On October 11, 2022, Guild Member Stephanie Baker shared with us some great information about how a longarming business works, how pricing is determined, and tips for keeping your longarmer happy. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing what we learned during Stephanie’s presentation.
A little bit about Stephanie: "...my sewing journey began when she was 8 years old. My mother was a seamstress. All her free time was spent in her sewing room and all I ever wanted was to learn how to sew. I started with garments like my mother. It wasn’t until years later…after my second child was born that I decided to make my first quilt. After that I was hooked.”
A few years later, Stephanie decided to get certified to teach Judy Niemeyer's Quiltworx patterns. She came home from final certification with 5 quilts that needed to be custom quilted. It would have cost roughly $800-$1,200 per quilt, about $4,000-$6,000 for those to be completed by someone else. She decided to invest in a computerized longarm and within a month of owning her first machine, she was quilting for hire.
Part I: Intake and Quilt Top Basics
Intake Form- Most long armers have what’s called an intake form. This gives the long armer all the information needed to complete your quilt. Intake forms may include: personal information, contact information, quilt details such as size, color, how you want it quilted, thread color, batting and backing information, etc. These are all items that should be discussed with your quilter to make sure that you are both on the same page.
Quilt top preparation- Your quilt top should come to the long armer ready to go on the frame. It should be pressed, all threads on the front and back of the quilt should be trimmed and it should be square. Square, meaning measurements from opposite corners should be the same.
Quilt top embellishments- These can be added either before or after the top is quilted. Some longarmers will choose not to quilt with embellishments or it may incur an additional cost. They can also steer the quilter towards a custom design, depending on the quilt.
We will continue our journey in Part II: Backing, Batting, and Thread! See you soon!
For more information about Stephanie's business, you can visit her website at www.stephaniezquiltz.com/about