If you own a long arm quilter for personal hobby use, there may well come a time when word gets out and you’ll be asked to make a quilt for others.
While friends and family may get initially freebies, after a while, you will understandably want to start charging for your services.
However, if you are not quilting professionally, (or maybe you are beginning to do so) knowing how much to charge when long arm quilting for others can be really difficult to answer.
However, in this article, we will set out a structure for you to quote for your work in a fair, yet profitable manner.
The great thing is, with enough work it is more than possible to pay off the investment you made in buying the quilter in the first place.
Now it’s time to look at all of this in greater detail.
What to consider when charging for your work
It doesn’t take much to be in a position to start charging for your longarm quilting. In fact, with just a few simple skills you can start earning a decent sum.
When you setting a price for your work you need to evaluate the time it takes to complete the whole process, along with material costs and other more esoteric elements such as utilities, and wear and tear of your machine.
In other words, you need to begin thinking about your costs in terms of a fully-fledged business.
You also need to decide on how much you aim to pay yourself on an hourly basis. How much is your time worth? You need to have a fixed hourly rate in your mind in order to calculate how much to charge for a job.
This rate will then be multiplied by your total prep time and the time it takes to machine the quilt.
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A lot of work is spent on a job before you’ve even switched on the long arm. Whenever you start a new project, you should keep a logbook and track how long each part of the process takes.
Keep this log even on your own work as this will make you more prepared when quilting for others and charging for the finished item.
By carefully tracking the above, you can add up how long your average process takes and then times that by your hourly rate.
This way you will have a cost for the work you complete before and after the actual quilting, and this can be charged to the client.
Now it’s time to track the amount of time it takes to actually machine the quilt.
Again you should track these times on your own work so that you have a clear idea of how long your process takes.
If you are at a stage where you are selling your quilts, you will have made enough to know that designs vary greatly in the time that they take.
A good way to break things down is to calculate how long it takes for you to do a single repeat of your pantograph design.
Have that figure in minutes and the only information you need to calculate the overall cost is the number of repeats required for a specifically sized quilt, and then the number of rows required to make it.
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Calculating the total costs
Once you have the total time it takes to create the pantograph, you can then add that to your total prep time. This is then multiplied by your hourly rate.
Add on your expenses and you have the final figure you should charge for your work.
And there you have it, all the details you need to start charging for your hard work.
As we said above, as more and more people see your lovely quilts they will be queuing up to have designs made.
Price your quilts carefully, and the profit could pay off the cost of your longarm quilting machine within a single year!
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