Just Quilt Your Job

Just Quilt Your Job

Posted by Jen Lopez on May 8th 2024

Mark Twain is credited with saying, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” If you love quilting, there are many creative and fulfilling jobs for you. Here are just a few:

  1. Quilt Pattern Designer – If you can dream up an idea for a quilt and capture that design with any popular illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, you could create and publish your own quilting patterns. If you print in bulk with one of the popular online printing houses, you can print a full color booklet pattern for as little as a dollar per copy. You could sell them online through your own website for $9-12 each. Alternatively, you could sell direct to quilt shops with a wholesale discount, usually 50%, or to distributors for an additional 30% discount. Those are still great margins. If you have a good social media following, you could sell digital patterns direct to consumers for zero production costs and all profit, minus the low cost of maintaining your own website.
  2. Long Arm Quilting Services – If you enjoy interacting directly with your customers and helping them bring their quilt tops to life, you could have a successful career as a Long Arm Quilter. There is a hefty up-front cost of the long arm quilting machine—anywhere from a few thousand for a basic machine to tens of thousands if you want a fully computerized setup—and you need considerable space to set up but after that, the sky is the limit for you to apply your creativity. You can choose simple pan to graph designs or go all the way with custom free motion quilting. You can easily earn hundreds of dollars per quilt.
  3. Surface Designer – If you are adept at creating graphic designs using popular software packages, you could become a surface designer. A surface designer creates designs for consumer products ranging from all kinds of home goods such as cloth napkins and gift wrap and... fabric! Surface designers can sell their own designs using platforms such as Spoon Flower, or they can license their designs to larger companies earning a royalty fee of between 3-6%.

If you dream of saying “Good-Bye!” to the rat race and embracing your quilting creatively full time, it is not only doable, but it can also be profitable!


Please join us here every other Wednesday for another fun, fiber-filled installment of By the Yard. You can read more By the Yard® comics at www.bytheyardcomics.com and check out the 5th annual By the Yard® Calendar for Quilters at www.bytheyardcomics.com.