Example of an art quilt that helps Lyric Kinard make money as a quilt teacher

Is It Possible To Make Money as a Quilting Teacher?

Last week, we met Lyric Montgomery Kinard, of Lyric Art, and discussed the lifestyle implications of making money as a quilting teacher. Check it out here if you missed it.

Show Lyric Kinard in her class Print Paint Play where she can make money as a quilting teacher
Lyric Montgomery Kinard having fun teaching “Print, Paint, Play”

So, is it possible to make good money as a quilting teacher? Quilters tend to be generous with their knowledge, and passionate about their art. Plus, it appears that many successful quilt businesses count on teaching gigs to produce at least some of their income. It seems pretty natural for aspiring quilt professionals to consider this option.

How Much Money Can You Make as a Quilting Teacher?

The amount of money you can make as a traveling quilt teacher depends on a variety of factors, including how frequently you can travel and teach. Lyric was very generous to share specifics of her income and expenses. Aspiring professionals should remember that Lyric is an experienced and sought-after teacher. However, her numbers show the possibilities for quilt teachers after they are well established. She has extensive information about her policies listed right on her website, making the entire process of booking her very straightforward.

Shows small art quilt that Lyric Kinard uses to make money teaching quilting
Art Quilt by Lyric Montgomery Kinard
Part of the 10 by 10 “Time Flies” series

When Lyric presents a lecture at a quilt guild, she charges the guild $550. Her half-day (3 hours) workshops are $550 and her full-day (6 hours) workshops are $850. She also creates kits for her students that contain the hard-to-find necessary supplies. When she travels to a guild, class kits are an optional purchase for students. However, Lyric makes sure to have a kit for each student with her. She finds that she is generally able to sell the extra kits to students who wish to continue experimenting and want extra materials after the workshop. When she is traveling to quilt conferences, class kits are mandatory and seem to be appreciated by her students.

In addition to kits, Lyric brings books, publications, instructional DVDs, and extra supplies for the techniques being taught. Sometimes the items sell well, but other times they don’t. Since the books, publications, and DVDs are self-published, the profit margin is 80%. The kits and other supplies have a profit margin that ranges between 40%-50%. Before the pandemic, in 2019 Lyric Art grossed $30,000 from the sale of these physical products without significant marketing efforts.

What Are the Expenses for a Traveling Quilting Teacher?

Quilt teachers must invest considerable time and money in preparing programs and workshops. For starters, there is the upfront expense of creating samples. This cost varies depending on the nature of the lecture or workshop.

Shows art quilt that Lyric Kinard uses to make money as a quilting teacher
Mill Wheels V: Rise
By Lyric Montgomery Kinard
Part of the “Mill Wheel” series

Some teachers, like Lyric, also use expensive equipment during workshop demonstrations. This equipment may include digital projectors, laptops, and video cameras.

Quilt guilds generally pay the travel, food, and lodging expenses of visiting teachers. However, teachers still foot the bill for some travel expenses associated with presenting programs and workshops. A less obvious expense is wear and tear on luggage. Because of the time spent away from home, additional expenses can include child care, pet care, and even some household maintenance if the travel schedule is extensive.

Product sales also incur some expenses. There are wholesale costs for physical products. Additionally, teachers will need to account for shipping supplies and fees. Teachers must plan for the preparation and packaging costs of kits in order to be profitable with these products. Lyric has been fortunate to be able to employ her teenagers to assist her with kit assembly. Even if you start out assembling kits yourself, it is important to price your kits to include labor costs. That way, you have the option of hiring out this work in the future if you need to be able to focus on different aspects of your business.

Shows student kit that Lyric Kinard uses to make money as a quilt teacher
Surface design supplies at Lyric Art

So, Is It Possible To Make Money Teaching Quilting?

Initially, quilting teachers spend money and time creating samples and possibly purchasing equipment. After that initial investment of time and money, teachers can deliver the same content to multiple guilds and groups, generating additional income each time. Teaching gigs also present the opportunity to sell kits and other supplies to students. This sales revenue can be significant.

Example of an art quilt that helps Lyric Kinard make money as a quilt teacher
Art Quilt by Lyric Montgomery Kinard
Part of the 10 by 10 “Kisses and Hugs” series

It is possible to make a reasonably good income for your efforts as a traveling quilting teacher. This is likely the reason that so many profitable quilt businesses derive at least some of their income from teaching. Traveling to teach can be a wonderful experience. However, income from this activity is limited by how often you are able to travel. Next week we will look at the surprising history of teaching quilting online, and discover how this might expand income possibilities for quilting teachers.

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