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Thread: I just don't get it!

  1. #26
    Senior Member wolf3349's Avatar
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    I do most of my quilts for my family for nothing. They ALL have at least 2 or 3 each. I have sold a few quilts, and when it is fore a friend--I don,t charge for labor--just the material cost. I have one getting ready to be quilted for someone--It,s queen size. He is paying $300.00 for it . Also wanted matching pillow cases to go with it.
    I enjoy quilting --so it gives me something to do to keep me out of trouble(lol).

  2. #27
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    I dont sell my quilts, I get asked a whole lot about them though. I generally start off by saying "anything bigger than a bread basket you can guarantee the materials cost is between $150-$300 and then I consider my labor to be skilled labor which goes for about $20/hr, most quilts will start at 20hrs up to 80hrs to complete"

    They usually get a glazed look on their face, I tell them if I am putting any more than 2-3hrs into something, I am going to use top shelf materials otherwise it is a waste. And my time is important. With that being said, I dont get any requests for my quilts. I dont mind at all.

    I have noticed there are 2 types of people who look for hand crafted items. Those that value the work/skill put into a hand crafted item and understand the the value assigned. Then there are those who have the what I call "walmart" mentality, they consider hand crafted items to be cheaper than store bought.

  3. #28
    Senior Member fromzstore's Avatar
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    people that dont quilt do not realize how much work goes into one

  4. #29
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    I don't know all those people come up with their prices, but here's how I come up with mine. I figure up about how much the fabric would cost to replace what I used(whether I already had it or whether I bought it for that quilt), including the thread,rotary blade if I had to change it out,and don't forget the backing and batting. Then I double that amount and pay myself $10 an hour for the labor.If you only charge enough to cover materials, you will get very tired of doing all that beautiful quilt work for nothing. And you can use your profit to buy fabric for more quilts.After about the first 5 quilts I never had to use my personal money for quilt supplies again.

  5. #30
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    interesting thread. I often asked the same question. If I did sell my "hand quilted" items on etsy. I would not give them away.

  6. #31
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    I think every one quilts for a different reason. To some it is a business and for others it is a hobby. If you want to be sucessful in selling your quilts you have to know all about marketing your product. One of the girls here hit the nail right on the head.....Do the best job you can possibly do and market to your own clientele that you have developed through the excelance of the product that you have put out there. Decide what your product is worth to you, and do not compromise on it. If it is really wonderful, it will sell and then the sold item will sell again for you. It is like a growing plant, but you do have to water it and take care of it. Do not worry about what other people are selling their product for. If your product isn't selling, ask the buyer what they are looking for. Keep up with the times. Know what quilt buyers want now and put it out there. I sell to a select group of people I have come to know over the years and I do not advertise to the public. I have never worked for cheap and have never needed more work. Trust me..this is the way to go!

  7. #32
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    I know what you mean. I have non quilting friends that think it's ridiculous to pay $1000 for a hand appliqued and hand quilted quilt yet they have no idea of the hours it takes to do one. I have seen the same quilts sell for up to $3200 in a quilt shop so it can be either way.

  8. #33
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    I made a quilt for my brother for Christmas and had to mail it to him. When I was asked if I wanted to insure it, I said yes, then they asked for the amount. How do you value something that is really priceless (it is one of a kind, just for him). I insured it for $500, which is about the cost of fabric and quilting. I could not see insuring it for more, as I would not know how to value my time. Luckily, he got it without a problem and loves it.

  9. #34
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    Quilting is an art! Look at what you have to pay for some art that doesn't even take the talent or time or material of quilting.

    I have to agree if you would put an amount on hours put into it, the cost of fabric people that don't quilt would not pay. That would include shopping for the material which sometimes take a lot of time.

  10. #35
    Senior Member katieranch's Avatar
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    I had never been on etsy, so I checked it out after your post...Crazy, some of the quilt prices do not seem to cover the price of material, alone. One of my cousins asked me if I would make her a quilt, I told her how much fabric it would take and for her to buy it and send it to me and I would charge a nominal fee to piece and quilt it...have not heard from her again!
    One more material Girl~

  11. #36
    Super Member KathyKat's Avatar
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    I make and sell smaller items that I want to make for the fun of it. Mostly I used my fabric and batting scraps but
    I do estimate the cost of those when i set a price because I did pay for them once. The shop I take them to is a small town very nice consignment shop where the owner artfully displays the antiques and collectibles along with hand made items. She charges 30% of sale price for her consignment fee. My prices aren't set too high because they wouldn't sell otherwise and I just need to get the cost of materials back and some extra for buying more fabric or tools for me. And I have gotten requests from customers who have bought my things to make them something else. A table runner of 16x32" costs me about $8-10(all my fabric and batting is bought for 30-40% off) and I sell for $25. So after commission I take away $17.50 which I'm happy with. It's not that I don't value my time, it's that I do value doing what I'm passionate about and that's sewing and creating beautiful things during my retirement. And I make too many to give all of them as gifts or keep for myself so some are donated for raffles and the rest go to be sold.
    Kathleen, a lass with a bit of the Irish in her blood and a whole lot of Irish in her heart

  12. #37
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    One of my first quilts was a wall-handing for DH...24 x 36 ish...done in bargello style. His co-worker said she wanted one & asked what I would charge to make one for her. Since I really didn't want to make another - at that time - I gave a figure of $200, thinking that would make her stop asking. Nope! She kept on asking when I said $600. Would I have sold it for that much? Doubt it...just didn't want to make another THEN! Especially when I found out she is the one who took DH's quilt down and used it for a table cover at an office party - he was on vacation...spilled coffee on it and then washed it. All this without telling him what had happened! I wasn't about to make her a quilt! grrrr!!! Feel better now. I think I handled her request quite nicely, without telling her I really felt!

  13. #38
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    It just doesn't add up to me either!

  14. #39
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katieranch View Post
    I had never been on etsy, so I checked it out after your post...Crazy, some of the quilt prices do not seem to cover the price of material, alone. One of my cousins asked me if I would make her a quilt, I told her how much fabric it would take and for her to buy it and send it to me and I would charge a nominal fee to piece and quilt it...have not heard from her again!
    I've wondered about this myself and what I think is that these quilts could be made with Walmart type fabric (not quilt shop quality fabric). Please don't attack me fellow quilters for saying Walmart fabric is cheap but I'm mainly referring to the price, not the quality.

    However, I would never use Walmart fabric for a quilt I plan to sell unless the buyer knows where the fabric is coming from. If they truly wanted me to make one for a certain, inexpensive price, I let them know I "could" use less-quality fabric but it wouldn't hold up for many years. I also let buyers know how much fabric is per yard which usually shocks them right away.

    My simple rule when approached for a quilt......minimum of $500 depending on size and type of quilt they want. That usually sends the potential buyer running. If their still interested, then we can "talk".

    I've done several memory quilts (mostly lap size) for around $200-$300 and they supply the fabrics from the loved one. These seem to be the most popular.

    Bottomline.....don't sell ourselves short.
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie View Post
    When you can buy a whole quilt set for $29, its no wonder people think they are cheap to make.
    I remember buying a couple of these quilts and for the price they are not bad. The quilting is awful and sparce though. They even come with shams.
    Bought them before I started quilting.
    I call them slave labor quilts.
    I totally agree with you on that. It's the Walmart Effect on American consumerism. Low cost over quality.
    A quilt from the store that is made in China looks and feels nothing like a real quilt. Perhaps many people have never really felt or seen a real quilt and just assume that all are the same.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by katieranch View Post
    I had never been on etsy, so I checked it out after your post...Crazy, some of the quilt prices do not seem to cover the price of material, alone. One of my cousins asked me if I would make her a quilt, I told her how much fabric it would take and for her to buy it and send it to me and I would charge a nominal fee to piece and quilt it...have not heard from her again!
    Katieranch, I agree with you! Several years ago I had made a Turning Twenty quilt top in beautiful warm, bright colors and took it to work for sort of show and tell. One of the staff at that time really liked it and said she wanted me to make on for her in most of the same colors. I had a feeling she expected me to foot the whole bill and just do one for her, but I told her she should go and pick out the fat quarters (20) in the colors SHE wanted and I would make the quilt for her. You guessed it...she never mentioned it again!
    When someone mentions quilting, I go to pieces!

  17. #42
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    Speaking up for 'Walmart type fabric":

    I am making a quilt for my grand daughter that uses only 3 fabrics. 2 were bought at Walmart, one at a LQS for full (high) price. The 'Walmart fabrics' are wonderful to work with; the LQS fabric is constantly fraying (have lost as much as 1/4 inch of fabric to fraying AFTER cutting!!!) and has thread pulls in it after sewing.

    I really wish it was just 1/2 as good quality as the 2 "Walmart fabrics"!

  18. #43
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I've had people ask me how much to make them a quilt and I've usually told them I only do it for friends and family. If they ask again I tell them pricing would start at $350 for a small one. No takers yet!
    Just last weekend I took a tote as a donation for a fund raiser and was asked to put a value on it. I was mentally debating how much to put down so asked the other person who was taking something at the same time what he thought i should say. He said "oh, i guess $10 or $15". Since it had been made rather quickly and was not quilted or pieced, just drapery fabric (which i had gotten inexpensively) lined with two patch pockets on the lining, I decided to put $30, even though I felt like it could have been priced higher. Did not find out how much it went for in the bidding. He was happy that his wife's cookies went for $8 a tin.

  19. #44
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanny's dollface View Post
    Rose Marie makes a good point. a lot of people compare price points of store versus hand made quilts. Recently, someone asked my husband if I would make a baby quilt. I researched on etsy and saw that pricing was around $145 for a rag quilt. I sent my husband with the print out of the quilt and price and said I would make her one for $75. She has never brought up the subject with my husband. Next time, I will say $145! LOL
    Yea, a soon to be grandma/friend of mine asked me about making a baby quilt for her. After I emailed her about patterns, costs involved, etc, she never replied back either way. Nuff said. And, i never mentioned "labor" costs. I would have pieced a top for her but the long arm charges and materials were on her dime, not mine!


    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  20. #45
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    Well if you look at the prices for longarm quilting you can see where the the price could get very high, but I agree $1200 t0 $1400 is excessive. I do not think $400 for queen or $500 for king is excessive. By the time you buy quality fabrics, spend hours of your time and pay for quilting if you don't quilt yourself it is not unreasonable. Unfortunately I can't find people who want to pay that much for a quilt when they can buy a slave labor quilt cheaper than a comforter. They just do not understand the difference in quality. And most of the people who do are quilters themselves. I give away most of my quilts as gifts and hope the people I give them to understand what I am giving is not just a fabric but a labor of love.

  21. #46
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    I must admit, a few months ago, I would have thought paying more than $100 or so for a quilt was crazy. That's because I'd never shopped for good-quality fabric. Or batting. Or anything else. I just had no idea how much the materials cost, let alone the cost of labor.

    Even now, as I dip my foot into this craft, I keep getting sticker shock. I've been scouring thrift stores and my linen closet for useable fabrics, because I just can't afford to buy everything new.

  22. #47
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicki I View Post
    Well if you look at the prices for longarm quilting you can see where the the price could get very high, but I agree $1200 t0 $1400 is excessive. I do not think $400 for queen or $500 for king is excessive. By the time you buy quality fabrics, spend hours of your time and pay for quilting if you don't quilt yourself it is not unreasonable. Unfortunately I can't find people who want to pay that much for a quilt when they can buy a slave labor quilt cheaper than a comforter. They just do not understand the difference in quality. And most of the people who do are quilters themselves. I give away most of my quilts as gifts and hope the people I give them to understand what I am giving is not just a fabric but a labor of love.
    When I made my son's quilt (my avatar), it's approx. queen sized so with all LQS fabrics (including backing), batting, a couple classes to learn a few new techniques, and LA cost, it was close to $400. This was not including my time to design the quilt or put it together. This was definitely a labor of love and my son loves it and appreciates the work involved. That works for me.

    I didn't get into quilting to have a business but won't turn down commissioned work if it's worth my time.
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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  23. #48
    Senior Member rrhaigh's Avatar
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    I have wondered the same thing myself - a recent experience I just had made be go and look on Etsy to see what custom made quilts sold for. Hmmmm

    I just made a king size quilt for a friend of a family member. She saw the quilts I had made for my family member and really like them. She said she would pay me to make her one. We didn't discuss how much, but I did explain how much time it took to cut the fabric, piece it together, quilt it and bind it. Also, before I started I had her pick a pattern. and told her how much the material would cost if she used quilt shop quality fabric. That was about $300 just for the fabric, plus batting. I also told her it would cost over $140 to have someone quilt it if she wanted it done professionally as I am a beginner on my mid arm. Of course she wanted me to quilt it. I also made pillowcases to match, at her request. Before I purchased anything for the quilt I would get her approval first on the cost. When it was finished she just gave me the money to cover the cost of all the materials - Nothing else. I was shocked since she said she would pay me to make it for her - I would have been happy with just $50 . Perhaps when she said that she would pay me, she only meant for the material? I didn't get that impression. But I didn't expect $0 for my labor. I must say also that it was difficult for me to make a quilt for someone I didn't know. I didn't like the pattern they picked or the material. So, I didn't get as much enjoyment out of it as when I make one where I selected the pattern and fabric and knowing the tastes of the person I am making it for. Lesson learned!!! It was my own fault for not speaking up in the beginning. I just know I wouldn't ask someone I don't really know to do something for me and not give them anything for their time. I never expected a lot - I know people don't realize the labor that goes into quilts. So, I told myself just enjoy the fact that someone has a nice quilt to enjoy that otherwise would not have been able to have one. I recently retired, so I will just consider it a gift of my time, but learn from it.

    I have only made quilts for my family members and of course those were given as gifts of love. I have only been quilting for about 4 years and I haven't run out of family members yet!. I have yet to make one for myself - like the cobblers kids have no shoes, this quilter has no quilts LOL. I keep putting mine off because of the joy I get from giving!
    Robin
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    Southern California

  24. #49
    Senior Member rrhaigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom-6 View Post
    I've had people ask me how much to make them a quilt and I've usually told them I only do it for friends and family. If they ask again I tell them pricing would start at $350 for a small one. No takers yet!
    Just last weekend I took a tote as a donation for a fund raiser and was asked to put a value on it. I was mentally debating how much to put down so asked the other person who was taking something at the same time what he thought i should say. He said "oh, i guess $10 or $15". Since it had been made rather quickly and was not quilted or pieced, just drapery fabric (which i had gotten inexpensively) lined with two patch pockets on the lining, I decided to put $30, even though I felt like it could have been priced higher. Did not find out how much it went for in the bidding. He was happy that his wife's cookies went for $8 a tin.
    I will remember this the next time someone asks me to make a quilt that is not a friend or family member!
    Robin
    robinsquiltingroom.blogspot.com
    Southern California

  25. #50
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    When quilts are that cheap it makes you wonder where they got the fabric, will it hold up if/when washed. What did they use for batting? I only use quality fabric in my quilts. Backing can cost about $90.00. Having it quilted can be over $200.00. Just don't do it for anyone else. Would rather give my quilts to family - they understand what went into it.

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