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Thread: How long does it take to make a quilt?

  1. #1
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    How long does it take to make a quilt?

    I have been asked to estimate the time I spend making a charity quilt - for their records, not mine. The quilts I donate are about 60 x 70 inches, tops are pieced blocks (not simple large block patterns), I quilt on my domestic machine and machine bind. Such a tricky question. I don't really want to spend more time logging my time, and I want to be fair. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    LOL my last 62 by 60 has taken 5 years.

  3. #3
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    The only way to truly know is to log your time. I had to start doing that for longarming because I was grossly under-estimating how long it took me. So I simply put a blank piece of paper on my bulletin board. As soon as I walk in the room I write the date and the time. As soon as I stop I write the time. Now it is habit and it takes less than a second to do it (I make sure to keep a pencil or pen right there as well). You could time yourself for one block start to finish. Even if you chain-stitch several blocks at a time, by clocking how long it takes to make one from the moment you make your first cut until you take your last seam. Then multiply that by how many blocks are in the quilt. But then you have to log your time for assembling the quilt, quilting it and binding it. Everyone works at different speeds so the only way you will get a fair estimate of your time is to take the additional few seconds at the start and end of every sewing session by writing down the start time and finish time. Try keeping a small notebook right next to your sewing machine.
    You will be surprised at how quickly it becomes habit and that it only takes a second to jot it down. I suspect you will be very surprised to see how much time it really does take. Also, if you are a prewasher, don't forget the time and effort to prewash and prep your fabric.

  4. #4
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    Problem is....you are the only one who knows how long you spend making a quilt. Each of us are different in the time spent. You must have a rough idea, just give them that number.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    As it happens, I did track the time of one quilt years ago. It was 66 x 66 and took 77 hours. It was only tied and not quilted. If you need to track the length of time for the quilting. How about going for one hour and then seeing how much got done. Then you can do some math to see what it would take for the whole thing.

    I just started a new quilt a few days ago, and am amazed how long it took me to cut all the pieces. Wow!
    Last edited by Boston1954; 01-05-2018 at 07:44 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member AVFD215's Avatar
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    I have done queen size quilt tops in a weekend (very easy pattern) and one took me one in over 40 hours.
    This was just the fabric purchase, cutting, and piecing. The quilting (long arm) takes me 3 to 8 hours, depending on the design. The binding, I have no idea how long that takes me.
    Mike

  7. #7
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freckles48 View Post
    LOL my last 62 by 60 has taken 5 years.
    You sound a lot like me
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have donated a lot of quilts and I have no idea how long it takes. No one has ever asked me and I have not thought to keep track. Since all I want to do for the rest of my life is make quilts it really doesn't matter.
    Another Phyllis
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  9. #9
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    We're all so different I wouldn't have any idea unless I tracked it. Also depends on the complexity of the project.

  10. #10
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I did time myself once, and it took 40 hours. I quilt my own on my domestic, usually SITD. I have used that number any time anyone asked. It was so long ago that I don't remember if that counted fabric selection and cutting though. I'd just tell them 40 hours. That is one work week.

    Dina

  11. #11
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    I've never tracked hours but I'm typically aware of start and end dates...So if you know how many hours you typically spend sewing each day, that may help determine an average per quilt. It would be interesting to figure out tho....
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  12. #12
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    A lot of charities require they keep track of donor hours. Don't sweat it. If you did not log the hours, just give them your best estimate. Only you can do that for your donation.

  13. #13
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    I just made a 62 x 68 quilt that I thought I had to mid January to finish. I found out Christmas day it was needed this weekend. I started on the 26th with washing, ironing, starching, cutting, piecing, (three colors) bandaging my finger, and fixing my machine, quilting it, SITD, and finished hand binding it yesterday. 7 days...took NY eve and day off...about 10 - 12 hours a day. Everything that could go wrong did! I'm pleased with it, but not eager to repeat it. Probably 75 - 80 hours.

  14. #14
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    Do you include time spent ripping out?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    The only way to truly know is to log your time. I had to start doing that for longarming because I was grossly under-estimating how long it took me. So I simply put a blank piece of paper on my bulletin board. As soon as I walk in the room I write the date and the time. As soon as I stop I write the time. Now it is habit and it takes less than a second to do it (I make sure to keep a pencil or pen right there as well). You could time yourself for one block start to finish. Even if you chain-stitch several blocks at a time, by clocking how long it takes to make one from the moment you make your first cut until you take your last seam. Then multiply that by how many blocks are in the quilt. But then you have to log your time for assembling the quilt, quilting it and binding it. Everyone works at different speeds so the only way you will get a fair estimate of your time is to take the additional few seconds at the start and end of every sewing session by writing down the start time and finish time. Try keeping a small notebook right next to your sewing machine.
    You will be surprised at how quickly it becomes habit and that it only takes a second to jot it down. I suspect you will be very surprised to see how much time it really does take. Also, if you are a prewasher, don't forget the time and effort to prewash and prep your fabric.
    This is a great habit to get into - think I will try it.

  16. #16
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    I do most of my piecing by hand, whenever I can find the time, so it takes me waaay longer to make a quilt, than if I used my sewing machine. In general, it takes me 2-3 months to put it together. That is only the piecing. I did not include any amount of time cutting, washing, pressing, or getting it quilted.

  17. #17
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    It depends how long you leave it stuffed in the closet ��

  18. #18
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    It took me 16 hours to piece a Lone Star quilt that is 50 inches square. It was a class and we did not use strip piecing.

    Now if I did strip piecing and was not learning as I went I could make the top faster.

    Shopping for fabric (stash and new) was about another hour. Fabric prep another hour (washing, ironing, starching).

    I will add a couple more borders to make it larger, which with machine set up etc, will take at least an hour.

    Quilting, I need to buy the backing, will take at least 5 hours. A couple hours for binding.

    Fabric purchase and prep 2 hours
    Cutting and piecing 16 hours
    Borders to make quilt larger 1 hour
    Quilting and binding 7 hours.

    Total for a lap sized quilt 26 hours.

    With strip piecing now that I am more experienced with the pattern, I could probably shave off 8 hours, but the Y seams are tricky and need extra attention.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  19. #19
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, I think that's what I'll do.

  20. #20
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    It takes me 4 to 5 day , off and on. you would have to see how much time you spend each
    time you go to work on it .

    Good Luck

  21. #21
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    I only kept track of my time on one quilt I made as a wedding gift --a king sized sampler that had dozens of flowers appliqued onto it. At the time, I could not afford to send it out to be long-armed, so I quilted it by hand. In the end, I spent over 500 hours on it.

    After that, I decided to never again keep track of the time I spend quilting, and instead just enjoy the process.

  22. #22
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    It's worth making the effort to document your time because you will most likely underestimate otherwise. You are used to thinking of it as something you do for fun, and the time goes quickly when you're not looking. When I was in a guild we were also required to keep track of our time because to be designated as a charitable organization they have to be able to document what the contributions are. If you don't report accurately, you are giving the group less credit than they deserve. It was a difficult habit to form, but keep a note paper taped over the power switch and a pen next to your machine and write down the time when you power up and power off. Put another notepad by the cutting table - you can consolidate the notes later. Time spent shopping you might be able to track by looking at the time on your receipt, if you know when you got to the store. Cutting and so on are all a valuable part of your donation and deserve to be noted. If you use a smartphone, you can keep notes on it, and use the stopwatch function so that you can pause it while you answer the phone or have lunch or whatever. Or set the countdown timer to 1 hour, jot down a tick mark when it goes off and start it over after you take a bit of a break.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
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  23. #23
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    My wife has been working on a quilt for me over 45 years, it is going to be nice when she gets it done lol.
    Being it has taken so long I started making my own quilts now and I have made 2 Twin size and working on a King now.
    Logging time on a quilt to me is like asking how long do you fish for when you go fishing?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mengler View Post
    It depends how long you leave it stuffed in the closet ��
    There is that.... snicker
    GrannyLady - Having too much fun dressing my grandaughters.

  25. #25
    Super Member topper1's Avatar
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    My quilts timing is when I finish it...lol...our time. Cannot be priced by money but love of our craft......but you will figure it out......don't underestimate .....hugs
    Be kind today......

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