I hope that if you or your loved ones are in an area affected by all of these crazy weather systems that you are safe and okay! Stay dry and warm.
For me? I am machine quilting today and pondering taking in some quilts to longarm for other people. I have been thinking about this for quite some time; but, I haven't come to any real resolution about this, for many reasons. But, I think that I have made one conclusion - from standing here custom quilting my Curve It Up Sampler. I don't think that I could possibly make money quilting like this for other people.
Let me explain a bit. I have spent the last couple hours using rulers to fill in the bottom of these blocks (my machine doesn't have a really huge throat like the bigger longarms because, frankly, I don't have the space for one of those!) with custom machine quilting - and - enjoying it I might add!
I took a step back from the machine and thought - how the heck would anyone be willing to pay me enough to do this amount of intensive work on a quilt??!! To make it worthwhile, a longarmer would have to charge a BIG chunk of money to quilt a quilt as intensely as I am. However, I am sure that people are much faster at this than I am! I've watched a lot of longarm videos and I know that people are a LOT faster than I am but it still takes a lot of time.
What if someone came up to me with an identical top and asked me to quilt it exactly the same? I decided that I would have to charge a lot of money.
And I mean a LOT of money LOL!
I think that this is why a lot of longarmers have gone to doing edge to edge computer driven panto-graphs. It is a lot faster, consistent and affordable. I know of several, local, longarmers that do only computer driven edge to edge and they have a steady stream of happy customers - enough to keep them busy.
So, after pondering the cost of custom quilting I started to wonder if there is demand for custom quilting? And, if there is demand - are people willing to pay for what they want? Hmm.
In the past I have listened to quilters complain about the cost of custom longarm quilting and how the quilter charged way to mach for her Queen sized quilt (let's say $450.00). If you break it down and think about how many hours the longarmer ACTUALLY spent quilting that quilt, this is an extremely reasonable amount of money for the hours spent.
I found this wonderful article on just that.
"Why Does my Longarmer Charge So Much" is a great article that I recommend you read - either as a longarmer or a customer. It comes down to value - value for your time, your skill and your artistry - not to mention your base costs like electricity, your machine, your training etc, etc.
So, this has been one very long ramble to say I am STILL wondering if there is demand and, frankly, I am wondering if I want to take in quilts for other people, and, if doing this would take me away from my own quilts and my life!?
So many questions!!!
Please let me know your thoughts! I would absolutely love to hear them. I would love to hear from longarmers and customers :-D