Southern Quilts

Time to quilt a customer's quilt?

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I have started quilting more tops for customers and I'm feeling like I should be spending less time getting them done. I'd like to hear from some of you who quilt for others....how long does it take you from loading to unloading to quilt, say, a lap sized simple edge to edge design?


Denise Cornett

Southern Quilts

APQS Millie and Intelliquilter

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 I've done a nice overall design on that size top in three hours from load to unload. I've managed kings in one day---about 6-7 hours.

 

To get faster, find three or four overall designs that you can knock out fast and offer those. Breaking in a new design eats up a lot of time as you find the best density and pathway.

 

Please don't push yourself unless the rent needs to be paid with the next customer quilt. Steady is better than frantic---that way lies a long lonely road with a seam ripper in your hand! 

 

Edge-to-edge is such a moneymaker for most longarmers compared to custom, so concentrate on small steps to up your speed.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Linda said it perfectly -   find 3 or so edge to edge patterns that you have mastered and can do without thinking and planning too much.   The more quilts you do,  the more you will perfect and create a system of loading, straightening, basting, etc.  

 

Tools -  have a thread and bobbin system that gives you consistent thread tension and you don't have to waste time playing around with it all the time.   pre-wound bobbins also save time.     Many people prefer leader grips or red snappers for loading quilts as they find it quicker to load up a quilt.   

distractions - laundry, coffee making, phone, internet, changing channels on the tv/radio all create distractions.  ( speaking from experience)

 

Take one quilt and use it as a tool to really pay attention to where you are spending your time -  is it the physical quilting time that is taking so long, or is it all f the other things like clipping threads, loading, straightening, pressing, thinking, contemplating, auditioning colours, planning, winding thread, tidying areas...   I've done this a few times and realized that after each pass on an e2e I tend to 'wander' my focus.   Now that I am aware of it,  I allow myself some time to 'wander' but also the awareness gives me more focus to redirect back to the task.   Hope that makes sense.

 

The one thing I haven't done yet is actually time myself and record in a little book - how long each quilt, design, size, etc takes me to quilt so that over time I can get a better idea of my average.   

 

And again....like Linda said,  if you work too quickly you will make mistakes, your tension will futz and then your frustration will kick in.   :-)


Andrea  http://www.urbanquiltworks.com

Motha Stitcha on an apqs millennium

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I keep a time log on every quilt so that I can see if I'm making my targeted hourly rate, I include planning, loading and quilting in this time.  Of course my expectations of that rate change - I can make $35 per hour on a freehand E2E, sometimes it drops to $17-18 per hour for custom.  Oftentimes I am surprised at how quickly a quilt will go, or how much longer it took than I thought it would.  The more experience you have, the better you will be at estimating how long each quilt will take.  Are you still using the Ultimate XX or have you changed machines? 

 

Carol

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HI Carol, I still have the Ultimate XX and it still sews great! I was just wondering if an upgrade with a few more bells and whistles would help save some time. I was told that a lady could quilt 7 quilts in 8 hours with pantos....first I wondered if that was feasible and then I wondered if pantos really do save time. Just considering all options...:)


Denise Cornett

Southern Quilts

APQS Millie and Intelliquilter

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All good advice above. Andrea's advice about analyizing your time is a good one, you might not be able to quilt faster but I bet you can make up some time when the machine is not running (loading, advancing). I think 3 lap or 2 queen maybe possible in a day but that is hard on you physically day in and day out. The only way I see 7 quilts in 8 hours would be with a continuos backer and cut the quilts apart at the end. Some of the Ultimate XXs where set up that way in a factory setting for doing things like mattress covers. Also if you look at the top of your mattress there isn't a whole lot of quilting on it.

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Cagey and Nigel,

I do have rear handles but I will need to add a laser light for pantos. I have only done free motion so I would need to learn to do pantos...

Thanks for the helpful responses.....I thought that 7 quilts in a day was probably inaccurate info but I also thought maybe I was doing something wrong. :)


Denise Cornett

Southern Quilts

APQS Millie and Intelliquilter

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Meant to add -   when I time myself, a tip I recently learned to keep in mind :  when working at a workplace, office, etc  you get up walk around, grab a coffee, go to the bathroom,  sometimes someone stops by your desk to ask you how your weekend was etc.  and you still get paid that hourly wage/salary -   so don't be super regimented with timing your actual quilting time either :-)  

 

there is no way I could do 7 quilts in a day!! LOL  That is insane!  


Andrea  http://www.urbanquiltworks.com

Motha Stitcha on an apqs millennium

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Great advice ladies and gents.  7 quilts in a day, must me minis.  I have an IQ and red snappers, 7 quilts would be next to impossible especially to do any quality work.


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


sewsweetgator@aol.com
http://www.yoursite.com
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Freehand E2E is faster than pantos, especially with the XX. You can quilt a much larger area before advancing the quilt and you're not spending time to line up the pattern correctly for the next row. I have focused on improving my freehand designs because it's much more profitable and a lot more fun than doing a panto.

Carol

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No way you could do 7 quilts in 8 hours! I can freehand meander a small baby quilt in just over an hour. Maybe 5-6 hours hours on a medium density queen panto or 7 on one more dense. Don't try to kill yourself meeting someone else's goals. I find that if I rush a panto, the tension is not as good. I think it is better to go a little more slowly and have excellent tension on the back, especially if you are quilting for customers. 

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