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Does anyone here sell their quilts?

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Jenia Posted: Fri, Apr 5 2013 10:37 AM

I have been asked to make a quilt for sale which is a first for me.  I usually give them to family and friends or keep them for myself.

I understand the material costs involved as I am an accountant but what about the time involved?  Is there a going rate? 

This is fun for me, it's not work.  So how do you value your fun time?

I do mine all by hand even the quilting portion.  Is that worth more or less?

People have commented that my stitches look  good..  I try to make nice small evenly spaced stitches so that it's not a flimsy hand-made thing.  It seems almost as good as machine work IMO.

Thank you for your help in advance if you can offer any advise I would greatly appreciate it.

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Terri replied on Fri, Apr 5 2013 1:56 PM

I also quilt for fun, and give many away to friends or raffles.  What I typically do when asked to make one, is let them know the total cost of fabric and supplies.  I usually receive more than I would have asked for, when they pay me.  You do have to be willing to make very little if you do this though, as not everyone appreciates the work put into them.  Good luck!

 

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gini replied on Fri, Apr 5 2013 2:06 PM

i think a rule of thumb is two or three times the cost of supplies

gini in north idaho

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Jenia replied on Fri, Apr 5 2013 3:15 PM

Hmmm...my particular project that they want to actually resell is an old necktie quilt.   That is they want me to make them a quilt that they are going to resell in a large show in Las Vegas with other "recycled" items such as tables made from old suitcases and such. 

I have my own idea about how to make these; and I'm hoping it will work out good and easy, but I haven't done one yet, so I might just be out on a limb thinking that it will work out.  So many other people do it differently than I would, and there must be a reason unbeknownst to me as yet (probably until I actually give it a try).

Anyway, I have purchased 100's of ties from ebay at nowhere more than $1 each (most about $0.25  each)  I hunted and was lucky to win some at these lower prices.  Most of the lots sell for more than $1 each.   So if I used the cost of material, do I use what I paid; do I use what other people pay because I really searched and waited and go lucky at my price?  

I have a feeling that my "middle-lady" reseller is not going to want to pay too much; but it might be worth it if she does the leg work to see what they might sell for.  If my easy idea works out any way.  I'm still on the fence about all of this any way.  It might take all the fun out of it If I was too pressured to make it work, you know?

Thanks for your comments.

Is there any one that charges by the hour?  Does is make a difference if it's hand work or machine work?  I did a google search and some say $10 per hour for hand work, does that sound reasonable?  It seems like it would be far too expensive at that rate.

 

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gini replied on Fri, Apr 5 2013 5:02 PM

i thought they charged by the inch.   charging by the hour, you have no idea how much time they are going  spend and there wouldn't be a way to compare prices.

if ties usually go for a dollar a tie, i would use that number.   remember you need to add up the batting, backing, thread, supplies, etc.

i'm renovating an old quilt right now and have no idea what restoration is worth on a quilt that is threadbare.    i'm keeping track of the hours i spend and will leave it up to the owner.   he said he would trade a violin for the work.  we''ll see.   i've never done this before and thought it might be a fun project.

gini in north idaho

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Like you, I make quilts for family, friends and myself.  I've sold some quilts that I've made but really hard to try and figure out how many hours you've worked on a certain quilt.

Because I enjoy being at my sewing machine so much, if I can get back the money I spent on a quilt and maybe add a few more $$'s I'm happy.   Does this sound reasonable?  I've also been given a little extra money a few times along with the price I quoted.  

We have a Maine Quilt Shop Hop April 1-30. 

37 quilts shops are participating, each shop stamps your passport and at the end of the month all passports are mailed to one quilt shop in Bath,ME and they calculate each one to see how many shops each individual has visited and that determines what prize category you're in.  We get a charm square of a different color from each shop along with a goody bag.  This year they are offering a Maine Shop Hop Tote pattern.  All of the charm squares will be used in the tote bag.  I'll have to place it my gallery when complete.  Tomorrow my husband and I will take a day trip to 4 shops.  They have lots of prizes and the chauffeur also gets to sign up for a $100 gas gift card.  Can't wait!!!

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I like the two or three times what you've spent on a quilt, I did try that and didn't get what I wanted.  People have no idea what fabric cost.....good fabric.

 

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Handquilting takes a lot more time than machine quilting, so that needs to be taken into consideration. The Amish get around $750-1000. for their handquilted quilts, sometimes more depending on the pattern. $10.00 an hour plus actual cost of materials seems like a reasonable amount to charge. I don't see any way a quilt like this would sell for more than you could charge considering the upcycled materials and the fact you are handquilting it. I am currently making a tie quilt for a friend and it is a lot of work just preparing the ties. Also the stabilizer/ fusible I'm using is very expensive (Steam a Seam). I figure by the time I've finished just the top, there will be around $45.00 just in supplies (not counting the ties). The recipient will get it longarmed for an additional cost of $65.00.

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Debbie replied on Sat, Apr 6 2013 9:34 AM

Jenia:
I have been asked to make a quilt for sale which is a first for me. 

I made a OKC Thunder tshirt quilt for a co-worker's mother last year and she paid me $175.  I bought the backing fabric and had the stabilizer on hand already.  She provided all the tshirts, so mainly paid me for my time and the fabric I bought. I tied the quilt since every tshirt I used had the picture in different place, also can't see quilting tshirts. Her quilt picture is in my gallery. 

I also finished one for another co-worker.  Her DH's Mom passed away and when going thru her stuff, they found quilt blocks that were completed, and just needed to be put together for the quilt.  She bought the backing, a Ralph Lauren king size sheet, looked very manly!  I put it all together, added prairie points for the binding and then paid to have it quilted and she paid me $50 for my time plus the quilting.  since I didn't have to make the blocks, I thought that was a fair deal. It didn't take long to do at all, just straight rows. I need to add a picture to my gallery.  Some of the material her husband recognized from his childhood and he's in his 60s.  Mom had newspaper dated 1950s mixed in with the blocks.  We did it as a surprise and Jerry was surprised.  Also, had some fabric left over that was from some of the blocks and Barb gave me all that.  I used it to make a quilt for their new grandson, so his quilt is like Papa's, with baby flannel on the back.    

"I'm just a poor soul who's intentions are good.   Oh, Lord, Please don't let me be misunderstood."

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Debbie replied on Sat, Apr 6 2013 9:48 AM

Jenia:

Is there any one that charges by the hour?  Does is make a difference if it's hand work or machine work?  I did a google search and some say $10 per hour for hand work, does that sound reasonable?  It seems like it would be far too expensive at that rate.

One of the older ladies at my church, who does just beautiful hand quilting, charges by the inch on thread she uses for the hand quilting. She's 94 years old and going strong, doesn't look it either. she charges 10 cents an inch and I paid $90 for a kaleidoscope queen size quilt to be hand quilted. She also makes gorgeous quilts. But I can't afford her to often, that one was a wedding gift to my DS and DIL. 

Now, another lady also hand quilts and she only charges my $15 for a baby size quilt, straight lines 5 down, 5 across and then border, all in the ditch.  she charged me $25 for the last one, it was the blue Sunbonnet Sue that's in my gallery.  just straight in the ditch. Sandra loves to do hand quilting but doesn't like to piece

"I'm just a poor soul who's intentions are good.   Oh, Lord, Please don't let me be misunderstood."

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Jenia replied on Mon, Apr 8 2013 1:48 PM

Thank you all for the wonderful ideas and information.  As I mentioned earlier (in my mistaken duplicate post) I don't know if I will be able to finish this quilt in the time constraints now that I think about it.  BUT all of this is great information to have just in case it comes up again.

You are all so helpful, I thank you all!

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If you don't charge enough, you will be selling yourself short, and therefore, putting a cheaper price on your talent.  People that don't quilt don't understand the time, effort, supplies, ripping, and re-sewing that takes place in a quilt.  Ask yourself this question.  Would you be happy selling your quilt for minimum wage?  Why shouldn't you make money on the quilt, when the reseller is going to do the same without any work involved.  Be proud of your work and don't sell yourself short.  I've been advised that if I put a price on my work,, should I wish to sell it, and it did not sell, to then raise the price.   Sometimes people feel that if it's not expensive, it's not worth having.  I live in a tourist community and tourists don't think twice about spending $4,500.00 on a watercolor or oil painting, but that's because they see it as art.  People that don't quilt don't easily see our talent as art, although it has much the same value, sweat, tears, heart and soul.  Don't sell yourself short, or in the future, you will never be able to demand the price you deserve for your work. Good luck with your decision

dcpizzalady58

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Jenia replied on Mon, Apr 8 2013 2:39 PM

Thanks, dcpizzalady58!

I know some of the research and comments here sound very low to me.  Before I decided to try this art form myself I asked the Amish to quilt a top that my grandmother had done.  It was going to cost $1400 at the time and this was in the 1990's!  Granny told me I would be crazy to pay that price and that her church would do it for about $300. 

I never had it done and I still have it waiting for me to get brave enough to quilt.  It's an extremely complicated pattern and she wanted hearts in certain areas of the quilting.  I can't recall the pattern name at the moment but it's a king size and a very nice navy blue and pink pattern.

It seems that the price to charge range is so varied and vast.  I would probably work it up in several different ways...by the hour; by the material and multiply, by the inch, by the thread.  Then ask the most and negotiate to nothing less than the least.

You are right it is an art - if everyone could do it they wouldn't ask to pay for it would they?

Thanks for your confidence - it's very helpful.

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Joni replied on Mon, Apr 8 2013 2:52 PM

Why do we have two threads asking the same question???  Just worded differently.  Is it possible to combine them??

Just asking!  I try not to duplicate threads, but not perfect, my learning curve here has been very slow...guess I'm still learning.

 

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Jenia replied on Mon, Apr 8 2013 3:02 PM

It was my fault Joni.  I apologized the day these hit, but I got answers on both.  I received an error when I posted the original question so I re-posted it (actually happened twice).  Then I realized it had gone through the first time (after 3 attempts btw).  I afterward was told that you cannot delete posts once they are made.  So lesson learned for sure! 

I changed one of my posts to ask the question how in the heck can I delete the mistakes - which is why you don't see 3!  It's hard to believe that you cannot delete your post once it's been submitted, but you can't.  I now know to check the posting before I try again, and to read and proof my comments before submitting!

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