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Thread: How do you charge to make commissioned quilts?

  1. #1
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    How do you charge to make commissioned quilts?

    I've been approached by a couple of people to make quilts for them. I would enjoy doing that sporadically I think.
    However, my quandry is I have no clue how much to charge.
    I would be making the quilt tops and they would go to the LAQ for quilting and back to me for binding. I know exactly what I charge to work on computers and or websites but I'm one lost goose on trying to come up with this.
    Obviously they cover the actual costs of fabric, supplies, LAQ but how do YOU charge when commissioned?
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Member jeemmerling621's Avatar
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    I rarely do commissioned quilts because I've been told I charge too much when in reality I work for less than half of minimum wage. So once I break it down for them then they change their tune . But I calculate approx how many hours I will be spending on the quilt and multiply that by how much I work per hour. So let's say I spend 55 hours on a quilt and I multiply that by 2.50 and get 137.50 on top of materials and quilting.

    Hope this helps. Deciding how much to charge per hour is total personal preference. I, personally, am not in it for the money but for the process and what I get out of it.

  3. #3
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    you will get lots of answers most of them will be "I charge enough that they don't want it done"...for many reasons, it is NOT something that is fun to do!

    IF you think you still want to do this, it is the actual cost of all materials, even if you don't use all of thread, etc..you charge what it cost you to buy them. INclude rotary blade, machine needles, etc. Then you charge an hourly amount for everything, washing, ironing, cutting, sewing, binding...keep a record book and every moment you spend working on this gets written down. DO a trial run on a quilt you are making right now....then look at the total and ask yourself this...would YOU pay that much for a quilt? IF the answer is NO, then you will know not to take on this job!

    The last quilt I was asked to commission was a King size double wedding ring, for materials, supplies, quilting, and labor the BARE figure was $1,200.00! And that paying myself $10 per hour! THe LAQ was going to make more than I was! Needless to say, the person decided this was not the wedding gift she wanted to give her daughter!

    IF you do decide you just have to take this on, remember you also have to charge and PAY taxes on it. YOu must get 50% up front, non-refundable once the fabrics are ordered! This is THE most important thing or you will get burned when they cancel the wedding, change the color theme in nursery, you name it......

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    That's a good answer Jacquie. I paint in watercolors and I don't even try to sell.

  5. #5
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    I have the customer buy the fabric, batting and thread. I estimate the number of hours it will take me. Then I work for $8.00 per hour and keep track of my time and deliver a time sheet to them showing what day I worked on it, the number of hours I worked and what was accomplished. Because they bought the fabric and stuff up front and agreed to an estimate of hours, they know what they are getting into. The detailed time sheet shows them I was not "padding" the bill and while I know that $8.00 per hour isn't a huge amount, it's sufficient for me. I'm retired with a good income and enjoy quilting. This way I get a small income for doing what I already enjoy.

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