A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
Done is good. It will be picked up today to take back to Tennessee. Here’s a view on the intake table. It’s folded in half to fit on the 4 foot by 8 foot table. This side is a cream color.
This is the back side. It’s white.
The pattern was drawn with silver pencil on the cream fabric. Both fabrics are sheets. The owner had asked if I could use white thread in the bobbin with a cream color on top. It’s nearly impossible to get good balance with two color threads. Polka dots will show up on either side.
I don’t use two color threads. Instead I will use a thread color that blends between the two colors. For this one I used a thread color called Eggshell made by Maxiloc. It’s a cotton wrapped poly thread. The color is a shade less than cream so it blended well with the cream color of the sheet.
On the white side the eggshell is close enough to white that it blended well there too. It’s an alternative to using two different color threads that works just about every time.
I wish I could say I got really big dollars for the quilting but lets say I got a fair price. I didn’t go into the business of professional machine quilting intending to get rich. (Umm…. well I did but that’s a different story about the early days of machine quilting.)
I quilt because I really love to quilt. The fact I earn a little money too just makes it better. There’s not many people who can say they love their job. For heirloom work like this I earn 5 1/2 cents per square inch.
Why price by the square inch? Well let’s say you have a twin sized top you want quilted. So what size is a twin? Everyone’s idea of size is different. Does a twin just cover the top of the bed? Does it go half way to the floor on each side or all the way to the floor on three sides? Does it just lay under the pillow or does it cover and tuck under the pillow like a bed spread? How high is the bed? Close to the floor or need a step ladder to get into it? You see what I’m saying? Ok, charging by the square inch I get the same fair amount no matter what a person thinks is a twin sized quilt.
Broken down to hourly wage I earn between three and six dollars an hour before expenses. Time consuming work like this I earn the lower amount. Quicker panto work I earn the higher amount. As I said, I won’t get rich by machine quilting for others but it does give me a little money to help pay my bills.
Coming up soon I have another quilt that’s going to be almost as time consuming as this one was. Before I get to it I plan to work on the two t-shirt quilts to get those ready for the owner’s approval and another top I received from someone in SC. Oh! I can’t forget the quilt I’m making for my SIL and I need to make something to enter into the fair this year.
Hmm…. I think it’s time for me to have an “in house” retreat. I haven’t had one of those in a very long time. A holiday weekend is the perfect time.