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Doing Paid /Commission Sewing/Quilting for Others

Doing Paid /Commission Sewing/Quilting for Others

Old 10-19-2020, 10:32 AM
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Default Doing Paid /Commission Sewing/Quilting for Others

I prefer not to -

For several reasons -

1) I am slow and I dislike deadlines
2) I am afraid of messing up someone else's thing
3) People are unwilling to pay even "minimum wage" for the time I have invested
4) I worry about other people being even more persnickety than I am

(I have seen some work that would be "okay" for someone just learning/starting - but I would be embarrassed to the moon and back to offer it "for hire".)
If someone chooses to pay me for something that I have already made - I do not fret.

For those of you that do work on/for comnmission - how did you overcome your hurdles?

When/How did you decide you were good enough, fast enough, etc?

And have you found people to be willing to pay "adequately" for your skill, time, and materials?
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:34 AM
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I also don’t like working on things that don’t interest me. If I have to make myself work on something then it is no longer my enjoyable hobby.
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Old 10-19-2020, 12:53 PM
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I have been doing commission work for close to 20 years. I do prefer to make a quilt, show it off & have someone ask to purchase it. It’s definitely easier that way. When approached for a commission I do work out all the details- and I do get paid well for my work ( I’ve made $800 for twin quilts and $3750 for a couple quilts
I often ask for a color scheme or theme, style and size. Sometimes I go through books and show the person some options. Sometimes all I have to go on is King size, fall colors. I’ve had enough quilts appraised to be able to quote a good price. I’ve given breaks at times but always wind up with a minimum of $20 an hour over the price of materials. I always require a 50% non- refundable deposit before I cut anything or purchase anything.
in 20 years I’ve only had 1 person not accept her quilt when it was finished. It was a weird situation- she hadn’t even seen the finished quilt, was in contact with me- all excited on the phone- we arranged for me to deliver it- day of delivery I was on my way when I received a text from her saying ( I don’t want it) !?!? What??? I sat along side the road for a few minutes, tried to call her- no answer- went home and wrote and sent a registered letter stating she had 30 days to purchase the quilt or forfeit her deposit and any claim to the quilt. The 30 days went by. About 2 weeks later I sold it for 3 times what I was offering to sell it to her. I was trying to give her a good deal- worked out fine for me.
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:18 PM
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I don't mind doing quilting for other people, I've done it a lot and I found I am far more persnickety than any customer.

But sewing - nope, don't like it. I had an acquaintance want me to make some flannel pillowcases from a flannel sheet she had. I found I could sell the sheet on Ebay and buy 4 pillowcases for her with the proceeds. I'm lazy like that.
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Old 10-19-2020, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ckcowl View Post
in 20 years Iíve only had 1 person not accept her quilt when it was finished. It was a weird situation- she hadnít even seen the finished quilt, was in contact with me- all excited on the phone- we arranged for me to deliver it- day of delivery I was on my way when I received a text from her saying ( I donít want it) !?!? What??? I sat along side the road for a few minutes, tried to call her- no answer- went home and wrote and sent a registered letter stating she had 30 days to purchase the quilt or forfeit her deposit and any claim to the quilt. The 30 days went by. About 2 weeks later I sold it for 3 times what I was offering to sell it to her. I was trying to give her a good deal- worked out fine for me.

CK LOL oh I love it! So glad you made money on the work you spent time and money on,
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Old 10-19-2020, 04:07 PM
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I do binding on commission. I made a small sample and gave it to the owner of my LQS, along with my rates and contact info. Started getting customers who have all been happy. I did have one who freaked out at my quote, I explained to her that my rate is my rate but she continued to argue with me. So I sweetly said that I understood if her budget needed someone a little more economical and wished her well. I think she was shocked. She came back 2 months later and paid without a murmur. Someone who knows her later told me that I was smart, this is a woman who has wealth and doesn't think twice about plunking down $100 for a handbag or a dress.
I do a very good job. I am really detail-oriented and treat every customer quilt as if it were my own. I will do every aspect of binding and actually prefer if my customers do not pre-make their binding strips. I am worth what I charge and the proof is in my repeat customers.

Last edited by Peckish; 10-19-2020 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:30 PM
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I quilt for others and have made many "on demand" t-shirt quilts (but no longer-boring!) when I first started and I was so anxious about the quality of my work despite having done a ton of my own and charity quilts before that. I did take a quilting business class with Sally Terry at one of the last MQS shows and that really helped steer me throught the maze of quilting for others as a business.Now I do almost exclusively custom quilting and have few customers,but they are willing to pay my price (which is competitive with my area but still cheaper than parts of the country). In the last year I've been more selective of which quilts I will take as I realize I want to finish up some of my own quilts too.
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:09 AM
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When I purchased my LA machine last year, I told myself I was not going to do commission work...but then came along Covid. I have now done two quilts for a dear friend who does not enjoy quilting large quilts on her DSM. I also rent my machine to another friend who likes to do her own quilts from start to finish. She also went with me to the Bernina dealer for training so I trust her on my machine.
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:57 AM
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I don't do work for anyone but I send some of my quilts to a longarmer. She's wonderful. Her prices and work are amazing. Since Covid she's been backed up with quilts to be done. Even so, I got my Singing in the Rain quilt back in about 2 weeks. She does binding for 10.00 which I think is a steal ( 15.00 for a King). I don't really like doing binding.
But I digress. I would not work for someone else. Then it's work, not fun.
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:18 AM
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I have done a few quilt for commission but not many. I have a contract that allows for me to have plenty of time to finish a project and allows for emergency scenarios. I am not the best by any means but I can do a good job on a quilt and do fairly good FMQ on my Grace frame, which is now down. I have not done one in years now for all the reasons you mention. I was able to make a fair wage at the time. With the customer supplying all the materials, batting and backing and I can finish a quilt. If commissioned to make the entire quilt the price is by the block.
I don't plan on doing any more commissioned quilts in the near future
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