Price for Squaring up the Backing and Batting


Recommended Posts

I am getting back in to quilting for the public after a 2 year hiatus.  I have recently moved to Rogers, Arkansas  and find that the pricing is somewhat different. 

 

What I need to know is do longarm quilters charge a customer who brings you 2 yards of fabric for the backing and batting in the bag or from a roll without cutting them to the size of the quilt and squaring it up? 

 

Thanks for your help. 

Carol 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Carol:

 

Up front, I am not in business quilting, but what is your time worth?  

 

If you have to spend more time on a customers items than you would if you provide them for sale, I would say you charge for your time.  It is only fair to you, and by not charging extra, in my opinion you undercut the value of your time and skill set.  Ask yourself what is "your" hourly minimum wage?

 

While you may lose some "save a penny" customers, you will probably keep the ones that truly value your skills and quality quilting.  Best of luck to you in your new location.  

 

Cagey

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read an article by Dawn Cavanaugh that was spot on. Charge by the hour, the amount you want to make. When you break down your quilting, and you quilt by the square inch or foot, you will see that you are making poverty level. If I were to go back into business, I would charge $25 - $30 per hour. If you spend 30 minutes, then that is $12-$15, well worth it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't square backs. Linda Rech (sorry if I spelled your name wrong) posted how to load unsquare backs a few years ago and that it how I've done it since. I normally wouldn't cut the batting either before quilting and if I did I wouldn't charge as I would be happy that I got enough to start with. I do charge if I have to add leaders to the backing because the customer hasn't given enough fabric to load.

Just my opinion

Nigel

Link to post
Share on other sites

My goal is to make $30/hour.  That saying, I don't square up the batting and usually square up the ends of the backing without charging.  The squaring up is usually a minor thing and sometimes I can just fold up part of the end.  I do charge $15 to piece backing per seam.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey is my loading technique for un-square backers.

You must start with one on-grain edge to load to the front leader. Use a selvage or tear it straight (steam it if the edge is distorted from tearing). Load (I pin) to the front leader.

 

Gather the fabric and bring under the front roller, under the leveler roller, and over the back take-up roller. Set the brake and go to the back to pull all the fabric as tight as you can and pool the excess on the table or the floor. You want the fabric in the field to be flat without ripples.

 

Go to the front and use your power advance to make the backer come over the back roller and load onto the front roller---hand advance the front roller so the tension on the backer is even and tight. The canvas on the top roller provides enough "bite" that the fabric won't slip in any direction.

 

Go slowly and watch that the fabric along the top of the back roller stays flat without ripples. When you see some bunching or ripples, stop, brake, go to the back and pull/tug the ripples out, dispersing them to the edges. Continue loading the backer to the front roller, keeping it flat and straight with some tension on it. Watch for the back fabric edge to clear the table top. Stop.

 

Since the front edge was on-grain and since you've advanced carefully to keep it on-grain, the far edge should be parallel with the table top. If it's not, it's not on-grain. The "short" edge marks where a horizontal line straight across will be on-grain. I place the short edge right on the table top and use the line where the fabric "folds" on the table to place pins every few inches to mark where the s-o-g is for pinning. No trimming, just pinning. I also use tape or a purple marker to mark both edges of the backer on the leader. Pin the backer to the leader, using the side marks and the pinned straight line as parameters.

 

Go to the front, advance the slack backer to the back roller and then back onto the front roller. Advance back an forth if you have any side sagging. Both the front and back edges are s-o-g.

 

The sides may have scrolled in or out as you advanced. The usable backer is the edge that is closest in on both edges. If the side scrolled out, the usable inside edge can be found by feeling for the last pin that's buried under the scrolled fabric---mark that spot on the un-used top roller leader with tape or marking pen. If the side scrolls in, advance the backer with tension on it until you can see the closest in the backer lies. Mark that spot on the top leader. The distance between the two mark is the actual usable backer width that is on s-o-g and hopefully the top will fit between the two marks. If it doesn't the backer is too wonky to work---do not try to load crooked or pull the top over to fit as you work down the top. It will never lie flat or hang straight.

 

Hoping this was helpful. Email me if you're stumped and need more info.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just charge by the hour for everything that I do.  Squaring backs, sometimes piecing seams, sometimes ironing.  I don't mind--I make the same money for that as quilting.  I recently went from $20-$25 an hour.  I thought that there might be some complaints or loss of business.  No change so far.  It has been 6 months, so I guess I would have seen it.  Some people don't seem to care what it costs, they just don't want to do the prep work it takes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Linda for the squaring up unsquare backs.  I have not read it yet, but will once I get this quilt off the machine. And I will let you know if I have any questions.  

 

And thanks to all the rest of you for all you ideas and help.  It is so helpful.

 

Carol

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.

Guest
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.

Loading...