By Andrew Weaver
If you are opening a new quilting business, you should speak to your tax planner about a section of the IRS tax code that could really help with your cash flow in that critical first year!
Section 179 is an incentive for businesses to purchase, finance or lease qualifying equipment in 2015. It allows businesses to deduct the full amount of the purchase price of equipment (up to certain limits) in the first year, rather than having to depreciate the equipment over many years.
In some cases if you financed the machine, Section 179 could mean that during your first year of machine ownership the savings in your tax bill (or the increase in your refund check) is more than the total of monthly payments you had to send in!
Here is a sample of how this could apply to a purchase in 2015:
By applying Section 179 in this example, you have $9,800 taken right off your tax bill or straight into your IRS refund check.
Here is the best part – you get the deduction right away!
For example, let’s say you make a Gammill purchase in October and finance it through AFP, Arvest or another lender. You then receive your IRS refund or Tax Credit of $9,800 in February or March, depending on how quickly you filed your taxes. So you’ve gotten all this money back from the IRS but it will take you more than a year of payments on a 5 year loan to have written checks totaling $9,800. This cash infusion could provide a big boost in the first year of your business.
How much can I deduct?
The deduction limit is $25,000 in 2015, but this can change if Congress chooses to increase it. In past years, Congress has raised the limit (for 2014 they raised it to $50,000) but it is typically a year-end thing they do.
What is my deadline to get in on this?
You should talk to your Gammill dealer right away! Your machine order should be placed by October 31 if possible to avoid potentially missing the deadline. In order to qualify for the Section 179 Deduction of $25,000, the equipment must be purchased, financed or leased and put into service by December 31, 2015.
Where can I get more information?
More information about Section 179 is available at www.section179.org. Please also remember to consult a tax professional for more information.
Is this a real thing? It sounds too good to be true!
YES! In our business, we have purchased computers, office furniture, etc. using this deduction. In 2014 at the end of the year we purchased a new Gammill delivery truck, and Congress raised the deductible amount to $50,000 at the last minute which allowed us to deduct the entire cost of the truck. This tax credit has been a really big help in my business, and I think you’ll find that it helps you too!
This stunning quilt is by Gammill Certified Trainer Debbie Tribble, Dream Weaver Quilting, who designed the piece to be raffled for the 2015 Flathead Quilters Show. The quilt is called “A Tisket, A Tasket, A Quilt Show full of Baskets.”
The quilt features a great deal of machine applique and also hand applique where the flowers extend beyond the medallion boundary. Debbie said she had a great time hand guiding the Statler to enhance the applique. She was also able to show off the precision the Statler provides while stitching the beautiful feathers around the medallion center.
Thank you for sharing, Debbie! Learn more about the Statler by Gammill and our current business special at http://gammill.com/education/running-a-business-with-your-Gammill/
by Kelly Gallagher-Abbott, Jukebox Quilts
You’ve purchased your machine, decided on how to manage your business and have your forms ready to go. Now, all you need are customers and quilts! Here are some tips for spreading the word about your business and growing your clientele.
Tips & Ideas
- Use social media and other means of online communication to share details and basic information about your business, photos of quilts, coupons, specials, promotions, ideas and inspiration, tips and in general, engage your customers. Consider using: website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, blogs and newsletters.
- Use online tools, many of which are free, to help with marketing. For example, use Picasa to edit photos, WordPress to create a website, and Constant Contact or Mail Chimp to create an e-mail newsletter.
- If you want to publish photos of your customer’s quilts, it is always a good idea to get written permission. Consider adding this to your intake form. And, always obtain permission before adding someone to an e-mail newsletter list.
- Brand your photos so that when they are shared on social media, your logo will still appear. You can use a free photo editor section to add a light watermark or logo to your photos.
- Make items such as fliers and brochures more appealing by including a coupon or helpful information such as quilting tips, quilt sizes or free patterns.
- Show off your creativity. Give away quilted samples of your work with your business name included such as mug rugs, pin cushions or phone pouches.
- Support the community and attract new customers by donating items such as t-shirt quilts for local school or charity quilts for local organizations. You can also donate gift certificates to non-profits for silent auctions or drawings. For example, create one that is good for a four-hour class for four people to create a wall hanging.
- Create coupons or discounts for certain patterns such as fast to sew edge-edge patterns. Include a sample on the flier or brochure.
- Network with people. Visit business groups, display your quilts in local businesses or bed and breakfasts, prepare a presentation for quilt or women’s groups on quilting trends or other topics that display your skills, join the Chamber of Commerce, and ask banks, libraries or other businesses if you can display quilts there.
- Teach technique classes about using your machine to piece, applique classes or other educational opportunities that showcase your quilting.
By Kelly Gallagher-Abbott, Jukebox Quilts
A streamlined process for how you will receive and handle quilts can make life easier on you and your customer. Clear expectations and good communication are sure to provide better customer satisfaction and better organization for your quilting business. Learn more about longarm businesses and Gammill’s business start-up special by clicking here.
The best place to get all the information you need is when your customer delivers their quilt. Create an intake form and a system for organizing completed forms whether in a binder or electronically.
Here are some items you may want to include on an intake form:
- Customer name and contact information
- Drop off and due date
- How they heard about you or referral source
- Measurements of quilt
- Disclaimer and permissions – some examples to include
- Disclaimer about variances in quilting
- Permission to photograph the quilt and use the image (you will need this if you wish to use photos of the quilt on social media or in other marketing efforts).
- Agreement on credit for the quilt if entered into competitions, publications, etc.
- Design or pattern approval with notations from customer
- Project File – If using CreativeStudio, include a jpeg of the mockup and note the location of the electronic project file
- Rates & Charges – Make sure quotes are realistic. If something unforeseen arises, immediately contact the customer.
- Rate by the inch or the stitch (include a space for final time or stitch count)
- An estimate of quilting charge
- Additional charges such as thread, batting, binding, etc.
Consider how you will organize your business. Those taking advantage of the Gammill Fall Business special will receive a free copy of Machine Quilters Business Manager Software. Click here to learn more about this software, which includes many of the tools covered in the intake form section of this article. Here are some other programs and tools that may be helpful in keeping your business organized:
- Evernote: Create pattern database, inventory of supplies, inspirational photos, notes and tasks, customer database, quilt gallery for customers and other tools
- Google Keep
- Microsoft Project
- Gaant Charts in Excel
- Google tools: Calendar, contacts, tasks, e-mail and docs
- Pattern Management tools: PVM, Ipattern or see Jukebox Quilts for using their Jukebox Pattern Finder using Evernote.
Let your customer know how to prepare their piece for longarm quilting. You can click here for a sample guide from Jukebox Quilts. Receiving quilts in a standard way can make the organization process go more smoothly.
Develop a task list that is to be completed for each quilt. Here are examples of what may be included on your list
- Complete intake form and planning session
- Photograph top and back of quilt with customer present
- Document the intake and dates on calendar or project management software
- Procure a pattern or design
- Receive pattern, thread and batting
- Order Supplies – thread, batting, etc.
- Schedule dates to begin and end quilting
- Complete invoice
- Photograph and document completed quilt
- Notify customer of quilt completion
- Deliver quilt
- Photograph customer with quilt for social media and your gallery
- Send a thank you note or coupon to the customer
- Send a thank you note or coupon to the referral source
- Request feedback on customer satisfaction, utilize positive comments on your website, Facebook and other social media pages.
At Gammill, we know that purchasing a longarm is a big investment and a serious decision. That’s why our goal is to provide you with a machine that will stand up to the test of time and be an investment you can count on. That’s why our warranty covers commercial use and why our machines are built to produce a high volume of quilts for many years to come.
Many of our customers use their machines to complete customer quilts. Some quilt as a full time business to support their families. A Gammill allows them to have a career and still be home with children, enjoy an early retirement or be an artist each and every day. Others use their Gammills primarily for personal use but will complete a few customer quilts each month to make financing payments. Depending on the amount financed, this may take as little as two customer quilts each month.
For those who wish to finance their Gammill, there are several options.
American Financial Partners
Gammill partners with American Financial Partners (AFP) to provide financing options to our customers. This alliance provides many benefits:
- Convenience (one page application)
- Minimal up-front cost with two payments in advance instead of the conventional 20 percent down payment (based on credit approval)
- Collateral – AFP only asks for the Gammill® machine as collateral
- Fast response time from approval to funding
- No pre-payment penalty (other than initial, minimal loan fees)
- Up to 5-year financing available
You can learn more and complete an online application at financeyourgammill.com or by calling 888-AFP-4520 (888-237-4520).
Arvest Bank offers financing to Gammill customers who are residents of Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri or Arkansas. Click here to fill out an online application and select West Plains, MO for your bank location.
Business Equipment Financing is also available through Arvest Bank and its financial partners nationwide. For more information about this financing option, or for an application, contact your local Gammill dealer.
Other Financing Options
Customers often obtain financing through their bank or credit union. To facilitate financing, a dealer can provide you with a quote listing what charges would be if you were to purchase a specific model.
Check out our Shop & Compare page to find out more about how Gammill prices compare to other longarm brands.
Yesterday, the Gammill team had a wonderful time surprising Paul and Mildred Statler with a 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Statler facility.
Paul built the first computerized Statler Stitcher for his wife, Mildred, in 1990 and they began production quilting. A few years later, they began selling the machines commercially.
The plaque presented to the Statlers from the Gammill team reads: “You have changed lives by your outstanding creativity and vows of excellence. We have all benefited from your exceptional service, untiring dedication, and unyielding commitment.”
Thank you to the Statlers and congratulations on the amazing legacy you have built.
One of the great features about the Statler by Gammill is that you can easily switch from using the machine for computerized quilting into using it for hand guiding. The process to drop the X and Y belts only takes a few seconds. Click the video link for the tutorial.
Turn your passion into a career. Take advantage of Gammill fall savings to kick start your longarm quilting business. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 31, participating Gammill dealers will offer a free business start-up package to customers who purchase a Vision 2.0, Statler by Gammill or Statler Retrofit.
The Vision 2.0 offer is valued at $1,250, the Statler Retrofit at $1,600 and the Statler at $2,500.
The packages include start-up kit, batting, thread, patterns and more. The special also includes a business software program specifically for longarm quilters to organize customers, invoices and much more.
If you have the need for a quick project, why not try a wholecloth table runner? It goes much faster than piecing a project, and turns out just as (if not more) fabulous!
I started with a design I created using Electric Quilt (EQ7). I used the Card Basket block and repeated it three times with a small inner border and larger outer border.
Then I printed out the 8″ block in full size so I could easily transfer to fabric.
I used my design print out to plan my quilting.
Once I was happy with the plan, I taped my block printout to my light box.
Next, you’ll want to mark the center of your fabric. I simply fold the piece in half one direction and then in half the other direction and finger press. It marks the fabric just enough to line up the drawings.
Then you line up the fabric fold over the center of the block print out.
Using a chalk pencil trace over the block lines.
As I move my fabric over I use a ruler to maintain the straight line to trace the next block.
It is always a good idea to shut off the light box every so often to make sure you have traced all the block lines. Mark any areas you might have missed.
Then move the fabric again to mark the third block. Use the ruler to line up and keep the edges straight. If you are having a hard time seeing the chalk lines when the light box in on, you can mark the edges with pins before moving the fabric
Once all blocks are traced, you will want to draw the borders. In my EQ7 design I had a 1/2″ inner border and a 2″ outer border. These are marked using the ruler.
Now your design is transferred and you are ready for quilting.
Load your backing fabric on the Gammill as you normally would. I am using two layers of a poly batting as I want a trapunto look and also want the table runner to be firm and unwavering.
Place your fabric with the transferred design on top of the double batting. Begin by basting outside of the marked edge.
Then stitch along the marked edge line of the outer border.
I like to stitch a few times around between the outer edge (shown with scissor point) and the basting line. It keeps the edges flat and out of my way while quilting.
Then quilt all the border lines.
Once all border lines have been stitched, it is time to stitch the block lines.
As I want a trapunto look, I quilt my background areas fairly dense. I use the fills to cut through to other block lines in an attempt to stitch with the least amount of starts and stops possible
You can see the majority of line stitching is finished and where the background areas were used to cut through to the next area.
Then I go back and fill and stitch the center areas.
I accidentally dropped my snips and ripped the fabric. As we all know, these things happen. I could have started over, but instead I made a design change and micro-stippled over the rip. You can barely see it at the scissor point. There is no need to toss the project, just work with the mistake.
Continue stitch the background design and filling areas necessary to create the trapunto effect.
Then fill your outer border. I chose feathers as they compliment just about everything.
After stitch the feathers, go back and fill around them, adding more trapunto effect.
And it’s done – and beautiful!
It really is a super quick and easy project. Now bind and enjoy!
by Karen Marchetti
Gammill Quilting Artist
It is back-to-school time and what better gift to give a student you know than a custom iPad cover!