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August 01, 2014



What a great topic! I've also been asked several times to make a tshirt quilt, my response, "I don't know how". And really I don't, and I don't intend to ever learn. I also get asked to do mending and alterations, my response, "my sewing machine is for quilts only". And that's the truth too! Quilting is my hobby, my relaxation, my free time, like reading is to some people and computer games to others. I'm very protective of my Thelma time! As to the ugly quilts, I LOVE them! Thanks for the link.

Mary Flynn

I'm asked this all the time. My quotes aren't anywhere they should be but high. Sometimes they say...great, please make it.
Then there is my Longarming that takes a lot of time and some quilters who ask for quotes realize this while others do not. I try to be very fair in my prices because I too, at one time, liked sending my quilts out to be quilted.
I'm asked all the time to make tshirt quilts, your comment made me chuckle! Loved it! I do have a number of a fellow quilter who makes quilts for people if you ever need. She really takes on some doozies! LOL


Isn't that the Lewis & Clark fabric that Moda did about 13 years ago to commemorate the anniversary? I have all of those fabrics in my stash (still) and love the purple.

Sandy M

I get asked that ALL.THE.TIME!!
I don't even quote the amount I would have to charge, I just say that I don't do commission work. I just let them know that I have very limited time to do my craft since I work outside the house full time, so I would never have the time to do it.
Thankfully, I have never encountered someone pushy.


When someone asks the question I either tell them I am busy with my own stuff or I quote them $15 - $20 a square foot and let them figure out how much it is going to cost them. I have made a couple of ugly quilts. One was a flannel quilt and another was baseball themed quilt. The baseball quilt was for a project our group was doing to make a quilt for each of the residents of the county home. That baseball quilt was butt ugly! My best quilting buddy couldn't believe I could make such a ugly quilt. When it came time for the residents to pick their quilt all three of the men were eyeing the baseball quilt. The cute little old fellow that snatched up the quilt was thrilled! I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Kerry Linklater

Nicole, you are too funny!! The blanket seems to follow us quilters!!! Sorry I missed your sale! I bet it was good stuff!


agghhhh not the 'blanket question!!' :)
I too quote $15 - 20 per square foot and usually that's the end of it. (which I think is pretty dang reasonable for a handmade,one of a kind piece, but I digress)
and I totally agree with you about making a quilt out of fabrics or a pattern you don't care for--don't want too.
have a great weekend.


I have to make curtains for my daughter and that may be worse than the dreaded " would you make me a quilt" question. Lol.


I get this question often and beg off citing working full time. That said, I do have one that I agreed to and maybe you ladies can help. My daughter lost her best friend to brain cancer and her mother has asked if I would make a quilt out of her clothes when she is ready to deal with that. I know it will be a heart design and would welcome any block pattern suggestions.

Diane Linford

For me, quilting for others is stressful: what if they don't like it? What if I mess up? Quilting for myself is relaxing. I don't have enough discretionary quilting time these days to take on anyone else's quilt. Can you imagine if you were doing that curved piecing quilt that you had problems with for someone else?


Oh my gosh, I really hate that question. I just want to kick myself right now. I'm finishing up a hand sewing project for a neighbor. She asked me to sew closed the opening for 6 large pillows that someone's mom made for her but couldn't do the hand sewing portion of the project. The fabric is a lose weave home decorator weight fabric. It is such a pain, I've drug my feet getting it done. And now she wants to know how much she owes me....I don't have the heart to say what I really think. Oh and don't get me started about sewing scout patches on uniforms......

Barbara Anne

I hear you!

More than 10 years ago, I made two commission quilt for friends who were each apprised of the costs of fabrics, time, quilting, and finishing and both still wanted the quilts. I showed each one books of quilts with patterns marked that I knew how to make and each chose from my books. I bought the fabrics and each client approved them before I started.

One quilt to surprise the wife on their anniversary, was a nearly Amish color palate with one print fabric and the block pattern was Shoo Fly.

The other was Flock of Geese from the book "101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts" by Judy Hopkins, p. 90.

Both quilts were well received, but I am reluctant to ever do that again.


Mary Kastner

I think you hit a subject dear to all of us. I glare when I get asked to sew on a button much less make a quilt. I have done it a couple of times and got paid much less than I should have for the work. I do make the kids quilts and know that once they are out of my sight I have to "let it go" (does Disney know how many adults have sung this song?). My mini group makes charity quilts every year and I enjoy that a lot. I am not getting my quilt time right now and I am way crabby. No, I am not making quilts for other people anytime soon. have a great weekend Nicole. I hope you have your sewing time!



The people I know don't ask that question! They don't even know what a hand made quilt is. When I say that I am a quilter, they look at me like I have 3 heads. Even when I have made baby quilts for gals who are expecting, I sometimes wonder if the quilt has been relegated to the dog pen. Nope sorry, I have given up on spending time and money giving and making quilts for people who do not appreciate all the time and effort. I will however, offer to teach them how to quilt if they really want one for their nearest and dearest :-) Thanks to Eleanor Burns I can do that in one day!

Kathy ... aka Nana

Since I hand quilt only, I have an easy excuse - not enough time to make the quilts I want to make. I do make plenty of quilts for my daughter and her family. The one I'm making now is the only one where my daughter has chosen fabrics and pattern. Neither is to my taste, but I don't hate it ... and don't mind making it (after all, I laughingly refer to them as my excuses to quilt, quilt, quilt). I did have a friend ask if I made t-shirt quilts ... thankfully since I don't machine quilt, I had to beg off. ;-)


What a great topic today! The 'blanket' & alterations/repair questions drive me nuts!!! For repairs, I immediately quote $20./hour with a one hour minimum which seems to have my desired effect! In addition to the hourly rate, I've said I can't make a quilt for any less than $1000. considering my time, fabric, the long armer's work, binding…that seems to do the trick! I have mentored a few ladies who have gone on & made beautiful quilts themselves, which I love! They only needed some guidance getting started with a rotary cutter (one is a lefty so that was fun teaching 'upside-down!') & help with measurements. A recent one was t-shirts from her Canine Search & Rescue team but she did all the work! I was only with her at the fabric shop with my trusty quilter's calculator figuring borders, etc. & choosing stabilizer for the t-shirt blocks. A couple of phone calls answering quick questions to keep her moving forward was all she needed to finish up. Between my outrageous cost quotes & saying I'm retired & don't take on 'work' I've been able to avoid 'making blankets' altogether!!


I am far from the expert that you are, but I totally can relate to this. Even my imperfect quilts are my art. Just like a painting is a painter's art. The painter artist wouldn't let you pick out the colors etc for their painting, so no, you cannot pick out the ugly colors and cheap fabric for my quilts! I think the response is to just say you don't do work for other people, no matter what they offer to pay you!


I've made a few quilts for people other than my family, but I always undercharge because I don't feel confident in my skills, and even though they say they like it, I then wonder how they really feel about the quilt. If someone asks for a quilt now, I'll make it at the appropriate price, and I will use a pattern and fabric that I have chosen with the help of that person. I always feel so pressured making a quilt for someone that is paying for it, and I really don't enjoy the process very much. Most of the quilts I make now are given away as gifts, and are always well received because the process has been fun and my creativity, such as it is, has not been stifled.


lol, i actually received a thank you note for a quilt i made for a baby shower. it said, 'thank you for the baby blanket'. i was so disappointed! i learned something from that. ;p

Judy H.

I haven't had this happen to me with quilting, but I have been knitting much longer, and it has happened there. I always tell people I only work with quality yarn (quoting the price of the yarn is usually more than most people will pay for a sweater in a store, and *always* more than they will pay for socks), that they will pay me skilled labor rates ( much higher than minimum wage), and that I have a surcharge for the fact that I am now no longer working on my own projects. When my "quote" gets to $300 for a pair of hand-knitted socks (yes, I consider that a fair value), they lose interest! I wonder why??


Another thing that dawned on me is making quilts for charity auctions. Seldom do they bring what the quilt is truly worth. I've made quilts for Christmas gifts to family in the past. One year my MIL opened to say, can you make it in blue instead?! nice huh?


If someone requests a quilt, my reply is always "I will help you make one". They just don't realize how many hours goes into making a quilt - or the cost. They think that you can make one for $69 as that is the price they can buy one at Walmart. No one has ever taken me up to make their own quilt.

Even when my granddaughters ask for a quilt, they make it with my help.

And I especially hate it when a quilt is called a "blanket"!

I do make QOVs and a few for Ronald McDonald's house, but most quilts are for me.


some people in my family have been trying to stir me up by calling a quilt a blanket.......I do give some of my quilts to friends and family but have manage to avoid making a specific one for people with certain fabrics.............


Very funny description! I never call them blankets, but I have made plenty of quilts for family and friends. I will never do a Tshirt quilt! The quilts I make take into consideration the receiver's color preferences, but I choose the pattern, fabric and design :)


I always say "you don't want me to make anything for you, I never finish anything". End of story!

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