Jump to content

Working full time and quilting

Recommended Posts

It's not easy to do and takes discipline and the co-operation of your family. But you can take customer quilts as long as you're realistic with the workload. Maybe aim for only one customer quilt per month until you get a handle on your available quilting time. You can set aside one day per week, every week, to use to quilt. Ask that your family honor this and not disturb you except for emergencies. And explain to them what you consider an emergency to be!


If this unduly cuts into your time with hubby and kids, you may only have time to quilt two days a month. It's up to you and your situation.


If you have a physically taxing job you might only quilt on days off. If you have a mentally taxing job, quilting for a few hours after work may relax you.


Your spare time normally used to read, watch TV, shop, etc. will now be used to quilt--a gratifying and financially rewarding way to spend that spare time. Make sure the family is on board and please schedule fun time with DH and kids. It's hard when they say "let's go to the park" and you say "I have to finish this quilt today" so schedule the family times as well as the quilting times.


Good luck. I work 25-30 hours a week and manage 6 customer quilts per month.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I work full-time and do 2-3 customer quilts a month.  My DH is wonderfully supportive.  Our daughter just graduated and is teaching and our son is a junior in college. I know my limits and have been able to manage this schedule.  I have only been longarming about 2 years. I started quilting for my bee mates and through word of mouth picking up new customers.  I hope to retire/ semi-retire in 2-3 years and then take on a bit more.


I LOVE quilting and have made it a priority to work about 10-12 hrs week on my own as well as others.

I have learned so much from all the wonderfully talented quilters here!


Thanks to all-


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stop quilting for others a couple years ago due to changes to my work schedule. I tried to continue quilting for others, but with my demanding work schedule and trying to get customer quilts done on time, got to be too much.  The quilting I love and enjoy started to turn into a job that I started to dread.  Now I only quilt for myself. I don't get a lot of quilting time, But when I do get the time, I enjoy and love every single relaxing minute.


The Girls have giving you some great advice!!  The only thing I can say is to start out slow and go from there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You sleep less and quilt more and accept only quilts from people who will be understanding. If you find you feel stressed out then stop for awhile and take time for yourself. I have a full time job and run a quilting business and do lots of things with family and friends. It takes organization and focus...and planning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Organizing your time is the key.

I work full time, have a home base quilting business. I go to 10 - 12 quilt shows a year, have an web business and also pattern design for a major fabric company.

I do quilting for others, but its by word of mouth, and I am as busy as I want to be. I tell people when I will have time and that usually works for them.

Quilting after work can be relaxing, takes your mind off of things.


I am busiest with my quilting business in the spring and fall months. So it is always nice to know you will be bringing in income on your down times.

I should say, that this does not happen overnight and build the business up over several years. I just starting selling off the web a year ago.

I generally work 10 - 20 hours a week on the business, when I am at my busiest.

And  I still find time with my family and training two puppies.

It is a matter of knowing what and what you can't do. I have hired a cleaning lady for a while, since that seemed an easier solution than nagging to get the house clean.

Hope this helps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the toughest part of quilting for me, and heck, I only work part-time outside the home - 3 days a week 8:30 -- 2:30 :rolleyes:


I think you were given super advice, to start with the plan of completing one quilt a month, and see how it goes getting a handle on your available quilt time.  I use my two days off the same way each week - Monday is errand/grocery day, and I make sure I'm home once the school bus gets there at 4pm so dinner can get started and kids can get me if they need me.  Tuesday is quilt day, I'll set customer appointments that day and the rest of the time is for quilting until the bus comes and it's dinner and kids again.  Other than that, I try to squeeze in quilting in the evenings and on weekends, but generally activities make that tricky.


For me, it's not the working that jumbles up my quilting time, it's the kids. 


Mine are 20 (graduated HS, but still at home, working & school, he pretty much takes care of his own schedule and transportation, even food - yeah!), 18 (Senior in HS, no driver's lic. yet, and a part-time job she needs transported to and from about 4 or 5 times a week) and 15 (no job, thank goodness, but activities at school - she's our social butterfly!  Needs picked up from school once or twice a week, and has an activity one night a week.)


Still having kids around means that the quilting business takes a backseat to family, and so far, nearly everyone of my customers has been understanding of that.  I try to give them a deadline for when I will have their quilt done, but I also try to nicely let them know, that sometimes kids/life will get in the way and I may get behind.  I always fret when I have to call a customer and tell them the quilt isn't coming along as I thought, and will take longer - but they are great about it.  Most have lived through the teen years and are quite understanding.


Probably the two biggest factors for me that cause problems are procrastination and being overly ambitious about what I'll really be able to accomplish in a day/week/ month.  But those two problems are threads that run completely through the tapestry of my life, not just the quilting business :P As Norah said above, it's a matter of knowing what you can and can't do, and I'm still coming to terms with that!

Link to post
Share on other sites

You've gotten some really good advice. 

Be realistic. 

Don't be afraid to say no (even to close friends).

Know what your priorities are.


I stopped quilting for customers three years ago after going from part time to full time at a mentally challenging job, and after my kids had graduated from high school.  The stress of having the customer work there waiting for me after a full day of work was not worth it.  So, I finished what I had promised and closed shop.  I haven't regretted it.  What I have regretted is not spending as much time on my own work as I thought I would.  THAT is the pressures of my life right now (kids in/out of the house, daughters wedding, grandchild, taking care of a parent, etc.).   I have not completed a large quilt yet this year and I only finished one last year and I'm ok with it.


I do however, make time for my quilting friends.  The laughter and friendship we share are more important to me now than finishing a quilt.  Even if it means I'm piecing another quilt that needs to be quilted so I can spend time with them! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

We both work full time and our daughter is 10.  We've decided to only quilt when she is at gymnastics, which is 2 nights a week and Saturday morning.  The time with children is too short anyway.  The rest of the time is filled with homework, maintaining the household and other interests (sometimes).  When she doesn't want to hang out with us any longer, and we can't make her ;) , we'll spend more time quilting.


Balance is key.  And setting priorities helps.  Both easier said than done.



Link to post
Share on other sites

my husband and i have 7 children, ages 6-16. we work together in construction soils testing/management. i also started quilting for others this past year. quilting business is slow, but i have the time to finish charity/etsy/personal quilts, so no complaints.

i found this summer was rough on me as our regular work season was busy and the kids were home on break, so not much quilting got done. but, the few customers i have, were understanding. my husband helps share the daily chores of cleaning and cooking and running to/from football, soccer, music practices.


i make time for quilting. i love it and like quilting for others when i can.


i can say this...if i didn't spend so much time on the computer, i would get so much more done!


gotta go, i just loaded a quilt and it is screaming my name!  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I expect if I wasn't a full time quilter and still a full time accountant then I would only be quilting for myself ... What a luxury that would be ... I don't get much time for my quilts but still piece in my time off .. It's just mine then wait a long time to be quilted... I'm not complaining though as its paying my bills ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...