As a quilter, one of the most challenging things to figure out at the beginning is how to price a quilt that you want to sell.
Trying to compete with store-bought quilts may tempt you to sell your quilts as cheap as the big box stores, but the value of handmade quilts is far above those found in stores.
This post will explain my simple quilt pricing formula and why handmade items are more expensive than something you may find in a store.
About Quilt Pricing
First, let’s go over some common questions about quilt pricing.
If you are a beginner at selling your handmade quilts, I suggest creating your own quilt pricing chart and use that as a guide for our pricing.
Are handmade quilts valuable?
In a word, yes! Not only are materials expensive, but also your time and creativity are highly valuable. Quilting is an art form, and the fabric is your canvas. Don’t undervalue your skills and time.
What is the average price of a handmade quilt?
The average price depends on the complexity of the design, the materials used, and the size of the quilt. In my experience, the most popular size is a throw-size quilt (approximately 60”x60”), and the average price is around $400.
Here are the average prices of the other common sizes:
Baby (30”x50”): $275
Twin (70”x90”): $500
Double/Full (85”x108”): $700
Queen (90”x108”): $800
King (110”x108”): $1,200
How much should I charge to make a quilt?
I will go into more detail for this question later on, but I want to emphasize that the time and effort you put into your beautiful quilts deserve a price to match.
Figure out the cost of materials, set an hourly rate for your work, charge shipping costs if you sell online, and add up any overhead costs you may have.
Why do handmade quilts cost so much?
When I receive inquiries for custom quilts, this is the most common question I get from people. Keep in mind, when someone asks you this, they usually don’t mean to offend. Most people genuinely just don’t understand all that goes into creating a quilt.
When purchasing a handmade quilt, your customers pay for all materials used and pay you for your design time and labor from start to finish. A lot of time and effort goes into creating a quilt, which should reflect in the price you put on your work.
Handmade Quilt Prices Broken Down
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of quilt pricing and how to break down your costs and charges. Everyone’s breakdown will look different, so use this more as a guide and keep your goals in mind when setting up your pricing.
To give you an idea of what I mean by breakdown, here is a list of all the different steps and amount of time I consider when creating a quote:
- Design time
- Shopping time
- Cost of materials
- Time cutting materials
- Sewing the quilt top
- Sewing the backing
- Pressing and ironing EVERYTHING
- Cutting the batting
- Basting time
- Quilting pattern design time
- Quilting the quilt
- Trimming and squaring up the quilt
- Creating the binding
- Attaching the binding
- Trimming all strings and loose thread
- Shipping cost
- Last but not least, lint rolling the entire quilt to remove any lint, hair, or thread
Other factors you may include in your pricing for overhead costs:
- Quilt design software cost
- Sewing machine cost
- Supplies and tools cost, including thread, bobbins, needles, scissors, cutting mats, etc.
- Advertising cost
- Website cost (Whether you sell on your own site or a platform like Etsy, there will be costs associated with selling online.)
- Rent: Some quilters rent space instead of setting up shop at home, or you may rent a long arm machine to do your quilting designs.
Now, putting all that aside, let's do a breakdown of just the material costs for a throw-size quilt. This list is generalized since the cost of fabrics and materials varies depending on where you purchase your fabric, if you shop sales, or can buy wholesale.
Throw Size Quilt Material Costs
Fabric: 8 yards @ $12 per yard, $96
Batting: 60”x60” throw-size pre-cut batting, $21
Backing Fabric: 4 yards @ $12 per yard, $48
Binding Fabric: ½ yard @ $12 per yard, $6
Total cost for materials only: $183
Fabric requirements and sizing also play a significant role in determining the total cost of materials for a quilt. You can easily plug your yardage into this formula and get a rough estimate of how much your materials will cost.
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What Is the Quilt Pricing Formula?
So how much does a handmade quilt cost? I’ll show you my simple formula for formulating a price quote. You can use this as a guide for your pricing formula or come up with your own. That is the fun part of selling your own wares — YOU are in charge.
- Materials: Total cost of all materials from start to finish.
- Time: Choose a per-hour rate. Remember all those steps we discussed earlier? Add all those up for your total time spent. Don’t sell yourself short, as your time is valuable, and you should be able to charge for every step. Calculate how long you anticipate it will take to create the quilt. For example, if you charge $20 per hour and spend 20 hours on a quilt, your total charge for your time is $400.
Tip: One option for your rate is charging different hourly rates for various steps in the process. For example, you could charge $15 for cutting and piecing the quilt top and then charge $25 for quilting the quilt. This decision is totally up to you and what you are comfortable charging your clients.
- Overhead: Add up any listing fees, transaction fees, website costs, and other miscellaneous overhead charges we discussed earlier that you want to include.
- Shipping: This includes all shipping materials (box or mailer, packaging supplies, stickers, thank you card, and shipping label)
Here is the formula to use once you have everything calculated:
Materials + Time + Overhead + Shipping = Quilt Price
See! Simple, right? It will take a little time to come up with the cost of everything and decide how much you feel comfortable charging. But once you have figured it out for one quilt, the next project quote will be easier. You might even try a practice quote just to challenge yourself to calculate a total quilt price.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Quilt?
Have you ever had someone contact you asking if you would be willing to repair a vintage quilt? I know this may seem a bit intimidating, but if you are up to the challenge, here is how you can charge for your repair services.
First, you want to assess the damage to the quilt and figure out how much material needs to be replaced or added. Then you will simply use the quilt pricing formula we just went over. You may also want to develop a specific “repair rate” for this type of service.
Quilt Finishing Costs
If you are not comfortable with or do not have the time to finish a quilt yourself, there are hundreds of longarm quilters who have an entire business based on quilting (finishing) quilts for others.
Typically, they charge per square inch, and depending on the complexity of the quilting they do, that price per square inch will go up. For example, if you choose a simple pantograph (a single design repeated over the entire quilt top), you’ll likely pay less than a custom quilting design. Here is an idea of what the charges will be for longarm quilting services:
- Pantograph: $0.01-$0.03 per square inch
- Edge to Edge: $0.03-$0.04 per square inch
- Simple Custom Quilting: $0.04-$0.05 per square inch
- Complex/Heirloom Custom Quilting: $0.06-$0.07 per square inch
To calculate the total cost for the longarm quilting, you will take the width of your quilt, multiply it by the length and then multiply that total by the price per square inch.
Width x Length x Cost Per Square Inch = Total
Quilting is such a rewarding craft. The biggest thing I want you, my fellow quilters, to take away from this post is never to undervalue your skills and time.
You work hard, pour your heart and abilities into these beautiful works of art. Don’t let anyone tell you how much you “should be” charging or that you charge “too much.”
I hope my simple formulas help you navigate selling your art to the world.
About the author: Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she's not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.