Mary T

Just Finished Quilting First Customer Quilt

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Hi! I'm a newby, but have been reading this forum for months while I learn to use my Millie. I just finished my first customer quilt, and have a few questions regarding the finishing work once the quilt is off the frame.

1) Should I trim the excess batting and backing to some point? There's about 2 ft of excess batting, and the backing is generous - about 6-8 inches on each side.

2) What do you use for a bag for the quilt when you return it? Do you have something special you use? Is 'any old bag' acceptable? I want to give a professional impression, and think this could have an impact.

3) This is this first time this quilter has used a longarm quilter, and somehow when we discussed her picking it up, she left me with the impression that she expects the quilt to be in a 'ready to use' condition. However, I am not planning to bind it for her. I realized this long after she had left. How do you suggest I 'remind' her of this needed step? Should I offer to do this for her with all the excess backing? How much $$ should I ask for this service?

Thanks so much for your help!

Mary T

MN

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Mary, don't trim until you ask. As far as a bag, I use a nice one that I ordered, but can't remember where. Ask about binding and trimming before they leave. I will machine bind but won't hand bind. You need to come up with an intake form to fill out when they bring the top. I would call her and tell her that I forgot to ask about trimming and binding. If you trim it and she wants to wrap the backing around to the front to bind...you will have goofed. We all screw up at first but the best advice I can give is to have an intake form with everything on it so you don't forget anything. Good luck!


Cheri Blevins

2009 Millie ~ Quiltazoid equipped

http://bitsandpiece.weebly.com

eblevins3@frontier.com

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http://www.apqs.com/quiltboard/viewthread.php?tid=24608&page=1#pid308724

the above thread gives you the name where szome of the quilters have bought thier bags. before i got my longarm, my quilts were returned to me in a clear plastic garbage bag, which i thought was fine.

i vaguely remember a thread here from someone who trimmed the batting for a customer and the customer was not happy about it. why dont you call and ask your customer before you do anything?

http://www.apqs.com/quiltboard/viewthread.php?tid=24608&page=1#pid308724

this is the most reccent thread for binding charges i found.

good luck with your new endeavor!


Meg

"Do small things with great love." Mother Teresa

"Life's too short to fuss with thread." Meg Fazio

http://theonewiththreadsonherclothes.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/megfazio

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Folks around here don't use store bags. They use dry-cleaner clear bags that fit over the clothes hanger. I think they do this becasue they give them back at guild and then everyone can oooo and awwww and take on over them. It gets the quilter more work.


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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call and ask about trimming and about the binding. i offer to sew the binding to the front of the quilt as i am quilting it (for a fee) but i will not will not will not hand sew binding to the back. i deliver quilts in a kraft paper bag. i refuse to use plastic. quilts are not to be stored in plastic and delivering them in plastic gives the nod to storing them in plastic. i have my logo/business info imprinted on the bag and i clip the invoice to the bag as the quilt goes in. having a worksheet for each quilt is a life-saver. i make lots of notes and put in dates where i had conversation with the piecer. i have CRS syndrome and these worksheets have saved me a lot of potential heart-ache. good luck! lots of good info in this forum.

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I know I am in the minority here but I always trim the quilts so it is ready for binding. My customers really appreciate that but most of my customers are guild members so know how to bind. Only once did a customer not know how to put on binding so I gave her a free lesson, she was very happy with that.

As for bags I ordered special reuseable bags from 4imprints with my logo on it, see picture.

Only offer to do the binding if you like binding. Once other quilters hear you do the binding they might all want it and that is a lot of time to spend on a quilt so charge for your time.

post--13461905361187_thumb.jpg


Kathy Schwartz

Tamarack Shack Longarm Quilting

Blog http://tamarackshack.blogspot.com/

Website http://www.tamarackshack.ca/

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Guest Linda S

General rule of thumb - never put a quilt in a garbage sack or in an opaque bag that is not marked as a quilt. We've all heard the horror stories of a quilt being thrown out with the trash by mistake.

Most of my customers like me to trim their quilts, but I always ask. Some quilters like to fold the backing over to form the binding (something I would never recommend, but so be it), so they would be upset if you trimmed.

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I do not trim customer quilts. If they asked me to I would probably do it for them but I think they usually get more quilting time out of me than they are paying for so I don't want to do any more work than I have to. I ordered nice big bags from U-line. My customer really like them. I did not put my logo on the bags.

I don't do binding because I just don't have the time to do it. I've only been asked to do it once and I gave them the name of another gal that does binding.

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Hi Mary, I don't trim unless asked to as some customers bring the backing to the front for self binding. I offer to stitch the binding on while it is on the rails. It is much easier this way. You would sew it the same way on the rails as with your DM. Use a small ruler with 1/4" markings as a guide and pin as you go. Miter the corners. Start at the left side of you free hand side attaching it . Leave long tails and as you advance you stitch a little more down the right side and finally back up the left side. NOTE!!! only stitch to where you quilting design ends or you will have to pick it out back to that point. Bags. I have some nice paper bags with nice handles I use but really I have used leftover batting bags or the customer simply takes it out over her arm. I hope this helps and I wish you great success with your long arm business.


Nora Alquraisha

Columbia Gorge Quilting

Quilting with my new HQ Fusion"Baby"

Washougal WA

www.columbiagorgequilting.com

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Hi Mary-

I don't trim unless asked and I also put that on my work order form just above where they sign "Quilt will not be trimmed unless requested" I don't believe they even notice the notice. The time it takes to trim a quilt I can have the next loaded or about loaded depending on size. I have a lime green bag with handles that each quilt is returned in unless the customer brings me a really nice bag to begin with. However, everyone at guild knows those are my green bags and the more green bags the more business that has come my way. So, find a color or bag you like and stick with it, it becomes a visual trademark so to speak.

I had a customer last December that brought me two quilts, when she showed up to pick up the first, she made the comment that it wasn't bound. I very nicely told her that she had paid me to quilt not bind, I very nicely told her there are three steps, piecing the top, quilting the top and binding it. I told her what my fees are to bind if she so desired I bind the quilts for her or she could use an Amish lady that I refer clients to for binding. She then tried to talk me into binding her quilt because it was Christmas and all and she really wanted her quilt ready to use, mind you she did not want to pay for binding wanted it as a gift! OMG needless to say I did not bind her quilt! She sent her hubby to pick up the second quilt and we knew each other from banking days when he was a branch manager and I was over business credit so it was a funny reunion, with him saying "your the quilter" and me saying "your the husband!" We worked well together then and had a good laugh, bet his wife was shocked to find out just who I really was! lol He's gone onto become Mayor of our town and I'm a paralegal doing adoptions and longarm quilting. She kept calling him William and I know him as Bill so made no connection, to funny!

But do not trim or bind or any service unless you are being paid to do so, be nice once and they expect it and will share this information with friends who will be upset not to get the same service at no charge!!

Good luck in your quilting business!


Cheri

Piece-Love-Quilt

Quilted Bird Designs

APQS 2009 Millennium

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I'm with Kathy on the trimming. I always do it as a courtesy and all my customers ooh and ahh about having that done for them. Plus the benefit of the quilt looks sooo much better. Only on a couple of occasions did I get a complaint because they wanted to use that to bind with...but both times there was not enough fabric left (oh yes so fun to quilt) plus when you are doing an E2E you have quilted off the edge on the far side and usually on the bottom,(at least I have) they would have to do a lot of picking to use the excess.

Since I live in a retirement area a lot of my customers have RA and I do a lot of binding. A great way for extra $$. I'm very lucky to have a friend across the street who loves to do hand binding and doesn't work..so it's a win/win for both of us. I also get a lot of binding front and back by machine.. it really increases your profit. But if you hate it, you hate it.:P


Hester Mastro

APQS Sales Rep.

www.quiltjunkie.com

Palm Springs, CA

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I also trim the quilts as a courtesy to the customer. Most don't have a table large enough to do so. I do tell all my customers (new) up front and most say please do. They now know I do it and will tell me not to if they want to bring the backing to the front.

I think it makes the quilt look more professional if it is neat and trimmed. All trimings go back to the customer.


Patty Butcher
Katydids Quilting Studio ~ APQS FL Store
IntelliQuilter Dealer
EdgeRider Wheels Dealer
Brooksville, FL (Central FL)
352-397-4959, 850-502-0272 Cell
http://www.katydids.net
patty@katydids.net
New Generation Millennium W/IQ; 2015 Lucey with Quilt Path: George

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Kathy. I really like your bags. I have been thinking of doing something like that. I looked on the 4imprint website, they have sooo many bags. Can you tell me which one you are using? If you don't mind. Thanks!


Patty Butcher
Katydids Quilting Studio ~ APQS FL Store
IntelliQuilter Dealer
EdgeRider Wheels Dealer
Brooksville, FL (Central FL)
352-397-4959, 850-502-0272 Cell
http://www.katydids.net
patty@katydids.net
New Generation Millennium W/IQ; 2015 Lucey with Quilt Path: George

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Patty these bags are the best and they have so many colors to choose from!! Here is the link to the page on the American website. They are called Celebration Shopping Tote Bags and are 6" x 16" x 20"

http://www.4imprint.com/tag/106/Totes/product/5938-1620/Celebration-Shopping-Tote-Bag-16-x-20

You can order a free sample to see if it is what you want, there is a 'request free sample" on that page the link takes you too.

Once my clients get a bag or two they keep reusing them when they bring me there next quilt.

I am almost out of my burgandy bag and need to order more soon but want to try a new color.


Kathy Schwartz

Tamarack Shack Longarm Quilting

Blog http://tamarackshack.blogspot.com/

Website http://www.tamarackshack.ca/

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My brochure says "Your quilt will be trimmed ready to bind, unless I am asked not to." Only twice have I been asked not to trim.

In my opinion, first impressions are everything, and a lot of excess batting and backing hanging off a quilt does not give your customer a great first impression. It takes me about 5 minutes to trim, and I think the time investment is well worth it. I also cut the excess batting and fabric into straight, useable pieces. It's just a little thing, but I've had many comments about how nice it is.

With so many living in smaller spaces, it's difficult for them to easily trim off the excess when they get home. This is just one of those little "word of mouth" advertisements that costs a whole lot less than "published" advertising!

I also offer binding:

You provide the fabric - I cut and join the strips.

1. Machine sewn to front ready for you to hand stitch to the back. Corners will be nicely mitered and pressed into place.

2. Machine stitched front and back. I am very good at this!:cool:

I used to use the clear blue bags with draw strings to return quilts. They are no long available with the draw strings, so I'm looking into alternatives. I've even considered making "pillowcase" storage bags from customer provided fabric, for a price of course! This is something even the granddaughters could do to make a little extra cash. ;)

Kathy I LOVE your "Tamarack Shack" bag! GREAT advertising.


14EABCCA535C11FE692767BF2F0B87E2.png

DIGITIZED Designs for Computerized Quilting

The POCKET GUIDES to Freehanding

eppd@telus.net

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I don't charge the highest rates for my quilting, so I don't do any additional work unless I am asked. Therefore, I don't trim the quilt. Besides, I've heard a few stories where customers were not happy with the trimming that was done on their quilts.

I'd love to have some fancy bags, but right now my friends and family keep all their big bags from the stores for me (Winners, Sears - anything big enough) and quilts go in those. As my business grows, I will consider some fancy bags - just for fun and seeing my name in print :D:D

I offer to machine sew the binding to the right side for 35 cents a inch. That's not a huge sum, but most of customers do not request it anyway. I will not hand sew the binding for anyone - barely even my own quilts. I am lucky to have wonderful MIL who does this work for my quilts.


Caroline

2009 Green Millennium with Quilt Path

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I have the reusable bags from Virginia Longarm. The ones I use have a 2 way zipper, so they open on 3 sides which makes them open up nicely to put the folded quilt in and they have nice handles. I embroidered "Darlington Quilts" on the front. My bags are lime green and I used purple thread for the embroidery. So far I have only given customers one of these bags each - with their first quilt. There is a small pocket for a business card and a long one to hold an 8.5 X 11 inch triple folded invoice. Perfect.

I also ordered plastic bags from ULINE. The bags have handles at the top and are sturdier and nicer than the usual grocery store bags or typical store bags. They are large enough for a queen size quilt. I printed out labels on clear label sheets that look similar to my business cards. I just peel and stick one of these labels near the top of my plastic bags. Oh, and they are also lime green. :)

I use these for the rest of the quilts I get and in some cases to return other "stuff' to my customers. I am trying to have a "class act" and I decided I wanted to spend a chunk of my profit on nice bags. To each his/her own. Right? :)


Sandra Darlington

Darlington Quilts

2005 APQS Liberty, Circle Lord Enhanced

sandradarlington@aol.com or

DarlingtonQuilts@Gmail.com

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I am with Darlene Epp on this one. I always trim the quilts, I like to give it a final check-over for threads while I am at it. Then I carefully fold it so that no raw edges are showing, they appreciate seeing a "finished" quilt when they pick it up. I then fold up the leftover bits and place them in the middle of the completed quilt, so they can find them easily. Having done over 300 quilts, I have only ever had one person who didn't want it done and she told me ahead of time b/c I have it on my intake form.

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I trim the quilt about an inch beyond the quilt edge. They can do the final trimming and squaring up of corners, or whatever. I pick up quilts and return them mostly at guild, and whenever I see quilts that aren't trimmed (during show and tell), I see how much better my trimmed quilts look than those with all the stuff hanging off the edges. It only takes a few minutes to do this "rough trim" and it looks much more professional. It also leaves enough fabric that they could turn the backing to the front if they wanted to.

I got nice bags from Nashville Wraps...affordable, and you don't have to buy a huge quantity.


BDB923036A9F827EF84ACA918FB6F02D.png

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Originally posted by tracyv

Darlene, could you share how you price your bindings? I am also very good at machine stitching front and back, but have no idea how to price. Thanks!

I'm probably very out of date on my binding prices, but it works for me.

To cut the strips, join them and apply a double fold binding with mitered corners, I charge 12 cents a linear inch. If I sew it down on the front, I charge 16 cents.

I have my method down pat, so can do it pretty quickly, and usually do the binding while my CompuQuilter is quilting another quilt. :D


14EABCCA535C11FE692767BF2F0B87E2.png

DIGITIZED Designs for Computerized Quilting

The POCKET GUIDES to Freehanding

eppd@telus.net

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