I’ve had a request for pricing on my quilts so I thought I’d explain how I come up with pricing. The first thing I figure in is the cost of the fabric for the quilt top. If you haven’t visited a quilt shop recently, I’d recommend it. Beautiful fabrics will assail your sense of sight right away and then the price tag will assault your common sense. Quilt fabric is now up to and over $10 a yard. It’s quality fabric, though. The same way choice cuts of meat are sold to restaurants so are the choice bolts of fabric sold to quilt shops. Even if you see the very same fabric pattern in Walmart or Hobby Lobby that is NOT the same fabric.
I started out with Walmart fabric and found out right away the difference. Quilt shop fabric does not need the horribly heavily scented fabric starch to give it body. Quilt shop fabric has body because of the weave and number of threads in the fabric. Discount store fabric is hard to straighten (‘square up’) and if fabric isn’t cut straight on the grain it’s hard to get the quilt pieces to set in correctly and match up edges correctly. It’s like trying to build a house with warped lumber.
So even though quilt shop fabric is expensive, it’s worth the cost as quilts should be long term friends. I figure $100 at a minimum for quilt top fabric. I may have some left over for future quilts but I may also have to go back and buy more to either add or replace a fabric that just didn’t sit right with the other fabrics. Those fabrics I have to put in ‘time out’ until they find a fabric group they fit well with (naughty fabric!) Add to the quilt top cost the cost of batting and backing and I figure $150-200 for materials.
Making the quilt sometimes starts with a pattern in mind and sometimes it starts with finding a beautiful fabric I want to experience. Even after I find the pattern and fabric I seldom stick to the pattern. As I finish a square or block I put it on my design wall and imagination sprouts new ideas every time I look at it. Very few of my quilts are exact copies of the original patterns.
I figure a minimum of 6 months to piece my tradition quilts. I’ve had several that have taken more than a year to piece and a year or more to hand quilt after that. No, that’s not with me doing continuous working on them and I’ve never tallied and calculated the hours spend on a specific quilt but I did keep track of the feathered border on the Mariner’s Compass quilt, TouchStone. It took a hour to do a 2 inch segment. The feathered border went all the way around the outside edge of the 90×90 inch quilt.
Most of my quilts are hand quilted but sometimes it’s better to machine quilt it. If the quilt will be greatly used and washed often, such as a comfort, baby quilt, I’d have it machine quilted. If the quilt is needed quicker than I can hand quilt it then I may give in and have it machine quilted. Machine quilting is another cost I can’t control. The pink and brown quilt on the prior post cost $90 to machine quilt. The price has gone up since that one was done. A baby quilt cost $45 to machine quilt now. These costs may sound high but I’ve seen the price tags on those long arm quilting machines – thousand of dollars just for the machine, then add in the labor and time costs to run the machine and these costs are piddling.
I know it’s shocking to see a price of $500 or more on a quilt, but now you can understand why.
Thanks for visiting at Beulah Land’s quilting room today!
ps Here’s a picture of the center of the TouchStone Quilt. The hand quilted feathered border is outside of this – not shown here, but you can see some of the other detailed hand quilting.