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Thread: How do you know how much to charge someone to make a quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member AngieS's Avatar
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    I have a lady that is wanting me to make her a full/queen or even a twin size quilt with Lady Bugs on it. I have the pattern but now, how do I go about telling her how much it will cost? I've never done this before.

    Any help would be great.

  2. #2
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    I don't know what to tell you to charge the lady to make the quilt. You've got the expense of the materials (fabric, thread, batting) and your own time and the machine time. Whatever you do, from what I have read on here, tell her up front what the cost will before doing anything, and get a deposit. Most folks just don't realize how much it really costs to make a quilt!

  3. #3
    Super Member AngieS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbud2
    I don't know what to tell you to charge the lady to make the quilt. You've got the expense of the materials (fabric, thread, batting) and your own time and the machine time. Whatever you do, from what I have read on here, tell her up front what the cost will before doing anything, and get a deposit. Most folks just don't realize how much it really costs to make a quilt!
    I agree. That's why I was wondering and wanting to ask you all on here. Also, I don't FMQ yet either. So, if she wanted it from me it would be SID or someone else would have to do it.

    Anyone else intersted in doing a quilt for someone? LOL

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Time plus materials.

  5. #5
    Super Member Murphy's Avatar
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    $300-500 is not unusual and not unreasonable.

  6. #6
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    Have her buy the fabric after you've decided how much, but I'd suggest a little bit over. Maybe enough for a pair of pillow cases, just in case.

    The others here know more about prices, but do make sure she has the amount firmly agreed to, maybe even with a contract both of you sign. Be sure to add everything to it, the folks here on this forum will have lots of ideas on that.

  7. #7
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    I do everything by hand. I double the price of the materials and add $10.00 per hour for the actual stitching and quilting. That way if it takes longer than I thought it would, it is covered. By all means get a hefty deposit. No everyone likes the same patterns and it is sometimes harder to sell one pattern than others. Best of luck...

  8. #8
    Super Member AngieS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewyscrewy
    3 times the cost of all materials/longarming and 10% for your time if you dont feel that is right bump up your time to 25%. This is just my own humble OPINION
    How much does a normal longarm charge for quilting though?

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I know to charge a whole lot. That way they go away and leave me alone!!

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I have found this article to be very helpful:

    http://www.bryerpatch.com/faq/marketing.htm

    I've only been commissioned to make one quilt, and even though my customer said she'd pay me, I didn't make any money on the deal. By the time she reimbursed me for fabric, backing, batting, and the extra embroidery she decided she wanted AFTER we had discussed price, we were at a price that I think she felt was pretty high. Since she was a friend, I decided to let it go, but I'm much wiser now.

    I've used the above link to determine how much my quilts would cost to replace, then advised the quilt recipient to insure it for that amount. They have the choice of insuring it or not, but it subtly makes the point that they should take care of that quilt and not use it as a dog bed or car cover. Ha.

  11. #11
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I generally charge for price of materials, then twice that for the labor. If it's a really difficult pattern, you might want to add on more. So, $100, plus $200 for total of $300 for a double bed size. About $350 for queen, etc. That's about the average price.

  12. #12
    Super Member Carron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    I know to charge a whole lot. That way they go away and leave me alone!!
    Too funny Scissor Queen!

  13. #13

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    For a simple pattern, I suggest the price of the material (backing, batting, thread too) and double it. If the quilting is super custom (feathering, line work, etc) I triple the cost of the material. It goes up if the pattern is original or more intricate. It truly ends up being around $500 for a simple, slightly custom (flowers/butterflies), full-size quilt. I don't think people realize what an expensive habit this is! :)

  14. #14
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    I think it's a hard question to answer. I'm working on a quilt for someone right now and I always have a hard time coming up with a figure. So now I do an estimate and give that to the person to decide if they want it done or not. I figure the cost of materials and then the number of hours of labor. I charge $10 an hour. I also give a range on both, then give the lowest and highest costs to them so they will have an idea of what I'm basing my total on. For the t-shirt quilt I'm doing now I estimated between $250 and 350. The quilt will measure 78 X 85 and is home machine quilted.
    Good luck with your project.

  15. #15

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    Sorry, second thought of advice.
    The worst thing you can do is sell yourself short! I had a friend that agreed to HAND BIND a 120"x120" quilt for $20!!! She would have given them a DEAL charging $100! She didn't know the person, so it took the "friend" element out of it. It's hard knowing what to charge a friend (if this woman is). If she is, explain that quilts are expensive and ask what she feels is reasonable and work from there until you're both happy. Regardless, deposits are non-negotiable!

  16. #16
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    I tell people "I'll help you make the quilt yourself. Here's the pattern, go to the fabric store and buy all these supplies and get back with me for quilting lessons."

    I refuse to make quilts for people. It sucks the joy out of quilting and most of the time the person asking doesn't understand the time and materials that go into a quilt.

  17. #17
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    It is a hard question...a lot would depend on the kind of design/pattern you are making. $10.00 per hour minimum plus the materials and if you are having someone else do the quilting, the price of that in addition. I would definitely have the customer buy the materials up front.
    I am making a quilt for someone, because he has done my taxes for the last several years at no cost, and I want to do something in return. He said he is probably getting the better deal. He may be right. I will be getting together with his wife to decide on a pattern. I plan on bringing an assortment of patterns that are within the realm of what I am willing to do, nothing too difficult, but nothing too basic either. Then we will go shopping for fabric, and depending on how much that costs, they may help cover the cost of that. We also need to decide on a size, and as long as it is a size I can machine quilt, I will do it as part of the deal, but if it gets too big, and needs to be sent out to be quilted, again, they will pay for that.
    I want to do it, so that makes it ok, as I feel very fortunate to have had the help with the taxes.

  18. #18
    Kaz
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    Not that I have ever done quilting for anyone but I have done plenty of sewing for others. One thing I found out quickly is never hand the goods over until they have paid in full. Second thing was that most people do not appreciate how much time you put in to any project and are usually shocked when you give a price and I did not charge high prices!! Someone objected to paying my price for a tutu and when I wouldn't budge on price (it was a steal), they had to go somewhere else and ended up paying the equivalent of $120 more than I was charging :)

  19. #19
    Senior Member trish b's Avatar
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    Please do not sell yourself short. Sewing is a skill and art, people always pay well for art and skilled work. Think how much it costs to buy clothing. I always charged $150. for a square dance dress 10 years ago. Quilts should go for a minimum of $500. for a twin and up from there. $15. to $20 an hour and always include the planning and consulting time. Long arm quilters charge form $100. to $500. or more, for their time and expertice. Your time and experience are just as valuable. Good Luck and have fun.

  20. #20
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I only do things for friends, or friends of friends, and it is usually for a family memeber who passed away. I have 2 quilts that I will be getting Saturday morning that the piecing is started but grandma passed away before she could finish them. One is a Sun Bonnet Sue, and the other one has something to do with butterflies (havent seen them yet). I will charge her for fabric if I need to buy anything (always keep the receipts) and we will discuss how much money for my time. I don't expect much because people won't pay much. I also just quilted one on my long arm and the lady gave me a cute quilt hanging shelf.

    I do it to help people get quilts finished, or to save a memory. I'm not in it for the money so much as to help out and also finish quilts that were started.

    It would be nice to get $100 in addition to supply costs, but I really don't care. Since gas is so high i cant buy much fabric now and it allows me to still do new projects. :)

  21. #21
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy
    $300-500 is not unusual and not unreasonable.
    the one I'm working on now is an oversized queen and I have $200 just in the top - by the time I make it a quilt it will cost me around $350 - and that's IF I quilt it myself. Granted, I have another large queen quilt I'm working on that I have $40 into the top.

    As for what to charge... depends on how much you want to make the quilt... I have a friend I've agreed to make a quilt for as long as she brings me all the materials (and starbucks and chocolate are on the supply listl!!)

  22. #22
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    I also think it depends a bit on who the person is you are making it for (friend, family or stanger ) and where you happen to live. At least that's how I feel.

  23. #23
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Three times what it cost to make it - and that still doesn't pay for the labour.

  24. #24
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    A friend asked me how much I would charge to make a quilt for her granddaughter like one I made for my granddaughter. I told her she was my friend, and I wouldn't know what to charge her, but that I love getting pedicures and can't afford them now since I'm out of work. So gift cards for that or one from Jo-Anns would work for me.
    I told her I would use as much fabric from my stash as I could to keep the cost down. I had her order the backing fabric and I only had to buy a little yardage. She'll reimburse me for the that, plus batting.
    I decided to keep a log of the hours I put into this quilt. The top is done and pinned, ready for SID quilting. So far, I have 43.5 hours into it. I never realized how long it takes. She is a dear friend and will appreciate it. I'm sure she'll pay me with many gift cards.

  25. #25
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    Years ago the labor was always double the material costs, but I believe with inflation that method has gone out the window. I believe minimum wage is $8.00 or more dollars an hour now and you are not doing minimum wage work when you make a quilt.

    But I would definitely make sure she does the following-

    1. Furnishes more than enough material to complete the quilt or if she wants you to furnish the material have her advance the cost of the material, give her copies of the reciepts if she complains about the cost.
    2. Gives you a healthy down payment for your labor and if you send it out to be quilted have her be in charge of that and responsible for those charges. (Don't want to have it quilted and then have her complain about the way it is quilted.)
    3. If she doesn't like the approximate price you are quoting for materials and labor walk away and let her find someone else.

    Good luck with what you decide, but definitely don't let yourself be left holding the bag for time and materials to make a quilt that she may decide is more than she wants to spend.

    Longarm

    Longarm

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