We all know that sewing a quilt is a really satisfying experience, but it is not the cheapest pastime. Of course, finding a market for your quilts and selling them on will help you recoup part of your investment… which is sometimes easier said than done.
While there is no exact formula for calculating how much a quilt will cost to construct or how much you may charge for the finished product, there are a few handy strategies that can help.
What are the prices of quilts? A queen-sized quilt might cost somewhere between $350 and $1500, while a baby quilt can cost anywhere between $150 and $400.
A handcrafted quilt is the type of wonderful, personal present that many people are willing to spend a lot of money on. Obviously, how much money they’re willing to spend will be determined by a variety of factors (size, intricacy, and quality being just a few of the most important factors).
The average cost of a quilt varies depending on the vendor, the material used, and the quilt’s size (as you’d think, a basic baby quilt will be far less expensive than a hand appliqued queen-size quilt).
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Baby Quilt?
Although a baby quilt is little, don’t underestimate the amount of money that goes into its creation. The type of material you use will determine a large portion of the entire cost.
If we ignore the cost of labor (which is rather arbitrary) and focus just on the cost of materials (fabric, batting, and embroidery thread), we’re looking at roughly $60 (though there are methods to cut costs if you buy bulk or use less expensive fabrics).
How Much Does It Cost To Quilt A Blanket?
Quilting a blanket can cost a lot of money, depending on the size and material used. If you go all out on the material, you may anticipate to spend between $60 and $400.
Keep things simple and shop around for the lowest materials you can locate, and you might be able to cut the cost in half (or even a quarter).
Why Are Quilts So Expensive?
If you’re used to the price of “handmade” quilts from China, the average cost of a real, honest-to-goodness homemade quilt will likely shock you. Unfortunately, explaining the distinction to a potential buyer can be tedious, and it’s sometimes easier to lose a transaction than to spend several hours attempting to make them comprehend.
Making a quilt is a labor of love for any experienced quilter: it’s wonderful, but it’s also tremendously time-consuming. Even if I devote 100% of my attention to the project, a queen-sized quilt can take a month or more to complete.
The majority of quilters do not charge an hourly minimum wage (if they did, they would never sell anything). Yes, quilts are pricey, but when you consider how much work and effort has gone into them, the $1000 price tag becomes much more acceptable.
Detailed Cost Of Making A Quilt
It’s difficult to put an exact figure on how much money goes into a quilt because there are so many factors. We’d expect the costs for a queen-sized quilt measuring 90″ x 100′ to look something like this if we only consider the fundamentals (and leave the tricky matter of labor costs to one side, at least for now):
$194.25 for 15 yards of cloth at $12.95 per yard
$9.71 for 8.5 yards of backing at $12.92
2.75 yards at $12.95 per yard = $35.61
Total quilt cost (not including labor): $359.65
Quilting Fabric Prices
The cost of fabric varies greatly based on the vendor, region, and quality. You should expect to pay anywhere from $7 to $15 per yard.
Is Quilting An Expensive Hobby?
Quilting is a pleasant activity that may also be somewhat costly. Even if you want to forego technology and stitch by hand, the supplies will set you back a small fortune.
When you add in the cost of a longarm (which can range from a few thousand dollars to $30,000 or more), we’re talking about a very pricey hobby.
How To Price Quilting Services
We’ll look at one of the simplest formulae for pricing a quilt shortly, but first, let’s look at the things to consider when selecting how to price your quilting services.
Expected overheads are one of the first things to consider when determining how to price your service. We frequently overlook the indirect costs of manufacturing a quilt, causing us to underprice our products and lose more money than we earn.
Overhead costs vary depending on the individual, but as a general rule, you should consider:
- Your machine is a significant investment.
- Provisions (thread, batting, backing fabric).
- If you work from a professional location rather than from home, you’ll have to pay rent.
- Attorney, accountant, and other professional expenses
- Fees for advertising/listing.
Then you’ll have to think about “prep charges,” which include items like:
- Time for consultation.
- Design strategy.
- Repairing and patching
- Thread cutting
- Preparation for backing and batting.
- Winding bobbins
- Accounting and billing.
How To Price a Handmade Quilt
Pricing correctly is a difficult task for which there is no clear and fast rule. Different quilters prefer different pricing methods: some charge what they see others price, some charge per square inch, and yet others charge by the linear foot.
Some of the approaches may appear hard, but choosing the right one and sticking to it is critical unless you want to burn yourself out. Don’t try to undersell yourself or compete with the low-cost, ethically dubious products that are flooding the market—your work has value, and don’t be ashamed to display it!
Quilt Pricing Calculator and Formula
“Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into A Business,” Meg Mateo Ilasco’s handbook for all hobbyists turned businesses, contains one of the most tried and tested systems for pricing textiles. The technique may appear hard at first, but once you understand it, pricing your things will be a breeze.
Cost Price = Time + Material
Wholesale Price = Cost Price x 2
Retail Price Equals Wholesale Price x 2
Isn’t it simple? Let’s break it down if you’re still having trouble:
Basically, no matter how much you enjoy sewing quilts, you must throw in a labor cost if you want to earn a profit. How much you think your time is worth is entirely up to you: some people charge $20 per hour, while others can get by with less. Whatever you choose, keep it reasonable.
Cost of Materials
This isn’t for setup or equipment; it’s just for the supplies (fabric, thread, batting, etc.) you’ll need to do the work.
Calculating your wholesale pricing is simple if you have a calculator (or a strong mind for math). Simply multiply your cost price by two. This will be sufficient to meet all of your expenses (your sewing machine, electricity, etc.).
If you believe your actual overheads do not support such a high markup, reduce it slightly but do not eliminate it entirely. Unless you plan to self-fund your quilts, you must be realistic about all of the expenditures involved, no matter how minor.
Finally, we arrive at the crucial figure of the selling price. Again, it’s a straightforward calculation: twice your wholesale price. This may seem overly ambitious, but if you want to cover losses on unsold quilts, packaging costs, the time and cost of photographing and listing items (if you go the Esty or online route), and any other associated fees, you need to make sure you don’t undercut the actual costs that go into the entire process of selling (not just creating) a quilt.
Quilting Cost Per Square Inch
Many traditional quilters utilize a simple method of establishing an appropriate fee for a quilt called charging per square inch. The total cost considers the type of fabric used, the level of talent necessary (a simple, basic quilt requires less expertise than one with a complex pattern), the supplies required (batting, thread, etc. ), and the quality of the materials.
The amount you charge will depend on each of these elements, but most quilters charge between 3 and 15 cents per square inch on average.
Cost of Quilt Repair
Quilt repair costs vary depending on the materials used and the labor price applied, just as manufacturing a quilt from scratch. Labor rates and material costs can be very different. Some people may feel comfortable asking $20 per hour for their services, while others believe $10 is plenty.
As with any craft, there is no set “recommended retail price” that can be imposed, especially because the quantity of work necessary varies depending on the type of repair.
Cost To Have A Quilt Finished
Quilt finishing costs vary, but depending on the type of quitting required, most quilters charge by the square inch. The following calculation, together with the approximate price per square inch shown below, is the simplest way to calculate the stitching cost.
Divide the width by the length by the price per square inch.
- Pantograph – $.0175 per square inch
- Pantograph – $.025 per square inch
- $.03/sq. inch Pantograph & 1 Border
- $.035 per square inch for light custom quilting
- $.045 per square inch for custom quilting
The following rates are typical for additional finishing services:
- Backing: $.025–$0.36 per square inch (depending on material)
- $.015 – $0.38 per square inch (depending on material)
- Small Quilt Extra Border – $30.00 each extra border
- Extra Border – Large Quilt – $45.00 per additional border
Average Hand Quilting Price List
When it comes to quilts, there is no such thing as a “average” price. Spend a few minutes on Etsy and you’ll see that prices swing by hundreds of dollars (and even, in some extreme cases, by several thousand). However, if it came down to it, and an average had to be used, it would probably look something like this:
|Baby||36 x 36||$350|
|Small||40 x 54||$490|
|Twin||63 x 87||$600|
|Full||81 x 87||$800|
|Queen||90 x 100||$1300|
|King||110 x 110||$1500|
How Much Are Quilts Worth?
What is the value of a quilt? What is the length of a piece of string? A quilt is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it… and as much as you’re willing to sell it for. A shoddy quilt put together in an industrial machine is probably not worth the $50 price tag.
On the other hand, a handmade quilt woven with love, treated with care, and completed with respect is priceless. Not quite—after all, nothing these days doesn’t have a price? However, the value of a quilt is, has always been, and always will be a subjective affair.
How Much Money Does A Long Arm Quilter Make?
If you want to transform your quilting hobby into a profitable business, you’ll need to determine how feasible it is. The amount of money a long arm quilter can make is determined by a variety of criteria, including expertise.
It’s unlikely that a quilter, no matter how brilliant, can ever make a profit from their work if they lack business sense. If you don’t pay great attention to your operating costs, material costs, and your own labor rate, you may find that you end up spending more on manufacturing the quilts than you earn from selling them.
Unfortunately, we live in a period when everything is cheap, mass-produced, and easily accessible. Making any type of profit from handcrafted things is difficult, and few quilters are able to live comfortably on the proceeds from their quilts.
Even if you’re not going to become a Rockefeller from your quilting business, if you do it right, you could make a decent profit… How much it costs will be determined by how many you can produce and how much someone is ready to pay for them.