How To Start A Quilting Business (& Make Money)?

Have you been thinking about starting your own quilting business? Even if you don’t have many years of experience, you can start a successful quilting business.  You just have to find your niche.

The first step in starting your own quilting business is to do a self evaluation. You need to be honest with yourself about your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses in business and in quilting, and the amount of time you have to commit to a business. Start by pondering these topics and note what you discover about yourself.

For instance, if you don’t like working with the public, starting a quilting supply brick and mortar store probably is not the right business for you. Starting a business in which you make custom quilts or finish quilt tops for customers might also be a bad fit for you. All these types of businesses rely heavily on customer contact to be successful. Maybe designing patterns to sell would be a better choice. Perhaps you could assemble quilting kits and sell those online or through newspaper or magazine ads.

If you are not very confident in your quilting skills but enjoy the craft so much you’d love to make money doing it, try making a few and selling them locally. Team spirit lap quilts are an easy way to start. Make a few quilts in the colors of your local high school or college sports teams. Concentrate on just those and  your skills will improve with each one you make. Offer personalization if you have an embroidery machine! Don’t forget to charge a little extra for adding the name! Big sales times: start of school and near graduation. If you start now, you’ll be ready for the fall sports season!

Whether you like the public or not, you can make quilts to sell:

  • Set up a Facebook page and feature your product pictures. Let people contact you to place their order.
  • If you have some basic website design skills, you can make your own site complete with a PayPal shopping cart. You’ll get paid and ship the quilt without having to speak to anyone!
  • Miss the contact with your customers? No problem! Set up a booth at festivals or flea markets. Talk directly with your customers to answer any questions they might have about quilt care.

If you enjoy writing in addition to quilting, try writing about your quilts. Submit your articles and photos to magazines or start your own blog with your pictures and quilt information. This takes a while to build income, but if you have advertisements on your page, you might eventually earn some money.

Once you have gained some confidence in your quilting skills, think about holding quilting classes to teach others how to quilt. Teaching beginners can be a lot of fun. In addition to sharing techniques with your students, be sure to share some of the mistakes you’ve made and learned from along the way. Ths will help them realize that skills build with practice, plus they’ll be able to learn from your mistakes.

These are just a few quilt business ideas to get you started. Find a fit that works for you.

No matter which business route you decide to take with your quilting, be sure to keep good financial records.

  1. Keep all receipts and keep track of your time.
  2. Don’t forget to track your quilt-related travel too. Trips to the quilting supply store or to the post office to ship a quilt may be tax deductable!
  3. Be sure to give your accountant all the information when it is tax time!

By Penny Halgren of

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