My Experience About Starting My Own Longarm Quilting Business

longarm machine business

My Experience About Starting My Own Longarm Quilting Business

In 2006, I started going to quilt shows and test driving longarm machines. Test drive, test drive, test drive. You will know which machine works for you!

I eventually bought this book Ultimate Guide to Longarm Machine Quilti: How to Use ANY Longarm Machine Techniques, Patterns & Pantographs Starting a Business Hiring a Longarm Machine Quilter to help me learn about how to start a longarm quilting business.

I had so many questions and I knew I had to do my research before jumping into anything of this magnitude. I wanted to be my own boss.

Are you thinking of starting a longarm quilting business?

I hope the following does help you out and let me know your experiences.

1. Check out the other quilters in your area…

  • Call them and ask them about their prices and workload. This will give you an idea of how much to charge and how backed up they are.
  • What longarm services do they offer? Pantograph, Edge to edge or custom
  • Think: How can you be different from them?

2. Know your budget and space.

  • What machine you like? Have you test drove any or many?
  • Computerized vs Non-computerized
  • Stitch regulated vs non stitch regulated
  • The extras

3. Where are you on your skills?

  • If you can only meander then be really good at it!
  • Check YouTube, Craftsy, I Quilt for online courses to help you learn.
  • Doodle
  • Practice, Practice, Practice

4. What can you offer?

  • Faster turn around time.
  • Be unique.

5. Join quilt guilds.

  • Talk your quilts with your work on them and do “show and tell”
  • Advertise in their newsletter.
  • Get to know the members.

6. Check out local quilt shops. 

  • See if they have a longarmer that they refer quilters too.
  • Leave your business cards with them.

7. Consider renting time on your longarm.

  • I would do this if I had another longarm quilting machine.
  • I love teaching others.

8. Charge more for custom or heirloom quilting if you can do those with your skill set.

  • As you do more, you will get better. Then get paid for it. Your time is worth it.

9. Factor additional costs for threads, batting, backing including preparing/attaching binding…other services…sew a seam, pressing, snipping of threads.

  • Don’t be afraid to include those services for a charge/fee. This will help the quilter get a finished quilt.

10. Basting services for hand quilters

  • I’ve not been asked to do this, but might consider it.

Hubby surprised me with Mr. T in 2013 as a Mother’s Day present. It’s been slow and just this year I am putting my all into this. I want to make this work. It helps out my family.

If you are looking for someone to quilt your tops for you then check out my Longarm Quilting page!

Do you own your own Longarm Quilting Business? How long have you been doing it? Any advice you would want to give?

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jamie Champagne October 30, 2016, 11:20 am

    Came across your website on the long arm forum on Facebook. Just moved to the Dayton area last year and I’m looking for some tips in starting a business here in Ohio and I don’t know where to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Leave a Comment