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Thread: quilt pricing

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    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.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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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.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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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.

  4. #4
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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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 .
    Sandy
    Sandygirl

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

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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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.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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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.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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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!

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    You can also sell based on a per square-foot charge as many quilters do.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  10. #10
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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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    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!
    Well said - we think alike! I quilt to escape. Later they can be up for grabs...if they become work from the start they never get done in my house.

  12. #12
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    So funny how different we all are! I love having commissions because then I know I am making something someone wants, and it isn't going to end up lurking around my house.

    I tend to undercharge on my commissions, as I am still thinking of it as "paying for my hobby" rather than "income". I have a price sheet of fixed amounts (for a crib quilt $85-$200) that is the cost of my time/planning/skill, to which I add the actual cost of materials. The range within the price comes from factoring in the pattern - it takes way less time to plan and make a rail fence quilt than to plan and make a foundation-pieced quilt where every block is different! And then there is applique...

    Alison

  13. #13
    Senior Member quiltingsavta's Avatar
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    I repaired a quilt for a friend's neighbor so I had no real connection to the women. The quilt was in terrible condition and to top it off it was a store bought quilt but over the years gone torn up, etc. She loved the quilt and wanted it fixed. She had all the materials except the batting. I told her $150. She looked at me like I had 2 heads. I said to her, I can see you are not comfortabel with that so I won't waste anymore of your time. She responded and said she just didn't think it would be so much. So I said to her, well let me ask you this....I began to tell her all I had to do, take out the bad parts, take off the backing, make the new squares, sew them on the top, layer and tie it (it was origionally tied so I kept it that way). I figured my time would be approximately 30 hours. So I said to her...you're a professional women, what do you make an hour? She looked at me and said, OK I see your point. The quilt came out better than I had expected and when I dropped it off she even gave me an extra $10. Friends or no friends, acquaintances, family doesn't matter sometimes, your time is your time, so charge what you feel you are comfortable with and stick to it.

  14. #14
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    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!
    I'm with you 100%. I made a quilt to order for a friend and will never do that again ever........it was all stress and no fun.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Raine's Avatar
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    Quiltingsavta, I get the same response. Usually, I name my price if they are not willing to pay for the cost of the fabric and time. I just let it go, because as a lot of the women describe, it can be stressful be cause you are getting paid you want it to be perfect. However you come back to the lady you had to redo the quilt for was perfect!! You explained the process of what you had to do to give her what she wanted, and she was happy in the end. Nice going.
    Believe, it can be done!

  16. #16
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    If I were pricing a quilt for a friend instead of a stranger, the price would be different. That being said, I'd be sure to tell the friend that they were to keep the price TO THEMSELVES, because there would be NO WAY I'd sell quilt to a stranger without being paid well for it, and I wouldn't want my friend telling people, " Oh, she'll make you a quilt for this low price"! I put a lap size quilt together for a friend and said she really didn't have to pay me, but she gave me a gift card for $50. But there is NO WAY I'd only charge $50 if I were going to try and make this a business. Just saying.

  17. #17
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    Yes get the price down on paper , with his signed agreement. I made a quilt for some one with them knowing it was going to be $$$'s when it was done, they just couldn't believe they had agreed to pay that. so I gave the quilt to one of my daughters for a birthday gift.
    to much work and $$ to give away out of the family.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

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