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Thread: What would you charge?

  1. #1
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    What would you charge?

    A co-worker of my DD would like me to make a quilt from her recently deceased mother's clothing. She will provide everything needed - clothing, batting, backing and thread. She doesn't want anything fancy. Any suggestion on what to charge for something like this? She would like to have it completed by Christmas.

    Thanks for your help.

    Mary

  2. #2
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    Does she just want squares put together or something like a 9 patch with sashing? I just did this for a friend from her fathers shirts. I had to put interfacing behind each one, some were so thin ( used something specific for silk fabric it was very light and didn't add much bulk.). She picked out a quilt pattern she liked and I was comfortable making. I'm thinking of asking $250 + the quilting on my longarm. Only you can know if you can get it done by Christmas. I felt better about having her pick out the pattern so I knew she would be flappy with it. I would want to see the fabrics first. If they are slippery polyester blouse fabrics they will be more time consuming to handle.
    Cheryl Robinson
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  3. #3
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    until you see what type of fabric she plans on having in it, you really don't know what your getting into. Certain fabrics will need stabilizer on the back and that is alot more work you have to put into it. Go on etsy and do a search for tshirt quilts. You will be able to see what quilts like that are going for.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
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  4. #4
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    You couldn't pay me enough to tackle a quilt like that. I have done it for a favor and just charged for materials needed to do it. As someone mentioned it depends on what kind of clothing she brings. Cotton house dresses are easy enough to make into a top. Knits, jerseys, cordory,denim etc. are tougher to work with and combine.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would be wary of working on a project like that with a deadline of Christmas. That's a lot of pressure!

  6. #6
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I do this stuff because the money feeds my habit - I enjoy working on a project as much as the person appreciates me doing it. I may start out the conversation with "My quilt group gets $300(or whatever) or more to do this" and pay attention to their face. Then negotiate from there. I know that i never "make" any money, but consider the pay a token of my kindness.

    I did finish a quilt for a woman - gave her a choice - a variety of things that I could do w/ a range of prices and then let her chose. It took some of the "hardness" out of creating a price, too. It came down to what I'd really like to get paid and how I'd do it, down to still meeting her needs and a cost that I thought she could probably afford.
    Last edited by 117becca; 10-24-2012 at 01:31 AM.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    Those are all great suggestions everyone, thanks. I'm working on a t-shirt quilt for my nephew on and off right now, so I do know about the stabilizer on the back. I will check etsy to see what the going price is on there too.

  8. #8
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    I would be wary of working on a project like that with a deadline of Christmas. That's a lot of pressure!
    Christmas 2013 "maybe". We are staring at the calendar and November is looming large! No way would i put the pressure on my plate. I would have to charge a premium to do so.

    Sandy
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  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    You couldn't pay me enough to tackle a quilt like that. I have done it for a favor and just charged for materials needed to do it. As someone mentioned it depends on what kind of clothing she brings. Cotton house dresses are easy enough to make into a top. Knits, jerseys, cordory,denim etc. are tougher to work with and combine.

    I could not agree more. I did it once (well actually twice as the client had me make two, one for her and one for her sister). I cussed myself up, down and sideways while making it and swore I would never ever do it again. While I made a couple hundred for each quilt the aggravation wasn't worth it working with all those different weights and types of fabrics. Plus I was looking at fabric I didn't love, which I have discovered is an integral part of the enjoyment of the quilting process for me. I will do T-shirt quilts for hire but I will not make another memory quilt from clothing of deceased loved ones ever again. No amount of money is worth it to me.

  10. #10
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    1. The deadline is way short, too much pressure on you. See if you can negotiate this with her by including pictures of the fabrics and the design in a gift envelop so that the recipient can see what she'll be getting a couple months later rather than on Christmas Day.
    2. You will likely have to purchase interfacing/stabilizer/something fusible for use on some of the fabrics, allow for the cost of this yardage in what you charge. This stuff ranges from $.99 to $5.29 at JoAnns.
    3. As these will be used clothing, you may have to wash, dry and iron the fabrics before you can even start to cut and assemble. Allow for this labor.
    4. Always include a thread charge, even if it is the cost of just one spool. In your case, a cotton wrapped polyester will likely be the best for mixed fabrics, just like general, all-purpose sewing.
    5. Will the quilt be washed again after making it? Allow for that time and energy use.
    6. Will you have to set aside other things you were planning to do for the holidays to take on this project? Consider that in your fee.
    7. Will you have to drive to deliver it to her or will she come to you to pick it up? Gas fee.

    I know I seem to be nickle and dime-ing this to death, but my point is to show that we often do not realize that there is MUCH more going into our "offer to help" than what we do at the cutting and sewing table. If you are being paid "just for your time", then consider ALL of your time put into the project.

    Jan in VA
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
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    I just posted almost the same question. Will look forward to hearing the replies.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    I'm going to send this link to my daughter. I did tell her that I wanted to hear from the great members here before deciding on anything. Always lots of great advice.

  13. #13
    Senior Member pinecone's Avatar
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    A lady that I know wanted to make a Trip Around the World quilt using her mom's clothes. We just plotted out the placement and she did the rest. An easy pattern for her.

    I agree Christmas this year is too soon unless she is talking wall hanging size.

    piney

  14. #14
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    My DD said she's just going to tell her I don't have the time, but maybe we can discuss it after the first of the year if she wants to.

    Thanks for all the input everyone.

  15. #15
    Super Member Lilrain's Avatar
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    there are a lot of variables that enter into this. Fabrics? if they are poly they may be harder to work with. Whar pattern does she want, what size will the completed quilt be? Does she want it long-armed, tied or can you quilt it yourself. Quite often these projects take a lot of time, and unless it is very simple you might be pretty harried trying to complete it in 2 months.

  16. #16
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    Jan,
    You 'nailed it', as usual. The Christmas deadline request makes it obvious the lady hasn't a good idea of the time needed for such a project. Perhaps you could suggest a tied comforter of squares or rectangles and show her a picture of one. It would be the quickest--and maybe the easiest way in which to combine different fabrics. If she just wants an adult Linus quilt, it might be the way to go. Otherwise--AFTER the holidays.

  17. #17
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    I pretty much quilt "full time" and for the most part, I give my quilts away. "No one has enough money to buy them." On rare occasions I have done quilts of varying types for friends, or friends of friends. I do keep track of my hours involved. I keep track of my materials cost and on the invoice for the materials cost, I indicate how many hours were involved and then tell the person to "let their conscience be their guide" and I accept what they offer.

    Quilting is a labor of love for me and there isn't any way I can put a price tag on it. I could never do quilting for a living. I'd starve to death!! LOL

  18. #18
    Member needlefruit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    1. The deadline is way short, too much pressure on you. See if you can negotiate this with her by including pictures of the fabrics and the design in a gift envelop so that the recipient can see what she'll be getting a couple months later rather than on Christmas Day.
    2. You will likely have to purchase interfacing/stabilizer/something fusible for use on some of the fabrics, allow for the cost of this yardage in what you charge. This stuff ranges from $.99 to $5.29 at JoAnns.
    3. As these will be used clothing, you may have to wash, dry and iron the fabrics before you can even start to cut and assemble. Allow for this labor.
    4. Always include a thread charge, even if it is the cost of just one spool. In your case, a cotton wrapped polyester will likely be the best for mixed fabrics, just like general, all-purpose sewing.
    5. Will the quilt be washed again after making it? Allow for that time and energy use.
    6. Will you have to set aside other things you were planning to do for the holidays to take on this project? Consider that in your fee.
    7. Will you have to drive to deliver it to her or will she come to you to pick it up? Gas fee.

    I know I seem to be nickle and dime-ing this to death, but my point is to show that we often do not realize that there is MUCH more going into our "offer to help" than what we do at the cutting and sewing table. If you are being paid "just for your time", then consider ALL of your time put into the project.

    Jan in VA
    Consider Jan's list very carefully; she is so right. These kinds of projects can, and often do, eat your lunch. There is also an emotional factor involved, so you will want to handle the negotiations gently while protecting yourself.

  19. #19
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you're going to wait until have the beginning of the year. I agree with Jan's comments too. Besides, doing it prior to the holidays may make your holiday prepping stressful.

    Good outcome!
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  20. #20
    Junior Member Mollie'sMom's Avatar
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    Back in the spring I had a customer ask me to make a quilt for her daughter (graduating from high school)from her baby clothes. It was to be a memory quilt of her life. There were all kinds of fabric to deal with. I told her it would be $10 per square for the job plus the cost of batting and fabric for sashing, borders, and backing. There were enough garments for 30 squares. That made the job $300 plus the materials used. They were very pleased and the daughter loved it. It was a total surprise to her. I have pics, but I do not know how to post.

  21. #21
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    You couldn't pay me enough to tackle a quilt like that. I have done it for a favor and just charged for materials needed to do it. As someone mentioned it depends on what kind of clothing she brings. Cotton house dresses are easy enough to make into a top. Knits, jerseys, cordory,denim etc. are tougher to work with and combine.
    I agree! If she's a friend and you WANT to do something like that, I'd do it for the cost of supplies, but with NO DEADLINE! If she's just a random co worker who knows you quilt, I would pass. You'll never make enough money to make this worthwhile, and it will end up being extremely aggravating.

  22. #22
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I don't usually work with clothes, but I had a shirt that was hand dyed and I cut it up. It took me quite a while to cut it. So, you might want to consider how much time it will take cutting the clothes. It's not like just cutting yardage at all. You have to cut around seams, pockets, collars, hems, buttons, etc. Lots of cutting and you end up with not a lot of fabric. I wish I wouldn't have cut my shirt. I only got a tad of fabric from it after cutting all the parts I couldn't use. Dang!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  23. #23
    Senior Member maryb44662's Avatar
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    I have made several of these types of quilts for friends for free. I also made one from a lady's granddaughter's outgrown baby clothes, but I charged her $125.00 to make that one. She didn't mind paying and was so glad to have the quilt. It was about the size of a twin bed. I enjoy quilting and gifting them. If I know the friend is happy with my work and creations, then I am happy to give my quilts away. I just use 61/2 " squares and or triangles and arrange them according to colors, etc. Some I used the lace, pockets and any of the trim on the clothes that was worthy of being in the quilt. I had fun cutting up all the clothes and piecing the quilts. THERE WAS NO DEADLINE!!!!
    Last edited by maryb44662; 10-25-2012 at 07:19 AM.
    MaryB

  24. #24
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mary705 View Post
    A co-worker of my DD would like me to make a quilt from her recently deceased mother's clothing. She will provide everything needed - clothing, batting, backing and thread. She doesn't want anything fancy. Any suggestion on what to charge for something like this? She would like to have it completed by Christmas.

    Thanks for your help.

    Mary
    I have done 4 quilts like this, but I provided the batting and thread. One was ordered at the beginning of October and I finished the first one for Christmas, the rest followed the following year. What I charge depends on how easy/complicated the pattern.
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  25. #25
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    I love the challenge of making one out of clothing for a memory quilt. I have done several. I never quote a time limit on them. To me, the fun of it is to make any type of fabric play together.

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