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Fair price for quilting and applique

by LouAnn Pepper
(Phoenix, Az USA)

I was wondering what is a fair price to Hand Applique pre-1920 Dresden plate circles onto 14-1/2 inch background.

There will be 2 twin quilts. I would like to lay them on point & use 15 blocks per quilt. Then I need to figure out the measurements for layout fabric to finish 2 quilt tops out of pieces then backing and quilt batting & binding, then he wants hand quilting.

I need help. This is the first time I have taken on a project of this size and with pieces so old. They are in really excellent shape for their age.

Please help.


I had to ponder this one for awhile, but it really comes down to one thing.

What price are you happy and willing to work for?

It is a lot of work to design the layout, hand applique and piece the top, hand quilt the sandwich and bind the quilt. A longer term project because there are two quilts, not to mention you are working with antique blocks that will require care.

I would create a work plan based on you knowledge of how you work. For instance, you may be able to applique or quilt all day for several days, but you're going to need a break somewhere in there for YOUR parts to recuperate.

Figure out how long the various tasks SHOULD take to do.

Don't forget the design time. That counts because it takes away from your own free time.

If you, yourself, go to purchase the materials, be compensated for that time, too.

Then add 10-20%. We always run into a problem somewhere.

Finally decide on how much you'd be happy to work for.

You'll be committing to a lengthy project and if halfway through you feel you have been gypped, you'll be less than thrilled to keep on working. There's good chance it will show in your work. I know it'd show in mine.

Remember, that not everyone can or would take on this job. Quilting is a learned skill. Not everyone can or will take the time to learn. Clearly, your customer can't do it for themselves. Do keep that in mind as you price your work. Many people these days don't value our handwork (it's only a 'blanket', right?--NOT!). You'll want to know that your customer really understands the value.

To do that, make a written contract, with both parties signing it. Make sure to include that you receive payments as you reach certain milestones in the quilt making. That way, if the customer gets 'buyers remorse' or changes their mind, you minimize any losses. Have the customer purchase the supplies. You don't need that out of pocket expense.

Do all this to safeguard yourself, because as I said, this project will take awhile to complete.

Let us know how the quilts turn out. Or better yet, take some pictures of them and share them on our Show and Tell pages.

I wish you luck and easy stitches that never have to undone.

Readers, do you have more suggestions to add for LouAnn. Just use the 'Comments' link below to join in.


Julie Baird

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