Waggons West Etsy Shop

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Cost of Quilting

This article was posted on the Sew Mama Sew Facebook page today.  It is on the Mollie Sparkles Blog.  She meticulously costs out the labor materials, shipping and intellectual value of making a quilt top.  You have to go read the whole thing to get the total. 

It is a 72 x 72 inch quilt.  The real cost is staggering. The materials cost is high but certainly what it would be if we truly added it all up without some congressional grade accounting tricks like already in stash is free! 

What we truly under-value as quilters is our time and more importantly our creativity.  If you think about it, what does a consulting firm get for designing a new logo?  What about the cost of designing a webpage.  Creativity is not cheap. 

Quilters likely don't do the sort of statistical market research a logo consultant does.  However, we do survey market trends (read blogs, search on-line patterns, visit fabric stores, consult with the client or carefully consider the recipient).  How many times have you tried to use a piece from your stash only to decide it is out-of-date or doesn't fit the vibe?  How many times have you gone back for a different piece because the color doesn't play nicely or the contrast is too high or low?  It is all time.  Time well spent but seldom counted in the value of making a quilt. 

And like web-page design, making the design look good is just half the battle.  We need to do the back end construction to get all the parts to function properly.  A great design only goes so far.  The seams need to be solid and the project needs to be finished. 

The bottom line is that materials x 2 or even x 3 just doesn't cover it in terms of the real cost involved in making a quilt. 

I bring this up, because as I make more quilts I have more quilts I am ready to send on to a good home... for a price.  I've donated a fair share.  I've gifted plenty.  But I would like to sell some of them.  I want to get a fair price for them.  I tend to price them high.  (No where near where I should based on this calculation) but higher than seems seemly.  I always figure out a price at which I am willing to see them go.  Or as my husband says would you rather have the quilt in your closet or $ in your pocket.  Some of them have a price.  Some don't. 

So what do you think?  Do you sell quilts?  Make them on commission?  Do you only give/donate?  What are your quilts worth? 

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