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quilt pricing

Old 01-04-2013, 06:24 AM
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Default quilt pricing

Hi everyone,

I have a guy who wants me to make a quilt for his wife for their anniversary. The size would probably be a crib size which would be 45 X 60. It is to use when she takes a nap in her chair. I am still waiting for a couple of answers from him, before I continue working on his bid.

My question is do you put down an estimate for the number of hours you will spend on the quilt. I know when I take my car in for repairs, they always list the labor cost at X number of hours at X amount per hour. Do you do this for quilts and if so, how do you know how long it will take you? I can estimate it based on how long it takes me to make a block.

I quilt as a hobby, but I am willing to make quilts for others. Usually, when I do a quilt for others, they buy all of the fabrics and then I make the quilt and quilt it, but they are extremely good friends of mine and I figure I get to enjoy my hobby without having to buy all of the fabric. I am fine with that kind of set up.

This guy is a friend that I have met through doing dutch oven cook-offs so I want to make it a win-win situation for both of us.

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:33 AM
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The going rate that no on can argue with is 3 1/2 times the retail cost of supplies. Labor includes use of equipment, time, planning and clean up. It's not just the hours of actual sewing time. If you make one quilt for someone for not much money because it was a labor of friendship factored in then be prepared for others to not want to pay more if they ask you to make one.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:21 AM
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I love to make quilts for others, but hate having to figure pricing. It is almost a given that you won't get what you really deserve when you take into consideration all the time spent buying fabrics, piecing, sandwiching and quilting. I figure a cost of materials (ballpark) and add an amount for labor that seems reasonable. Usually 1-1/2 to 2 times the cost of materials. Anything more and the people of my area won't even consider a quilt. I know it isn't what you can get in other areas, but it keeps me quilting and gives me some pocket money.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:48 AM
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Do you want to do this for this particular guy? Is there a chance that others in the same group will want the same deal? Obviously up to you .
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:21 AM
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Whatever you decide, get enough money up front to cover the cost of the materials, and put the balance due IN WRITING. I also agree with Sandygirl. If you do give this particular guy a break $$ wise, make it abundantly clear that this is only for him and not to quote this price to others in the cook offs group.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:12 AM
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My experience has been that people who don't quilt have absolutely no idea about the time and effort it takes. Or the cost of fabric. Or the fact that if you are making a quilt to order, it takes some of the fun out of it (at least for me). When people can buy a hand-made quilt from China at their local department store for $39.95, they're absolutely shocked when you tell them that you'll need to charge $150 for a crib quilt. As a poster upstream said, make sure that you have an honest conversation with the purchasor and get pricing details in writing.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:54 AM
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In a situation like this, you might be able to find a barter solution. If you make the quilt for him (with him paying for the materials) is there some comparable task that he could do for you? Maybe he's a woodworker (you could use some quilt racks, right?) or a mechanic (tune-up for the car?) or has an amazing vintage sewing machine that he is willing to part with. If a straight-out sale doesn't seem feasible, look for an alternative way to make the quilt and get something in return.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:12 AM
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I made a quilt for a friend's mom and I charged her for the price of fabric only because we are good friends and you cannot put a price on friendship, and I really like her mom. This being said, I swore I will never ever make quilts to order because it was way to stressful to be enjoyable. If somebody likes a quilt I make I can sell it no problems, but custom made quilts to me are to much stress. That is just me. I stress so much to be perfect and because or it I make rookie mistakes and royally screw up. Good luck!
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:06 PM
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You can also sell based on a per square-foot charge as many quilters do.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:39 PM
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I'm thinking close to what Bella suggested - around 3 times cost of supplies. If the fabric/batting/backing costs $75 then his charge would be $225. This would leave a profit of $150. Is that enough profit to cover your time?

Consider what a typical LA would charge you. In my area, I can get a crib quilt done for about $65. If that's the going rate for the quilting portion of the project, than perhaps a $150 profit is in line. It's up to you and how valuable your time is.
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