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  1. First I'm going to start this post with an apology. I don't want anyone to be offended that I'm broaching a sensitive subject like pricing and customer loyalty, so if you don't want to share, that's fine. I've been quilting for others for a little over 10 years now. Most of the ladies that I have quilted for have been steady repeat customers. Before I had my computerized machine, and especially when I was really green, I charged about 1.5 cents per square inch for an all over panto. I know that's really low, but I figured that I was trying to grow my business and at the time I was just learning as well, so I was just happy for the little extra income. I was constantly busy and I really enjoyed it. About three years ago I upgraded to the IQ computerized quilting module. As those of you who have it can attest, it wasn't a cheap upgrade. So to help offset the price of the IQ and to be more in line with other long arm quilters prices, I increased my pricing to 2 or 2.5 cents per square inch depending on how much time I have to spend programming the design into the IQ or if the customer wants custom free motion quilting. I don't think this is outrageous, but I did notice a considerable drop in the number of quilts that have come in, especially this year. It's really confusing to me. The quality of the quilting is flawless because of the computerized part, I have hundreds of pantos and custom quilting designs for my customers to choose from, my turnaround time is very good (usually one week). I just don't understand what I could be missing. The thing that really just burns me is that there are several of what I thought were loyal customers that I see once a month at my local sewing center who during show and tell show off their quilts that they have had quilted by someone else. All of them, and I mean every single one, is quilted in just a simple pantograph. None of them ever have custom quilting at all. When I do show and tell on my own personal quilts, I always do custom quilting. I like getting in there and really trying to make the quilt sing in the piecing as well as the quilting. Since my customer workload has dropped off, I've been making a lot of personal quilts (actually finished 8 UFOs so far this year YAY!. Two more will be done before the end of the month. ). Last month when I was at the sewing club, one of the ladies asked me if I every quilted for anyone else. ...... She had to ask!?! Duh! I very nicely said that I did and gave her one of my cards. Then she asked me if I ever did anything simple like an all over design. ......again I was dumbfounded...... Of course! I can do whatever style of quilting you want on your quilt, is what I told her. She thanked me and then pocketed my card. Am I missing something? Can I be scaring people off because I show off my custom quilting and that's not what they are looking for? Are my prices too high? I really am at a loss and scratching my head. If you don't mind, would you please share your thoughts, pricing methodologies, and other factors that could be affecting my situation. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. Thank you.
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