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Thread: FREE QUILTS????

  1. #1
    Super Member nanabirdmo's Avatar
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    okay, so i gave one of my cousins a baby quilt, as a gift. she loved it and called the other day to ask me to make 2 more similar only bigger and she specified that one was to feature airplanes, and the other was to feature cars.
    she didn't offer to purchase the fabric. i asked her if she wanted to see swatches and she said no that she trusts my judgement.
    how can i, in a nice way, i get the message across that these aren't going to be freebies? i don't expect her to pay labor, but the fabric is another matter.
    i love my cousin, but we aren't close enough for this not to seem presumptuous on her part.
    any ideas??

    sign me stumped :?: :?

  2. #2

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    I would do whatever you can to NOT make any quilts for this family member. The moment you make her quilts for "fabric only" you will be her go-to person every time she needs a gift for someone. Honestly, how many quilters have time to sew for others? I make quilts for my sisters since they don't sew and I love how they start crying when they get a quilt. But I would not want to be someone's cheap seamstress. A gal at work asked me how much I would charge to make her a quilt. Out of my mouth (too quickly) I said "no way". People who don't sew have no idea what a labor of love making a quilt is.

    If you feel that you need to do this for your cousin, I would call her and tell her about how much a quilt would cost. I would tack on some labor charges and tell her you'll swing by to pick up a deposit so you can go fabric shopping.
    Good luck on this.

    Ellen

  3. #3
    ccbear66's Avatar
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    Good luck with this.......it can be a touchy subject. I think that I would estimate how much the fabric would cost and call her up and say this is what it is going to cost you....do you still want me to do this for you?

  4. #4
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    Quilts are not free! I know the time and effort you put into your quilts. If you would really like to make them, then send your cousin an estimate of costs (fabric, labor, etc.). Treat it like a business. You really should be compensated for your talent and time. And of course the recipients will be thrilled with a gorgeous quilt, which is really priceless! I'm sure your cousin will understand. If not, then don't make them after you send the estimate of costs.

  5. #5
    live2teach's Avatar
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    If you don't mind making the quilts, call her back and tell her that you need her to go pick out and purchase the fabric and tell her how much to get and also the batting. Specify how much of each and tell her you don't mind to do it once she has the fabric. If you don't want it to seem like you're saying you need to pay. Just call and say I've been thinking, and I need you to go and pick out the fabrics needed and also get the batting for the quilts. Or something similar. But like Ellen said, once you do one small thing for a family member it seems they try to take advantage of you b/c you are family...not always but most of the time. Believe me, I know this from experience with my aunt...grr.

  6. #6
    Senior Member QuiltinLee's Avatar
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    Look at it this way, if you give her an estimate (put it on the high side if you really don't want to do this), she'll have to either put up or shut up. Put the ball in her court. If she really wants the quilts, then she'll pay for them. If all she wants is a freebie, then she won't mention it again to you. :roll:

    You're time and effort is worth her paying for them. Family or not, you have to realize that your hard work is worth being paid for.

    Lee

  7. #7

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    Well I would tell her that it cost $$ to make quilts. You do not mind putting in the labor but you need her to give you $$ for the fabric and batting. If she refuses then tell her it is impossible to do it. She needs to understand that the first one was a gift because you wished to give it to the person you made it for. That does not mean you have to make all quilts for free. Honesty is the best policy maybe she thinks you do this for everyone for free. Let her know how you feel.

  8. #8
    marieg's Avatar
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    I always find a good answer, is the cost of fabric plus the cost to have it quilted. Many times even the cost to have it quilted stops people.

  9. #9
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Maybe you could tell her that you do not feel comfortable picking out the fabrics. You could tell her the pattern you have in mind, give her a copy of it and let her know how much of each type of fabric would be needed. She could go to a quilt shop and they could help her with her selections if she does not think she could do it on her own.

  10. #10
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    Something similar happened to me at work. I made a baby quilt for a friend and later she asked if I'd be willing to make one for her sil. I told her I was so behind with my own projects I really didn't feel comfortable committing to something right then (which was mostly true :) ). She seemed to understand and that was that. No hard feelings and we're still good friends.

  11. #11
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    "I'm thrilled that you're so happy with my work. Of course, with the prices of everything going up the way they are, you understand that I'll have to charge you (insert dollar amount here) at least to cover my expenses. I'm sure you understand <big smile>" It'll either cure her of the freebie way of thinking or send her packing. Either way, you're not out any expense.

  12. #12
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I agree with what everyone says.

    I make quilts for other people out of the goodness of my heart. Before I left Hawaii, there were 4 people I worked with on the dinner cruise ship and I made them each a quilt. They didn't ask for it, but they knew I made them and were amazed at my handiwork. I did make one for a going away gift for another girl on board and she absolutely LOVED it. She cried and cried and everytime I get an e-mail from her, she tells me how much it has been keeping her warm. (she moved back to WA).
    The other 4 that I made, those people were amazed that I made them. They had no clue they were getting them....I just showed up a couple days before I left and handed them out. I do have to make 1 more for another girl there, since I did feel bad she didn't get one. We weren't that close, but she did confide in me alot when she needed "mom" time. I was more or less the "MOM" to alot of the younger kids that worked onboard.

    But anyway...
    Just come right out and tell her what is on your mind. If you don't, then hurt feelings will/can happen. Explain to her WHY you made the quilt for her and WHY you have to charge for the ones for other people.

  13. #13
    Super Member nanabirdmo's Avatar
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    thanks so much for your help everyone. i will break it to her gently that she will be buying the fabric.
    i really don't mind making them,(i do feel like it is good practice for me), and they are for other relatives of ours, but i just need all my "folks" to know that i'm not the "quilt fairy"

  14. #14
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I would tell her yardages + 25% cutting waste, then ask if she will be picking up the fabric herself, or going with you. I used to lose out a lot by using stash fabrics to fill in on commissioned pieces. You'll be happier in the long run if the costs (thread, needles, electricity are included) are covered.

    Whether you charge labor depends on your closeness to her. Would she reciprocate if you needed help moving, or cleaning out your garage? Do you owe her favor? If not, that needs to be factored in.

  15. #15
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbsstrawberry
    "I'm thrilled that you're so happy with my work. Of course, with the prices of everything going up the way they are, you understand that I'll have to charge you (insert dollar amount here) at least to cover my expenses. I'm sure you understand <big smile>" It'll either cure her of the freebie way of thinking or send her packing. Either way, you're not out any expense.
    This seems to be the nicest way to say it and it should make her realize just how expensive thnings really are now a days. Also makes her appreciate what she has.

  16. #16
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Just say no. Don't try to be polite, your going to get the same result. Your busy and tell her to find someone else. Rip off the bandage fast.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Connie1948's Avatar
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    Here is how approach people when they aks me to make them a quilt.
    I have them go trough my patterns and pick one out. I then write down the yardages and of the various fabrics needed. I then give them a list of my favorite fabric haunts on the internet and in the local area. I tell them when they have all the fabric needed to bring it to me. I do let then know that I will be charging between 50 and 200 to make top, quilt, and bind.
    Price depends on size and pattern. Quilting is edge to edge with my Little Gracie and the boards I have. If quilt is not paid for within 30 days of finishing.....it is mine to do with as I please. The shock of the price of quality fabric usually sends them packing. I love giving my quilts to people and do it all the time. But after a while you get tired of being taken advantage of.
    Connie

  18. #18
    Junior Member GMarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chele
    Quilts are not free! I know the time and effort you put into your quilts. If you would really like to make them, then send your cousin an estimate of costs (fabric, labor, etc.). Treat it like a business. You really should be compensated for your talent and time. And of course the recipients will be thrilled with a gorgeous quilt, which is really priceless! I'm sure your cousin will understand. If not, then don't make them after you send the estimate of costs.
    What is a good way to figure out what to charge? I have just begun to think about making quilts for sale other than gifts and home.

  19. #19

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    I made a quilt for a lady at work,she liked but when I told her how mcuh she just couldn't believe it. I did try to tell her before I made how mcuh it would be. Her reply was,you can get a kit at wall mart for 14 dollars. I said yes you can,but then you would have to hire someone to make it,plus it looks like a pot holder compared to the one I made. Then she agreed and wanted 2 more,but I made some excuse that I was just snowed under and didn't have time right now. I never did make her another one. I was afraid I wouldn't get my money. It took her a while to bring in money for the first one.

  20. #20
    reva's Avatar
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    I had someone ask me to make a quilt once. I told her it'd be $160. She said, "Man, you charge alot." She promptly went and asked someone else to do it. This kindhearted lady made it at her own cost - out of batiks that we all know cost more. She used some scraps from her own stuff, but did put out money and tons of time - really though it out and all... not a dime was given. It's a shame. This same lady asked me to make something else for her... I said, "So we are on the same page it will cost xxx amount of dollars." She said no thank you but I will take a _____ and mentioned another article and I gave her the amount of that - she says she'll pay it. I'm holding off making it just because I'm afraid I won't get the money... be firm about a price and stick to it!!

  21. #21
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I think this boils down to obligation. A woman I used to work with makes a point of telling others that I am going to make a king sized quilt for her. I have NEVER offered to do this job - it is beyond my capabilities in the tiny spot I live in. I know she likes my work, but trying to commit my time and resources is not her responsibility. It has caused a rift in our friendship.

    At one point, I probably would have made her a couch quilt as a present, but don't feel comfortable doing that, since she has already told all of our mutual friends a king-size fairy tale.

    She's also a batik lover. Does the price of the fabric correlate to the amount of chutzpah involved?

  22. #22
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    I think I would have her look at a site where quilts can be purchased like http://www.quiltsforsale.ca/ (no affiliation, just one I ran across) or for even more sticker shock have her look at a site that sells Amish quilts that are all hand done ($600.00 and up) - you can always go down, but never up!

    When I first gave Mom her embroidery machine, I prepared her for people coming out of the woodwork asking for stuff. I told her to have them go out and buy all the thread, stabilizer and the blanks. A few went shopping; Mom had no takers tho :lol: I joked with her that the over 70 crowd is a tough one! (She was 72 at the time.)

  23. #23
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    It is a real shame people don't want to pay but it is largely due to ignorance. I have a close friend who asked me to make her 3 kids quilts. She kind of expected me to say okay and that would be it. But instead I told her to go to a quilt shop near her (she lives in FL I live in SC) and pick out some fabric, buy it and send it or tell me which fabric or theme and send me the money just for cost. Well I did not think she would but she went to a quilt shop and then called me. She was shocked about the cost of the fabric and even mentioned needle cost. She said she would send me a couple of hundred dollars to start and then let her know how much more to send. My point is (after being so long winded) send them to a quilt shop even if it means you find the shop for them (just do a phone book check on line), and tell them the same I told my friend. They learn the real cost of something of quality that is going to last more then their lifetime. If they mention Walmart send them there, but point out they get what they pay for (once n a while Walmart has nice fabric) when it comes to fabric and Walmart is limited in the choices of fabric. Then if that does not do the trick, disown them as a family member and go on your way. :lol: (just kidding, hmm kind of)

  24. #24
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Nanabird,
    I'm finishing up a quilt for a wedding gift and I know I'm going to have some requests for quilts. I plan to nicely say that I'm flattered they would pick me to make their quilts, but that I don't have time to make quilts to sell since I have so many UFOs of my own to finish. If they persist, I'll refer them to our local quilt shop owner who can put them in touch with someone who makes quilts to sell.

    Please let us know how you decide to resolve this. I think we've all been in the same circumstance.

  25. #25
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I made a quilt for a friend and told her she had to pay for the backing and the batting the rest was a thank you for things she had done for me. She loved the quilt and stated "I feel bad only giving you money for the backing and batting' but didn't offer me any more. ( this was fine with me for this one quilt.) so state your price UP FRONT. If you really enjoy making them at least get the money for the fabric and the batting, let her know it is a one time deal or you will be taken advantage of. And Taking her fabric shopping with you should help her realize they don't come cheap!

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