How much should I charge?

HoHumHollowJanuary 16, 2011

I have been really trying to start a quilting business and possibly have my first order. A lady's Grandmother has passed away and she is looking to make 6-12 lap size memory quilts from her clothing. I realize that I would need to cover the cost of materials: thread, backing, batting, and possibly sashing and stabilizer.

But my real question is how much should I charge for each quilt per hour? I am really struggling with charging low so that I can get word of mouth and charging normal prices.

Any advice is welcome. Also, any suggestions on starting up a quilting business (with little invest) would be very helpful too.

Thanks

~Jay

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teresa_nc7

Have you made many quilts yet? The reason I ask this is because many quilters would never make quilts from someone's clothing because of the variety of fabric types that would found in a woman's clothing. You could have silk, nylon, cotton, polyester, rayon, etc. etc. And all those fabrics might not play together well in a quilt. Some stretch more than others, some are heavy, some are lightweight. Modern day quilters tend to work with one or only a few types of fabrics in quilts. We usually buy 100% quilters' cotton fabric which is usually the same weight in the industry.

I think I would advise you to do some reading about making quilts before you commit to this project. Your public library will have some books and there is tons of info on the internet.

If you have specific questions, you will find very helpful quilters here.

Good luck,
Teresa

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 3:36PM
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K8Orlando

To get an idea of the range of prices charged for quilts, check etsy.com.

Charging by the hour may not be the best plan because your customers really don't care how long it takes you. Probably they wouldn't believe how long it takes! They care about the finished product. The quality of the materials used, the skill of the quilter, the overall beauty of the quilt, how the piecing and the quilting interact and balance, the ease of care, the uniqueness of the design - these are some of the things that influence the value.

I have to agree with Teresa in that mixing fabrics can be very tricky and usually not very pleasing. Your customer might want that and you might agree to do it, but I would discuss the issues with them first.

Keep in mind that by charging an unreasonably low price, even to get started, you may be influencing the perceived value of quilting in your area. You are charging for more than your time and the materials - it's your skill and creativity that make quilting an art.

Tell us more! It sounds like an interesting project.

Kate

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 4:52PM
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Lea-60

Do you have an idea yet of how long this project will take you? Once you determine what your hourly rate this will be easier for you (plus materials needed.)

After you complete a quilt for your customers ask them for a testimonial and put it on your website. If you don't have a website keep it in a binder.

I wouldn't undercharge for the work. There is value in what you do! :)

k8orlando had a good suggestion about checking etsy.com. You could check e-bay too or google quilts for sale.

I wish you the best with this.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 8:57PM
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murphy_zone7

You have received some very good information. Another consideration is what pattern would you use? Some are more intricate than others and as such would require more work.
I see that you just joined Gardenweb...Welcome!....and like Teresa, I wonder if you have done much quilting. I personally don't think quilting is something that can be charged by the hour. So much goes into a quilt,(especially one using clothing) that I would be hard pressed to determine how many hours it would take to make one.
I do wish you luck in your endeavor, just don't undercharge yourself until you really know how long it is going to take.
Murphy

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 6:13AM
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