Thursday, October 13, 2011

Start Your Own....With Jenny Pedigo

Our guest blogger this week is Jenny Pedigo.  Jenny is a longarm quilter who started her own independent business just under 5 years ago.   Along with her busienss website, Jenny has a gallery of images that really starts my imagination running wild.  Or, you can learn more about Jenny at her blog which is always full of eye candy.

Thank you, Jenny, for writing an honest, realistic, informative post for us.  Getting your point of view is very helpful to those just starting out.




I work alone.  Just me and my longarm machine.  I purchase my machine about 4 1/2 years ago.  It was a used machine.  That was what fit in our budget.  My loving husband drove down to Arizona with a 14 ft. flat bed trailer and picked it up for me.  My sister is the one that encouraged me to become a longarm quilter.  She thought I'd be good at it.  I thought it would be a great thing to do out of my home while home with my kids.


Shortly after getting my machine I started my business.  It was a bit of a learning curve for sure.  Everything from what batting to use....what thread to use...what pantographs to get...what to quilt on the quilts.....how to quilt.  It was all definitely a learning process.  I took many longarm quilting classes and mostly just practiced a lot.   I met other longarm quilters that were a huge help and definitely couldn't have done it with out them!Since starting my business I have quilted over 550 quilts.  



There are benefits and difficulties to this business.  Like any business that is run out of the house it is difficult.  I am home but at work.  Trying to manage home with work is exhausting sometimes.  I really try to stick with a schedule to make it easier but if your on a deadline that doesn't always work.  Custom quilting is another difficult topic.  It's something that I don't feel I ever get payed enough for.  I prefer to do overall quilting designs for that reason.  My feet get tired....my back gets tired....my wrists get tired....I get tired!   I pay quarterly taxes and taxes at the end of the year.  Therefore at the end of the year when I calculate how much I've made I am always a bit disappointed.



I hope I'm not coming across negative.  Just trying to keep it real.  Now on a good note.  I love what I do!!!  I love the creative side of it.  Like I mentioned before I love to design my own quilt patterns and started about a year ago.  I don't think I could have ever done that if it wasn't for my Longarm quilting business.  And really using the creative side of the brain.  I've met some of the most wonderful quilters, young and old, modern and traditional.  I think it's great how we quilters can be so different but love to do the same thing.



If I had any advise for anyone that might be interested in starting a longarm quilting business, I would have to say go for it.  It's a great supplemental income.  It pays for the groceries and of course fabric. :)  If your looking to buy a longarm quilting machine, consider buying a used one.  There are perfectly good used machines out there that have not been quilted with very much.  It's a much cheaper way to go.  If you do take the plunge and get a machine, then get to know it very well.  There usually isn't a technician locally that knows very much about these machines.  So if you can learn how to maintain it that will be to your advantage.  And lastly...practice!!  That's the best way to learn how to do it.  Practice, practice and practice some more.  Take classes, watch video's and buy books.  There are some great books out there on quilting from some absolutely wonderful quilters.

Thanks for giving me this opportunity Cindy to share a little bit about my business.  I hope it may have been helpful to anyone that might be interested in Longarm Quilting.

13 comments:

Judith, Belfast said...

Great post from Jennifer! Honest and real! And what amazing quilts she has done too! I wish her every continued success. Jxo

susan said...

Jennifer is incredibly talented and turning that into a business is brilliant but it was good of her to paint both sides of the picture to keep it realistic.

pippablue said...

Another great post! I have to say I'm in awe of her beautiful quilting. Such amazing talent!

Irene said...

Brilliant post from Jennifer - so honest. The quilting is amazing. I wish you much success for the future.

Katy Cameron said...

Another great business insight. Love all that amazing quilting too!

Quilter in the Gap said...

Just wanted to say thanks to your guest for "keeping it real". I really appreciate it! What a great post, Cindy.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Another great post and it's interesting to learn about how working from home can be achieved - thanks Jennifer!
I read a really interesting post about selling from a craft/market stall yesterday http://bugsandfishes.blogspot.com/2011/10/guest-post-tips-for-selling-at-craft.html well worth a read!

Flying Blind... said...

OK so Jenny is a wonderwoman!!
Mind you, after my FMQ obvious talents last week maybe I should go into business too!! Don't think Jenny needs to worry about the competition!

Jenny said...

Thanks again Cindy...and thanks for the nice comments. :)

Jovita said...

Jenny is a fabulous and creative quilter the I would happily recommend to everyone. She's a joy to work with and neither I or any of my customers have ever been disappointed!

Lynne said...

Thank for this great post. It is especially relevant as DD and I are watching Ebay; a vendor is selling a used frame and machine locally!

Matthew Engquist said...

Going for it seems pretty simple when starting a business. In a way, it is, though there's a lot of work to be done when you want to start working. Indeed, there's a learning curve. But once you get past that, it becomes easier to understand.

Relationship Banking said...

Whether you are planning to create textiles for fashion design or modern home furnishings, you will need to know a few things to start a successful business.

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