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Tip: Perfect Motif w/out Statler


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I'm sure this is probably not new to everyone, but here's a tip on getting more quilts done and getting perfect repeated motifs. I combine my quilting machine and my embroidery machine to get what I want done without a lot of fussing around. It also gives me the freedom to work on more than 1 quilt at a time.

I will load my quilt as usual and do all the background quilting etc, leaving the block area that might need a repeated motif that will definitely benefit from having it be perfectly the same in each block. My example is a snowball block quilt where the client wants snowflakes in each snowball.

So I did a swirly type meander in all the background areas (as She only wanted to pay 'so much'). Then I went to my clipart books and scanned in a snowflake motif and digitized just the outline in a running stitch for my embroidery machine and I will be hooping each of the snowballs today and letting my embroidery machine do the work while I move on to another quilt on my Millenium.

I've done this before with a couple of clients that wanted intrique designs in some of their blocks and 1) I knew I couldn't get them exactly the same each time & 2) I knew that I didn't want to mess around for as long as it would take to do some of these things when I knew I could get awesome results pretty easily by just doing an outline (versus filling everything) on my embroidery machine.

By the way this is also an awesome way to do trupunto, just hoop and load onto the embroidery machine and let it stitch with water soluble thread then proceed as normal.

This works whether you have a commercial embroidery machine or a home sewing machine that has emb capabilities, you just need to have the ability to get the outline designs that you want to use to your machine.

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Your idea has merit and I'm sure the quilt is beautiful, however, how are you pricing your embroidery. We are a two person shop with a millenium, commercial embroidery, screen printing, digital printing and dye sublimation capabilities and each of these specialties has a minimum pricing.

For embroidery, we charge a minimum of $5.00 per hooping, plus $ for over so many stitches - it takes time both to hoop and to digitize the design, thread, wear and tear on you and your machine and it shouldn't be given away because your customer wants something for nothing.

If I'm missing something here, forgive me, but don't sell yourself short.

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I'm in no way selling myself short. I too have commercial screenprinting, sublimation, and embroidery capabilities, & in house digitizing (which I used for this job). I like you have separate minimums for each of these items.

And I certainly do not work for nothing - I have had this problem in the past and have definitely learned my lesson.

I used the embroidery for this job not so much because the customer wanted a perfect motif, but because I didn't want to doink around with trying to get them perfect myself in such a small area (block space was about 4x4".

The client was very open ended on Her request, as are most of my clients, and would've probably been happy with anything I did, but I wanted to go this route so that I could be more cost effective FOR ME, and get the results that I thought would look best on the quilt.

One reason I chose this route is because it doesn't do any good if I have my embroidery machine just sitting making no money while I struggle for perfection freehanded at something that I know I can just hoop and let go, and I actually came out better financially (already figured that's what I was going to do when I accepted the quilt & figured it into my quote). This allows me to move onto quilts that do require a more artistic approach and are priced accordingly higher.

I simply mean that in this case, as well as many others that I've come acrossed when a client wants something specific that doesn't require me to be the one providing the hands on approach, I go for it, and it is a good alternative if you only have yourself working for you & need to devote your attention to other things in order to maximize your potential income/hour.

I probably should've made this more clear in my original post.

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You go girl!! I read (incorrectly) between the lines... How are you charging for that motifs? Each as a sep. minimum or do you have a "base" price for that type of thing?

We all have to learn the hard way not to undercharge!!! Been there, done that!

Are you working alone and doing all those things??? You're "crazier" than I am - I at least have a parnter...

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I have an idea of what the motif will run usually when I quote the job, so I stick with that unless something unusual comes up, and if I know that each one will take about 5 minute (most do, unless they are large) I charge $5/ motif or $1.25/1000 stitches. I will charge a little less on quilting items if the design will be taking a little longer to stitch out, since I can get more done inbetween hoopings that way, but not much of a difference. Maybe $1/1000 instead of $1.25.

Undercharging stinks soooooo bad. I still get nailed every so often, especially if it's a quilt that I really want to do because I get to exactly what I want and it's really cool and artsty. My need to create will wiin out over my head and I will end up working for less than my goal.

Side note: You bet! There is only me. No partners, no employees, although occassionally if I'm in a jam, I will get my kids or husband to help out on a weekend. Hubby knows the whole business so I can let Him go at anything, and the kids are awesome on folding shirts, trimming threads and as the cleanup crew. Oh, and the oldest one that is still at home does filing for me, since that is low on my 'to do ' list.

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