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questions for long armers

questions for long armers

Old 01-19-2012, 02:58 PM
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Hi,

I have a question for all of you longarmers out there. Once you got your machines and started using them, how soon did you feel confident enough to do quilting for others?

I don't have a longarmer right now, do have the directions to make one, as right now that would be the only way I could afford to get one. I ask, because I am fed up with my job and yesterday, had I had a longarmer and had enough confidence I may have quit my job and started doing that.

I am just sick and tired of whining people.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:09 PM
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Whining people don't go away just because your a LAer. It takes a good year or so to build up customers.
I had a couple bring me enought T-shirts to make 2 queen size quilts and bandanas for a twin all Harley stuff.
This was in Aug and I said I'd have them done the week before Thanksgiving. They hounded me to death.
They where delivered on time. But between Aug and Nov I was ready to pull my hair out because of them.
To do that you have to realley get out a network. As for when you feel your ready to do others tops that will depend on how much time you spend practicing and how much natural talent you have.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:11 PM
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You should also ask what amount of training or classes they have had. You should also ask what type of long arm work they do, whether computer guided, use of pantographs or free hand. For instance, I have had no formal training but have access to a machine at the quilt shop where I work. I've done 4 or 5 of my own quilts so far. Two were just meandering and three with templates and stylus. I still don't feel comfortable working on someone else's quilt. I will be taking some classes this year with the hope of gaining more confidence. You need to think also about how many quilts you can do in a week and what the going rate is for this type of work. I'm sure there are many more issues related to this as a home business that I don't even know about so will sign off and let other more knowledgeable people comment.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:58 PM
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the learning curve is pretty personal- some people are (naturals) and dive right in doing pretty good work- some people spend years and never feel they could quilt any but their own- also it can certainly take years to build enough steady business to be able to actually support yourself/pay your bills-
remember in many locations quilting is a 'seasonal' thing- many people do not sew in the summer time-they are busy doing other things- you may have no work all summer long- then be swamped from Halloween til Christmas---
if you are serious about really looking in to this first thing you should do is visit some dealers/ shows and try out a long arm- check them out and see if it's something you enjoy- or think you would enjoy- you need to remember- you are still dealing with customer's so----
also if you want to do this as a business to support your family (take the place of a full time job) you will be on your feet- working your arms, shoulders, back for many hours a day- you really will not have time to do your own quilts any more- you will spend all your time on other peoples quilts-
there are many many things you need to think about- and you need to build a business/customer base long before you quit your 'real job'---figure a couple years at the minimum...it is certainly not something where you can quit your job, set up a $20,000+ machine set up- and figure you will be making money/paying your bills within months...it just doesn't work that way.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:34 PM
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I have quilted for others even before the days of my longarm...and I can tell you, LA customers can whine just as good as any others you may meet! You will need at least 400 hours on your LA before you can be considered good enough to quilt for others, at least according to some of my LA friends. And believe me, that 400 hours comes hard.

So...if you want to quit your daytime job, start practicing RIGHT NOW and you should see some great progress in 400 hours or so! And need I add, "Good Luck"!!
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hsquiltingmom View Post
Hi,

I have a question for all of you longarmers out there. Once you got your machines and started using them, how soon did you feel confident enough to do quilting for others?

I don't have a longarmer right now, do have the directions to make one, as right now that would be the only way I could afford to get one. I ask, because I am fed up with my job and yesterday, had I had a longarmer and had enough confidence I may have quit my job and started doing that.

I am just sick and tired of whining people.
I just let the local linus group know i would quilt all their donor quilts while i was learning... it took a few months, maybe 3, but i was quilting 2 quilts a day for most of those days.... i got a lot better a lot faster than i thought i would...
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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Ahh yes...Please remember before making a hasty decision...THE GRASS ISNT ANY GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE. Find a new job BEFORE you quit. Im just sayin' Take a deep breath. Hang in there!!
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:30 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I realize no matter where I work, there are always whiners. I do have a great job, only 18 hours a week, for the most part, and it is at the library. I love to read, and I home school, and I am always finding great books. This is just something that I have thought about for a while. Right now, I just quilt on my domestic machine. I just finished a twin size quilt and have at least 4 or 5 more to do of that size for family and a really good friend. This has just been a stressful week at work. I may decide to eventually do this just a bit at a time, and stay with my library job. Just have to see what the future brings.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:38 AM
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I admire the work that the longarmers do on QB. It depend on how much time you want to spend quilting others people work? You need to do quite a few quilts to pay off the machine and then there is the wear and tear on your body. You sound like you're a youngster (kids at home) so it might be an opportunity to start getting ready for. Try out some machines, see if they have a payment plan or start saving up your pennies. Your job will look better if you are taking some of that money for your longarm fund.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:43 AM
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I got my LA in April and have spent a couple hundred hours on it. I am still not ready to do a quilt for someone else, but I am alot better and am doing a decent job on my own quilts.
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