The Three Pillars of Building a Profitable & Sustainable Longarm Quilting Business - FREE video

Meet Elizabeth Brakenhoff of Brakenhoff Stitch Co.

Each month in the Longarm League, we hold a coaching call with one of our members to talk about their business. This month I sat down with Elizabeth Brakenhoff of Brakenhoff Stitch Co. We talked about the challenges of running a business while also having young kids home with you, balancing a schedule of teaching classes at her local quilt shop with quilting for clients, and looking ahead to getting a second machine.

While League members have full access to the recording of the call, we asked Elizabeth to share a little more about herself and her business with our blog readers.

Without further ado, let's meet Elizabeth...

Elizabeth Brakenhoff, Brakenhoff Stitch Co.

Located: Merriam, Kansas
In business: 2 years in July
Machine and software: I use a Gammill Statler Stitcher
In the Longarm League: I joined Rookie Season for the April 2021 class, and loved the content so much that I joined Longarm League right after.

Where to find Elizabeth
Best way for someone to contact you for quilting? Through email is the best way to get in touch. 



Tell us a little about your business and the services you provide at Brakenhoff Stitch Co.
I provide exclusively edge-to-edge quilting with additional prepping or finishing services. Services I provide include: piecing backing material, trimming finished quilts, creation and attachment of binding to one or both sides, attachment of labels. Maybe one day I'll add custom, but probably not until my babies are older.

Do you have any advice for someone just starting out with their business?
There is a need for you! I was so concerned I wouldn't be able to get clients and that was 100% false. The quilting community of established sewists is huge, but there are also new people learning to sew every day. Get connected with your local quilt shop, guilds, or even community centers. I also give my family members my cards to hand out if the need arises. I've gained three clients that way. Also - celebrate the wins, even if they're small. I treat my husband and myself to sushi every time I quilt x number of quilts.

How did you get started longarm quilting?
Quilting is my favorite hobby. I've taught classes and worked part time as a shop gal at my local quilt shop since 2018. In the fall of 2020, I was approached by one of my co-workers who taught a year long course called Grids Girls. She was looking to downsize her teaching load as Covid brought the idea of retirement front and center. She also was my personal longarmer at the time, and mentioned closing her client list, meaning only quilting for previous clients.

So while I said yes to taking over Grids Girls, the wheels started turning about longarm quilting. It felt like she was almost passing the torch to me. So my husband, Michael, and I took a field trip to Midwest Gammill and it was love at first stitch. While I was falling in love, my husband was falling into shock over sticker price. Thankfully he believed as much if not more than I did that I could do this. We ordered the machine December of 2020. Over the next 6 months, Michael did a complete gut and remodel of our basement: waterproofing the crumbling foundation, adding a bathroom, and so many LED overhead lights. Our biggest and most expensive baby, Betty, was delivered July 2021.

I've been quilting for clients since August of 2021. It's been the hardest, but also most rewarding journey to start this business. I'm able to connect with my clients, flex my creative muscles, and financially contribute to our family, all while being the primary caregiver of our children and that feels good.

Could you tell us about a business "win" you've had?
A win that comes to mind is that I have built a great group of clients. I feel super fortunate to have a rotation of ladies who not only bring me quilts on a regular basis, but care about me and my life. Several even brought our daughter gifts for her first birthday in December.

What pantograph(s) have you been loving lately?
I've used Harbour Wave on a several quilts lately. It has a nautical or airy vibe depending on the fabric used. I also really enjoy Ikat with its nod to tradition, but still modern look.

What is your favorite notion for longarm quilting?
Singular is hard for me, but I couldn't quilt without my SnagMagic, SewTites, or Kai scissors.

What's your favorite part of making a quilt?
I love to cut quilts out. Fun fact no one asked for: I have 19 quilts completely cut out ready to sew, ranging from lap-size to king-sized. I just don't have time to sew them. But when I do, I sure will be prepared to chain piece my heart out.

Favorite snack while sewing?
Brookside Dark Chocolate - Acai & Blueberry. I stock up when Costco has a sale and hide them from my family. :)

What other hobbies do you enjoy aside from quliting?
I try to read when I can, but lately it's been more audiobooks. I just checked out Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir from the library.


If you'd like to watch the coaching call with Elizabeth or are interested in being a guest, we'd love to have you join us! You can learn more about membership here. And if you're interested in starting your own longarm quilting business, check out our Rookie Season course! You can see all the details, read about how the course has helped previous students, and get started here.

Thanks so much for talking with us this month Elizabeth!


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