Timing App?

I am a firm believer in timing yourself when you are working at your quilting machine. I keep track of the time it takes to quilt nearly ALL the quilts I work on. If the quilt is customer quilt, it is critical that I keep track of the time, and if the quilt is a charity quilt or even a personal quilt (what is that!) I keep track of the time. At a later date, I look back on these records and see if I can find any trends or information that is important to me and to my business.

For example, many years ago I was doing a lot of sampler style quilts – many different blocks, most of which had borders and sashing. Not to mention the several outer borders, some with piecing and / or applique. By timing myself, I found that I was spending several more hours of my life completing this type of quilt than I was for a non-sampler type of quilt.

Because of this information, when I quote a price for quilting a sampler quilt, whatever my base price would be, I will ADD at least and extra 25%, maybe more, to the price. Why? Because I KNOW, from past experience, and from timing myself,  it is going to take me longer to complete this quilt.

Here is the math for this – Queen Size Sampler Quilt, 90 x 108 inches = 9,720 square inches. My “base price estimate” of cost is $300. (9,720 si x .03 cents per square inch = $291.60, rounded up to $300.) Because this is a sampler quilt, I would add at least 25% more ($300 x .25) which equals $75 for a total labor price of $375. If there is an applique border or any other “special” things that need to be done with the quilting, I may even round that up to $100, or more, for a total of $400. (Yes, you CAN charge this much for your quilting and YES, people will pay you for this.)

I have been timing my quilting  for nearly my whole life as a professional longarm quilter (20+ years), and now I want to come into the modern age!

I KNOW there has to be a app “out there” that can track my time for each quilting project.

I usually use the stopwatch function on my “clock” app on my (Android) smartphone. But, the last few times I set my stopwatch, I also was using a radio app on my phone. When listening to music from my phone with my earphones, somehow, the stopwatch function shuts off!

I have checked in the “app stores” and there are a ton of timing apps! They all say about the same thing and the reviews are pretty much the same also.

So my question to you is – do you use a timing / project app and if so, what is it’s name? Is it easy to use, do you like using it and is there anything else you would like to share about it.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is a little confused about the timing / project apps and options there are “out there.”

Please leave your comments, app suggestions and any other information in the comments section. Thanks in advance for your advice and input!



About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 10 and quilting forever!

8 Responses to Timing App?

  1. Benjie says:

    I use hours tracker on my phone. I do like the idea of putting the timer on the handles… great tip.
    I find hours tracker helpful but sometimes I stop to do a “minute something”… That turns out to be a “3 hour something”… 😶
    Another thing… sometimes I realize I’ve spent 20 hours doing something I estimated would take 10 hours… So while I’m being sad that now I’m making $5 hr when I already think I should be making $15 hr… I file that away for the next job!
    Just sayin’ hahaha

  2. Gord says:

    The new Innova Mach 3 Autopilot has re-setable counters for sew time and number of stitches. Now you can charge by the hour/minute/second or amount of thread. I’m a hobbyist and don’t use them but they’re sure interesting to watch. :o)

  3. Emily says:

    Great post, Cindy! The only timing device I use is when it’ time to make lunch or dinner or let the puppy out…. But you bring up several excellent points about the importance of timing how long a quilt takes to longarm. I will now start timing myself. Thank you! What a slap-in-the-head moment.

    Oh, and I listen to a radio not on my phone so I’ll be using my timer on the smartphone.

    Sorry this doesn’t help you out with your request for a timing app…. 😉

  4. Janet says:

    I recently started using an app on my iPhone called Hours. It allows the user to have multiple categories and I named some loading, ripping, e2e, custom, etc. Each category is a different color and the total time is recorded as well as the individual time categories. This is a free app. The challenge is to remember to turn it off when I am done with a particular task.

    Quilting takes up much of my time so I also run an app called Overdrive which permits me to listen to recorded books from a library. I have a small Bluetooth speaker that sits on the quilt and I get to enjoy some great books while the machine works.

  5. Ruth says:

    I use an App on my iPhone called Hours Keeper. I paid a few dollars so that I can track numerous projects at the same time. I am a huge fan of this App and have used it for approx 4 years.

  6. Eva says:

    I’m old school and keep a dedicated small notebook beside my work area and write down when I take breaks as well as frog stitch 😳 This is great information though, thank you!

  7. Deborah says:

    Cindy, I don’t use an app. that would mean having my phone near my work surface to turn on and off. What I do use is a 3 timer kitchen timer. Its small, about 2×3 1/2″, and it’s attached to my handles with command strip Velcro. It has a clock function so I can see what time it is and 3 timers on it so I can have one running from stop to finish as I quilt, another if I decide to time just a portion like a new block design. Or if I need to remove one quilt before finishing and put another on I can pick up the first quilt where I left off after second removed. And since its on my handle its always where I can see it and easy to turn on and off. helps me keep track of time so I don’t overdue it and sew longer than I should at a time. Breaks keep you healthy!

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