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Thread: Somethin' for Nothin' and your Quilts for free...

  1. #26
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    I think that maybe, just maybe, you are in "Dire Straits:".
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  2. #27
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    If you want to get paid for your time, conversation should go like this -

    "can you make two quilts for these two sisters?"

    "yes, I usually get $X.xx for a quilt that size, and fabric costs $X.xx, are you sure you want to spend that much?"

    Gives them an easy out if they are NOT willing to spend the money, and gives you a commitment if they are willing.

    I have said this before on the QB, what is it about us that makes us want everyone to like us? If someone expects me to work for free, I don't really care if they like me or not. Tough tooties. My time and expertise has VALUE - if I choose to gift it to someone I will, but I am not going to be a doormat to make someone else happy.

    Now that you are already hip-deep in the situation, is there anyway you can get something "In-kind" from the requester? in other words, if she makes cakes or does taxes, for instance, ask for something from her in return.

  3. #28
    Senior Member Elaine433's Avatar
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    I quilt because I enjoy it. I make gifts for others. I would not even want to take on making something for someone else even if I get paid for it. If I make a quilt that I am not sure what I am going to do with it, I can always donate it.

  4. #29
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    Exactly!!!! A few years ago my DIL's sister was expecting a little girl. I told DIL I would make her a baby quilt. The next day I recieved a call from DIL's sister telling me the colors in the baby's room. I made it exactly the way I had already planned.
    Quote Originally Posted by niftynickel View Post
    I always so no because I tell them quilting is my FUN!! and if I begin making them for others it becomes a job!! I have enough work and I don't need more work. Usually they understand that statement.

  5. #30
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Just an idea, but why not tell them that if they want quilts, they have to come shopping with you to buy the materials. Then they can have the fun of picking out the fabrics and your peace of mind will be assured when you see them pay for it all. As for the time, if you don't want to make a quilt you can always say, "I wish I had the time, but I'm afraid I don't right now." For me, all my quilting and sewing has to be a joyous experience - even the seam ripping part - or it's just not quilty.
    Krystyna
    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

  6. #31
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    My neighbor across the street loves my sewing/quilting. She brought a (her words) "Well to do" friend who was redecorating her bedroom over to see my work. My neighbor knew the friend wanted an oversized queen size quilt and matching shams/pillow cases all out of white/cream. My neighbor knew I could produce. So they came over on a Sunday afternoon. I showed her my book of finished items. I showed her a quilt that was in the middle of being worked on etc. She asked me how much for one just like it (not complicated and sized about 110x120) and I quoted her off the top of my head mind you $800 out the door. She GASPED - but I can buy one at Marshall's for $45! I kept my temper and was very polite as I ushered them out the door. That was almost 10 months ago. My neighbor still apologizes. It was quite eye-opening to me.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  7. #32
    Senior Member Candy Apple Quilts's Avatar
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    Maybe we all need to sprinkle flour on our faces (just like the old commercial for Rice Krispie Treats), and come out of the sewing room panting. Then people will think we are working very hard in there! LOL!
    Robin Hrabik
    http://www.CandyAppleQuilts.com

  8. #33
    Junior Member ree-nee's Avatar
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    I totally agree with all of you. The first thing that comes out of my mouth when an interested party enquires is the cost of fabric and they have to buy it themselves. It is hilarious when the expression on thier faces change and then I get no business, which i want NONE of to begin with.
    Girl, raised in the South "nough said ree-nee

  9. #34
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    My brother got all over me when I gave him a price for a quilt. Out Mother quilted but used scraps from a factory and only charged for the quilting. (30 yrs ago). He thinks I should charge the same price.
    He buys several from garage sales so has no idea what it cost to make a new one

  10. #35
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    I usually only sew for family and then only specific and special items. I also make halloween costume for the neighbor girls (I only have grandsons, so this is fun for me). Their mom takes the girls and me to the fabric store. The girls pick out the fabrics and patten and mom pays. I am there for 'guidance'. This works for me as I want to donate the time.

    The older of the girls is 7 now and she is learning to sew. It's a great hobby for her and teaches the value of time and skill. Mom comes with little sister sometimes, but it is dedicated time for big sister to learn.

  11. #36
    Senior Member dahlshouse's Avatar
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    Thank you for this information... so far have only made quilts for gifts... when asked to make one for someone.. I've just told them the wouldn't pay for what it costs... and let it go at that.. made the mistake of turning something I loved doing into a business... now I don't like to do it anymore.. not happening again... but I have copied your information and do appreciate the info... just in case... Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    I've posted this before but it bears repeating here. I used to have this posted on the wall in my shop in Dallas, TX, and got many "aha" comments from quilters and non-quilters alike. Now I bring it out on occasions like the one described and say, " I hardly expect someone to actually pay me over $10,000 to make a quilt, although there ARE nationally known quilt artist receiving that regularly, but minimum wage consideration would be nice considering the hours that go into making one, wouldn't you think?"

    What It Really Costs To Make a Quilt


    QUEEN SIZED, MACHINE PIECED, HAND QUILTED

    MATERIALS:

    Fabric 12-16 yards @ $9per yd. $108 - $144 (This was figured 3+ years ago!)
    Batting $25 - $40
    Thread $8 - $16

    Total $ invested $141 - $200


    LABOR HOURS:

    Piecing 20 to 60 hours
    “Setting” (designing your quilt) 10 to 20 hours
    Quilting 100 to 750 hours

    Total hours invested 130 to 810 hours


    TOTAL COST

    Paying $1 per hour (Would you do this type of work for $1 an hour?!)

    Materials $141 - $200
    Labor $130 - $810
    Total $271 - $1070


    Paying minimum wage $7.25 (by law in 6/2009)

    Materials $141 - $200
    Labor (130-810hrs) $942.50 - $5872.25
    Total $1083.50 - $6072.25


    Paying skilled labor wage $20 per hour (Do you consider yourself trained and skilled labor in this craft?)

    Materials $141 - $200
    Labor (130-810hrs) $2600 - $16,200
    Total $2741 - $16,400


    (Found on the Internet 1995; unknown author)

    Jan in VA

  12. #37
    Senior Member Stitchalong's Avatar
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    I have a friend who ask me to quilt two of her quilt tops that she said she would pay me to do. I said I would do one to start and then maybe the other. After completing the first quilt, that she said she loved, she did not ask how much or offer to pay me anything. Needless to say I will not be quilting the second. It is my own fault. At the time of request, I should have discussed a price. I think it is difficult when a friend/family requests quilting services. I do not quilt for others on a regular basis. I always feel like I should do it but, know it will end up being a gift. I have learned my lesson. In the future if asked I will either decline or discuss what I will charge to do it.

  13. #38
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I was showing a close friend a quilt that had been pieced by me and hand quilted by the Amish. I thought it turned out nicely. A couple of months later we were discussing her son's upcoming wedding and gifts. I told her that I'd probably be giving them money so they could buy what they wanted. She replied, "Oh, that's better than an old, ugly quilt, anyway." WOW! Why didn't she just slap me? So, beauty is, indeed in the eyes of the beholder and no one, except other quilters, understands the work and love that go into these works of heart.

  14. #39
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    I have not been asked to make a quilt for someone in this kind of situation, but a long number of years ago I asked my sister-in-law if she would make a quilt for a raffle and I was really taken aback that she declined. I was not quilting at that time and did not know how much time it really took, how much the fabric and batting cost and how much of her quilting was done for the love of the process and the receiver of her work. NOW I understand. As many of you have mentioned, often goodhearted folks just don't know the costs in time and materials. Perhaps we need to gently but firmly inform them and make the quilt if WE want to and give it from our heart.

  15. #40
    Senior Member cat2quilt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virtualbernie View Post
    Before I do a quilt for anyone I explain how much fabric and batting costs nowadays. I find that people that don't sew think it's cheaper to make things than to buy it from the store and they still think that fabric is $2.00 a yard. I took my friend to the store with me and let her pick out and pay for her own fabrics and then she realized that things don't come cheap! I also let them know that I'm not a factory and making a quilt takes precious time. By the time I finish all of that, they are either glad to pay me or decide that they really didn't want anything so expensive after all. That saves a lot of hard feelings for me in the end.
    There was a time when making clothes was cheaper than buying but that time is really gone. I make quilts because I like to create something not because it is cheaper to make one than to buy one. It is easy to find a nice quilt on sale at a very low price. You did a smart thing in showing your friend the cost of a quilt. This is even more true if designer materials are used. They can be gorgeous but expensive.

  16. #41
    Senior Member cat2quilt's Avatar
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    Maybe we all need to sprinkle flour on our faces (just like the old commercial for Rice Krispie Treats), and come out of the sewing room panting. Then people will think we are working very hard in there! LOL!

    That is not a bad idea. When I show people my quilts I always mention that it takes me anywhere from 9 to 12 months to finish a quilt. I am not a fast worker.
    Last edited by cat2quilt; 02-07-2012 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Forgot quote.

  17. #42
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Just the opposite for me. I crocheted afghans and while the costs were never that high (max $50), even a fairly simple afghan was 80 to 100 hours to do. Yes, you did yourself a disservice, but ask for more than your materials. You are foolish to do this for free.

  18. #43
    Super Member Quiltbeagle's Avatar
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    You said you had discussed the cost of materials, so they should expect to be responsible for that...though did you tell them it might be about $300? Non-quilters/non-sewers might get quite a shock at today's high fabric prices! As far as the hours you spent sewing, if you didn't include that in your discussions I probably wouldn't add it in but chalk it up as a lesson learned. As for myself, your question has given me something to think about and if I ever get a request for a quilt I'll be giving a written estimate and requiring a 50% non-refundable deposit to cover my costs.

  19. #44
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    My family thinks becuase I have fabrics in my sewing room (aka "stash") it doesn't cost me anything to make them! Uh duh, who paid for them to get there???
    Quilting makes me happy!..

  20. #45
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    Exactly the same thing happened here:-(

  21. #46
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    well the lesson learned it, either state what it will cost for the material plus labor to start with, get their agreement of this. Or know in your heart it's done free. like a loan to some one unreliable.... that was my lesson or as yngldy said keep my mouth shut, learn to say NO.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  22. #47
    Super Member karate lady's Avatar
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    Add me to the "sorry I only quilt for my own pleasure as few people want to pay what it costs" group. That way I continue to enjoy my new found hobby (or addiction) and work with no pressure on me.

  23. #48
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    When I'm asked to make a quilt as a gift I reply, "Sorry, you can't afford me." I've been caught once and that was enough!
    So many quilts, so little time.

  24. #49
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    "somthing for nothing,"

    This was a common cry when we lived around all of our relatives before moving to Pittsburg. I learned by observation to not offer to do anything for any of our relatives. It was just too easy to have them take advantage of us.
    I make baby quilts for the nieces and nephews new babies which is almost "above and beyond," but I feel it is a nice gesture and I enjoy doing it. I just use scraps, but it still costs more than expected by the time you add in your time and postage.
    I say we "live and learn."
    Mariah.
    Have a wonderful Quilting Day, make it your way!
    Marta
    Martha Tompkins

  25. #50
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Wait and see. Sometimes people actually surprise you! I hope you are blessed and don't get hurt.
    Good Luck,
    Penny "Country1"
    Country 1

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