|Finished size: 39" x 71"|
When coming up with with an estimate on what to charge, I considered quite a few things. I had read Sam Hunter's arguments on the worth of a quilt and Molli Sparkle's detailed breakdown of the value of a quilt he made, and they both influenced me greatly to charge a fair amount for my time. Many of my friends and family also supported the estimate I came up with, and in some cases thought I should charge more.
But it was my husband, who grew up with a cabinet maker dad and artist mom, that gave me the courage to actually charge the amount I came up with. He knew that artisan and custom work is worth a lot more, and certainly costs a lot more. His advice of "do what I'll regret less" helped too--I'd rather charge a lot and make a really nice quilt than charge less and kick myself for how much time I'm putting into it for the sake of a sale.
|It took 3 hours (!) to trim/square the quilt, tie off, bury and trim the threads, and bind it.|
And if the person didn't like the price? Well there are plenty of similar quilts (but less detailed, less quilted, less artistic and less expensive) to be purchased out there.
Just after finishing the quilt, I came across Molli Sparkle's post on Sew Mama Sew on the putting value on your quilts, and I downloaded his excel template (at the bottom of his post) to see where my quilt came out:
A few things to note are that I added a rush charge (the quilt was commissioned January 6th and it needed to be delivered out of state before February 14th), I felt that my time and quilting ability are worth (at least) $25 an hour, and it doesn't include the Paypal 2.9% invoice fee (should the buyer or seller pay that I wonder?).
So you're probably wondering if that is what I actually sold the quilt for, and the answer is no. I didn't include the design time in the actual price since I plan to mortgage that over several of these quilts, nor did I include the profit markup. Because it was my first sale, there were a few costs I didn't know about, and even though I tried to estimate the correct amount of time it would take me, I ended up under-estimating it quite a bit (of course).
I also didn't include the amount of time it took to shop for the fabric, driving to the store to buy it, coming up with quilting designs (though most of that I had done for the previous quilt, I still spent quite a bit of time coming up with new designs where needed), dealing with quilting/machine issues, washing, drying, or shaping it, photographing it, packaging it, or taking it to the post office. Seriously, that is all time out of my day--time away from projects I would have otherwise been working on, time away from cooking, cleaning, or spending time with my family--time that has worth, and really should be paid for!
When all was said and done I got paid for materials, shipping and about $20/hr for piecing, quilting, and finishing the quilt. And I feel really good about that. I learned a lot from this whole experience, and now I have much more accurate numbers to base estimates on. So even though I don't plan to charge $1,027.41 for the next quilt like this, I will certainly charge more than for the first one! Because my time and my quilts are $ew Worth it!