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.

Springy Granny Squares

We have had some wonderful weather in Indianapolis the last week or so.  Flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding, and my allergies are starting to flair up.  Spring is coming.  To celebrate I wanted to create a baby quilt using small florals.  The fabric was part of a mystery box I bought a couple of years ago.  I wasn’t in love with the fabric at first.  Once I chopped it into 2.5″ squares, it became more my style.

Dipping into my solid scraps I found some coordinating colors with the small florals.  The background is a white on white circle print from JoAnn’s.  I usually keep 1-2 yards on hand for backgrounds if needed.  Last week I paired everything up to make 20 blocks while watching TV.  Everyday I sewed a few blocks and by Sunday they were finished.

I was able to sneak in some early morning sewing while everyone was still asleep.  Remember all that natural light in my sewing room from this post?  The sun was just peering from behind the clouds and the room was flooded with sunshine.  It’s my favorite time of day to work in there.

 

After finishing all 20 blocks I wanted to start on a layout.  Obligatory quilter’s feet in photo coming right up.

 

Do you like how my socks tell me which feet to put them on?  Makes me giggle.

I should have thrown in some other prints, there are many yellow and blue blocks.  Egh, we will call it a design element.  The binding will be a minty small polka dot.

 

This week I hope to piece the top and start auditioning backings.  There are a few options:

  • Pieced backing with coordinating fabrics
  • Vintage sheet
  • Solid color backing (mint or yellow)

Look on Facebook or Instagram for options later this week.


Linking up with:

Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation

March 2017 Action Items

The word goal sounds rigid.  Now I understand why people would cringe and lock up when setting goals when I was health coaching.  My goal for January wasn’t realistic.  I was still adjusting to a new job, new location and new routine.  February was about feeling the groove and making tweaks.  Now I can focus on adding more in and having action items.

Action items sound better instead of goals.  I want to turn my focus towards my health and fitness as spring begins to make it’s arrival.  Being healthy helps me be a better wife and mom.  Healthy also doesn’t have to mean weighing a certain amount.  Rather, it means being comfortable in my skin, having the ability to go run 4 miles no problem, and not feeling exhausted after a work day.  That is my definition and would love to hear yours in the comments.

It’s been roughly two months since I started my new job.  As a family we have adjusted schedules and routines to make it work.  Most mornings I’m at work by 7:30-7:45.  It’s early, but gives me time in the afternoon to exercise and still get P.  The time is there to meet my goal as well as the motivation.  Now here comes the accountability.

My goal for March is to exercise 3-4 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

Look for #healthysewist tags on Instagram to keep up with my accountability.  There should be a minimum of 15 on there this month.  March has 5 weeks and I will start from today.  Hopefully there will be some long runs to hit this bridge on the Monon Trail.

The job change has done wonders for my stress level.  Sorry old coworkers if you’re reading this, but it’s true.  I don’t feel that I have to sew everyday as a way to cope with the pressure or to get a mental break.  My evenings and weekends are spent with the family.  Sewing has become this bonus activity to enrich my life, not balance it.  It’s a shift I didn’t anticipate.

During March I want to continue to work through some older projects and ideas that have been sitting around.  Starting in April I hope to turn my focus towards some other projects. I think you guys will like that series.

 

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.

My Sewing Space

 

It’s cleaned up and more organized.

Welcome everyone to my sewing space.  This has been my space for the last four years.  You can read about the transitions we made here.  The tiny human kicked me out of the second bedroom that I was using when he arrived.  We have a lovely enclosed front porch with HUGE windows.  Loads of natural light flood the room when sewing during the day.  We recently added a larger light to make night time sewing easier on my eyes.

Ignore all those neglected scraps just sitting there in tubs.  It’s better than the trash bag they were in.

Add tackling these tubs to the to-do list.

Knowing that I was going to share this room publicly was a great motivator to clean and organize it a bit.  Most of the time my ironing board is up and off to the side.  My stash of yardage is tucked away in our back room in drawer system.  It’s not a perfect system.  However, it lets me focus on projects that I’m working on.

The extra side table isn’t really for cutting, rather it makes it easy to watch Netflix while I sew.  I can devour a whole series if I’m working on a big project.  #netflixandsew

That table looks a little bare.  I should grab some wine and start a project.  Thanks for joining me on the Sew Much Fun Blog Hop.  Be sure to visit everyone on the blog hop below.

 

Jen Frost, Faith and Fabric
Raylee Bielenberg, Sunflower Stitcheries & Quilting
Emily Carroll, toothpaste and orange cat
Sherry Smedley, adventures in life
Emma Wengier, Emkie Designs
Anne Beier, Hudson Valley Quilts
Cindy Pieters, Stichin At Home
Amanda Hilldore, Fabric Engineer

Ivette, Gotham Quilts 

My First Attempt at Free Motion Quilting

Free motion quilting (FMQ) has been a goal for years.  Much like zippers, it scares me.  Maybe it’s the idea of learning something new?  Could it be that I’m concerned it will look like my free hand drawings…awful.
With wonderful support of my IMQG friends I successfully quilted a small quilt with FMQ.
At the retreat I came prepared with my darning foot and an ancient WIP, it’s been around since 2011.  What I didn’t expect was how nervous I would feel.  With sweaty palms and a racing heart I pushed the pedal and started guiding my fabric.  Loops, I can do loops, yeah, let’s do that was my thought process.
Okay we’ve made a few, they look decent.  Even better the back looks good, the tension is correct.
Then I started to question myself and I slowed down.  Stitches started skipping and the frustration mounted.  UGH!  “I knew I couldn’t do this” began to creep into my mindset.  After stopping, breathing, and adjusting the fabric, I tried again.  I kept the seam ripper nearby for the number of errors that occurred.
 
Here is what I learned:
  • My machine likes to go fast.
  • Trust my gut and just keep moving the fabric.
  • If needed, stop and adjust everything.
The back may be my favorite part of this quilt.
I have a project in the works to try FMQ again.  This time will be at home.  I’m sure I will be texting my friends before for moral support and possibly having some wine to help me relax.
Love that drape
Quilt details:
Fabric:  Botanica and coordinating Kona Solids from Fabric.com
Pieced by various members of IMQG ~2011
Style:  Improv log cabins