22
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    it is very expensive here to get quilt quilted 90.00 would be one of the cheap ones that is why I have taken machine quilting classes and do my
    own Harriet Hargrave taught me a lot and she has a good book out but there are others too Happy Quilting Dodie

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodie
    it is very expensive here to get quilt quilted 90.00 would be one of the cheap ones that is why I have taken machine quilting classes and do my
    own Harriet Hargrave taught me a lot and she has a good book out but there are others too Happy Quilting Dodie
    Thanks Dodie...I will check that out:)I did get the quilt back today..and, no matter what..it is beautiful! I think when my friend gets back home and I drop it off to her, she will be thrilled...no matter what;)

  24. #24
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    There was no work for the prep of the quilt, it was pressed and ready and looked sharp. Her price was just stippling...no binding and no batting...just the price to stipple it w/thread figured in. I guess I am just a naive quilter here!! I honestly had no idea what others charged for I've done my own I'm wondering if someone's time becomes out of reach for too many? Glad I said nothing!:)LOL Thanks for the input....hope there is more coming:0)Skeat[/quote]

    Another way of looking at all of this... :shock: if someone had reached out and touched me and simply given me a Gammill, I would have gladly taken it, said "Thank You," and charged less than what I do for quilting. I work in my home and have no overhead here, but I could have bought a cheap new car for what I paid for my machine. I can't afford to work for nothing, but I do charge a lot less than most do in this area. From about 30 for crib size to about 90 for king size and no one here is complaining...Batting/binding would be extra. Also, there is a certain amount of skill involved; you don't just buy it one day and become an expert quilting feathers the next. Someone else mentioned the price of a nice dinner out...gone forever once consumed. At least with a quilt there is something that will last a lifetime. Of course the other alternative is to quilt by hand. How much would your friend charge for quilting a whole quilt by hand??? And how long would it take???Just curious. :roll:

  25. #25

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    Little late in answering your question/comment about quilting - but I also was taken aback when I took in a twin-sized quilt to a local quilter. I didn't bother to ask assuming about $50. The total was about $96 (I provided the batting) - but, oh my - what a wonderful job. It was my first quilt to have professionally quilted so she had some "stuff" to work around. (I normally do the tie or stitch in the ditch format because I was just starting out and these first few quilts were definitely beginner quality) I asked other quilters and they stated that was normal pricing for this area. I will definitely use her services again - but will budget. Now I know why some of those quilts in the craft shops have $$$ on them.

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