Thursday, June 28, 2012

Selling quilts

Quite often people ask me about selling my quilts.  Yes I do, but not often.  Why?  Because no one can afford them, that’s why.  Let’s figure out how much a quilt costs these days.

Example, a recently made possible sample for this year’s fall retreats.  It took one Bali Pop which retailed for $40, plus a yard of extra fabric which was $14.00 just for the top of the quilt.  Then it needed six yards for borders, backing and binding.  Six times $14 is $84.  So we’re up to $138 just in materials.   (And I didn't include the postage I paid to get it either.)

My time, well they tell me I can’t charge for my time, but it’s mine and I can if I want to, LOL!  I’ll pay myself minimum wage although I’m worth more really.  Minimum wage here is $7.25 and it took me two full days to make this quilt, start to finish, so 16 hours at $7.25 is $116. 

(My professional rate, back when I was getting it, was $20 an hour.  So you do the math, 16 hours times $20… add another $204 to the cost for my professional fee.) 

Now I have to get it quilted and since this one is too big for me to handle, I have to pay someone else to do it.  She will charge me at least $90 for the quilting (possibly more) and another $20 for the batting.  That’s another $110 to add to the cost of this quilt. 

And that’s if I get it quilted locally.  I also use long arm quilters who I have to mail to, and they mail it back, so that would cost another $50 to $60 in postage. 

Materials        $138
Time               $116 
Quilting           $110
Total cost       $364 for a quilt that’s not quite twin size but is larger than a lap quilt. 

If I have to mail it to you then you will have to pay that, I certainly am not going to.  This is a little too big for flat rate priority mail, so I’d send it UPS, which would cost you about $35 including the insurance on the quilt.   

(Now here’s an interesting note on that insurance.  It will only pay one of us, and since I’m mailing it, I think that’s me, and it would only pay me for the materials or $138.) 

And yet, I do have quilts for sale.  Why?  Because I have too many, most were samples for classes and/or used in my trunk shows.  But since I am not traveling or teaching anymore, I don’t need them all.  Some of my quilts benefit Relay For Life, some 100%, some less.  Am I making any money on these quilts… hardly.  But like I said, I have too many.  Want to see, http://delawarequilts.com/MyQuilts/QuiltsForSale.html

But that isn’t the point of this posting… my point is when someone asks you to make a quilt, be honest about the cost and DON’T sell yourself short.  And if they think you’re off your rocker, tell them to go buy one at the local something-mart… but advise them not to plan on using it very long,
or ever washing it… 

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Thanks for understanding
Marge