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Thread: Should I add a tip for longarmer?

  1. #1
    Junior Member coffeegirl's Avatar
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    Should I add a tip for longarmer?

    Is it customary to add a tip for your long armer? When I first started quilting and sending tops out to be quilted, I just paid whatever the bill was and never thought anything about it. But over time, I started adding a tip, especially if they did a great job, or maybe finished it under a deadline, etc. Now, I feel bad if I Don't add extra. What does everyone else do? The quilting can be pretty expensive already, am I making it worse by paying more than is necessary, or is a tip appropriate and maybe even expected? Thank you for the advice!
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-13-2019 at 03:40 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  2. #2
    Junior Member stitch678's Avatar
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    I think for a longarmer it's not normally expected. A quilt done under a tight deadline ( especially in a busy season, like holidays), or a show- level custom quilt would certainly warrant oneon occasion. Thing is, once you start tipping anyone , they come to expect they can earn one from you. Then if they do their level best for you and don't receive one, it could make them wonder what they did to dissappoint you. Best not to start at all...they set their price, you pay.

  3. #3
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Maybe some longarmers will chime in. I don't have an answer.
    I've only sent quilts through the mail to be done and I make out a check for the total.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Being a longarm Quilter here’s my take- I Never expect a tip.
    There have been times when a customer was very pleased and added a bit more to the bill, or when I did a rush job they showed their appreciation. One time I had someone say.....” I’m paying you more- it is so worth it, you don’t charge enough!”
    all of this is very appreciated but never expected. Like you stated- it’s not cheap to have your quilt longarm quilted. If you feel that a little extra is warranted then by all means- give that tip. But don’t feel obligated. It’s not like a waitress working for $2.85 an hour and depending on tips. ( and yes, that is the normal pay for a waitress in Michigan)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
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    Having been a longarm quilter for several years, I do not expect a tip from my customers. I charge them according to my prices and don't expect more. That being said, a few customers always add to my bill, even when I tell them it is not necessary. I have also had customers bring me patterns (of quilts I mentioned I would love to make sometime), quilting gadgets, framed quilty items to hang on my studio walls and flowers to plant or hang outside (as they know I also love flower gardening). I totally agreed with ckcowl, if you want to tip, by all means do.

  6. #6
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I always tip my quilter. She does such lovely work and is very reasonable in what she charges. She takes my so-so quilts and turns them into something more special than I could achieve. If I went to someone that charges a lot more, I wouldn't be able to be quite as generous.

  7. #7
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    I agree with "stitch678" that I don't tip and if you do then your longarm quilter will expect it.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan View Post
    I agree with "stitch678" that I don't tip and if you do then your longarm quilter will expect it.
    ive been longarm quilting for customers for 15 years. I’ve Never Expected a tip. Even from customers who did once- I didn’t expect it a second time. I appreciate it when it happens but Never a expect it. And I don’t believe other longarm quilters do either. It’s a sweet gesture once in a while. Never expected.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I agree with ckcowl that a longarmer receiving a tip doesn't mean she will expect one in the future. I would think of it more as a gift of appreciation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lyric girl's Avatar
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    I have never been tipped, but I have only been at this for a year and a half.

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I'm a long arm quilter and don't expect a tip--I think I charge fair prices for the work I do (only custom stuff) and my customers will not be coming too me cause I'm the cheapest.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-14-2019 at 02:23 AM. Reason: PM

  12. #12
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    I have never gone to a long armer, so I really can't say. I think it's a great question and everyone raises some valid points.

  13. #13
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    I have tipped my long arm quilter when she has done it in a time crunch and done an exceptional job. I certainly do not tip every job. This is her sole income source and she works very hard to please.

  14. #14
    Junior Member coffeegirl's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the insight. Now I won't feel so bad if I decide not to tip.

  15. #15
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    I am a longarmer and I do not expect a tip and have been thrilled maybe 3 times when someone paid me extra, usually when they needed change from cash and told me to keep it, lol. I would never expect a tip from someone even if they did tip previously. I really don't make an expected income from what I do, I just provide a service for quilters who would never have a finished quilt unless I quilted it for them. (I do not have a "business" so to speak, just regular friends that I quilt for.)

  16. #16
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I have added a bit to my payment when my LA'er has worked me into her very busy schedule. It is my way of telling her how much I appreciate her efforts.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ghquilter53's Avatar
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    I am a longarmer. Please, no tips for me.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pewa88 View Post
    I am a longarmer and I do not expect a tip and have been thrilled maybe 3 times when someone paid me extra, usually when they needed change from cash and told me to keep it, lol. I would never expect a tip from someone even if they did tip previously. I really don't make an expected income from what I do, I just provide a service for quilters who would never have a finished quilt unless I quilted it for them. (I do not have a "business" so to speak, just regular friends that I quilt for.)
    I also do not have a “business”. I exchange quilting for a friend and she does my hand work on binding. When she has more quilting for me than I have handwork for her, I charge her. I do not expect a tip. I feel that longarmers are asking the price they want and a tip is not necessary and you should not feel obligated.

  19. #19
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    I would say a tip is not expected. If your longarm quilter goes "above & beyond" in some way - a tight deadline, exceptional quilting, or you just want to show your appreciation once in a while - bring them a gift certificate for your LQS or a coffee shop.

  20. #20
    Super Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I'm a longarmer and I would never expect a tip. A couple of clients have given me some extra once or twice - I'm trying to get over that making me uncomfortable and to accept it gracefully. But I'd never expect them to do it every time.

    My mother once said to me (and maybe this is really bad advice, but it's stuck with me) that she doesn't tip her hairdresser when she goes to someone who's working for themself, or to the salon owner. They charge the rate they want to get. If they are working for someone else in a salon, a tip is appropriate, because they are only getting a portion of what the hair cut cost. So, since a longarmer is working for themself, I would not tip.

  21. #21
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristakz View Post
    ...My mother once said to me (and maybe this is really bad advice, but it's stuck with me) that she doesn't tip her hairdresser when she goes to someone who's working for themself, or to the salon owner. They charge the rate they want to get. If they are working for someone else in a salon, a tip is appropriate, because they are only getting a portion of what the hair cut cost. So, since a longarmer is working for themself, I would not tip.
    This advice makes so much sense. Thanks
    Nancy in western NY
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