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Grrr, Wanting Something for Nothing & No Appreciation for Fine Hand Quilting....A Rare Speckledhen Rant - Page 31

post #301 of 384
Thread Starter 

After several more folks asked Ladyhawk what I'd charge to do them a king size bed quilt (why is it ALWAYS king?), I broke this down and put it on my FB page. I'm sure many of you can relate.

 


 

Quote:

Before I start this post, ask yourself what you think you would pay a quilter to create for you a custom king size quilt. What would you pay? Think about that for a second, then read on.......

On occasion, LadyHawk Smith and I are asked what I would charge to make them a custom quilt in certain colors and most often for some reason, it's a king size quilt. When she tells them a ballpark figure, they are often taken aback, saying it's a lot or too much. First of all, I do not make king size quilts. I do not have a machine that is large enough to machine quilt a bed quilt of any size, much less a king, therefore if I did acquiesce and agree to make a king size, it would be entirely quilted BY HAND. But, this gave me the idea to make a post about what it costs ME to make a quilt and give folks some perspective on this.

 

Fabric: Fabric is expensive, which I know some people do not realize. I use only good quality 100% cotton fabric. If you use cheaply made fabric, both you and your customer pay for it in other ways. Though I have sources for good quality and well-priced fabric, sometimes, I cannot find a color or print I need for a project and must resort to slightly more expensive sources. I do not generally buy at quilt shops. Their fabrics can be over $10/yard, but what I must use can vary. A king size quilt uses about 18 yards of fabric for both front and back. There are some factors involved, like how many different colors/prints I must use, how much waste is involved, etc, but 18 yards for both front and back is a good estimate (not including binding). Some ask what if I already have fabric on hand-well, I paid for that and if I use it in your quilt, I don't have it for another project. It wasn't free to me.

Fabric for front and back: $125-150


Batting: I do not use 100% polyester. It's cheaper, but it's hot, doesn't breathe, hard to hand quilt (more hand stress). I use an 80/20 cotton/poly or a 100% cotton.
Batting: $30-35


Thread: Hand quilting threads can be less expensive than machine quilting threads. If a quilt is machine quilted, it stresses the thread, causing breakage an I must use a higher quality thread in the machine for machine quilting. Generally, though, I like Egyptian cotton threads and my machine operates better with those, though it will piece fine with cheaper Coats & Clark thread I can find at Walmart. Good threads are $6-10 for a 600-800 yd spool in brands I can get around here. Machine quilting uses a TON of thread, hand quilting not as much.
Thread: $20-30, though this could be a low figure for a king quilt


Binding Fabric: That is made by me separately with the same good quality cotton fabrics in a double thickness to last. Usually a yard of fabric can make enough binding for a king size quilt.
Binding: $5-10

 

Here the pricing gets trickier because you cannot know exactly how long it will take you to piece the top, sandwich the layers then do the actual hand quilting, especially when you are fighting numb and tingling fingers to get through it as I am now, however, based on my experience over the past 30 years, here are my estimates:

 

Piecing the top: varies according to complexity 20-30 hrs @ $5/hr= $100-150
Sandwiching the layers: done by hand on the floor 3 hrs @ $5/hr= $15

Quilting by hand: this is the BIG ONE. This is a dying art. Generally, there are not many folks who do this today and not many of those who are highly skilled at it. The Amish have a reputation for spectacular hand quilted masterpieces. My quilting matches theirs in stitches per inch. As the character Walter Brennan played on The Guns of Will Sonnet would say, "No brag, just fact." The Amish, however, have 10-15 or more women working on one quilt. I am a one person doing it all. If you have ever perused one of their quilts for sale sites, I promise you, you will have sticker shock! Check out this one particular Amish King Size quilt for sale online: http://www.amishquiltshop.net/…/king-log-cabin-blue-and-yel…

Hours to hand quilt a king size quilt: 200-250, depending on complexity, but to keep it simple, just say 200 hours (I have kept a journal during a project so this isn't just off the top of my head).
200 hrs of hand quilting @ $5 hour = $1000

 

When you add this all up, the labor and materials, not including the time and expertise that goes into the design process, you have a piece that rightfully should go for, using the lower figures, right at $1300!

 

None of this includes the design process, the trips to gather fabrics for different sources. You are paying for an expert quilter's knowledge of color and design, asking for a custom piece of fabric art. Would you do that for a measly $5/hr? Would you expect someone else to do it and not charge you for labor? Not charge you for fabric? Food for thought for your day.

P.S. adding that the estimated price Ladyhawk has been quoting is nowhere near $1300, in case you're wondering.

 

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

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~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

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post #302 of 384
My mom quilted for years and most was given away to family or friends....I come from a family of 12 children and 29 grandchildren so that's a lot of quilts. She too did beautiful hand stitching like you. I still have my Sun Bonnet Sue quilt she did for me when I was a kid....I will treasure it as she passed away last year.
post #303 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigMyChicks View Post

My mom quilted for years and most was given away to family or friends....I come from a family of 12 children and 29 grandchildren so that's a lot of quilts. She too did beautiful hand stitching like you. I still have my Sun Bonnet Sue quilt she did for me when I was a kid....I will treasure it as she passed away last year.


Sorry for the loss of your mom. I have an ancient Sunbonnet Sue that one of my grandmothers made.

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

Reply

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

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post #304 of 384
Thank you and keep doing your beautiful work!
Quote:
Originally Posted by speckledhen View Post


Sorry for the loss of your mom. I have an ancient Sunbonnet Sue that one of my grandmothers made.
post #305 of 384
Thread Starter 

Okay, I'm ranting again and I'm sure some of you can relate to this. We don't do Christmas but the DH family does and they have an annual family dinner at one of the sisters houses. This year, I decided that since I have so many small projects from learning to machine quilt that I would make something for every family, just the annual gift, not necessarily Christmas (and I'm running out of room!) and I did. The single guys got crocheted hats, no big deal there. I have not given anyone in my family quilts for many years, not since my hand quilted, custom made things were tossed aside like garbage by a family member. This year, I went against my policy of "no quilts for family" and decided that how this went would determine if I ever did it again.

 

My 36 year old niece has a 4 year old son, an only child. She lives in Florida so I don't know how she allows him to act at her house. I gave most families a pretty machine quilted table runner. Hers was in reds and navy blues and "wintery", with birds on snow covered branches, in log cabin blocks as well as giving her little son a crocheted hat, which he loved and wore the rest of the day. 

 

I did not get even a simple "thank you", nada, and when I turned around during the chaotic mess of package-opening, I see this kid with the quilted table runner on the floor, upside down, running toy trucks on it. Yes, his mother was watching him. Me, if someone gave me something like that, even a store-bought one, I'd have snatched it away from my kid and told him in no uncertain terms that that was not how we treat our linens/whatever it is. Maybe I was raised differently, but this just really rubbed me the wrong way. I'm sure she didn't hear me but I said something like, "well, I never would have thought of that runner as a floor mat.". Heck, maybe that's what she thought it was, hard to say, but I made that, it took a few hours of hand work, even if it was machine quilted, and I felt it was very disrespectful. Again, no appreciation for someone's labor or consideration as they make something for you with their own two hands.

 

So, guess what I'm not doing next year? You got it. :/ 


Edited by speckledhen - 12/21/15 at 6:39am

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

Reply

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

Reply
post #306 of 384
I would be been upset also, the lack of thanks/manners would have been hard enough but seeing something so miss used without a parent correcting the issue would have been the topper. It is a shame folks don't appreciate hand made and personal items anymore. I'm sorry it happened and I can assure you your in laws are loosing out big time in my opinion!
post #307 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisherlady View Post

I would be been upset also, the lack of thanks/manners would have been hard enough but seeing something so miss used without a parent correcting the issue would have been the topper. It is a shame folks don't appreciate hand made and personal items anymore. I'm sorry it happened and I can assure you your in laws are loosing out big time in my opinion!


Thank you. I always appreciate what you have to say. My sons would never have been allowed to do such a thing. In fact, in going through my late father's basement rat's nest, I found handwritten thank you notes from them to my parents for gifts, some even in crayon. I don't expect that, but a simple "thanks for the runner" would have sufficed and not allowing the kid to dirty it up the floor in front of me might have been in order.

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

Reply

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

Reply
post #308 of 384
OMG!! Sorry ladies, I know this is basically a ladies thread but I started reading because as a kid I got to sleep for years with a hand made quilt my grandmother made when I was little. It fit on my twin bed and in my eyes was the most beautiful thing I ever owned. It wasn't exotically made with some of the colors I see todays beautiful quilts are made from but it was mine and perfect.

I am genuinely sorry for the disrespect shown to you all buy family memebrs that seem to not really understand or appreciate the time,
love, care and endless hand work and thought that goes in to one of your quilts. In a way I understand. I do wood working as a hobby
and have made things for family that was and wasn't appreciated or cared for. It hurts when something you have invesed so much of yourself in is brushed aside as if it's any ole thing that can be had cheaply at walmart or somewhere else. They truly are priceless and I don't know how tou could even pay someone enough
for what all they put into one. Just know that some of us appreciate your skills and craftmenship tjat is put into what you create. .

The one used as a child got worn out and my mother never told me what happened to it.
Heck even if it was old and unusable, it would have meant the world to me just to have from my childhood. I truly envy people who receive
home made quilts as a gift or hand me down. I'm a man and I've always thought quilts were one of the neatest things ever. They are family heirlooms
and should he treated and respected as such. I just don't understand the indifference shown by people these days especially over something as
awesome as a hand made quilt. I bet though if they put in a forth of the time to create smething like that, their appreciation might start to come around.
If someone made me or one of my children something like that and they drug it around on the ground of drove their toys over it, I would come unglued
And it would be put away until they could truly appreciate it.

I like to sit around in the early morning with a cup of coffee and smething to wrap up in when I'm in the easy chair. I might try to see if I can find
a quilt for sale on ebay that would fit that need or even find a twin size quilt to just wrap up in. Lol.... Oh the memories.
post #309 of 384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyDean View Post

OMG!! Sorry ladies, I know this is basically a ladies thread but I started reading because as a kid I got to sleep for years with a hand made quilt my grandmother made when I was little. It fit on my twin bed and in my eyes was the most beautiful thing I ever owned. It wasn't exotically made with some of the colors I see todays beautiful quilts are made from but it was mine and perfect.

I am genuinely sorry for the disrespect shown to you all buy family memebrs that seem to not really understand or appreciate the time,
love, care and endless hand work and thought that goes in to one of your quilts. In a way I understand. I do wood working as a hobby
and have made things for family that was and wasn't appreciated or cared for. It hurts when something you have invesed so much of yourself in is brushed aside as if it's any ole thing that can be had cheaply at walmart or somewhere else. They truly are priceless and I don't know how tou could even pay someone enough
for what all they put into one. Just know that some of us appreciate your skills and craftmenship tjat is put into what you create. .

The one used as a child got worn out and my mother never told me what happened to it.
Heck even if it was old and unusable, it would have meant the world to me just to have from my childhood. I truly envy people who receive
home made quilts as a gift or hand me down. I'm a man and I've always thought quilts were one of the neatest things ever. They are family heirlooms
and should he treated and respected as such. I just don't understand the indifference shown by people these days especially over something as
awesome as a hand made quilt. I bet though if they put in a forth of the time to create smething like that, their appreciation might start to come around.
If someone made me or one of my children something like that and they drug it around on the ground of drove their toys over it, I would come unglued
And it would be put away until they could truly appreciate it.

I like to sit around in the early morning with a cup of coffee and smething to wrap up in when I'm in the easy chair. I might try to see if I can find
a quilt for sale on ebay that would fit that need or even find a twin size quilt to just wrap up in. Lol.... Oh the memories.


RickyDean, welcome to BYC and my thread. No, it's open to everyone, not just ladies, so stick around. Both my husband and myself have super old quilts made by three of our four grandmothers. They cannot be used as the fabric is disintegrating but they are treasured nonetheless.

 

My friend Ellie in California works with wood. She made me the most gorgeous and perfect ink pen out of hickory wood. I am amazed at her skill every time I use that beautiful pen and I will treasure it always. She has three quilts from me, the first two, her spring/summer and her winter quilts, were hand quilted, but the last one was one I surprised her with this month to complete her seasonal collection (her fall quilt, a tad later than fall, but hey...). It's machine quilted now because of carpal tunnel, but she adores it. She is the only person in the world who has more than one quilt from me. She and others like her make up for all the others.

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

Reply

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations on Facebook for Handmade Quilts and News from Ladyhawk & Cynthia!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen
 

 

Reply
post #310 of 384

I just want to chime in with sympathy for anyone who makes hand made things, and then has other people not appreciate it. I'm very sorry that happened, speckledhen... to show no respect for you at all when you had made a handmade gift like that. I make my living by braiding horsehair and making jewelry. I really understand how frustrating it can be. I mean, do they go into a store and insist they be able to buy that $3,000.00 big screen TV for $100.00? I think not.... there is a real lack of respect for handmade art, in some people. (Fortunately some really do appreciate it!) 

 

This touches home with me because years ago, I had a bunch of ribbons that I'd won - for my fleeces and handspinning, my rabbits, my braiding and artwork etc. I decided to make a quilt out of them, even though I did not know how to sew, was terrified of sewing machines and had no idea how to make a quilt. Well. Long story short, it took me 3 and a half years to piece the top on that quilt... I still don't have the binding done, I'm still trying to learn how to do that part right so I can finally finish it. I SO appreciate the art of quilting now. It is not an easy thing at all. 

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