Running a Longarm Quilting Business – Q&A with Linda Gibbons
We sat down recently with Linda Gibbons from Rock Hill, South Carolina to talk to her about her machine quilting business. We wanted to know a little more about how she got started quilting for others and what thoughts she had about her success. If you’re thinking about starting your own quilting business and wonder what it’s like to quilt for others we hope this article gives you some valuable insights…
How did you get into quilting for other people?
I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to do it as a business. I have always sewed, taught (sewing, quilting) and crafted as a small business…this was just a natural transition for me!
How long have you been quilting for others?
I got my first APQS Millie in January of 2008. By April, I was working on my first customer’s quilt! So, almost 10 years.
What types of quilting do do most often for your customers? (panto, custom, light custom, etc?)
I have done all different kinds of quilting, but my love is custom! I do mostly custom work. All of my quilting is hand guided. I do not have a computerized quilting system.
What longarm machine do you use in your business and why did you choose it?
I started with the APQS Millie, and just last year, traded her in on a new APQS Freedom. I LOVE Freddie!!!! I went with APQS because I just heard really good things about the machines and the customer service! And they were right! The best!!
What is your favorite batting?
What is your favorite thread?
Superior’s So Fine
What is your favorite ruler or gadget right now?
I LOVE Deloa’s “Castle” ruler! Wouldn’t go without it!
What percentage of your customers are local and what percentage of folks mail you quilts? Which do you prefer?
It’s about 70 percent local and 30 percent from different places. I really have no preference.
Describe your studio and how you organize your longarm studio.
We just moved and my husband and son fixed up a building that was on the property for my quilting studio! It is beyond my wildest dreams. It is a 12 by 24-foot building and they did a fabulous job. Before we moved, I had my machine in my dining room. And then we were in an apartment for four years and had it in a bedroom. Now I have my wonderful studio!
Do you use an accounting software of some sort to keep track of your invoices?
No, I use the old fashioned method of paper! 🙂
What is the best thing about quilting for others?
I always tell my customers that I feel like I have my own personal quilt show. And I love the time spent with each customer.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting a longarm quilting business?
Practice! Practice! Practice! And DO it! Keep your paperwork up to date. Have an intake sheet with what you are going to do with the quilt and your pricing and have customer sign your intake sheet.
Thanks so much, Linda. We are thrilled you are in the APQS family and really appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts with us. If you’d like to connect with Linda you can find her on Facebook at Cabin Creek Quilting and More.