Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Cost of Quilting

  I am a quilter and I make quilts because I love to create them. I give most of my quilts away to friends and family because the fun is in the creation of the quilt. I have kept a few that I could not bear to part with, like all my Shop Hop Quilts! I rarely paid attention to how much it costs to make a quilt or how much fabric each quilt takes altogether, (that would be the front, batting, and backing).
  Today I started getting ready to do another Mystery Quilt on AQS, it will be a clue a month mystery quilt and I am really looking forward to it. Another friend of mine, Mychal, is also going to join the fun and he asked me a couple of questions so I was looking at the yardage requirements for the quilt, which were given as the first months clue, and DAMN they are asking for a lot of fabric!!!! 15 1/2 yds of fabric for just the top, that is only twin size!! A 72" by 90" quilt top is about 5 1/2 yards of fabric, if you just laid it out flat. How does it take 15 1/2 yards to make a 5 1/2 yards? A lot of waste or a lot of seams!!!!
  When ever I am asked how much it costs to make a quilt I always just say over $200. but I was including the batting and the backing, which can be a $100. by themselves, and they are always king size quilts!! I need to pay more attention to how much I spend on my quilts!!!

  My mom always asks me why I don't sell my quilts and I just shake my head, because it would be like selling part of me, but at these prices for making a quilt, who could afford to buy one???

  Let's add it up; King size is 110 x 106 (that's about 3 yds x 3 yds, so 9 yds total). So if it takes 3 times the finished size for the top fabric, that comes out to be 27 yds, with a yard of fabric costing an average of $10.00 a yard, that's $270.00, just for the top. The batting for a king size quilt is about $50.00, unless you get it on sale! That leaves the backing which is at least 9 more yards of fabric, $90.00.

 And don't forget the price of thread. I used 2 spools of 40 wt to sew my last quilt top and 6 spools of 12 wt to quilt it, that's around $50.00, just for the thread. Now our quilt costs $460.00!! WOW!!!!    

  Now how do you put a price on the time it will take you to make it? Do you keep track of the hours you spend on it? How do you charge for your creative process which is used for the quilting design part or the choosing the fabrics part?

Normally when I am making something to sell, I take the price of what it cost to make it and double that, with the thought that I can sell one and make two more. However when you start adding up the time it takes to make a quilt, (maybe around 300 hours all together) you have to think about what your time is worth! Who knew so much went in to making a quilt?
   When I agree to make something for someone else and they are paying for it, it can still be fun. When they start telling me how to do it, it can quickly become work. I usually work out of my stash, adding something bought new only if I need something to make the quilt fit my vision, so it is hard to know exactly how much fabric costs per quilt or how much I actually use per quilt.
  The real question for me is....Is it still fun or has it now become 'WORK'? Quilting should be fun.

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