Tuesday, February 17, 2015

(Why) Are you paying too much for your quilting?

EDITED - Updated Link

I have come under fire for my quilting pricing before, and I will most likely be under fire again for this post.  I do not charge the 'going' rate for my long arm quilting.  I love what I do and I am lucky enough to be able to do it.  With that being said, here's what the quilts at my house look like. Take a few moments to click on the photos and read the captions.

As you can see the quilts at my house are very used and loved.  Just everyday quilts that we love.  This is the way I want it, this is the way I love it.  

Now let's talk numbers...

My rate for quilting is .01 per square inch.  Let's do the math for a simple quilt.  If you send me a 100" x 100" quilt I am going to send you a bill for $100 for the quilting.  The going rate for most other long arm quilters is in the range of 015-.020 per square inch for simple edge designs and that does not always include the thread.  If you are paying .015 the same quilt quilted by someone else is going to cost you $150 and if your quilter's rate is .020 you are going to pay $200 for the same quilt.   Why would/do you pay an extra $50-$100 for quilting?  

This is for edge to edge quilting not custom quilting, custom quilting can and SHOULD cost you more. It's .010 for just about any design that I carry with no additional charge for the thread.  I might charge you extra if you send me a really wrinkled top or backing, but most of the time I will just press it and move on.  If I do charge you, most likely you will find my fees lower than the 'going rate' of other long arm quilters.  

Often I hear "you get what you pay for".  Maybe, maybe not.  I quilt hundreds of quilts each year and feel that I am a very experienced and confident machine quilter.  I am not attempting to get rich or make a name for myself, I just like what I do and am lucky enough to be able to do it.

Recently a blog post was written about Quiltonomics: The Real Cost of Quilts.  Yes, quilting is expensive.  The cost of the material alone can blow a normal budget out of the waters for a month or two.  However, statements like the one below tend to make me a little crazy.

Link above may be unavailable, so here's another link....

"Every time one person undersells, it creates the expectation of the buying public that a low price is the going rate,” Hunter weighed in. “We need to raise our prices to a living wage for the sake of all. We are no less skilled than plumbers and mechanics that charge $100 an hour.” 

The problem I have with this statement is this:

 I believe we will eternally need the services of plumbers and mechanics to keep the plumbing and mechanics of our lives working.  The need will never go away; it is job security.  It isn't a trend to follow, plumbing is pretty much plumbing.  It was plumbing 5 years and will be plumbing 5 years from now.  

In case you are wondering what I'm talking about in the paragraph above, I remember a few years ago when scrapbooking was all the rage.  Now it seems to be quilting.  When will it end?  Will it end?  Who knows?  I don't believe anyone really does.  Yes, there are the eternal diehards that will remain quilting, but will the industry be as strong 5 or even 10 years from now?

I know of several gals in my guild who only make quilts to give away.  They have made more quilts than their families can use or want.  Hard to believe for some of us, but it does happen, and I have seen it.

Is every quilt a fine work of art? Is it really going to be a true heirloom?   Should we/you expected to pay a higher price just because someone thinks their time is valued at a high dollar amount and who sets the standard?  After all isn't this considered a 'craft'?  I don't know of a college out there that offers classes or a degree in quilting.   

I'm sure if you ask the plumbers and mechanics of the world  
they will most likely tell you they do  not feel they are in the 

same category as the quilters.

Another thing...I have known quilters to 'hang a sign' and begin quilting customer quilts just weeks after purchasing their machines.  They would charge the 'going' rate?  WAIT!  What happened to the learning time?  What about the pre-professional pricing?  I certainly didn't begin with the highest price possible.  I have quilted many, many free quilts to learn before even thinking about charging.  Just because you own a machine does not mean you should charge the same price as someone who does superior work.  It's like paying the same amount of money for a Chevy as you would a Rolls Royce.

With all of my heart I believe that if you have made a show-stopping quilt you should expect to pay more for the quilting, but if you have made a quilt to be loved and used, you may want to think about this post and ask yourself… 

Am I paying too much?

thanks for checking on me,

love to hear what you've got to say.........

Friday, February 6, 2015

Quilts, and lots of them!

How about a few great quilts today?

First little quilt comes from Christine in CT.  Adorable fabrics were used in making this quilt! She selected a oak leaf and acorn stitching design that works perfectly!  Quite the happy quilt!

Next quilt came my way all the way from the state of Washington!  Ginny made this amazing Oriental quilt with tons and tons of little pieces!  It turned out to be fantastic when it was all said and done!

Our next quilt comes from Jamie in CT and they are two lovely quilts!  The first is a stunning bargello baby quilt with stars and the second a modern design for a young man.  Love the simplicity of the modern quilt and the color selection!  Great job, Jamie!!

Along the modern line of quilts, take a look at Lisa's latest!! The green thread that she selected was perfect for this amazing quilt.  It's a quilt she saw on line, got out the pencils and draft paper and here's what it ended up looking like...

Leslie's quilt is a beautiful log cabin with a mix of the most stunning fabric color selection.  Leslie decided on a very elegant machine quilting design with a deep maroon thread.  It all came together beautifully!

Sandra's quilt is a very musical themed one.  When adding the musical notes for quilting it finishes it off wonderfully.  This is going to be a very loved quilt.

Dana crossed off a UFO with the completion of this snowball quilt.  From what I understood it was a color class that she had taken years ago.  Yellow/golds and greens appear to be the color theme and how amazing it looks finished!  Yea!  Dana!!

Judi K had me quilt this great wall hanging.  Colors are great and it will brighten any room where it hangs.  Thanks Judi!

Fun, fun, fun!!  Judi S has never stopped amazing me with the fun quilts that she brings my way.  The mixture of colors, fabrics and designs are just Judi!  I love working with her quilts!

Hope to be back soon, I've got some fun ideas for blogging!  Unfortunately it's not the lack of ideas it's more about the time.  If you are a blogger you understand the time that goes into these post.  If you are a longarm quilter you understand the photographing that goes with the job.

Thanks for checking on me,
Hope all is well in your corner of the world and life is bringing you nothing but happiness.


love to hear what you've got to say...........