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Thread: What would you consider charging?

  1. #1
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    What would you consider charging?

    I made a baby quilt for the daughter-in-law of a good friend. At the shower everyone loved the quilt to the point where a neighbor asked me how much I would charge to make one for her to give her son and daughter-in-law for their baby girl coming in August. The request took me back a bit and the only thing I could say was that the fabrics were expensive and I don't know how much time I had in making the quilt. Another neighbor chipped in and confirmed that the fabrics are expensive, they were 30s and in our area normally run from $9.95-11.50 a yard. I discussed this with a seasoned quilting friend of mine and with the cost of fabrics ranging around 35-45 dollars, I thought $85 total would be fair. My husband overheard the conversation and thought I should charge no-less than $100 because my time is worth more than my first estimate. What do you think? The quilt I made was 38x42 inches.

  2. #2
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I've done a few baby quilts on commission. No less than $150. http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...e-t192511.html Here's one I did for $160, only because she is a good customer, and orders often.

  3. #3
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I agree with your husband - not less than $100 plus the cost of fabrics. What I've done in the past is to have the client purchase the fabrics or reimburse me separately for them with the understanding that I will keep any leftover fabric.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  4. #4
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    Itemize a receipt of fabric, batt, thread and your time and give it to the lady. Most people have no idea how much a quilt costs. If she approves it, get the cost of materials up front in case she changes her mind about paying the full amount, you are not out any money.

  5. #5
    KR
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    How about using a formula? $__ per square foot or square yard. Determine an average cost for materials, then double that to include labor. Just a thought.
    Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift....that's why it's called the present.
    Karen

  6. #6
    Senior Member isewman's Avatar
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    I agree with your husband, and everyone else. I would at least charge a $100.00-(maybe $125.00). I had a lady friend ask me to make a quilt for her grdaughter. I told her the cost would be at least the cost I mentioned in this message. She told me she'd get back with me. Never did hear from her. That was okay with me. I would go with $100.00-$125.00

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Costs of materials is one thing ... and don't forget all the supplies that are used. It's not just fabric!

    Your time ... consider how long you take to make a quilt. At $50 ... can you make that quilt in just 2 or 3 hours? Unless it is a very basic one, I doubt it! And even the simpler ones still take time thru to the end of sewing on the binding!

    Next time you make a quilt, track how many hours ... it'll be an eye opener!!
    And don't forget washing the fabric and cutting it out ready to sew ... all takes time!
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  8. #8
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Itemize a receipt of fabric, batt, thread and your time and give it to the lady. Most people have no idea how much a quilt costs. If she approves it, get the cost of materials up front in case she changes her mind about paying the full amount, you are not out any money.
    I did that for a friend who thought I'd give her a "good price" for a wedding cake for her friend's daughter. I itemized the approximate cost of ingredients, supplies (like boards, separator plates, etc.), and the amount of time that would be spent working on the cake, then gave her the estimate. The subject never came up again. I do make cakes for friends and family and just have them buy the ingredients but this was a case where she thought she could make a "good deal" off of our "friendship." I agree with Tartan.
    One step at a time, always forward.

  9. #9
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    Cost of materials plus a MINIMUM of $10.00/hr for your time...to me, my time is precious, and I would charge at least $12/hr...I have enough of my own projects, that I wouldn't make something for someone else unless I am compensated well enough for my time. A quilt that you give away as a gift is a labor of love and priceless, but if you are making one to order, you should be paid appropriately for your TIME!

  10. #10
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I like to make purses. I had a gal ask me about my current purse. She loved it. When I said $50 she really backed up. She said, "I can buy purses for much less than that" My reply was, "Well I don't have a sweat shop full of people being paid pennies per hour to make them. Also, I don't like to use cheap fabric." I got the perverbial nose in the air and walk off from her. People think "well you are doing this at home" and you shouldn't be compensated for your time.

    I do agree with the husband, the MINIMUM charge for the quilt should be $100 over materials cost. OR you could give her the "friend of a friend of a friend" pricing and charge $150 over materials!
    Crashnquilt


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  11. #11
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    you gals all make so much sense... i'll have to reconsider my time when asked to make a quilt!

    and leadtheflea... your quilt is gorgeous!!!
    Nancy in western NY
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    http://www.custommade.com/gallery/custom-quilts/

    here is a website where you can see lots of quilts and the prices they're charging. the panel quilts are cheaper than fully pieced quilts.
    Kate

  13. #13
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Being ask to make something really puts you in a spot. You don't want to sound like you'd overcharge but people don't have a clue about the cost of materials and the time you have to spend making something. I've only made a baby quilt like that once..... many years ago. I used to make clothing for people some time ago, too. I don't do that any more because no matter what I do, how well I do it, or how quickly I can get it done, I always feel that they thought I should have done more ...... doesn't satisfy me. I give my quilts to those I love or keep them. I'll never do another quilt or any sewing for that matter, for money. My gifts are gifts.

  14. #14
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I think you should make sure you have all materials covered and your time is worth a lot to.

  15. #15
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    I think that if you are doing this for a "living" than yes, charge like you have a real job - $10/hr or more. If you are doing it because you love to do it and would really like to make this for your friend's son, than just charge for the materials, matter a fact take her with you and let her pay the cashier. I get a kick out of people who think they do such a good job that they need to be paid the top dollar for a hobby. Sorry, but unless you are doing this as a business (which I could not do, don't like making two of the same thing), you should be happy to have the materials covered. A friend of my husband, his wife was making stuffed animals, you know the panels you buy and cut out, assemble and stuff - I wanted to be kind and courteous, and complimented her on a dinosaur she made. Said, "wow, that is cute, I have a nephew who really likes dinosaurs, bet he would love it." She made one and her husband brought it over and of course as surprised as I was I asked what I owed her, $25!!!! Got out the purse, paid and was much less enthusiastic when complimenting people. So - some of us are pretty proud of our work, but are we all we think we are?
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  16. #16
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I agree with Marti. It depends on where you want to go with this endeavor. Do you want it to become a job that makes actual money or do you just want to support your quilting habit? Some people love to quilt enough that just having their supplies paid for is a blessing. Other people need to make actual income. You've got to know your own situation.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I understand all about appreciating our time and effort, BUT you also have to look at it from the buyer's perspective. I do not know about you, but I would not pay $200+ for a baby quilt. If it is priced right, more customers will come. We like the craft and we do it for fun. If we get paid for it even better. I would say that staying between $100 and $125 total would be a good price. I may be wrong. Good luck!

  18. #18
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I don't do sewing of any kind for the public. Friends and family I usually do whatever I do as a gift. Occasionally I will do something that I get paid for.

    If a "random person" asks me how much I would charge to make a quilt my standard answer is my prices start at $350. Haven't had any takers! Thank goodness.

    Usually for a friend I will ask for the left over fabric and possibly a nominal amount of cash. A lot depends on whether I really want to do it or not. Lol!

    And I'm trying to break my daughter's habit of telling people "oh my mom can. . ."

    It's not so much not wanting to do it as fearing I won't get it done in a timely manner.

  19. #19
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't make one for less than $150. My time is actually worth something. Even every day mundane tasks if you had to pay someone to have them done would cost at least $10 an hour and I think housekeepers have gone up to $15 an hour in most places. Every second I spend working on something for somebody else is time I'm not spending on my own tasks.

    And quilt making is NOT unskilled labor!!! Just because you do it for a hobby or your own personal pleasure does not mean that you should have to do it for pennies an hour for somebody else.

    When you get paid for a quilt you are in business, even if it's just once, it's still a business transaction.

  20. #20
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    Personally I wouldn't make one for less than $150. My time is actually worth something. Even every day mundane tasks if you had to pay someone to have them done would cost at least $10 an hour and I think housekeepers have gone up to $15 an hour in most places. Every second I spend working on something for somebody else is time I'm not spending on my own tasks.

    And quilt making is NOT unskilled labor!!! Just because you do it for a hobby or your own personal pleasure does not mean that you should have to do it for pennies an hour for somebody else.

    When you get paid for a quilt you are in business, even if it's just once, it's still a business transaction.
    Well Said, ScissorQ!!

    And I'll add ... once you do one at a less than realistic price, you have set a precedent. So what then, when that same person says I'd like another? .... or a dozen?

    One should treat themself fairly ... unless they want to be treated like a doormat!

    If they want cheap .... then tell them to go to WalMart!
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  21. #21
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Alot of people say I should sell my quilts, but same as everyone else...People are shocked to hear what it cost to make a quilt buying from LQS, batting, thread..not even including labor...the cost of the materials for a custom quilt is expensive. that is one reason why I make more scrappies as give aways...I am going to start keeping more of my quilts that i have a plan for. Sometimes I wonder why I do this...but I do find it relaxing and enjoy the process.

  22. #22
    Super Member CookyIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patchsamkim View Post
    Cost of materials plus a MINIMUM of $10.00/hr for your time...to me, my time is precious, and I would charge at least $12/hr...I have enough of my own projects, that I wouldn't make something for someone else unless I am compensated well enough for my time. A quilt that you give away as a gift is a labor of love and priceless, but if you are making one to order, you should be paid appropriately for your TIME!
    Couldn't agree more. And it isn't just your time... it's your skill and craftsmanship as well. I like the idea of having her pay in advance for materials. That will make it less likely that she'll change her mind, and ensure that you don't get totally stuck if she does.

  23. #23
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug View Post
    Alot of people say I should sell my quilts, but same as everyone else...People are shocked to hear what it cost to make a quilt buying from LQS, batting, thread..not even including labor...the cost of the materials for a custom quilt is expensive.
    This has been my experience as well. Someone asked me to recreate an old, well-loved quilt. I very carefully wrote up a proposal. I estimated about $100 for labor and $100 for fabric/supplies. She was shocked and said "Oh, I just assumed you'd just use fabrics from your stash." So, because I've already purchased it, that means she should get it for free???

  24. #24
    Junior Member SemiSweet's Avatar
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    When calculating the cost of your time, don't forget the added stress of making sure you "get it right" for someone that's paying for it. When I make make one for myself I don't worry that much if there are flaws. I worry a bit about a gift, but usually I know they'll be so touched by the gift that they won't notice mistakes. I would feel the most stress about doing something on commission.

  25. #25
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    ....And I'll add ... once you do one at a less than realistic price, you have set a precedent. So what then, when that same person says I'd like another? .... or a dozen...
    I agree in principle, QuiltE, but there are exceptions. As a "foot in the door" move I once underpriced myself to get an initial commission (basically covered materials, plus enough extra for an expensive bar of chocolate) gambling that this particular person would request other quilts and be willing to pay a higher price when she saw what I could do. It paid off for me, and she has been a loyal customer for three separate projects so far, with a fourth pending. If I hadn't lowballed my initial "bid" (on the now defunct Alchemy section of Etsy) I would not have got her repeat business.

    Quote Originally Posted by SemiSweet View Post
    When calculating the cost of your time, don't forget the added stress of making sure you "get it right" for someone that's paying for it. When I make make one for myself I don't worry that much if there are flaws. I worry a bit about a gift, but usually I know they'll be so touched by the gift that they won't notice mistakes. I would feel the most stress about doing something on commission.
    This is very true, and is something I wrestle with each time I make a commissioned quilt. I haven't had any negative reactions so far...but I am always nervous right 'til the end! It is the worst part of the process for me.

    Alison

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