It may seem that quilts are expensive and if you’re a quilter, chances are at least one person has asked you if you sell your quilts. I know I’m asked that question a lot. Usually my answer was “no,” and I explained that it was just too costly for a handmade quilt for it to be fair to the quilter.
A few times, I did agree to make a quilt for sale. In those cases, I usually got the customer to buy the fabric, batting, and thread separately. I found that this gave them a better understanding of cost. If you’ve never shopped for these things, it’s not likely you will know how expensive they can be. Perhaps $10 a yard or metre doesn’t sound too pricey right off the bat, but once you learn that you’ll need multiple yards or metres for the top alone, and then the backing, plus the batting and thread, you can see those dollar numbers climb pretty quickly.
If the customer still wants to go ahead, then we can talk price for the work involved. This too is quite variable. Does the customer want a simple pieced block top? Does she want a complicated top? And what kind of quilting? Simple, custom?
Are they really too expensive?
In 2018, photographer and quilter Doug Sobel put together this meme that was circulating on Facebook, on why quilts are expensive. I think it’s an eye opener to those who aren’t familiar with handmade items. Note that he lists longarming as the work for quilting, which means the quilt will be finished more quickly than if you’re machine quilting. So if you’re machine quilting, it will take longer, which increases the price. This is also for a queen size quilt, so the price will be a bit lower for a smaller one.
Now that I have my longarm machine, I am selling some quilts on my site and taking a few orders now and then. The new machine speeds up the process that makes quilting for others viable.
Have you made quilts for hire or sold quilts you made previously? How did you decide on the costs?