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Thread: What to charge for our services?

  1. #1
    Senior Member traumaRN's Avatar
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    What to charge for our services?

    I have had a co-worker approach me and ask if I would make a quilt(s) for her. Her dad just died recently after a long battle with lung disease and she wants me to make a quilt out of some of the many shirts he had. I have no problem doing this for her, I just don't know what to charge. Can anyone give me ideas on what to charge? I am thinking of a rather simple pattern, lap size quilt (60x60-ish) with fmq and binding. This one quilt may turn in to 4 as the girl has her mom, 2 sisters and plenty of dad's shirts. Thanks~
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  2. #2
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I have only made T shirt quilts for others and I charge basically 6 cents a square inch plus any materials like batting stablilizers and backing that I supply. That would be for simple squares. The smaller the pieces I have to work with the price goes up. The more piecing I have to do the higher the price. It is a matter of time spent in labor. Don't forget you will have to process all of the shirts, launder, iron and then cut up etc.
    Trying to sew, quilt or read everyday.

  3. #3
    Senior Member janegb's Avatar
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    I only make quilts for family members and close friends. I can't imagine what to charge anyone. You'll get plenty of answers on this board. Good Luck!

  4. #4
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    It's always hard for quilters to put a price on our work. My suggestions...have her pay for batting, thread, and backing. You may want to buy it yourself so what you want. Of course, save receipts. If you do charge, think about what long armers charge for their services. Since you MAY end up doing more than one quilt, I do suggest charging for the first one. Bless your heard for doing this. Just a guideline. Good luck.

    P>S>Make sure she cuts off all the buttons, collar and cuffs. That will speed up the process for you. I'd have her open up the seams to cut down the time for you.
    Last edited by Julie in NM; 11-28-2011 at 05:47 AM.
    If you don't work on it you'll never finish it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    mpspeedy's estimate is a pretty good one I would say, if you are making it to earn at least a little something for your time and skills. If you are doing it as a labor of love for a friend, that's a different ball game. But then, if other family members want one, can you cut them the same deal you did for your friend? Just noticed you said co-worker, maybe you aren't that close, so then set a price with the idea that you may be making four. How badly do you want to be making shirt quilts for the next ?? months? Charge enough to make it worth your time and effort. I don't think people who've never made a quilt realize all that goes into it!
    Thimble and Thread

  6. #6
    Super Member KerryK's Avatar
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    I agree with MarthaT. And amen to your last sentence about people not realizing all that goes into a quilt.
    Kerry
    ~ American by birth, Southern by the grace of God ~

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stitchalong's Avatar
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    I made one for my daughter using her late husbands shirts. It is more work than you might think. First you must take/cut apart the shirts. I found that the fabric frayed adding to the problems. I feel it is more work/problems than using cut fabric. Take this into consideration when you decide on your price. It is a wonderful gift to the family.

  8. #8
    Senior Member traumaRN's Avatar
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    Yes, she's just a co-worker, and while I like her, it's not like we hang out after work or go to lunch or anything. I like the idea of removing the cuffs and buttons and may just charge her a flat fee/hr for the time spent. Is $7.50 an appropriate hourly charge? I'm well paid as an RN so not sure.
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  9. #9
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    Best of luck to you, as I find people don't relize how much work goes into a quilt. Therefore they will think your charging to much.
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  10. #10
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    my favorite block for this sort of thing is the bow tie block as it is appropriate for men's shirts and has a non-feminine look. i use the quick block method for the bow ties and so you need 5 squares the same size...3 for the tie and 2 for the background...this is made in the following video on youtube: the best thing is that there is no taking apart of the shirts, just lay them down and cut thru front and back to get the blocks... you will need blocks from each shirt for each of the recipients....then when you have the 4 or 5 blocks' worth of squares, toss the remainder into bags to go back home. the owner needs to choose other fabric to serve as a background so there is new fabric to strengthen the resulting quilt. so each block only needs 3 squares for each bowtie, the other 2 squares will all be from the new background fabric (and make them big...the video is just for construction information, not that really elaborate layout.... make all the ties face the same way and at least 3", if not 4"... 4.5" squares finish at an 8" block so this is not unworkable).... and try to get some numbers together soon...i guarantee she will back out as soon as she finds out what kind of money you're talking about... they always do... last ditch....ask her if she wants to pay you 10 dollars an hour for several hours so you can show her how to make the blocks and assemble them.... this is the quilt that i collect family members' shirts to make baby boy quilts... all men have blue shirts, (striped, plaid, plain) so that's what i ask for and this way every guy in the family has a block or two in the new baby boy's quilt...remember, new fabric for the background and borders.... this is not supposed to be torture ...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh4cw...C0546D98A0C88D
    Last edited by deemail; 11-28-2011 at 07:09 AM.

  11. #11
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Suggest a nice wall hanging. You will put too many hours of your valuable time into a full quilt for a person who really does not understand the time involved. Having her remove the buttons and collars and cuffs is a good start in her education. I imagine the wall hanging would mean a whole lot more to her if she made it herself. Offer to teach her how to make it herself for a fee, of course. If she was a close friend and you knew her dad it might be different. Also, 7.50 and hour flat rate is too low - 12 to 15.00 per hour is more in line. Keep in mind it isn't only your valuable time being consumed; your fee also has to cover wear and tear on your machine, rotary cutter blades, electricity, chocolate and wine.
    Last edited by Mitch's mom; 11-29-2011 at 03:24 AM.

  12. #12
    Member AlamoAA's Avatar
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    Hi Julie in NM I am Alamoaa and I live in NM too. I am looking for a pattern for the men shirt with buttons fronts. They were about a 12" sq and a 3" sashing. I have a photo only and would like to know for a twin bed how much fabric is needed for the sash? I have hunted high and low to find it again and it is not to be found.
    AlamoAA
    Have time will quilt

  13. #13
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    I've been told $25/sq foot and so far that's been working well.

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