How I Price My Quilts

Discussion on quilt pricing

Pricing quilts is often talked about among quilters.  Sometimes I share and sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t price higher, so I refrain.  On a run this week I listened to two Merriweather Council’s podcast episodes. Episode 016 and 017 really hit home and got me thinking I should share how I price my quilts.

Episode 016 “OMG. Those Annoying DIY Comments,” is something that as quilters we may see.  Oh I can just make that.  You’re right, you can.  I encourage you to create one.  That’s genuine, please do not take it as snarky.  Everyone can make a quilt, it’s a wonderful skill to learn.

There are some benefits of buying a handmade quilt that you may not think of.

  • I have cultivated a fabric collection and the necessary tools to execute a lovely baby quilt in a short time frame.
  • I can shop for my supplies in an economic way and know they that my quilts will hold up.
  • You get all the accolades at the shower without the work.

If you’re new to sewing and quilting are you really going to be happy with that first quilt?  My first quilt is horrendous and lives in my parent’s closet to prevent tormenting me when I visit.  Do you really want to put the time in shopping, cutting, sewing, and quilting only to be frustrated at the end?  Probably not.

I price my baby quilts so they aren’t an impulse purchase.  Once you’ve priced DIYing one you will see that my cost is reasonable and it’s a completed finished project.  It’s ready to ship to you right now.   Yes, $75-$90 may seem low priced for a handmade baby quilt.  Maybe it truly is.

Sewing and quilting is an outlet for me to create, not have a profitable full time business.  That is way too many quilts to create annually, I have ran the numbers.  At one point to offset my full time salary I would have needed to sell 24 sets of potholders per day, everyday for a year.  Sell 24, that means I would need two to three times that in my store daily to generate that number of sales.  It was unrealistic.

I believe every baby should have a handmade baby quilt.

At my prices it is realistic.  For that special friend or family member, my target customer is going to probably spend double my price on that baby.

I also want to build a relationship that may lead to other quilts down the road.  I want to be your quilt person.

You will find more expensive quilts in my shop.  More time and costs went into the finished product.

Episode 017 touches on market saturation.  Visit Etsy and type in baby quilt.  You will see around 94,000 options.  Buyers have many options.  Look a little deeper.  Do any stand out?  Anything that made you stop and contemplate adding to your cart?

Since the quilts are handmade, no two are exactly alike if you look close enough.  Similar yes.  Some may be producing more than one of a print or options.  However, go back to comment above, they have cultivated a collection and have fabric maybe others do not.  More than likely they are purchasing fabric wholesale, giving you a more economical finished product.  New fabric lines are being released regularly.  As a shopper you should be aware that quilting cottons in a line are usually only produced in one run.  That means if the fabric is released now it will be much harder to find in 6-12 months.

There will not be an exact replica of my quilts in another shop.  I also probably can’t remake one exactly like the one you see, especially if made of scraps.  You are getting a one of a kind product at a phenomenal price point.

Each quilter is going to price their quilts where they like.  Many have thought I am underselling myself without seeing the bigger picture or my motive.  This topic will remain a topic often discussed, as it should be.

Let me be your quilt person, see my shop selection here.

Fabric Budget UPDATE

As we wind down February, the budget is still in place. There are been a few purchases for my stash which leave my budget pretty low on funds at the moment.

One of my friends was purging her Lotta Jansdotter Echo stash. Ummm, yes please, all of it. Got an amazing deal on one of my all time favorite fabric lines.

A quilt shop near me is restructuring. Not going out of business, just changing things up. They have been doing an inventory reduction sale. I ventured out on the first night, wading through the crowd, and finding just a few items to add. I’m tempted to go back now that the entire store is 50% off. I’m very conflicted. Honestly, there is nothing that I NEED. Is there really anything I WANT? Doubtful.

Okay, I went after writing the above. I did find some fabrics to use. They were down to $3/yard. How could I resist?

All this for $37

The $100 fabric budget did wonders for changing my whole thought process on fabric buying. Old me would have probably spent too much money at that sale and sit on the fabric for four years. Instead I truly looked for things that I will use. That blue fabric will be backings for boy baby quilts. Black and white polka dot could go with anything. The floral prints are for pillow for the living room. Need to brighten that up this spring.

IMQG hosted their February meeting at The Sewing Speakeasy.  These charm packs called out to me with their saturated colors. An idea is already in mind for what to make. I’m going old school and creating a disappearing nine patch. If you are new to my blog, it used to be my go to pattern for a baby quilt. I haven’t made one in almost three years.

I envision something fun and bright once the top is created. Grey thread in FMQ. Maybe a vintage sheet on the back too. Speaking of vintage sheets, I was able to pass some on to another quilter at the meeting. Felt good to get rid of some sheets that I have had for a while. My husband was confused at first.

“You love vintage sheets,” he stated. “Yes, hubby I do. If I really wanted to do something with these, I would have by now,” was my reply. “Fair,” he responded.

Flying Geese Baby Quilt

This was one of my last projects in 2016.  The binding was finished on New Year’s Eve.  Since then I have been working on some items around the house and projects.  Plus, I really wanted to wait to show off this quilt after it had been gifted.

More geese made from stash and scrap fabrics.  Ahhh….except

There are a couple of OOPS .  Can you find them?

It could have been the burn out from working on a bagillion geese blocks between the two quilts.  See the previous quilt here.  Maybe it was the fabrics that were “straightened up” on a random day.  I think it’s important to be honest note not every project is “perfect.”  I’m okay with that as a maker.  Honestly, you probably wouldn’t notice unless I mentioned it and you did zoom in on the above photo.

The last 5-7 sets of geese on this quilt were just a creative roadblock.  In the end I love how it turned out.  For the backing I dug into my vintage sheet collection.    It’s a great selection especially if you knew the parents, they may be into sports.

Orange solid binding was a great way to wrap up this quilt.  That is hand sewn binding on the back.  No machine binding this time.

It’s now gone to our friends that are expecting a boy very soon.  I hope they use it and enjoy the quilt.


Another Flying Geese quilt click here

December Fabric Budget

I did it!  I did it!  Honestly, when I set out with this crazy idea I didn’t know if I could meet it.  There have been outliers to the budget for various reasons during the year.

After gift it some thought and reflection, I want to push forward with this and challenge myself again.  My friend Katie, brought up an idea to add another $100 for completing a year.  Then I went to clean up my sewing room.  I found more projects and fabric than I care to admit.  UGH!  There are some colors and small things missing that I would like to have.   I think the best bet for now is to move forward with the limited budget to keep my original intent in place.

USE WHAT I HAVE

Clean sewing room?

Should I be embarrassed that this is cleaned up?  Also what do you do with scrap batting?

I can make this work and maybe will renew my focus.  My goals for 2017 are not solidified yet.  There are some details I need to work out before they can be shared.

 

PS…I barely avoided the post holiday fabric sales

November Fabric Budget

november-fabric-budget

Another month down and still in the green.  Over the year this experiment has really encouraged me to dig back into my stash, go through scraps, modify ideas and make it work.  It’s refreshing.  It’s hard at the same time.

There have been some gorgeous fabrics that have been released this year and lots of amazing sales.  I have been able to resist.  It really boils down to how long can I keep this going?  Another three months?  Another six months?

Right now my balance going into December is $31.39.  I don’t think that’s realistic for the long term, but definitely a good challenge.  There are plenty of fabrics I could further destash and there are a few commissions in the works.

At this point, I think I continue forward.  Challenge myself to create with what I have and be resourceful.

 

October Fabric Budget

Big fat ZERO.  Nothing spent, nothing earned over the month.  Instead, I have dug deep into my stash and scraps to whip up some quilts.  It feels pretty great my fabric budget is still small but I’m determined.

october-fabric-budget