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What does a Quiltmaker do?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
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  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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A quiltmaker often works for store owners. In many cases, she works from home, making finished quilts for bedding, gift, fabric, and quilting supply stores. Whereas most retail stores sell the completed quilts to customers, fabric and quilt shops usually want them for samples to hang on the walls near the textiles and patterns they sell.

Fabric store and quilt shop owners display finished quilts not only for decoration, but mainly to help sell their products. Attractive quilts made using the patterns and fabrics they sell can inspire customers to buy the materials to create their own quilting projects. A quiltmaker must be able to read patterns accurately and stitch neatly. She also has to have an excellent working knowledge of color as well as be able to attractively make quilts with the fabrics and pattern books each store owner wants to promote.

Quiltmakers usually work daily on their clients' projects. Some quiltmakers are also artists who invent their own quilt designs that are very detailed and intricate. Photographs of the quilts they offer for sale are displayed on the artists' websites for interested buyers or even local museum curators. Quilt artists often create pictures and scenes out of hundreds or even thousands of tiny pieces of fabric. Their work is one-of-a-kind rather than made from a quilt pattern that stores sell.

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A quality sewing machine and several years of quilting experience are often required to be a quiltmaker working from home for stores. A computerized sewing machine as well as the knowledge to use it can give quiltmakers an advantage when looking for work. They may be able to create more sophisticated quilt patterns in a faster time than with regular sewing machines.

Using a rotary cutter is a common task for a quiltmaker. Rather than cutting out squares of fabric one at a time to use for making quilts, a rotary cutter allows quiltmakers to produce several perfectly cut pieces at once. Saving time on tasks such as cutting and sewing is usually a daily necessity since most quiltmakers get paid per finished project rather than by the hour. The less time in which they can complete a quilt, the more pay it works out to per hour.

Formal education or training isn't usually needed for quilt making, but some store owners may specify that a high school diploma or equivalent is preferred. A quiltmaker may work part-time from home and have another job as well. Many quiltmakers work at their craft on a full-time basis.

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