Free Motion Friday — Longarm Quilting Pricing





No one sent me any quilt pictures to play with this week (sad face). So maybe this week you will? Email a picture of a quilt for me to play with to kathleen(at)

In the mean time, I thought I’d talk a little about something my mom and I have been obsessed with talking about lately… longarm quilting pricing.

I don’t get a lot of requests for longarm quilting. Mostly family, and a few emails here and there. I’ve only had my longarm for a few months, and I don’t advertise or go out of my way to get quilts. I’m more than happy to just work on my own quilts, and quilts for the store or for family. I work full-time away from my longarm, which means that any time I get to quilt is in the evening or on weekends. And sometimes (especially this week) I just don’t feel like it when I get home from work. I just want to sit and nap and do nothing.

This means that if someone is going to ask me to quilt for them, they are going out of their way to do it. They have seen my quilting on my blog or instagram, and have searched out the place to send a request. They aren’t asking me because I’m the handiest, but rather because they like what I do and want me to do what I do on their quilts.

Which means they are going to pay for it.

Peaks and Valleys!

Peaks and Valleys!

The way I usually quilt takes time.  My peaks and valleys quilt took more than 30 hours. And it’s lap sized.

The average hourly salary in Alberta is $27.7 per hour. To make this salary on my peaks and valleys quilt, I would have had to charge $831 for this quilt, or 14.5 cents a square inch.

Which granted, is a lot.

When people ask me how much I charge for quilting, I usually say 8-12 cents a square inch. Which, based on the quilt above, is quite a deal really. It does means that a  queen sized quilt can easily cost $1000 for quilting.

Which granted, is a lot.

But here is my reasoning.

I bought a longarm. It takes up what feels like half my house. And what legitimately is half my living room. That’s a lot of resources tied up in it.

I take classes, usually not in my home town, to make my quilting better. And long arm classes aren’t cheap either.

It takes a long time. Not only the quilting time, but the planning, the machine loading time, the time to answer emails, deal with shipping, and talk to people.

Delectable, Indelible

Delectable, Indelible

And yes, I could quilt quicker, and therefore cheaper. But I like quilting crazy amounts. And, since anyone asking me to quilt their quilt has searched me out specifically based on the quilting they have seen me do, I’m assuming they don’t want me to quilt their quilt cheaper and faster than what I’m doing — they want me to quilt their quilt the way I quilt quilts.

So I charge 8-12 cents for quilting. Usually 10-12 cents. And if that’s too much for someone to spend, it doesn’t bother me too much. I love quilting, and would love to quilt more custom quilts, but I have a full-time job. Not getting a quilt this week isn’t going to mean I can’t eat next week. So I charge what I charge, and while I’d love to quilt your quilt for you, if you can’t spend that much, I totally understand.

Gemma at had a great post about the cost of quilting as well. 

Anyways, that’s my rant for the week. Don’t want another one next week? Send me a picture of your quilt top to play with! Email kathleen(at)

Later days,



9 responses to “Free Motion Friday — Longarm Quilting Pricing

  1. Love your rant and you are worth every penny you charge! I quilt on my domestic sewing machine and it takes me forever to finish a quilt (months), which is ok because I love quilting and I get to choose what I want to do. Your work is incredible and you should be paid for your time and your amazing ability.

  2. I want to thank you for your comments on Longarm Quilting Pricing. I don’t feel so bad now because I too can spend up to 30+ hours on one of my quilts (longarm or domestic machine). It is very obvious you put your heart and soul into every one of your quilts as they are truly works of art. Our local market charges 1.5 to 3.5 cents per square inch. I simply cannot compete with this pricing so I do not do any custom work for customers. When I hear customers indicating how expensive it is to have their quilts quilted, I try to educate them on what is involved in quilting a quilt. I too work full time so I take customer quilts sparingly and as you stated above, would need to charge 8 to 12 cents per square inch.

  3. For the record – I just sent you a photo for next week, but NOT because I don’t appreciate your rant =) Well said. Longarms are expensive. Space in your home is taken up. Your time is valuable (both training and executing quilt tops). And possibly most importantly – you are super talented and you should never devalue your talent. There is a HUGE difference between all over (free motion or computerized) and custom work. Almost anyone can be trained to load a quilt top and tap a few buttons for an all-over computerized designed (I know because I do that a lot!). Very very few can even begin attempting what you do. I think handmade arts as a whole have a very bad habit of devaluing themselves – and when one person does it, it hurts every artist out there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and don’t be shy about charging appropriately for your time and talent!

  4. Thank you for the reinforcement Kathleen… I’m hopping over from Pretty Bobbins… I recently finished a 60×60 on my domestic machine that took me 30 hours for quilting only. That is a bunch of wear and tear on my machine and my body… I’m in the same boat as you – I quilt for friends and sisters – and should charge accordingly if others want me to custom quilt. Much appreciated.

  5. Pingback: That time I went to QuiltCon - Pretty Bobbins·

  6. Pingback: The Business of Longarm Quilting – Charge What You’re Worth | Kathleen Quilts·

  7. Great thoughts! I totally agree…however, as a LAer of over 10 years I do make my living doing it and can’t charge that much…where I live, but I am worth it and should!!! Lol! I will be raising my prices as this rant and a quick look around at other local quilters they all charge more than me! Woo hoo! Raise for everyone at the beginning of the year!😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s