make sure you get a deposit to cover your initial costs or you might get stuck when someone changes their mind
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make sure you get a deposit to cover your initial costs or you might get stuck when someone changes their mind
I do both.I make some to try to sell-I make what I feel like making.I do make for family and give them away-and for charity.I do not take orders-not fun that way.if I have some that do not sell after 2 yrs then family gets them for Christmas and pick the ones they want.I sell a few and that pays for batting to keep making more.Originally Posted by KathyAire
This post if very long.
This is a very interesting question.
First I would ask, do YOU even want to make a quilt for someone else? I find I like making quilts for my family and gifts. As they are done out of love I enjoy the process. So for me I'm not sure I would start down this road with co-workers or anyone else. If you do not want to make a quilt for anyone outside your family then state this simply and matter of factly to them.
I would try to find someone who may provide this service. I know there are several located online that make t-shirt quilts for customers. This may be an alternative option for you and for them.
You could help them put information together. Show them how to print pictures on fabric to provide to the quilt maker. This would avoid any conflict with co-workers to keep peace in the office. This is the route I would probably take. (It's just because Murphy's Law tends to happen in my life.)
Second, do you have the TIME to make the quilt(s)? If you do one, how many more would you be expected to make for the rest of your co-workers. You may need to put a limit on how many you will do in a year. You may want to put a stipulation that you will only do one quilt a year. You may need to draw straws or numbers of those requesting from you. You may need to have a written list outlined for your schedule and who is next in line, in a first come first serve process, no matter what. Also, have they given you plenty of time to get the quilt completed? How much time will you need, if not received by a deadline date provided in the contract, then stop and don't continue. If they don't respect you enough to get items to you in the required time frame then they don't deserve to have a quilt made for them. I would spell this out in a contract. I would not purchase any items for any quilt until any and all items necessary are in your hands (pictures, names and dates). I would not receive any items at a later date to be included. This would only be unless you have all the details agreed upon first and in writing as to the exception dates.
Always allow yourself a month of extra time to complete a quilt. Yes a month or maybe more. Life happens and you don't need to add any extra stress to your life. With that said this may also be an issue to include in your contract. We all have unforseen things happen, so I would include a castrophe clause in the contract. This would help protect yourself from completing by a specific deadline. If you start a quilt of this nature and complexity I would certainly want to be paid for it's completion, even if completed after a deadline due to circumstances beyond your control. Maybe you could include a very small and I mean very small discount to the total cost if completed and delivery on or before the delivery date outlined. Something like $50. I would also include that into your cost first quoted. So initial cost $600, then delivery cost $550, etc.
Situations beyond your control include the machine breaking and being in for service, illness, work demands, family illness and family demands, weather, fire (heaven forbid!), etc.
I would ask around to see if others have contracts and what they include. I would search online for contracting quilters, google search, etc. I would also at least have one consult with at least one attorney on the contract and it's terminology that you put together. Maybe others here on the QB will have some input in this area.
What have people signed when having a quilt completed at a LAQ?
If the necessary items from the customer is not received upfront, by the agreed date, then do not hesitate to return all items and their money to them. Return their money in money order form. Do not apologize for taking this step. They need to realize your time is as valuable as theirs, and their actions show that they do not respect you, period! I wouldn't want to work on such a project for someone who didn't respect me enough to do their part on time. This is the type of customer that may prove to cause problems later as well. The rest of the workers will then know you mean business with your work. This shows others you respect yourself and your work and what you have to offer (This is if you so desire to accept this assignment! ha ha). (Wasn't this asked of Charlie's Angels, or was it another show?)
I believe a quilt of this type to be considered a great heirloom. I personally feel like $350 is way to low for the fee to charge. Depending on your time $500 is the very least I would quote and $1000 or more would not be out of the question to quote. The cost needs to be significant, very significant. The customer needs to know this is a very rare gem.
I would ask your LAQ what they would charge to quilt your quilt. That may give you an idea for that part of the cost. I would review quilts made by others for sale and by the Amish to get an idea of what quilts are purchased for. You may be greatly surprised and amazed. Since some quilts are made for anyone, the quilt you are making is being made specifically for a set group of people, this will add significantly to the cost of the quilt. I would also explain that when you quote your fee and go over the contract that they sign and date. The quilt you are making for this family could not then be switched to another. Much time, effort, supplies, fabric etc are going to be put together for their quilt. Don't forget the cost of thread and incidentals. Are you going to have to purchase any special tools? Are you going to have to replace a broken tool?
If making a quilt for others, there are many things to consider. What pay rate do you work in your day job. Quilting should demand at least equal to that in an hourly rate that you are making in your present job. I would not begin to do a project without a written contract of the project, with half up front and half upon delivery. Payment due no matter what their opinion of the final outcome, prior to them receiving the quilt. I would try to spell out in the contract as many details as possible. This will help to keep things in good standing with customers and co-workers. The amount of half of the fee should always cover all materials necessary for the quilt, including batting and backing, always. Even if you can use these items later in another quilt, they are for this quilt. Fees should be for material costs and then labor charges and outlined as such. Are you binding the quilt? This needs to be included in the material and time factor.
I would put together, in EQ if possible (but not necessary) an outline of the project. They should provide pictures if desired in the format as you need them. I would at the very least have a written outline as to your concept with what goes in each section detailed. Include pictures if possible. Even including a picture of your quilt to be as a guideline for reference.
I would outline on paper, which picture is placed in each section of the quilt. I would then have them sign off of this placement. I would also give them a copy of it. They may go home and them review with a another family member and find an error, that they want you to fix. This would be ok, if you've not already gone beyond a fixable point.
I would show the sewn top to the customer before proceeding with any of the quilting process. I would get this signature on the top in the seam area and on the backing seam area for approval as well as on paper. I would outline the progress to date with everyone signing. I would take pictures to document your progress along the way, at each step of the way, for personal documentation. I would also have personal witnesses to your project.
I would also outline in your contract, if any errors of information are provided on their part, and they want something changed for accuracy that there will be an additional charge. I would make it to be at least $100.
A person requesting a quilt of this nature needs to do their homework first before coming to you. They need to review all names with correct spelling, dates etc before it is given to you.
I might also want to have another family member sign off on the information as being correct and acceptable.
For the family tree area, I would have this written out on paper, then have them review. For each section I would have them initial and sign and date each approval. Even doing this in the seam line on the printed fabric pictures. Information for you and for the family tree should always include the city, state and county the city is located, along with dates, etc.
Do not assume about spelling of names. Have they checked with birth records, etc, online. Don't trust what's written in the family bible record.
If making a quilt of this nature, I would definately include the cost of making a pillowcase that the quilt will fit in for storage purposes. I would include the proper hanging sleeve. I would include my suggestions for what to use and how to hang the quilt. I would include directions for care and washing, and a small sample of washing product. These items would of course be included in the cost of the quilt.
Depending on the complexity of the quilt, I might also think about charging for and including the specific hanger hardware for the quilt. This may require them to provide their preference to color, type. Such as wood, light or dark wood. Metal rods, with pvc pipe over the metal rod or any other type of quilt hanger you deem best to provide the best display for your work and for the quilt. There are hidden hangers and other, so there are many options.
I know this process may seem tedious but I believe it to be necessary to avoid any problems with the customer, no matter who they would be. This especially is even more encouraged since they are co-workers. I would not a problem with them later.
I would make the cost also to be significant and do NOT apologize for the cost. If this is to be a family heirloom, they should be more than willing to pay for your fine services. These are quilts that are not a store bought items. I would accept nothing for payment but a money order or cashier's check. No cash and no personal checks. Make copies of these before depositing. Keep all paperwork for each quilt in files for your protection to any actions they might make after receiving the quilt.
Always add a label to the quilt with your name and information. I would also add a label hidden on the inside of the quilt. I would include a small label on the back on how to hang, the care required and how to clean. You might want to include a large pocket on the back of the quilt. In this pocket the pillowcase could be kept along with written history for the quilt. This may require the need for several pockets, larger than regular paper size, to be along the bottom edge of the quilt as it would be if hanging. These pockets could have a small overlap with a snap in the middle.
I know items such as the pillowcase, quilt cleaner, labels, printed family history and hangers are not always thought of when making a quilt of this nature. As the quilter though I believe we owe it to the work and love put into the quilt to include these with the quilt and are a part of the cost of the quilt. If there is no hanger when they receive the quilt, they most likely will not ever hang it to display. If they have everything included with the quilt, there are no excuses. The hangers will be attached to the wall and the quilt will be hung to be seen, admired and shared.
Well I had a lot of thoughts to share. Hopefully the thoughts flow smoothly from one to another without repeating. I think I will stop now.
I agree the quilt is priceless. As for making for other people, I do only if I want too and yes I would think $350 and up for a special quilt like this. Even then you will not make much money and it will be a labor of love. Sometimes that is OK if that is what you want to do.
This quilt is one where a deposit is not enough. You must agree on a price and collect it ahead of time. Some other quilt you can sell to someone else or keep it to yourself if you like it, but this one is too personal and must be paid completely in advance.Originally Posted by Hosta
Your wall hanging is beautiful. Ask your potential customers what they are willing to pay what they think it's worth to them. That might help you decide on whether to proceed or not. When people ask me to make them quilts a lot of my decision is based on my relationship with the person asking. Sometimes when strangers ask me or people I don't know too well I can barely get out the cost of materials and they've lost interest and so have I.
WOW< what a beautiful quilt! I agree, its priceless!
I agree whole-heartedly with milp04. Once you explain a few of those things to your friends, see how far they go with still wanting you to do this for them. Many will not. I have been there. Just explaining a couple things, in a most pleasant way, turns them off and they think you will be 'troubled' with the project. Fact is, it is all part of doing a wonderful project such as this. It is a process, and we as creative people believe in the process-the beginning to the ending. We wouldn't not commit 110% to the piece. But it takes all the factors Pam talks about. I have resigned myself to never charging for anything. But I don't commit to something I don't want to do for the person asking. I am proud of the work I do, albeit not exactly professional. My family and friends know this. It is like selling a car to family or friend-you don't want the input afterwards unless it is positive. A good friend would understand the process, and would agree to whatever cost you must make from these heirlooms. People pay thousands for a large family portrait to hang above their fireplaces, these quilted heirlooms are priceless too. Just my 2 cents worth....
milp04 - That is the best, most complete answer to this often asked question I have ever heard. Good job! I will keep it for referance for future use.