Hi, I'm Jess.
In addition to quilting industry jobs like pattern designer, magazine contributor, (former) podcaster, and pantograph designer, I've been a professional longarm quilter for the last 9 years. I now run a membership of over 200 other longarm quilters called the Longarm League. I call myself the commish because if there are two things I love, it's shortening words and not taking myself too seriously.
Here's the thing, for as much success I had in my business (having a queue of 50 quilts at one time, working with dream clients, LOVING my work, making good money),
I never truly felt like I was "doing it right".
It wasn't exactly imposter syndrome. I felt pretty good about my technical skills at the machine. It was more financially speaking, tax-wise, legally, even in the general self-reflective question I would ask myself, "Is this what other longarm quilters do?"
I totally winged the business part and it honestly didn't feel great. If someone were to ask me exactly how much I was making, I would have shrugged. It turns out that not having a system for bookkeeping... is not a smart plan.
The good news is, I've come so far and learned so much! I've educated myself and called upon experts to help me get my life right. Heck, I've learned so much by being part of the League and comparing notes with the other professionals in our community. I feel like a grown-up business person now who knows her numbers, is confident in her systems, and can help you skip the YEARS of winging it like I did.
Let's examine the tragically unsexy parts of our businesses, and get them in top shape!
And why? Why do systems matter? Putting yourself out there can be hard enough as it is. When you lack confidence in parts of your business, it comes out in ways that you might not even realize.
We don't want anything holding you back from providing the service that your clients NEED AND WANT. Even the ones who don't know you yet!
Let's face it, doing some of this stuff sucks. I get it! I would rather quilt, too. But taking care of this with other people and having some accountability built-in can make it suck less. 😂
No matter what your 'before' looks like, after taking my course you will:
- have named your business - I'll provide some guidance and inspiration
- learn more about the two most common business structures that longarm quilters use and decide which is best for you
- have your personal and business finances separated
- know common insurance products to consider for your business
- obtain your necessary IDs and permits to enable you to open wholesale accounts with suppliers
- have specific recommendations for which wholesale accounts to start with and what to order
- learn my "secret weapon" for consistent tension
- know my quilt loading tips that result in better-behaved quilt backings and straight-across-the-bottom quilts (even at the end)
- learn "the devil's-in-the-details" techniques that will give your work a polished quality that your clients will love
- get clarity about what quilting designs you should be offering and recommending
- learn my philosophy in pairing pantographs with tops and get guidance for developing your own aesthetic
- have a troubleshooting checklist of things to try if you have alignment issues on your computerized machine
- be able to look for efficiency hacks without ever compromising quality
- have confidence in correcting some common quilt issues like holes or fullness
- get guidance for times when you might have to communicate challenging situations with a client
- receive a list of our favorite "go-to" digital pantographs that are totally worth investing in
- get the Longarm League's top 10 easiest-to-use digital pantographs (VALUE OF $150)
- come up with your "menu of service" items that you'll offer and price them
- get ideas for establishing your workflow with clients from request to finished quilt
- GET A FREAKING WEBSITE including an automated intake form (seriously, we'll give you access to a template we built along with instructions to make it your own)
- be equipped to facilitate mail-in client work
- know how to invoice your clients and receive payment
- get multiple options to consider when choosing an accounting system
- create your chart of accounts with commonly used accounts for a longarm quilting service
- learn how to categorize your income and expenses, monitor your profit and loss, track inventory
- find out how to pay yourself and set money aside for income taxes and expenses
Why it's worth it:
I cannot adequately describe the bliss I experienced once I really got in the groove of my business... but that won't stop me from trying. :)
I have this memory that sticks with me. It was all the way back in the pre-COVID days... April of 2019. I had a big meeting later that afternoon that had the potential to be career-shifting. It was a morning that I was working in my sun-lit room after the kids had left for school. It was an already warm-for-spring day and I had the windows in my studio cracked open. I was listening to a podcast while I had a quilt on the frame that I was absolutely in love with. It was from a friend I had met through Instagram but hadn't yet met in person – it was her pattern release and she had mailed it to me from a state away.
It was probably because I was considering making a change that I remember this morning so clearly. I felt SO aligned and happy in what I was doing, so grateful that I got to use my gifts to make other people very happy.
Do you want to see a photo that I took later that day?
Trust me, it was a difficult choice to even think about pivoting away from *this*, but it was also because of that opportunity that the Longarm League came into existence. So, I have no regrets!
I want to pass along the same love and giddy joy to others that I felt longarm quilting while getting paid for it.
So, let's get your journey started!
This course is designed to get your business started the right way - leaving doubt, worry, and fear behind!
Not only that, but the way the content is broken down will feel doable. We'll take things a week at a time giving you time to do the dang thang! You'll have access to the private Facebook group (which I'll be monitoring regularly) at every step of the way. We'll get through this together!
We will also have scheduled Zoom meetings periodically to connect in real-time. It will be a class setting but you can get personalized support.
Introduction (Next Available October 12 - Week 1)
Getting Started (Week 1)
Materials and Supplies (Week 2)
Quilting Techniques (Week 3)
Catch-up! (Week 4)
Design Advice (Week 5)
Working with Clients (Week 6)
Managing your Finances (Week 7)
Bonus Lessons (Week 8)
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: My longarm just arrived and I'm really new to all of this, would the course benefit me?
A: Yes! We are talking to beginners here and that sounds like you! This is all about starting a business though, so hobbyist longarm quilters would be better served with a different resource.
Q: I don't have my longarm machine yet. Should I take the course?
A: This is tricky. Access to the course online lasts for one year, but lesson text is all downloadable. Ideally, this course would be best when you are ready to implement, but if your circumstances are such that you'll need to take it before you have a machine, I will not stop you! :)
Q: I don't have computerized equipment and I'm not sure that I'll ever want to invest in it. Is this course only for computerized quilters?
A: I'll be honest, computerized quilters will get the MOST value out of this course. That's not to say that it wouldn't be worth it for handguided quilters. Quite the opposite! Of all the modules, Week 5 will be most geared to digital pantographs, and maybe one lesson in Week 3, but everything else is applicable to a handguided quilting business. Go ahead and look over the lessons again and ask yourself whether the topics covered would benefit you.
Q: This is a lot to spend, can't I find this information online?
A: Yes, to a degree. A lot of it is findable, provided you know what you're looking for. That is not always the case. There are also specific strategies that I've introduced to other longarm quilters via the Longarm League that they have deemed "game-changing". Realistically, how many hours, weeks, or (in my case) YEARS would it take to get all of this information pinned down? How much money did I leave on the table by not getting my systems in place earlier? I don't want that for you. What if instead of spending that time researching, you were able to invoice client work? By taking my course, you'll have a road map delivered to you AND you'll get a built-in community of support.
You are investing in a business you can operate for YEARS into the future. Once you get rolling and especially after you cover your initial investment, your longarm can feel like a money-printing machine. It's awesome! And perhaps—if you're like me—the flexibility of working how and when you want, cannot be beat!
Q: Is Longarm League membership included with the course fee?
A: We'd love for students to join us afterward, but these are two separate offerings. Taking the course is a stand-alone endeavor and does not commit you to anything beyond the 8-weeks.
Q: Is this all of the information I'll ever need to know about running a business?
A: While our aim is to give you a great start by getting your business up and running, it's only the first step! For continuing education and support, including marketing-focused resources, we invite you to join the Longarm League membership upon completion of this beginner's course. We'll even offer League membership at a discounted rate when the course is over.
Q: I'm afraid I'll get behind in the course material. What happens if I can't keep up?
A: You will be able to go at your own pace if you wish. When each module is released, you will be able to download every lesson (including supplemental worksheets & templates) whether PDF or video. Additionally, you will have online access for a year.
If you are a person who enjoys a group aspect and the accountability that comes with it, I'd encourage you to work through the lessons when they are released, but it is not required.
Q: I do not have a Facebook account, will I still be able to participate?
A: The private Facebook group is a bonus benefit to getting feedback quickly. It is not required. Students will be able to comment and ask questions on the course platform or contact me via email.
Q: I'm familiar with some of the course material, but not all of it. Should I take the course?
A: Check out this guided walk-through of the course. Maybe this'll help you decide? If you would like additional help, please fill out this questionnaire and I'll make a personal recommendation.
I do not want you to get into the course and feel like it was the wrong information at the wrong time for you.
That's why I'll give you your money back if you request it up to 14 days from gaining access to the course. You will be able to evaluate all of Module 1 and Module 2 in that time so that you can make an informed decision.
We asked our first two groups of students how likely they would be to recommend this course to a friend beginning a longarm quilting business. Using a 5-star rating, the average response was 4.83!
I have learned so much from Jess! One of the MOST important things she taught me was to price my services appropriately and pay myself first. Thanks to this life-changing knowledge (no exaggeration), I was able to retire from my full-time job and now spend all my time on my longarm career. I feel really confident in my finances, and have the know-how to manage my cashflow for success.Without getting this information at the start of my career, I would have wasted so much time... I will be forever grateful for the hyper-specific guidance, advice, and knowledge I have received from Jess!
"I have only been longarming for a little over a year. 😱 Around the time I got my longarm, Jess @threadedquilting started the @longarmleague and I signed up immediately. I was nervous about learning all the things I needed to learn about the machine, and starting a business longarming for clients, and having to figure everything out on my own (bc it's not like longarmers can go in the the office and chat with each other everyday). But I knew what kind of content Jess was lining up for the group and it made me feel a million times better about what I was doing here.
"Fast forward a few months and a lot of getting started lessons, and I'm VERY LITERALLY stitching up quilts that will go in a BOOK. And yes, that's Urban Quilting from @the.weekendquilter. Not only was it amazing to work with Wendy on her beautiful quilts, it was exactly the kind of quilting work I wanted to be doing. I've said this before, but I really don't think I would have said YES to this opportunity if it hadn't been for everything I learned in the first few months of the Longarm League.
"Rookie Season is a lot of that wonderful "getting started" content for people who want to start their longarm quilting business, wrapped up in a fun course format. There's a link in my profile where you can learn more about Rookie Season and the Longarm League, but if you're thinking about it/on the fence, I highly encourage you to check it out. Truth, I was also nervous about getting my own clients when I was already following so many talented longarmers. But seriously, there is more than enough quilting work for EVERYONE. Especially when we've all been at home making quilts for the past 10 months."
- Sarah Campbell, @stitchmodequilts
Hi Jess, Can I just say I’ve been reading your lessons and listening to everyone in the League and working on just getting “all the things” done! LOL As opposed to just planning! I just want to let you know I’m very excited that I joined! You are very inspiring. Your efforts are delivering what you promote! I’m not sucking-up 😂 I just want to make sure you know that even a skeptic like me is actually getting giddy. Thanks again for your thoughtful content and support.
- Lauren, @tekstilcrave
I am so glad that I made the decision to join the Longarm League. I knew that I wanted to quilt for others, but didn’t know quite where or how to begin. The Longarm League helped meto set realistic goals for my business, develop a strategic plan, and is also a vast resource for quilting tips and techniques. From learning how to photograph quilts and post them to social media to bookkeeping for a quilting business, the information is relevant and the community of members truly supportive and focused on helping one another be successful.
I have thought many times over the past several months, since I became a member, this was ^the^ best investment I have made in my new longarm business. The community, the advice, the breadth of experience - it all adds up to a powerhouse resource.
If you'd like to join us, here's how:
Make sure to sign up for our email newsletters to be notified when registration opens again.
When registration is open, I'll send you:
• Naming Your Business (from Week 1)
• Creating a Logo (from Week 1)
• Mindset Resource List (BONUS)
The course won't be available right away, but we can give you a jump-start! Let's get your wheels turning thinking about your business and your mind primed for success!
The next Rookie Season class will be starting October 12th.
To make the commitment to your business, click any of the red buttons on this page to be taken to the registration and checkout (when it opens again). Enter your name, payment information, and agree to the terms to complete your purchase.
You'll receive a welcome email along with login information from Kajabi - it's the platform where the course content is hosted.
The first module will be released Tuesday, October 12th at 10 am Pacific/11 am Mountain/12 pm Central/ 1 pm Eastern time in the US & Canada. This is just when access begins. Subsequent modules will be released at the same time each Tuesday for the duration of the course.
When the course is live, you'll be able to interact with the other participating students and with me. You'll have access to a Facebook group (not required) or the comment section within the lessons themselves.
We will be scheduling a total of 4 live Zoom meetings to address questions and for general class support. All meetings will be recorded for the ability to watch the replay in the event you're not able to attend live.
Not quite ready to take the plunge? We get that.
When you join our mailing list, we'll share more info, news about future course dates, and even some goodies! But most importantly, our hope is that you'll be able to decide if our resources would benefit YOU.
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