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Thread: Need to LISTEN!

  1. #1
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    Need to LISTEN!

    So, I was giving a quilting class and someone mentioned that I had a longarm. One lady asked me how much would I make a twin size quilt for her..since have not made many for others I said $150. She said ok, I want bright colors.
    So I made it this weekend, I actually finish binding it on the way to church this morning.(my husband was to be preaching there this morning). She loved it! so what is the problem???

    She wanted two (2) the same, natually.. She said make another just like this..well I had used my stash to make that one and I have about 1/4 yard of each fabric. I had used Moda Marbles, RJR, Free Spriit and other quality fabrics that I had purchased about 7 -10 years ago when they were $7-9 but now I have to try to find quality fabrics at prices I can afford to make two the same...

    So now I have ONE twin that I will have to try and sell or maybe just donate..

    I should have listened and taken a written, signed order.

  2. #2
    Member Pegasus's Avatar
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    So she rejected the first quilt and now wants two new ones? I would give her a new quote (and require a deposit before work begins) that considers the price of the fabric + your labor. Quilting cotton now is more expensive than it was 7-10 years ago. The figure may cause her to pause and reconsider, or you may get fair compensation for your work after all. Though it's terrible you're having to eat the cost for the time you spent on the quilt you already made. With that in mind, I'd be very, very wary of starting these new quilts for her because she might reject these because she decides she wants something else.

  3. #3
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Hindsight is definitely 20/20, isn't it. I'm sorry for your predicament!

    There have been so many conversations here on the Board about this subject that I admit to being surprised when someone else has been burned. Most of us advise at least THREE 'absolute' rules:
    ALWAYS get a written contract.
    Always get a deposit for the fabric/supplies.
    Always charge appropriately for YOURSELF - even if you lose the job.
    I recently read the best comment about this last one that I've ever heard...."Prices define the quilting clients I get. If I set my prices too low, I will have to work with some low quality clients.”

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums19552.html

  4. #4
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    so sorry you went thru this. Let her know upfront that you gave her a low quote b/c you had the lesser priced fabrics. New fabrics are 12-15 a yard, and your labor costs went up too, along with batting and thread. yes thread is very expensive now. without it, the quilt will fall apart. let them know all this up front.
    I was questioned once about charging for thread. it told her yes, unless you just want small pieces of fabric back. I got a stunned look on that one.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynnie View Post
    so sorry you went thru this. Let her know upfront that you gave her a low quote b/c you had the lesser priced fabrics. New fabrics are 12-15 a yard, and your labor costs went up too, along with batting and thread. yes thread is very expensive now. without it, the quilt will fall apart. let them know all this up front.
    I was questioned once about charging for thread. it told her yes, unless you just want small pieces of fabric back. I got a stunned look on that one.

    Loved the comment about the thread!

    I have learned another useful phrase: "I need more information about what you want and I need to think about it" before making any sort of commitment.

  6. #6
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    Lesson Learned!
    I am going to take her to the quilt shop so she can pay for the fabric she wants. Then I will make the quilts.
    Lesson learned.. she said she liked my color choices so I will make suggestions but ultimately they will be her choice
    I actually have a form that states cost of services I provide but being (church people) I didn't really want to make much profit but just cover the cost...

  7. #7
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    There have been so many conversations here on the Board about this subject that I admit to being surprised when someone else has been burned.
    Me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    ALWAYS get a written contract.
    Always get a deposit for the fabric/supplies.
    Always charge appropriately for YOURSELF - even if you lose the job.
    Totally agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by mamagrande View Post
    I actually have a form that states cost of services I provide but being (church people) I didn't really want to make much profit but just cover the cost...
    "(church people)" aren't allowed to make money? Why not? Is their time less valuable?

  8. #8
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post

    "(church people)" aren't allowed to make money? Why not? Is their time less valuable?
    I am reasonably sure that she meant SHE wouldn't make much money on them because they the clients are "church people". IOW, she was eating profit for the sake of comraderie.

  9. #9
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    It is so very hard dealing with people who do NOT understand the time and money it takes to make a quilt. There seeing only the cheap quilts coming in from China.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  10. #10
    Junior Member Retiree's Avatar
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    I recently read the best comment about this last one that I've ever heard...."Prices define the quilting clients I get. If I set my prices too low, I will have to work with some low quality clients.”

    Jan in VA

    Great comment, Jan!

  11. #11
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retiree View Post
    I recently read the best comment about this last one that I've ever heard...."Prices define the quilting clients I get. If I set my prices too low, I will have to work with some low quality clients.

    Jan in VA

    Great comment, Jan!
    exactly!

    My mantra.....why do we want to attract customers with no money to purchase?

    Some of us bring this on ourselves and then we are dissappointed and feel taken advantage of. One big reason that I don't sew or quilt for others, they can't afford me! Besides, it would suck the life out of me.

    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome 3160 QVC/ Janome 1100D serger, Juki 2020 Mini
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  12. #12
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    It goes with that saying, No good deed goes unpunished. When you go to the fabric store with your client, be sure to have a pattern with exact fabric measurements and don't underestimate the fabric amounts. Two twins is a tall order. You are good to attempt it.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I recently read the best comment about this last one that I've ever heard...."Prices define the quilting clients I get. If I set my prices too low, I will have to work with some low quality clients.”

    Jan in VA
    This is true for every people dealing in life, not just clients. Never lower your quality to accommodate others, it will be a mess you don't want.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  14. #14
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Jan in VA;7185268]Hindsight is definitely 20/20, isn't it. I'm sorry for your predicament!
    I recently read the best comment about this last one that I've ever heard...."Prices define the quilting clients I get. If I set my prices too low, I will have to work with some low quality clients.”

    Jan in VA
    Hairdressers often say the same thing...charge family and friends. Otherwise they complain long and hard about their free haircut until they come back for the next free cut.

  15. #15
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    I just don't do commission work. If I were in the business they would pay business prices. If they give you a discount for any of their services then you could reciprocate but business is business.
    Quote Originally Posted by mamagrande View Post
    So, I was giving a quilting class and someone mentioned that I had a longarm. One lady asked me how much would I make a twin size quilt for her..since have not made many for others I said $150. She said ok, I want bright colors.
    So I made it this weekend, I actually finish binding it on the way to church this morning.(my husband was to be preaching there this morning). She loved it! so what is the problem???

    She wanted two (2) the same, natually.. She said make another just like this..well I had used my stash to make that one and I have about 1/4 yard of each fabric. I had used Moda Marbles, RJR, Free Spriit and other quality fabrics that I had purchased about 7 -10 years ago when they were $7-9 but now I have to try to find quality fabrics at prices I can afford to make two the same...

    So now I have ONE twin that I will have to try and sell or maybe just donate..

    I should have listened and taken a written, signed order.

  16. #16
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    I used to be a hairdresser and family and friends thought I should do their hair for free. One family member owned an appliance shop. I needed a new tv and a new stove. I had just finished doing their daughters hair for her wedding and her bridal party. I received no payment and it wasn't a gift. The whole day was devoted to her party. They wanted me to take a tv not on sale and no discount and pay $60.00 in shipping and delivery. I walked but not before giving them the bill for the bridal party. I still have yet to be compensated. Went to another shop a customer owned bought both appliances, tv and stove and received a 35% discount and free delivery. [QUOTE=KalamaQuilts;7185671]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    Hindsight is definitely 20/20, isn't it. I'm sorry for your predicament!


    Hairdressers often say the same thing...charge family and friends. Otherwise they complain long and hard about their free haircut until they come back for the next free cut.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    The bottom line is always state the charge and service in writing for everyone including relatives and friends. If you don't then deal with the mess that usually comes from being too nice. LOL
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  18. #18
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    Hindsight is definitely 20/20, isn't it. I'm sorry for your predicament!

    There have been so many conversations here on the Board about this subject that I admit to being surprised when someone else has been burned. Most of us advise at least THREE 'absolute' rules:
    ALWAYS get a written contract.
    Always get a deposit for the fabric/supplies.
    Always charge appropriately for YOURSELF - even if you lose the job.
    I recently read the best comment about this last one that I've ever heard...."Prices define the quilting clients I get. If I set my prices too low, I will have to work with some low quality clients.

    Jan in VA
    Excellent advice! Just one note to add....in addition to charging a deposit, make that deposit large enough to cover the cost of all fabrics/battings/thread and make it non-refundable....also put in writing that when the quilt is finished, she has 30 days to finish paying for quilts or the quilt becomes yours (you should never have to wait to be paid and never let the quilt leave you without being paid completely)....ok, that is maybe more than one tip, but experience makes me do things that protect me.

  19. #19
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    I have been asked many times how much I would charge to make a quilt, and I always say somewhere around $500 to $750, depending on the size of the quilt, and I will choose the pattern and take you to the LQS so that you can pick out and pay for all the fabrics (top, backing, binding, batting), which will run somewhere around $350 to $400. Then they ask if the cost of the fabrics decreases the $500 to $750, and I say NO, that is for the thread, wear and tear on my tools and my labor. Then I ask when they want to meet at the LQS. I have not yet had a taker. If someone agreed to those terms, I would get a written contract that specified a non-refundable 50% deposit on the fee (they are paying for the fabrics), a deadline for their benefit, and a deadline for them to pick up the quilt and pay for it; if they don't meet the deadline, the quilt becomes mine.

    The Good Book says a laborer is worthy of her hire. Do not hesitate to ask for what your time, talent and experience are worth.

  20. #20
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    I think it is more difficult to ask for reasonable compensation from family and friends than from strangers.

  21. #21
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    I quilt because I like to not because I have to. People tell me I could sell things I make but then the "hobby" would be gone.

  22. #22
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I learned the hard way to "JUST SAY NO". It's sew easy now, it just comes out before I even have time to think about it! LOL! I only sew what I want to sew for my enjoyment.
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    There have been so many conversations here on the Board about this subject that I admit to being surprised when someone else has been burned. Jan in VA
    Yes Jan, it seems surprising. . . until you think about it. There are over 100,000 people on this board. How many of them are regular readers of our wonderful advice? ? ? LOL And there are new people coming on every day. We need to rehash things every once in a while.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  24. #24
    shy
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    We all have stories like this .I would bet..as said those who don't quilt do not know the time or money involved..I learn the hard way ..I now like u have them buy everything..then quote a price..it is surprising how many decide they can live without a quilt..I am the only one in my WHOLE family that quilts..so even if I do it for free for them they buy all..that stops a lot of it..unless for something special..hopefully u can sell the quilt..maybe after she see the price she will re-think ..and take the one already made..if not it will make someone a great gift later.

  25. #25
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    I'm so very sorry you got burned by this lady. The ONLY way I take or do a commision for someone (even friends and family), is if we sit down and fill out an order form (you can get a carbonless box at any business store, they come in different sizes they have the white original and the yellow copy). When we are talking I put down what they are asking for - :ie - 1 (or 10), twin sized quilt, bright colors (no brown or what ever), the pattern to be used if they know or scrappy (again what ever), anything special to be added to the quilt (names, words, embellishments, matching shams or dust ruffles, etc.). After all is filled out with the date of the order and the amount of the deposit (the bottom of the receipt always says after cutting of fabric is started "NO" refund of deposit can be given), so times people want to change the color or pattern. I have the person read over all that I have listed and sign and date the bottom of the order when they give me the deposit. I know this sounds hard, but we shouldn't have to eat mistakes. My friends and family know I will make them quilts or let them come pick out a quilt I have finished, and I will give that to them very happily. If I'm wanting to just make them a quilt because, I will ask questions like color, etc. But if they are coming with a request, then they are just like anyone else with filling out the book (they only pay for the fabric). They know they are getting a deal (family and friends, because they only pay for fabric), because they are getting what they want for themselves or as a gift for someone else. You can care an order book with you, or you can tell the person with the request to meet for coffee and fill it out then. People will only treat you the way you let them treat you, so be better to yourself.

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