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Thread: How much to charge to make a quilt for someone?

  1. #1
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    Red face How much to charge to make a quilt for someone?

    I have had several people if I would make them a quilt and how much would it, I really don't know how much to charge, I have only been quilting for a little under a year. I don't want to cheat myself, for I know the time and labor that goes into making a quilt but I don't want to cheat the person I am making the quilt for. There is time, labor, fabric, thread, batting and quilting involved and if I missed anything "sorry". If anyone has the an answer, I sure would like to know.

  2. #2
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    a 'basic' starting place is to add up the cost of all of your materials---fabric, thread, patterns, batting, quilting charge---then multiply the total by 3---that amount can be adjusted as you feel necessary-
    also you should visit some sites that sell quilts and see what going prices are---location matters---the market varies across the country just like the cost of materials ect-
    there is a web site called ' quiltsforsale.com
    visit there & browse the quilts/styles/sizes/prices. also some quilt shops (the cotton patch quilt shoppe in east tawas michigan is one) that have quilts for sale on their site- you call look at those too- to get an idea-
    when people ask me about making them a quilt i generally reply- a queen starts at $350 & goes up from there- what did you have in mind? some people talk to me further about what they have in mind- some walk away shaking their head- some reply- i could get one at walmart for under $100---i tell them- that's nice- enjoy it..
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    My usual method is to think of a price that I would charge for my time and labor (but don't try to figure this out as an hourly rate - the quilt would get astronomically expensive if you paid yourself a living wage!) and then I add the cost of materials to that. By doing it this way I give the customer a ballpark number (say, $300 for a queen) which goes up depending on their fabric/batting/backing choices. I have had people who really only care about the front of the quilt (eg for a wallhanging) so poly batting and muslin backing are perfect, and the final price reflects those (lower) costs. Others have wanted a fully reversible, all-cotton quilt, with a pieced back, or one made from an atypical backing fabric - and the price goes up accordingly. The initial price I quote would also take into account hand vs machine quilting, and any embroidery or applique they would like.

    Good luck! It is a great feeling to be able to support you fabric habit...

    Alison

  4. #4
    Senior Member pinecone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
    a 'basic' starting place is to add up the cost of all of your materials---fabric, thread, patterns, batting, quilting charge---then multiply the total by 3--
    when people ask me about making them a quilt i generally reply- a queen starts at $350 & goes up from there- .
    Wow, IMHO you are giving them away. I have told people that most don't want to pay me what I need. A queen size takes about 9 yards for the backing, at $10/yard = $90 then there is the top fabrics another $100 add in the binding, thread and batting. I would have to send out for the quilting to be done and that would be over $100......so my guestimate would be about $600 or 700.

    piney

  5. #5
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    Before agreeing to anything, have them look at patterns you think you can handle. When they have one they like, figure out the yardage required and have them go with you to buy the fabric (they pay). This usually helps to weed out all but the serious requests. If they get passed that, figure out how long it while take you and give them an estimate for your time and expertise. Have an agreed upon price and if they fail to pay at time of pick-up you are just out your labour and you can keep the quilt until they do pay you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    You will find most people do not want to pay you for your time to make a quilt. Especially if you are doing ALL of the quilt. There are a lot of variables to figure in like: type of batting, type of backing, lite or dense quilting, size of quilt, and the like including what type of thread. You also need to consider how many hours you are putting in to complete the WHOLE quilt, and you need to include the time for finding the fabrics, cutting, layout, and measuring.

    You do need to think about the pressure you will be putting on yourself. I've been making quilt tops since the mid 90's and longarm quilting for customers since 2000 and I still feel a lot of pressure.

    Not that I want to dampen your spirits, you just need to consider everything.
    Crashnquilt


    Wouldn't you like to live with my mind just for a moment? I wish you would, I think I need to get OUT OF IT!

  7. #7
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    I agree with pinecone! I think $350 just about covers the cost of the materials. The price should also reflect the complexity of the pieced or appliqued top, and the complexity of the quilting. Don't forget, you are running up your electric bill while sewing, too. That adds to your cost of materials. And if you have to make trips to shop for items, gas is outta this world...it goes on and on. $350? Seriously?? (Maybe I should quit quilting and just hire you...lol!) Even the Amish charge alot more!

  8. #8
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I have never charged anyone to make a quilt, so I don't know how to help there....however, the suggestion of having the person pay for the fabric is a good one. I have made quilts for friends, my only requirements were that they select a pattern from one I was comfortable making AND they select and buy the fabric, batting, and backing. In each case, my friends were amazed at how much it cost just for the fabric and batting. A few offered to pay me for my time, but I told them it would take at least 40 hours and they couldn't afford me. It did open their eyes to what a quilt would cost. They had no idea.

    I suspect not many people really understand what a quilt should cost, but having them price fabric, batting, etc. would let you know how serious they are about the idea. ( My son was just here in my sewing room and asked how things were in the quilting world. I told him what we were talking about, and he said he thought most people would change their minds once they learned what making a quilt would cost. I wonder if he is right? I know that I warned my friends that even just buying the fabric would cost more than they expected, that quilting was not a cheap hobby...)

    Dina

    Dina

  9. #9
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    I agree, people do not have a clue of what it costs to make a quilt. When they find out the cost, they don't want to pay the price. My cousin wanted me to make a quilt for her. I told her that I would take the cost of the quilt and then double the cost and that is what I would charge. (Materials cost 150 so I would charge 300 total) I thought I was giving it away at that cost. She has never brought up the subject again. I think she was figuring I would just do it for the cost of the materials. I don't know anyone who has made a living on making quilts. People do not want to pay the value of the quilt. How sad it that!

  10. #10
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    Thanks to everyone who replied to my question. I now have a good direction to follow. All the advice was well appreciated. Once again Thanks.

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