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Thread: question for LA quilters and their customers

  1. #1
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    I have been doing research about LA service prices. I am finding the majority of LA quilters charge by the inch, and this amount is subject to how dense the quilt is to be stitched. Such as .01 for open meander, .02 for medium, .03 for dense, .04 for custom designs, so forth and so on. Then there are extra charges such as $10 to seam the backing, $10 to square the quilt top, $30 to add borders, $8 to press the quilt top....(these are just rough amounts, I'm not quoting any professionals pricing here)

    Well, it all gets a little confusing, so this is my question. Do any LA quilters -- that you know of -- charge a flat hourly rate? If not, why not? If you are a quilter that hires LA service, would you rather pay an hourly rate? If so, why? if not, why not?

    Very few LA quilters charge a flat rate according to the size of the quilt. Is it unwise to charge ---- say $50 to LA quilt a crib size?

    I have come across a few LA machine owners that rent time on their machines. Do any of you do that? Is it profitable?

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate your comments. :)

  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I have read that some LA quilters do charge by the hour, but, I've never met one!
    I don't really find the 'caffeteria' style charges a problem. If anything, it encourages the person bringing the top to do as much of the work up front to avoid additional charges. For instance, it's my opinion that you should square up and thoroughly press the top before dropping it off.
    I'll be curious to see other's opinions.
    As far as renting out the machine, it's an expensive item and i wouldn't want just anyone using it. Also, there are liability issues.

  3. #3
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    I have been doing research about LA service prices. I am finding the majority of LA quilters charge by the inch, and this amount is subject to how dense the quilt is to be stitched. Such as .01 for open meander, .02 for medium, .03 for dense, .04 for custom designs, so forth and so on. Then there are extra charges such as $10 to seam the backing, $10 to square the quilt top, $30 to add borders, $8 to press the quilt top....(these are just rough amounts, I'm not quoting any professionals pricing here)

    Well, it all gets a little confusing, so this is my question. Do any LA quilters -- that you know of -- charge a flat hourly rate? If not, why not? If you are a quilter that hires LA service, would you rather pay an hourly rate? If so, why? if not, why not?

    Very few LA quilters charge a flat rate according to the size of the quilt. Is it unwise to charge ---- say $50 to LA quilt a crib size?

    I have come across a few LA machine owners that rent time on their machines. Do any of you do that? Is it profitable?

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate your comments. :)
    HI,
    I may be able to help you on some of your questions. I am a LAQ. I think as far as charging an hourly rate....in most cases it is fair to the customer to charge by the size of the quilt...rather than hourly because every quilter works at their own pace. Some quilt slow...some quilt fast.
    It is the same for renting a long arm...I just bought my second machine...I will rent it out to quilters...I would rather charge by the size of the quilt and just give the person however much time they need (within reason)..so they aren't racing to get their quilt done...I want them to feel happy with their own results and enjoy the process. Some may quilt fast...some others may not.

    I think some quilters actually do charge a flat rate...for certain sizes...but it is usually for a specific type of quilting...like pantograph quilting or E2E ...that sort of thing.

    I hope that helps.
    C

    I forgot to say...I don't think renting out time on my machine will be profitable....maybe I am wrong. I mean I would have to rent lots of time out on it and you have to take the time to help load it...thread at and roll the quilt. I am hoping to rent it out to people who will not need me as much...but in the beginning there will be a few. So I guess what I am saying is I am not experienced enough to know if that is really all that profitable...but I haven't herd that it is.

  4. #4
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    Locally we have 2 shops that I visit. One charges .01 a square inch and the other one .015 a sq. inch. Dizzy Divas is who I use, so the quilt I need done is 60" x 60" and will be $36.00. They will quilt whatever you want. I guess one might be more if you want to go really fancy, but I don't know for sure.

  5. #5
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I was with a group of LA'er taking LA classes and this was an interesting topic.

    Personally it makes more sense to me. After you get enough practice you can generally know a ball park figure.

    For example:
    -set up time
    - guestimate of quilting time
    - take down time
    - an other time spent such as ironing or sewing backing

    ali

  6. #6
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismah
    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    I have been doing research about LA service prices. I am finding the majority of LA quilters charge by the inch, and this amount is subject to how dense the quilt is to be stitched. Such as .01 for open meander, .02 for medium, .03 for dense, .04 for custom designs, so forth and so on. Then there are extra charges such as $10 to seam the backing, $10 to square the quilt top, $30 to add borders, $8 to press the quilt top....(these are just rough amounts, I'm not quoting any professionals pricing here)

    Well, it all gets a little confusing, so this is my question. Do any LA quilters -- that you know of -- charge a flat hourly rate? If not, why not? If you are a quilter that hires LA service, would you rather pay an hourly rate? If so, why? if not, why not?

    Very few LA quilters charge a flat rate according to the size of the quilt. Is it unwise to charge ---- say $50 to LA quilt a crib size?

    I have come across a few LA machine owners that rent time on their machines. Do any of you do that? Is it profitable?

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate your comments. :)
    HI,
    I may be able to help you on some of your questions. I am a LAQ. I think as far as charging an hourly rate....in most cases it is fair to the customer to charge by the size of the quilt...rather than hourly because every quilter works at their own pace. Some quilt slow...some quilt fast.
    It is the same for renting a long arm...I just bought my second machine...I will rent it out to quilters...I would rather charge by the size of the quilt and just give the person however much time they need (within reason)..so they aren't racing to get their quilt done...I want them to feel happy with their own results and enjoy the process. Some may quilt fast...some others may not.

    I think some quilters actually do charge a flat rate...for certain sizes...but it is usually for a specific type of quilting...like pantograph quilting or E2E ...that sort of thing.

    I hope that helps.
    C

    I forgot to say...I don't think renting out time on my machine will be profitable....maybe I am wrong. I mean I would have to rent lots of time out on it and you have to take the time to help load it...thread at and roll the quilt. I am hoping to rent it out to people who will not need me as much...but in the beginning there will be a few. So I guess what I am saying is I am not experienced enough to know if that is really all that profitable...but I haven't herd that it is.
    Down here the shops that do rent out machines charge a fee for a one time [more if needed] class on operation of the machine. Then after that it is the hourly, 1/2 day, or day rate. There are some LA'ers who do use it for whole days too.

    Maybe you could charge that learning fee also.

    ali

  7. #7
    Super Member MellieKQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismah
    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    I have been doing research about LA service prices. I am finding the majority of LA quilters charge by the inch, and this amount is subject to how dense the quilt is to be stitched. Such as .01 for open meander, .02 for medium, .03 for dense, .04 for custom designs, so forth and so on. Then there are extra charges such as $10 to seam the backing, $10 to square the quilt top, $30 to add borders, $8 to press the quilt top....(these are just rough amounts, I'm not quoting any professionals pricing here)

    Well, it all gets a little confusing, so this is my question. Do any LA quilters -- that you know of -- charge a flat hourly rate? If not, why not? If you are a quilter that hires LA service, would you rather pay an hourly rate? If so, why? if not, why not?

    Very few LA quilters charge a flat rate according to the size of the quilt. Is it unwise to charge ---- say $50 to LA quilt a crib size?

    I have come across a few LA machine owners that rent time on their machines. Do any of you do that? Is it profitable?

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate your comments. :)
    HI,
    I may be able to help you on some of your questions. I am a LAQ. I think as far as charging an hourly rate....in most cases it is fair to the customer to charge by the size of the quilt...rather than hourly because every quilter works at their own pace. Some quilt slow...some quilt fast.
    It is the same for renting a long arm...I just bought my second machine...I will rent it out to quilters...I would rather charge by the size of the quilt and just give the person however much time they need (within reason)..so they aren't racing to get their quilt done...I want them to feel happy with their own results and enjoy the process. Some may quilt fast...some others may not.

    I think some quilters actually do charge a flat rate...for certain sizes...but it is usually for a specific type of quilting...like pantograph quilting or E2E ...that sort of thing.

    I hope that helps.
    C

    I forgot to say...I don't think renting out time on my machine will be profitable....maybe I am wrong. I mean I would have to rent lots of time out on it and you have to take the time to help load it...thread at and roll the quilt. I am hoping to rent it out to people who will not need me as much...but in the beginning there will be a few. So I guess what I am saying is I am not experienced enough to know if that is really all that profitable...but I haven't herd that it is.
    I wish you lived closer... I would be a repeat customer for the rental you are adding!

  8. #8
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MellieKQuilter
    Quote Originally Posted by charismah
    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    I have been doing research about LA service prices. I am finding the majority of LA quilters charge by the inch, and this amount is subject to how dense the quilt is to be stitched. Such as .01 for open meander, .02 for medium, .03 for dense, .04 for custom designs, so forth and so on. Then there are extra charges such as $10 to seam the backing, $10 to square the quilt top, $30 to add borders, $8 to press the quilt top....(these are just rough amounts, I'm not quoting any professionals pricing here)

    Well, it all gets a little confusing, so this is my question. Do any LA quilters -- that you know of -- charge a flat hourly rate? If not, why not? If you are a quilter that hires LA service, would you rather pay an hourly rate? If so, why? if not, why not?

    Very few LA quilters charge a flat rate according to the size of the quilt. Is it unwise to charge ---- say $50 to LA quilt a crib size?

    I have come across a few LA machine owners that rent time on their machines. Do any of you do that? Is it profitable?

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate your comments. :)
    HI,
    I may be able to help you on some of your questions. I am a LAQ. I think as far as charging an hourly rate....in most cases it is fair to the customer to charge by the size of the quilt...rather than hourly because every quilter works at their own pace. Some quilt slow...some quilt fast.
    It is the same for renting a long arm...I just bought my second machine...I will rent it out to quilters...I would rather charge by the size of the quilt and just give the person however much time they need (within reason)..so they aren't racing to get their quilt done...I want them to feel happy with their own results and enjoy the process. Some may quilt fast...some others may not.

    I think some quilters actually do charge a flat rate...for certain sizes...but it is usually for a specific type of quilting...like pantograph quilting or E2E ...that sort of thing.

    I hope that helps.
    C

    I forgot to say...I don't think renting out time on my machine will be profitable....maybe I am wrong. I mean I would have to rent lots of time out on it and you have to take the time to help load it...thread at and roll the quilt. I am hoping to rent it out to people who will not need me as much...but in the beginning there will be a few. So I guess what I am saying is I am not experienced enough to know if that is really all that profitable...but I haven't herd that it is.
    I wish you lived closer... I would be a repeat customer for the rental you are adding!
    me too!

  9. #9
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies!

  10. #10
    Super Member MellieKQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismah
    Thanks ladies!
    I just googled the distance... about two hours... hmmmm. Maybe you are close enough?? lol. :) :lol:

  11. #11
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    Yes a few longarmers charge by the hour. They guesstimate the amount of time and therefore the amount of money the quilt will cost. Most charge by the inch, which is what I do.

    Quilting charges vary widely based on many factors including the region, the type, density and difficulty of the quilting designs, and the skills, talents, or fame of the quilter.

  12. #12
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the sharing your knowledge and opinions. My hubby is working on his thesis for a Master's Degree and this is research he asked me to do. He is setting me up in a pretend LAQ business.

    This pretend business may one day become reality because I have recently ordered the Handi Quilter Avante. It will deliver next week and I can't wait! I hope I get the hang of it quickly --- I can be so impatient.

    Thanks again --- keep your opinions coming!

  13. #13
    Junior Member OCQuilts's Avatar
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    I've been renting Gammill Long Arms for 5 years. We started with 1 and within a year I bought a 2nd. We currently have 3 hand guided machines and 2 Statler Stitchers. Rental and classes are working well for us! We also quilt for people and charge by the inch as you described. I do find that some of my customers that rent "speed quilt" to save money as we charge $20.00 per hour. I would like to see them slow down to improve their work, not to add to my profit. But I haven't tried a different rental rate yet.....but food for thought!

  14. #14
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCQuilts
    I've been renting Gammill Long Arms for 5 years. We started with 1 and within a year I bought a 2nd. We currently have 3 hand guided machines and 2 Statler Stitchers. Rental and classes are working well for us! We also quilt for people and charge by the inch as you described. I do find that some of my customers that rent "speed quilt" to save money as we charge $20.00 per hour. I would like to see them slow down to improve their work, not to add to my profit. But I haven't tried a different rental rate yet.....but food for thought!
    I just visited your website and read your story about how you got started in your business. Very impressive! Congratulations and I hope you continue to grow and live your dream!

  15. #15
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Giving flat rate rather than by the hour benifits both pro and customer. The customer knows exactly how much its going to cost ahead of time. The Pro does not have to Justify the price , it is what it is. I can see if its hourly the customer would never really know .. "did I really get what I paid for?". On the other hand LA quilters can end up spending lots of time with a poorly constructed or prepared for quilting quilt top , that they had not anticipated. Many will call the person prior to starting the quilting to discuss the condition ( delicately) and explain why extra effort and charges are in order.
    I send out many tops and doubt I would ever feel completely comfortable in a hourly unless there was a "not to exceed" dollar amount in the contract. Having said that I did have such a agreement and ...well it was exaclty the top do not exceed $$ and the quilting was less than what I expected for that price. It was a very generous amount and I had expectations of it being "competition" worthy when done. It was not.
    My best experiences have been with LA'ers here on this board . I have seen their work which is consistant in what I look for in design and technical , I trust they will have a vision , and I let them do what they do best. Consitantly both of them , have given me a good indication of what they have in mind for the quilt top , and yes I am always pleased that they exceed my expectations.
    In the end if you are looking for LA services , find one that you want to have a long realtionship with because you have confidence in their work and the way the run their business.
    If you are thinking of starting a business learn from the best practices of those LA professional whom you respect.
    People who use LA services go back again and again to the person they trust. And the old saying in business for every lost customer .. it takes 10 new one to replace them.

  16. #16
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    Thank you all for the sharing your knowledge and opinions. My hubby is working on his thesis for a Master's Degree and this is research he asked me to do. He is setting me up in a pretend LAQ business.

    This pretend business may one day become reality because I have recently ordered the Handi Quilter Avante. It will deliver next week and I can't wait! I hope I get the hang of it quickly --- I can be so impatient.

    Thanks again --- keep your opinions coming!
    If you are interested in real start up costs, PM me.

    There's a lot more to buy besides the machine, and it all costs good money, and almost all of it needs to be ordered on the web and delivered to you. Shipping charges are a big "invisible" business expense these days.

  17. #17
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    This is very generous of you, and of course, I will send a PM. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by StitchinJoy
    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    Thank you all for the sharing your knowledge and opinions. My hubby is working on his thesis for a Master's Degree and this is research he asked me to do. He is setting me up in a pretend LAQ business.

    This pretend business may one day become reality because I have recently ordered the Handi Quilter Avante. It will deliver next week and I can't wait! I hope I get the hang of it quickly --- I can be so impatient.

    Thanks again --- keep your opinions coming!
    If you are interested in real start up costs, PM me.

    There's a lot more to buy besides the machine, and it all costs good money, and almost all of it needs to be ordered on the web and delivered to you. Shipping charges are a big "invisible" business expense these days.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Joy Higdon's Avatar
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    My local LA charges by the quilt. The last queen size she quilted for me was $70. She does beautiful work but only does stippling, meandering and swirls. If I make a quilt that is very special, I like to have it custom quilted.

  19. #19
    Super Member DianneK's Avatar
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    I am a longarmer. I charge by the sq. inch according to the denseness of the design. I stock 2 battings and charge per sq foot for those. I try not to nickel and dime my customers by adding a lot of extra charges...pressing, re-pinning for borders, etc. If I see that there will be extra work, I just add a little into the charge per sq foot. I only have one Gammill and would NOT even consider renting it! I have been in business for over 5 years and love what I do.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bottle Blonde
    Thank you all for the sharing your knowledge and opinions. My hubby is working on his thesis for a Master's Degree and this is research he asked me to do. He is setting me up in a pretend LAQ business.

    This pretend business may one day become reality because I have recently ordered the Handi Quilter Avante. It will deliver next week and I can't wait! I hope I get the hang of it quickly --- I can be so impatient.

    Thanks again --- keep your opinions coming!
    You will love youe Avante--love mine. The larger size from the HQ16 is amazing.

  21. #21
    Senior Member arimuse's Avatar
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    let me ask this here: LAQ, if I make a top (Im finally getting my sewing room done!) and need to have it quilted (this is the part I dont like to do - lol) do I put the batt in and the backing and baste it together before I send it to be quilted?? I never had one quilted by anyone else before and am thinking I should start to do this if I want anything finished before I die sharet

  22. #22
    Super Member pjnesler's Avatar
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    Interesting Topic, I've wondered about taking quilts to a LA to learn, and do myself. Don't know what a "fair" price for that type of service would be.

  23. #23
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    I do not do LAQ, so I send all of my quilts out. My favorite quilter charges by the square inch, fee is greater if I want custom work. He adds a fee for thread color changes. All of his work is free motion - no pantographs or digital designs. He give me a quote before he starts the work. I have come to appreciate his skill and artistry, and would trust him doing any of my tops. I don't look for cheap. After spending my time piecing a top, I will pay for quality quilting.

  24. #24
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    We have both "per inch" and "per hour" available in our area. The "per inch" does all the work for you and delivers a finished product. The other involves you renting a either a manual or a computerized machine. You sew on the zipper yourself for both. For the manual, you can use either a pantograph or free motion. For the computerized, you choose the pattern. The employee is there to help as needed. There is also a flat rate thread charge, depending on whether the pattern is considered light/medium/heavy. Average charge for a lap sized quilt is about $50. The computerized machine is booked solid Jun-Jan. Don't think the manual one is booked as much. Guess the difference is whether your quilt is a show piece or not.
    Personally, I like the feeling of completing an entire quilt myself and the rent option fills that need for me. I don't however like paying a flat rate thread charge. The charge for one quilt pays for the entire large cone of thread.
    Will follow this thread closely as I have also wondered about the profitability of buying a LA.

  25. #25
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arimuse
    let me ask this here: LAQ, if I make a top (Im finally getting my sewing room done!) and need to have it quilted (this is the part I dont like to do - lol) do I put the batt in and the backing and baste it together before I send it to be quilted?? I never had one quilted by anyone else before and am thinking I should start to do this if I want anything finished before I die sharet
    You do not do any of the sandwiching if you are sending to a LA quilter. Just send top , backing and batting seperate. Some LA quilters have battings ( additional charge).
    Once I discovered LA quilters .... it was truley life changing. I really really do not like the quilting part on a big quilt.

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