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Thread: Selling Potholders? and other quilty questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member quiltingbee12's Avatar
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    Hi
    I have decided to take the plunge, and try to sell Potholders, Miniature Quilts, and a few other quilty items. I'm thinking I want to sell on ebay, ecrater, maybe Etsy, and a farmers market that I am going to. I'm sharing a table with someone else, so I don't have a lot of cost involved in that one.
    So, number one, with potholders, is it okay to use polyester thread, cotton fabric, and polyester batting? I talked to a lady who has been selling quilts, potholders and things like that for years, and she said use 3 layers, and it works just fine.
    What kind of a price should I put on them? I'm thinking 5 dollars, as it is a pineapple block, and takes a lot of time to make, then to quilt(I'm doing stitch in the ditch) and then to bind.
    Mini quilts, I'm thinking if it is hand quilted, 30 dollars, if it isn't 20 dollars?
    Any other places I should think about selling my things, and will they go?
    Any other tips, or pricing ideas? I'm trying to get some more money for fabric!
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    How long will it take you to make that potholder? If you spend a dollar on supplies, and it takes you an hour to make it, you are only making $4 an hour. Minimum wage is a LOT higher than that! (It's $7.40 here in MI.)

    It would take me longer than an hour to make a potholder, but I am not overly fast.

    Can you get a job at a local quilt store or fabric store instead? That way you will at least get minimum wage and also a discount!

  3. #3
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I truly believe you are unselling yourself. Remember you also want to be able to pay yourself when all is said and done. The pineapple block has a bit of work to it and I'm sure it will take more than an hour to make up one from start to finish. Do not undersell yourself.

    You must also look into how much it costs for you in materials and supplies as well as labour to make these things to sell!

  4. #4
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    I don't think it is a good idea to use anything but all cotton material for the pot holder. The polyester can melt.

  5. #5
    Super Member Mamaskeeto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunQuilter2
    I don't think it is a good idea to use anything but all cotton material for the pot holder. The polyester can melt.
    I was thinking the same thing.

  6. #6
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    When I make potholders I use warm & natural cotton batting along with batting made for potholders and such(can't think of the name right off). It has a silver coating on one side. The silver coating should face the wrong side of the top cotton fabric. I use 100% cotton thread. The thermo batting can be purchased at Wal-Mart or JoAnns. For the best deal use the 40% coupon at JoAnns or watch for when they go on sale for 50% off.

  7. #7
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use the poly batting!!!
    Use warm and natural and some INSUL BRIGHT, it is $6.99 at Joann's. It is the batting with the silver wafer in the middle. I have a remnant that only cost me $1.07 for 11" sitting right in front of me. You wouldn't want to be liable for burns!
    If you want to use only poly, make sure that you attach a hang tag or stitch in a label that states that these are for decorative use only.............

  8. #8
    MelissaK's Avatar
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    I use the insul bright and I stitch right sides together and turn and top stitch closed. with doing the binding, you are eating at your profits!

  9. #9
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    quiltingbee12, you might check out other craft shows in your area to see what the competition is, for the items you're thinking of making. It would give you an idea of what the local market will bear.

    That said, I don't think your prices are too high!

    Still, you have to be aware that some of the shoppers will ONLY be interested in price... and also that there are some crafters who don't care if they make a profit, as long as they make their rent back and cover their supplies. Other shoppers will truly appreciate the time you've spent.

    You can always start the price higher, and lower it during the day at the show. Or... offer a discount if they buy a pair of potholders, or a couple of mini-quilts. This offers you the opportunity to enter into a conversation with your customers, and you may be able to get a sense of what they think about the price (even if they don't buy).

    Also... since I guess you're new to the selling end of things... you can do a little "market research" at the show. Position the price tags so that the customer has to touch the item to read the tag. If you have four similar items hanging next to each other, the one the customer likes best - not the closest one - is the one they will reach for the price tag on.

  10. #10
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    I sold almost all my potholders at sales for $5--they were simply panel blocks. I made the mistake of binding them--ugh. I'll turn the next ones inside out. I used W+N batting and Insul-bright. The older women loved cats, birds, sheep on them--I put flowers on the back. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Super Member CajunQuilter2's Avatar
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    thats the word I was looking for ----Insul Brite------thanks Tinks mom. Also I did not bind mine either, I just turn them inside out & do some decorative or stitch in the ditch on them. Sometimes I put a little loop in the corner or middle so they can hang them if they want to.

  12. #12
    Senior Member quiltingbee12's Avatar
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    By Binding, I didn't mean doing hand sewing, I totally agree that is a waste of time. I think for these at least, I will put for display only, use at your own risk, until I can get some of the things that you all talked about.
    I have some panels I can use as well, for potholders. I have about a week or so, until the farmers market, so not much time!
    The pineapple block actually doesn't take much time, as I am making a twin quilt, (they are 7 inches) and so I'm getting a lot of practice making them.
    The quilting does not take long either.
    I'm not expecting to make a lot, and most of my fabric is things I got fairly cheaply, so I don't have a lot of cost involved.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Well I make my living so to speak from selling hot pads. They are my number one seller at the store I sell to.

    I tried doing the shows in the park and did'nt do too well there. I didn't sell much at the farmer's market as most were just interested in the food.

    AS for price. I sell mine to the store for $7.50 and she sells it for $14.95 to the public. This will vary depending on the locale where you are selling.

    You do need to balance how much it is really worth by how much you want to sell it. I sell mine way far less than I should but she has the customers and I don't so it is a trade off.

    You need to be in a place that attracts the right kind of people. If you are in a place that is not frequented by people who are interested in quilts then your stuff will not be valued and will not sell well there. But if you get into a show that brings in people who are craft minded you will sell better.

    You can check around and see if there are stores that are willing to buy or at least let you display your work for sale. I don't much care for doing the on commission type of selling. I feel like my stuff is tied up and I could be selling it to the store I sell to. But this works for some people.

    I had thought of approaching the gift shop at the hospitals to see if she would buy keychains or coasters or other small things.I think a small Dollie quilt might be of interest or a newborn quilt that isn't too expensive. Keep in mind they will need to add their percentage to the price and the end needs to be reasonable for the customer or it won't sell.

    If you have any gift shops in the area talk to them and see if they would be interested in buying. There are antique malls here that allow for people to set up an area to sell their things. These aren't antique but the quilting fits into that world pretty easily.


    Just a few words of advice: things I have learned over the last 11 years of selling to the public.

    1 make sure you have no raw edges unless the raw edge is on purpose as in rag quilting
    2. Iron things well so they present well
    3 optional but highly recommended-- spray with sizing and make the product stiff so it hangs well and shows up well
    4. quality makes or breaks a product- don't make yourself crazy over this but it is important to have straight seams and the overall look is good

    I had an older friend who did some interesting projects but the quality of her work was awful! She would have ragged edges where it was supposed to look finished off and her stitching looked like a child did it haphazardly.

    I am not passing judgment just exressing a thought of warning to be aware of. My mom always showed me where I could do better and I now make things with this maxim in mind: Quality before quantity always!

    Hope this helps! Rhonda

  14. #14
    Power Poster Rhonda's Avatar
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    Oh yeah I forgot to say I use traditional batting 2 layers. The traditional is more closely woven and not so fluffy! Then I do the SITD around the design.

    I have a tutorial on my web site that shows how I make my hotpads.

    http://www.bitsnpiecesworkshop.com/pages/HotPad.php

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CajunQuilter2
    When I make potholders I use warm & natural cotton batting along with batting made for potholders and such(can't think of the name right off). It has a silver coating on one side. The silver coating should face the wrong side of the top cotton fabric. I use 100% cotton thread. The thermo batting can be purchased at Wal-Mart or JoAnns. For the best deal use the 40% coupon at JoAnns or watch for when they go on sale for 50% off.
    Thanks for the information on where the silver part of the Insul-Brite should go. I never knew where to place it so I was really happy finding your instructions.

  16. #16
    Senior Member billswife99's Avatar
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    I wish this thread had started Friday before I did my potholders! One hour? Ha! Took me the whole weekend. LOL And yes I hand sewed the binding on. Oh well, live and learn. I guess this makes my labor around 45 cents an hour! :roll: Well mine were for family not profit.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    i found this pattern for pot holders and it takes about 10-15 minutes to make not counting the cutting which doesn't take very long either. and i think they're cute, they could sell for less and u'd still make a profit. i make them to give as a little stocking stuffer gift.

    quick n easy potholder
    Name:  Attachment-45031.jpe
Views: 116
Size:  50.0 KB

  18. #18
    Junior Member Donna Mae's Avatar
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    Only use warm and natural batting and Insulbrite insulation for the pot holders.
    The poly bat will not only melt, but burn you good.

    Have a great quilty day,

    simple quilter

  19. #19
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    I use old sweaters - felted wool - for the batting, and I sell them for $20-$25 for a pair. I use a binding and machine stitch it in place.

  20. #20
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Insulbrite is suppose to be layered with batting and that makes the potholder too stiff for me. The potholder is not flexible to bend like I like it. I found the thin silver heat proof fabric at an fabric/upholstery shop. It was much cheaper then the Insulbrite. I like that much better, used with the batting it doesn't add any thickness.

    I would do as others say and don't sew on binding. Turn and top stitch. $5 will probably be the best price for good heat resistant utility pot holder. You could have quality fabric designer pot holders and utility pot holders. That way you'd have a wider range of customers.

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The last craft show I attended, there was one lady selling cute round pot holders, very small that slipped over a lid knob. She said it was great for crock pots. She sold out of everyone she had in a couple of hours. She said she came with 100. From what I could tell, she ran out before I bought one, it was fabric and batting sewn around a ponytail elastic cord. I haven't seen any since and can't find them online like she had made. I tried making one but it didn't look like the ones she had.

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