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Thread: Paying for the quilting

  1. #1
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    Paying for the quilting

    Hi all, I'm new here! My wife is just getting into quilting and she is trying to find some advice.

    She finished the applique and front patterns on her first quilt (queen size) and it looks really great. She bought the batting and the fabric for the back.

    She decided to pay someone to quilt it together into the final product. She was quoted $170. Now it is finished and the final amount was adjusted to $200 because the binding had to be done by hand.

    This seems very expensive to me, considering all of her materials were about $100. So I have a few questions:

    Do many quilters (beginners) pay someone else to assemble the quilt?
    Is $170-$200 a normal price for this service?
    How hard is it to put together the front, back, and battling without a quilting machine? Can it be done with a regular sewing machine like she uses to assemble the front pattern?

    Thank you for your advice.

  2. #2
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    Do many quilters (beginners) pay someone else to assemble the quilt?
    Is $170-$200 a normal price for this service?
    How hard is it to put together the front, back, and battling without a quilting machine? Can it be done with a regular sewing machine like she uses to assemble the front pattern?

    Some quilters always send their quilts out no matter what their skill level.
    I don't know about the price, I do my own, but I have heard of people paying much more.
    It can be time consuming to layer your quilt. You need an area large enough to lay out all your layers. It can be quilted on a regular machine. I quilt mine on the same machine I piece it with. I quilt anything from a king down to table runners.

    Hope this helps.
    When life gives you scraps, make a quilt.

  3. #3
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Lots of quilters "quilt by check." $170 to $200 is probably about average for a queen size quilt. It can be a lot more expensive than that.

    It's not that hard to put the layers together and quilt it yourself. It does take some time and practice to learn to quilt and it takes some space to get the layers basted. I recommend she go to youtube and search for Sharon Schamber's quilt videos. She has a method for basting that works for any size quilt. Quilting on a regular machine with a small throat can be a challenge but it can be done. It's a lot easier to do on one of the longer throat machines. (throat is the space between the needle and the right side of the machine)

  4. #4
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I don't think that's a bad price to quilt it. However, I would think she should have been told up front the cost of binding. I still think it's reasonable since the binding is hand sewn. You can quilt on the same machine but the bigger the throat, the easier I think it is. Assembling the 3 layers can be daunting at first, especially if you start with a larger quilt, but it gets easier as you do more. Congratulations to your wife on finishing her first quilt!
    Heather

  5. #5
    Super Member Mazda's Avatar
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    For me it just depends on the quilt as to whether I do it myself or send it out. It would seem to me the cost would be some what determined by your location.
    Mazda

  6. #6
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    It is possible to have a long arm quilter just layer and baste a quilt sandwich together for her to then quilt herself by domestic sewing machine or by hand, if you don't have the floor space or a large table to do it on. If you are considering a long arm you don't have to have a large 12-14 foot frame. You can purchase a long arm model and place it in a table for sit down quilting. Handi Quilter and Tin Lizzie each have them with tables or you can also buy a Bailey or Nolting and have a table reconstructed to set the machine down in. For this type of quilting you would usually sit at the head of the machine not on the side of it like you would a domestic machine. Any of these options would pay for themselves in a short amount of time compared to sending quilts out to be quilted. Some of the newer machine manufacturers also have machines with 9-10 throats that make domestic machine quilting much easier than with a typical 6.5" or 7" machine. All she would really need is a straight stitch machine for this purpose however. Look at the Juki machines for quilting. Also, some of the vintage machines, like a Singer 15-91, are great for sit down machine quilting because they also have a larger throat opening on them. Parts for that particular Singer are still readily available. There are many many options for today's quilter besides just sending a quilt out for quilting.
    Janome D1822/Janome 4618LE/1946 Singer 15-91 in original cabinet
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  7. #7
    Super Member suebee's Avatar
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    I would suggest that your wife take a class on assembly of quilts and the quilting process. Many local quilt shops offer classes like this. Quilting can be expensive. She may want to take a machine quilting class as well. You learn soooo much from them.
    SUEB

  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    The price doesn't sound outrageous. Prices quoted usually are JUST for the quilting. If you want the binding put on, there'd be an added fee, as in this case, and this too seems reasonable.

    Of course, prices vary from area to area ... and are dependent on the amount of quilting that's done.

    Many choose to have the professionals do the quilting til they have mastered the piecing technique.
    Some enjoy doing their own machine quilting and master it. Some hate it. Some never learn!

    It seems you have stepped in here to ask questions.
    Here's some for you ... what did your wife think about the fees? does she have any interest in learning to do the quilting herself?

    Perhaps for now your wife is content to let someone else enhance her work with the quilting, rather than not being happy with her beginner quilting efforts!
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  9. #9
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    does she check up on the prices and expenditures you make for your hobbies and personal interest? are she and her artwork not worth $200? how long did she entertain herself with this quilt? is she going to be doing 2 a year or 20? Did she ask you to buy a longarm machine to save $200? they cost anywhere from $5000 to 30,000.....

  10. #10
    Senior Member lindy-2's Avatar
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    that sounds like a reasonable price. but if she whants to learn to quilt her quilts herself there has been some realy good advice posted on here. i personaly bought a relitivly inexpesive mid arm setup ($1900) so i wouldent have to pay to get my quilts quilted but i also make 10-15 quilts per year. but if she is only going to make one or two per year sending them out to be quilted is a good idea and it would take a long tome to pay a quilting machine off but if like me she makes quite a few quilts getting a machine and learning to use it would be a good idea.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wanttobe's Avatar
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    I am glad you asked this question. I have three quilt tops made that I want to have done by an expert. I hand tied them but I don't think they feel or look finished. I am going to go to get an quotes to get mine done.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Anna.425's Avatar
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    Depending on the type of quilting that is done, that is a great price for a queen size. One of the other things that you might look into is that some quilt stores will rent the quilting machine and space so she could machine quilt it herself. Look around.

  13. #13
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I would guess (from personal observation only) that about half of all quilters regularly send out some of their tops to be quilted, and the price your wife paid sounds reasonable. Additional charge for binding is also to be expected. If your wife would like to quilt her own, another option is to get Marti Michell's book "Machine Quilting in Sections" and learn various ways of quilting the quilt in smaller sections. This is much easier than pushing the whole quilt through a domestic sewing machine's throat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deemail View Post
    does she check up on the prices and expenditures you make for your hobbies and personal interest? are she and her artwork not worth $200? how long did she entertain herself with this quilt? is she going to be doing 2 a year or 20? Did she ask you to buy a longarm machine to save $200? they cost anywhere from $5000 to 30,000.....
    She is going to keep this account, but she loves you now. Hahaha!
    Last edited by KellyAustin; 12-11-2011 at 04:27 PM.

  15. #15
    Junior Member quilter1942's Avatar
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    I have some of my quilts quilted by a LA,who is also a member on here (Hi Ann )The price depends on what type of quilting is done.Is it an allover design or a computer generated design or a completely done as a freehand design.Also the area you are in sometimes makes a difference and also how long the LA has been quilting.I have a couple of quilts that were custom designed and that was more expensive.Also the size also determines price,did the LA provide the batting?Was the backing ready for the quilt etc.I quilt baby quilts,table runners,small things myself,but I can`t wrestle a big quilt under my machine.I hand quilt a few things.I do my own bindings,sewing the first part with machine and then hand sewing the final part.

  16. #16
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I don't think that was a to bad of a price.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  17. #17
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it is very possible for your wife to learn to quilt with her domestic sewing machine- many very (big-name/famous) quilters quilt on their sewing machines- the easiest way to learn is to take a class at a local quilt shop-or watch videos /tutorials and practice- there are many tutorials- and books --it does take some practice-
    many other quilters===beginners and pros send their quilts out -- she should learn to do her own bindings--that part is easy enough for any beginner- again she just needs to watch the tutorials- but a simple explanation of bindings is---you sew 2 1/2" strips of binding fabric together to reach all the way around the quilt + 10" or so===fold it in half (wrong sides together) and press- then line up the raw edges with the raw edges of the quilt top- stitch it to the quilt by machine (check tutorials for mitered corners) then you fold it to the back of the quilt and hand stitch it down (which is what the long-armer charged you $30 for)
    the guys in my family (son's and nephew) are all quilters- and are very good at machine quilting on domestic machines- they started with small projects (about 18" square) put together top, batting, backing- marked how they wanted to quilt-and sat down and practiced- when they were happy with how it was going- how the stitches looked they made something larger- it didn't take long before they could handle king sized quilts ...best to start small-and practice---but totally do-able. my first quilt i sent out to a long armer---it was a shocking $385 for me to pick back up (and he did not do the binding for me!) at that point i figured i could never make another quilt- unless i learned to do that myself! i could never afford that! i was not expecting that price at all---i had been told the charge was 2 1/2 cents a square inch---didn't sound like that much...and the quilt was for my daughter's wedding present---so ...anyway---
    it is not surprising how much it cost- but it does not have to be that expensive for you if you want to learn---i know guys who seem to be much better quilters than most of the women i know- maybe you could make it a (couples activity) she could piece- you could quilt!
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  18. #18
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    I paid about $250 for a custom quilted king size a few years ago. She chwool batting, which I wanted. At the time, I thought it was pretty expensive, but after reading these posts, I think I got a reasonably good deal. Since then, I found a lady in my area who does pantogram (or is it called pantograph?) quilting & charges me only about $75 for a queen size. She furnishes polyester batting and the thread. I also know of an older man who has a Gammil long arm machine who charges even less. People send him their quilts from all over the country. I only use him for utility quilts, though. The lady I mentioned above does a much nicer job.
    MLOQuilts

  19. #19
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    I do LA at my friends shop to help her out, your wife actually got a deal considering she had the binding done too....most LA shops charge by the square inch and design, plain or varigated thread also ....

  20. #20
    Senior Member Cheshirecatquilter's Avatar
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    Believe me, if this was to be your wife's first attempt at machine quilting, especially a queen size, the number of quarters she would have put into the cuss jar would have been plenty to pay someone else to quilt her top, not to mention the stress she would have taken out on you, and that all the do-overs might have ruined parts of the top she did such a nice job on. She might never make another one.

    When we pay someone else to quilt a top, we must remember that, like any independent business person we are not paying only for the hours for that service, but for their overhead -- they had to buy the machine, supply the space to set it up, pay for lights, heat, taxes, insurance (health and homeowners), maybe Social Security, etc. At this point, $170 looks like a bargain to me.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Daisygirl's Avatar
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    I've paid a lot more than that to have mine quilted, but I think it's mre of a supply and demand where I live. There aren't a lot of long armers around here
    Do what you love, love what you do!

  22. #22
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    that's about what I've paid for quilting smaller quilts. Most charge by the square inch, anywhere from .01 to .05 for custom quilting. If it was applique, that can cost more too.

    It takes LOTS of practice to be able to quilt well on a regular sewing machine. After putting all the work into a queen size top, she was smart to send it out.
    Carol in Michigan

  23. #23
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    Hi Kelly and welcome to the board from Iowa. The rates you quote are very reasonable. Classes are given at most quilt shops and one can learn to do much or all of this by classes or online lessons. Some of us choose to have someone quilt as we don't have large machines or space. It is kind of you to seek answers to your wife's questions. We hope to see you both on the board and I would love to see a picture of her first, completed quilt. Thank you for seeking us out (smile).
    Desiderata (Max Ehrmann) - Walk placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

  24. #24
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    That sounds like a very reasonable price to me. As for if she can do it herself the answer is yes, as you have already seen with the other posts, however what are her interests & are ya willing to get her the equipment to make it easier?
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  25. #25
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    In this country, that's the amount you would pay for a single quilt = actually about $120, and extra for the binding. If you want custom quilting as opposed to pantographs, you pay extra. I know a woman who paid $500 for a custom quilted queen size.
    I do all of my sandwiching and quilting but it took many hours of practice before I produced nicely quilted top that I was proud to put my name on - and I am still improving. The learning doesn't stop but it takes some courage to actually 'ruin' a nice quilt top with wonky, beginner quilting.

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