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

Meet Michelle Pratt of Seashell Quilting Studio

Earlier this month I sat down with Michelle Pratt of Seashell Quilting Studio to talk about her business. Michelle took the first Rookie Season class we offered back in January of 2021, right around the time she got her new Gammill with Statler Stitcher.

I had some time to chat with Michelle at QuiltCon in February, and it became clear that she had a lot of great updates and information she wanted to share with other Longarm League members.

So, Michelle gathered her numbers and talked with me in depth about her client base and how she's grown over these last few years. She shared what marketing strategies have worked best for her so far, and also gave details about the referral and loyalty programs she's implemented to thank her loyal clients and fans.

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

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

Michelle Pratt, Seashell Quilting Studio

Located: Dover, New Hampshire
In business: Close to 2-1/2 years
Machine and software: Gammill Statler Longarm
In the Longarm League: January 2021, I was in the very first Rookie Class.

Where to find Michelle
Instagram: @seashellquilting
Best way for someone to contact you for quilting? Directly through my website is best, but I can also be contacted through the email address listed on my site if someone has additional questions.



Tell us a little about your business and the services you provide at Seashell Quilting Studio.
I offer E2E digital longarm quilting, several types of batting, Soft and Stable®, trimming, binding, piecing of backings, and I also carry 90” wide Ivory Shannon Cuddle. Some of these items are not on my website but my local clients know I have them.

Do you have any advice for someone just starting out with their business?
Don’t be afraid! Jump in with both feet…and do it! We are all here to help you along the way!

How did you get started longarm quilting?
I wanted to start a small business to give my life some value (after we retired from the Navy), but I wanted it to be something I would enjoy doing. I have always sewn and sent my quilts out. I just felt that longarm quilting was something I could do!! So I talked to lots of people and then saw the ads for Longarm League, which was invaluable to me and gave me the help and knowledge and confidence!

Could you tell us about a business "win" you've had?
I like doing the E2E for my business side, but I have been working behind the scenes to do some small custom work for my self to stretch my skill and my machine!! I recently got to quilt something for Giuseppe Ribaudo of Giucy Giuce; he was so nice and it was so fun to quilt for him.

What pantograph(s) have you been loving lately?
Oh man this is hard….do I have to pick just one??? Well, Wishbone [by Jess Zeigler for Longarm League] is my all time favorite, I just love that one. Recently I had the pleasure of using Patrick’s Ripple by Melissa Kelly [on the quilt just below] and Porch Rail by Barbie Mills [shown on bottom quilt]…I love the simplicity of all those pantographs and the texture they give to quilts!! Chefs kiss for all three!!

What is your favorite notion for longarm quilting?
My Kai small light weight scissor with curve blunt tip—Love them and couldn’t live without them…

What's your favorite part of making a quilt?
When I make a quilt my favorite part is cutting. Sounds funny I guess, but I love to cut it out, organize, label….all the things. The #2 thing is when you have all the blocks done, rows sewn…it all just comes together.

Favorite snack while sewing?
Chocolate Seashells by Stonewall Kitchen.

What other hobbies do you enjoy aside from quliting?
I love to make bags…big ones, little ones, zippers, no zippersjust let me make them all! This is not really a hobby, but I love going to the beach, living by water; almost always I just love the smell of the salt air, listening to waves and the hunt of shells.

If you'd like to watch the call with Michelle, or are interested in being a guest, we'd love to have you join us! Whether you're interested in starting your own longarm quilting business, or wanting to improve your current 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. You can read more of Michelle's own story of how Rookie Season helped her get her business started here.

Thanks so much for talking with us this month Michelle!


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