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Thread: Question re selling quilts

  1. #1
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    Question re selling quilts

    I know this is a difficult question but I am wondering if anyone could give me parameters as to how to price a quilted throw or twin size quilt that someone has asked me to make for them. The pattern would not be complex. Help, please.

    ronee
    Ronee

  2. #2
    Senior Member kountrykreation's Avatar
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    That's a hard one. I have to give all my quilts away, because when I price them, they're always over priced! Naw, just kidding. Add your labor cost to the materials cost, and add profit, or price them according to your area and what the market will allow? My last suggestion would be to peruse ebay and/or etsy and compare with their prices? Sorry, just too many variables involved.

  3. #3
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Well, there are a LOT of parameters, a lot of it depends on the difficulty of the quilt, your relationship with the person, how much fabric it will take, how much time it will take, your level of experience, etc.

    I had a casual acquaintance ask me once to copy a quilt that her son had owned for over 20 years. We could not find a pattern for it. I gave her a written estimate that included time AND materials: how long it would take me to draw up a pattern, how much fabric it would require, and how much time it would take me for each step; cutting applique, cutting borders, stitching the applique, quilting, etc. She wasn't happy with it because she assumed I would simply use fabric from my stash and not charge her for drawing up the pattern. Ha - I don't THINK so.

    Anyway - I would charge the true cost of every material used, including batting, backing, and binding, and very carefully take into account how much time you will invest in this project, and charge an hourly rate commiserate with your experience.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    I've gone with $25 a linear foot.

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    Supplies alone for a twin usually run me over $200. If I sold one I don't think I would be able to do it for less than $400 if I wanted to be compensated at all for my time (much less make a profit over that.)

    Hence, I refuse to sell them.

  6. #6
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Figure out how long it will take you to make it (OVER-estimate) and how much you would like to make per hour. Add the costs of materials. Make sure you and the buyer are clear on the price BEFORE you start.

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    On another thread I thought the best suggestion was to have the person provide the fabrics and batting according to your yardage requirements, charge what a LA does to quilt that size plus what you want for labor to make the top. It cuts down down on the "shock value". the store sets the price for the fabric. The prevelant going LA rates set your price for quilting. All you set individually is your labor for cutting and piecing the top. That's the only part of the price of the quilt that could be argued about with you.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 06-19-2012 at 10:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    On another thread I thought the best suggestion was to have the person provide the fabrics and batting according to your yardage requirements, charge what a LA does to quilt that size plus what you want for labor to make the top. It cuts down down on the "shock value". the store sets the price for the fabric. The prevelant going LA rates set your price for quilting. All you set individually is your labor for cutting and piecing the top. That's the only part of the price of the quilt that could be argued about with you.
    Great idea... I love this calculating..

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    The first thing to decide is whether you want to make the quilt at all, and if not, just say so and be done with it. If you would like to make it, then get a rough estimate of how much the materials would cost, and don't forget batting and thread, and any special tools you need for the quilt. Just telling the person how much the materials will cost will probably be enough to stop the project. But if they persist, then figure out how much you would be happy with as a commission for making the quilt. In some cases, I wouldn't charge anything for my labor, because I would enjoy making the quilt so much and would be honored to be asked. In other cases I would want a hefty sum. I would keep in mind how long it would take to make it, but I wouldn't be comparing it to an hourly wage. Instead I would ask myself "would I be happy with that amount?" Of course I'm retired and I have the time to quilt. This may not be your situation. If you're sending the quilt out to be longarmed then of course that cost is separate, but if you're doing it yourself you honestly can't charge as much as a professional longarmer unless your work is comparable.

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    some people go with cost X 3- meaning figure the patterns, fabrics, thread, batting, everything you need to make the quilt multiply this amount by 3- that gives a place to start- then you can look at that amount & decide if you feel it is too much & you could charge less- or if you think you should get a bit more than that- so that's kind of the middle ground & can be adjusted up or down from there.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    charge what a LA does to quilt that size plus what you want for labor to make the top. It cuts down down on the "shock value".
    What long armers charge to quilt a top is shock value to me. That's why I learned to quilt! I think they deserve every penny, but non-quilter have no idea.

  12. #12
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    Why are we reluctant to charge for what we do, if we do quality work? Have you priced a wedding cake lately? Or had a chair reupholested? How about having someone tailor a suit for you or your husband - not make adjustments - tailor it from the bolt of fabric? Or buy an arrangement of flowers to stand next to a coffin at a funeral? These are all jobs done by craftsmen - low tech jobs that depend on artisty and talent and labor. Why is making a quilt supposed to be at basement bargain prices?

  13. #13
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    I won't even talk to anyone unless they give me a $300 deposit. That way I know they're expecting to pay quite a bit for the quilt. It also saves the "oh, I didn't know it cost that much" when it's finished and you're ready to have them pay. It's difficult to sell quilts down here (Florida) because our economy is really bad right now.
    Nana Jan
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  14. #14
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    When people (often a random person in a checkout line) ask me how much I would charge to make a quilt, I say "I don't really know without more information, but my prices start at $300." Usually that's all it takes for them to back off!
    Friends and family get them as gifts....eventually.
    I don't do it for pay because then it would be a job and I would have to do it within a specific time frame.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  15. #15
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Three times the price it cost you to make it.

  16. #16
    Super Member Cindy60545's Avatar
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    There are two books on the market in regards to this. One is Sylvia Landman's Make money quilting & the other is Quilting for fun & profit. Her guidelines are Labor + Material + cost of material + profit = price. She suggest a profit of 15%. Also, another suggestion of hers is to charge by the square foot. For a simple twin pattern, I charge $13.00 per square foot = $585 for a typical twin size. Hope this helps.

  17. #17
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts View Post
    Figure out how long it will take you to make it (OVER-estimate) and how much you would like to make per hour. Add the costs of materials. Make sure you and the buyer are clear on the price BEFORE you start.
    AND get a deposit for 50% of the total cost for the project before you even start!
    sandy
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  18. #18
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Great answer! I ran into a casual friend of mine who admired my quilted purse. She asked if I sold my purses and I replied that I had about 8 HOURS of labor in the one I was carrying...she smiled and said..NEVER MIND! (she said it with a smile btw) We both understood where I was coming from and she appreciated the "time" involved. uh, no, I don't "sell" my purses. No one was offended.
    sandy
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    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I am a handquilter for hire and I don't get many customers. A non-quilter has no clue what goes into making a quilt. The only people I make a quilt from scratch for are those I choose to gift with my creations or our local senior center. I am just finishing up piecing a top that will be quilted by the ladies at the center and I won't volunteer for that again. I have no problem quilting someone else's top but not for free unless it is a chairity.
    The best thing you could do if the person is serious is take them shopping. If they are willing to purchase all the materials needed for the quilt including thread, batting and even marking tools, quilt stencils etc. then they may be willing to pay you for your time and expertise. Don't pay yourself less than $10 an hour and be realistic about how long it will take you. Just because I am watching TV or engaged in conversation with my husband while quilting doesn't mean I am not working.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  20. #20
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I used to do a lot of home dec sewing for people, window treatments, duvets, etc. I told them how much yardage they would need, and had them buy the fabric and any other necessary supplies. I always supplied the thread because I use high quality thread. I couldn't tell you how many people changed their mind about the project when the found out how much the fabric was going to cost, plus my labor. I made a generous estimate of time it would take and then gave them a cost of the labor.

    As far as making quilts to sell, I don't. It is too hard to put an estimate on the time it will take, plus I would end up having to charge about $.05 an hour to make the cost something a customer would pay. No, I make my quilts for gifts and for charity.

  21. #21
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    These are not my numbers (I barely have time to make what I need, let alone do it for someone else), but they are gathered from 3 different sources. So, the I is not me, but they will give you an idea of what others charge. There are 3 different explanations on how to charge for a quilt or just quilting.
    Re: How to charge for labor on quilts

    #1 Option - To make a quilt top for a customer, I charge between $10 and $16 a block to piece it, depending on the complexity of the pattern. Quilting is between $0.01 and $0.03 per square inch, also depending on the motif, and binding is $1.50 a running foot. If I were making the entire quilt start to finish, I might knock off 15-20%. All of these prices do not include the cost of materials either, I ask that my customers provide everything (except for thread- I charge a thread fee and make sure I get good quality thread to work with.) Hope this helps.

    #2 Option - First, the customer should pay for supplies up front...a good deposit to cover the cost of all materials...what if she decides she can't get the quilt. You will be out the supply costs.
    Here is how I charge for a full quilt order (I'll use Queen size).
    I first figure the finished size...yep, Queen size is not exact. It depends on block size, borders wanted...etc...gonna be a difference between 1 to 4 inches. I'll use a standard 90x90" quilt.
    Since I charge for quilting by the sq inch...my rate is 0.015 (1-1/2 cents per inch for simple meander/panto).
    90x90= 8,100
    8100 x .015= 121.50 for the simple quilting alone.
    Now for binding by machine, I charge .20 per linear inch.
    90"x4= 360 inches
    360 x .20 = 72.00 to bind by machine (I charge .30 per inch if hand sewn, so add 36.00 if hand sewing the binding down).
    To figure yardage on the quilt (always add 10% for oops! control)
    10 yards for backing (you have to have about 8" extra in width and length for the backing. so 45 x 2= 90...and 90" = 2.5 yards. You have to add for the 8" extra for the length. so 3 yards to be sure x 3= 9 yards + 10% in case you have to match a pattern or make an oops!. That is where the extra yard comes in.
    If you use a 108" wide backing...make sure to get 3 yards to 3.5 yards...you need to be able to square it up & you can lose almost 18" squaring it sometimes.
    I usually use the same estimate for the quilt front (since there will be seam allowances and waste.
    So, let's say 20 yards total (to make it easy to figure)x 10.00 per yard...and batting...so 225.00 in supplies (I don't figure in the thread cost. I consider that minimal...but $5.00 would probably cover the cost of thread to make the quilt). **Batting is for Warm & White cotton/poly blend.
    Your time. Wow...If I were to include my time...I'd be rich!
    I usually charge 150.00 to assemble the project...unless it's really complicated (which I usually don't take).
    So, 225.00 in supplies
    150.00 to assemble
    122.00 for simple meander quilting
    72.00 to bind by machine
    this comes to 569.00 for the completed quilt.
    If the customer provides their own materials (scary, cause it's rarely enough)..I add 50.00.
    If it's a complicated design, I double the Assembly to 300, and if they want semi custom (feathers, Stitch in the Ditch, etc.) I double the quilting charge also.
    I normally charge and extra $15 to seam the back. I also charge $15 to machine sew on binding if they have prepared it. If not prepared and I have to prepare and machine sew it is $25.Hand sewing the binding to finish off quilt is charged by the inch.

    #3 Option - I charge .01 per square inch for pantographs and just plain meandering; $.03 per square inch for custom quilting and ruler work; borders are an extra $35. per quilt. My thread charge is $.75 per bobbin ( # of bobbins used times 2 to get the total for top and bottom threads).

  22. #22
    Member cosyjo's Avatar
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    forgetta bout it"

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    I mail quilts at Chritmas time and figure the cost for insurance at 2-3 times the cost the LAQ charged me. I was doing 3 times but some of the prices came out at what I thought was way overpriced so then I use 2 times. This sounds like a good price to charge. My LAQ charges .01 for pantagraphs and .03 for custom. I always do pantagraphs on gift quilts. She has thousands to coose frm.

  24. #24
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    Friend or no, have a simple contract. Get 1/2 down, 1/2 on completion. Otherwise, if your friend does not like it, she could refuse to pay. With 1/2 down, your costs are covered. This is a business transaction, so don't be hesitant to ask for money. Otherwise, this type of thing has cost many friendships when money is involved.
    SandyQuilter

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    Figure on cost of supplies + ($10 x your time). Then come up with something "reasonable". Make sure she knows how you figured this out. Or take her shopping for the fabric/supplies and have her pay. She will be surprised. Then charge for your time.

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