Mothering Forum banner

how much $$$ to ask?

705 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Starr
I have started making ragged-edge quilts to sell. I am using cotton flanelette with 100% cotton batting and washing them in hypo-allergenic soap when I do the wash/dry cycle to get that frayed edge look.

A 54" x 60" throw quilt costs me about $20 to make. What should I set as a price? It takes about a week of working on it in my spare time to make a quilt, start to finish.

I have seen similar quilts listed for $125-$150 online. Is that reasonable? It seems like a lot of money to me. Don't get me wrong, I am doing this to earn some money, but I am just getting started. I can't imagine paying that much, but maybe that is because I always look at things and figure out how much I could make it for.
that's how I got the idea in the first place.

I am planning to make baby quilts too and using leftover scraps to make doll adn teddy sized quilts. I figure I could charge about $20 for the doll quilts and $100 for the baby quilts.

Thanks for helping me with this. Doing "business" is a stretch for me and I am learning from the beginning how to go about this. The quilts are beautiful and I am making a variety of colour schemes, hoping they will appeal to different people.

Any business tips would be appreciated!
See less See more
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Well I may not be the best to answer as I too look at things to see if it is something that I can make rather than buy, but in my opinion if it cost me 20.00 to make something I would go more along the lines of 60.00 to 70.00 for it.
That would pay for my time and to be honest I totally think that anything I make for my time is just extra as I enjoy being able to be at home. If I priced something that cost me 20.00 to make at 60.00 I would be making 3 times what I paid for materials.
As for the doll size I think that 20.00 is a good price for them and them maybe 40.00 for the baby size.
I too am not always the best at pricing things but that is my opinion on it.
The other thing I look at is that I would be more likely to spend the 60.00 to 70.00 for the quilt as I have seen hand quilted king size quilts for what you are saying you have yours priced at.
I think the money issue is always hard for a lot of us who WAH. Something that helped me tremedously and may also give you food for thought is a post I read once (can't remember where - no doubt it was from MDC!) about how to think in terms of what to charge people for your services... Hope it's helpful to you!


Originally Posted by Gendenwitha
Just wanted to say all this, not to come down hard on you, but because whether you're a doula or in graphic design or anything--especially self-employed, you need to learn that money is an exchange of energy, and your energy is worth something. That's just as true when asking for a raise at work.
I've also been told that old souls have trouble dealing with asking for money because we've spent so many lives bartering that money seems worthless or foriegn to us. Think of it this way... you spend an two hours working for a person, and this was pre-currency days, and their family fisherman, how many fish would you ask for?
What if it were easy work?
physically hard?
emotionally exhausting?
work you'd practiced for years (learning herbalism to heal for example) that they couldn't do for themselves?
(answer before continuing to read way below...)

If a fish is $3, how much were you just paid for 2 hours work?
How much is a full-size fish at your local store?
Or do this with other applicable items (I just like fish!)
Edited to add the info about where this quote was from. I was right, it was an MDC Doula thread ( ) response by Gendenwitha
See less See more
I think how you have it priced is a good start, as long as you are not underselling yourself, your time and your skills. My advice would to not price your things based on what you think people will pay for it b/c you'll be turning your work into a commodity, wh/ it is not, it is a functional piece of art.

Pricing your work based on how much your materials cost will only end with you in frustration down the line b/c you have also been putting alot into creating the pieces well above and beyond the material. i.e. your time, your care, and your creativity.

Figure out out how much your time is worth. Then add on what you feel the value of your creative talent is worth. Of course, don't forget your costs. Then double it or even triple it.

Also, take a look at what others are selling their pieces for. I would advise to take the price structure of many WAHMs into account but not weigh them in too heavily. I say this not b/c their work is inferior, it is usually of superior quality. The problem is many WAHMs underprice their work in an effort to make the sale.

Don't know if this helped, but my main point is do not undersell yourself or your talent

See less See more
Thanks for getting me thinking. Any other thoughts/opinions are still welcome!

I realize that other WAHM's probably won't be my customers. They are probably often like me, will look at the details of the quilt and go home and make one for themselves if they can sew and are interested. I live in a cottage tourist area (summer time anyway
) and I am thinking that my "customers" are likely to be people from the city or retirees wanting something handmade to decorate their cottages or gifts for their grandchildren. Many of the "cottages" in my small town are nicer than any house I will ever live in - money isn't a huge issue for these people. I think the quilts I make are a bit more creative and beautiful than many of the rag quilts I have seen. I will do some more snooping on-line at the prices of similar quilts.
See less See more
I might be the minority, but I think 100-120 is perfectly reasonable for the ammount of work put into the quilt. You should look into boutiques in your town and show them a sample of your work. I know the local boutiques here are always eager for homegrown talent. It would also boost your reputation and help you get more clients.
Hi just my 2 cents here but I never charge more than twice (and maybe just a smidge more) what it costs to make my items... I have found that alot of people nowadays want nice things but for the standard of living being so high (at least around here) they cannot afford to pay higher prices... I mean with gas being nearly $3 per gallon here, we scrimp everywhere we can. So example if the quilt cost me $20 to make, then I will sell it for $40 to $50 and they seem to move very well... I attend craft shows all the time to sell my creations and always have good responses on all my items... any kind of craft you can imagine I have in there... quilts, quilted crafts, scrubs, scrunchies, plastic canvas, crochet, cross-stitch... all kinds of things! I guess it will depend on where you live, the kind of audience looking at your items, and how valuable you feel your time and effort is... while I feel my stuff is great, I have been doing it so long I can whip them out in no time flat, so I try not to overcharge cuz I am just human... not rumplestiltskin spinning straw into gold. LMAO... anyways HTH and good luck!
See less See more
I like your price range personally. My mom makes similar and initially I thought she was nuts getting so much $ for them until I started the same... the fabric + time + handing a stranger a piece of you (after spending so much time and care working on something) is hard!
I usually do twice the materials plus $1-$2 per hour of work. So if it took me 10 hours to make and cost me $20 in materials. I would charge $50-$60.
I also saw somewhere a formula where you come up with a price based on minimum wage for the hours you worked on it plus the cost of your materials. This is a way of saying that you time and work as an artisan are worth at least as much as that of someone who works at a convenience store or grocery store check-out.
This is the formula I was taught by other crafters that vend:

cost + labor ( at *least* minimum wage for every hour you worked on the item)= wholesale

THEN wholesale x 2 = retail

Charge what you are worth!! Your time and efforts are valuable
See less See more
Do you have a local craft fair/show where you could look for similar items? It might be a way to check for local prices. Even if you have to adjust for quality, etc. it would give you an idea of the local economy. I said craft fair because you can leave out the mark up step of a retailer. I was happily surprised to see that my prices were in line with the locals - like you, I had a hard time believing my stuff was worth so much. And I only shop at thrift stores and yard sales, and I would never pay $50 for a baby outfit (what I make). Never, even if I had that kind of money! But my customers are happy with my products and prices, so I must be doing something right.
See less See more
I think the idea of checking out craft shows is a good one--also trying to sell through a local gallery or boutique. You might have to turn over a commission, but would probably get more. I've done some big quilts on "commission"--one was taking a bunch of antique blocks and turning them into three bed-sized quilts (this was for my mom's oldest and dearest friend and her two cousins); another was taking a bunch of t-shirts and making a (-n enormous, double-sided) quilt from them, for a retiring fire fighter. In each case, I charged a flat fee plus materials--and the fee was a lot lower than what some would do, but I factored in the pleasure that the projects gave me. So I guess that's another way of looking at it--keep track of how much the materials are, and then add what you'd like your "profit" to be, not based on an hourly wage. A lot would depend on what you need or want the money for. Is it for groceries or is it like the "butter and egg" money our fore-mothers had?

I'm like you--I wouldn't pay $150 for something I could make myself for $20.
So it's really hard for me to gauge price. Is there a quilters' guild in your area? If so (if it's like my guild), you could go to a meeting as a visitor, for a small fee, and get some feedback.

Whatever you do, keep really good records, for tax purposes.
See less See more

Originally Posted by PatchPixie
This is the formula I was taught by other crafters that vend:

cost + labor ( at *least* minimum wage for every hour you worked on the item)= wholesale

THEN wholesale x 2 = retail

Charge what you are worth!! Your time and efforts are valuable

I have to agree with this formula... if you can get that price for it. If you do decide to sell at a local boutique, remember you would be charging them the wholesale price.
See less See more
Is there any way to show potential customers or people in general your product, like your target audience, and see what they would be willing or expect to pay? Price varies so much from one region to the next. Or like someone said see what something similar is selling for in your area.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.