Anita's quilts and quilting

A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.

Whole cloth 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.

Whole cloth quilt May 2012

This is the back side.  It’s white.

Whole cloth quilt May 2012

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.

Whole cloth quilt May 2012

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.

Whole cloth quilt May 2012

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.

Whole cloth quilt May 2012

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.

 

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8 comments on “Whole cloth done

  1. kathi
    May 26, 2012

    That quilt is JAW DROPPING FABULOUS!! WOW. a true work of art. YOu can feel EXTREEMELY GOOD about the quilting you did, Two sheets turned into a MASTERPIECE. well. pondering masterpieces, did not a lot of the “great artists” die paupers? so. it’s ALL GOOD.

    • Na Na
      May 27, 2012

      Yes, I sure did hate having to give it up. But, I can make another one if I want. Hmm… money can’t buy happiness but I’d sure like to rent some happiness once in awhile. On second thought, maybe not. I probably wouldn’t like the stress associated with having a bunch of money.

  2. Gloria Mullins
    May 26, 2012

    So very beautiful!!!!! Makes me even more anxious to see mine!!

    • Na Na
      May 27, 2012

      Thanks Gloria. A couple more ahead of yours though.

  3. Linda in NE
    May 26, 2012

    I remember back in the early days of quilting machines the dealers were advertising that you could make $20 an hr. I wonder if anyone ever did. Enjoy your in house retreat. Sounds like a good idea to me!

    • Na Na
      May 27, 2012

      Linda,only $20? I was told I could earn $100 an hour. That’s what convinced me to take the plunge and buy my first machine. Nobody told me that machine quilting was taboo in the world of quilts and it would be an uphill battle to get it accepted. Most of all, no one told me running a machine quilting business should be run “as a business” not as an income hobby. The only machine quilters I know who earn big dollars are those who teach machine quilting classes or are textile artists.

  4. Dora, the quilter
    May 26, 2012

    It’s quite beautiful, Anita.
    I hope you do get some time for an “in-house” retreat. That’s what I’m telling myself I get to do this weekend (my daughter spent the night at a friend’s house), so I’m hoping the intrusion of mandatory housework, etc. doesn’t set me back and that each task I choose goes smoothly.
    I hope your in-house retreat goes very smoothly too!

    • Na Na
      May 27, 2012

      So far my in-house retreat is going well. How’s yours?

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