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Topic: Lurker- quilting market?  (Read 1147 times)
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« on: December 17, 2010 01:36:44 PM »

Hey everybody, I post over in other boards occasionally (mostly crochet and knitting), and recently I have been lurking here. I know we are not allowed to sell stuff on Craftster, but I do have some questions about the "Quilt Market". First I have a couple of questions about selling quilts. Second, I have some random questions that I might repost later in a separate thread. P.S. As of right now, I am working completely by hand. We will see how the binding goes though Smiley So, if you quilt: 1st questions:
1. Have you ever sold a quilt?
2. If so, how did you determine the price?
3. What size was the quilt and how long did it take you to quilt it?
4. Did you have a difficult time finding a buyer?
5. Is it easier to quilt and sell, or to take orders for a specific design (not really custom work, just letting a person pick either what colors they want or which block style)?
6. Do you tend to see that certain styles are very popular and often requested?

2nd (random) qestions (that I may repost seperately):
1. how many stiches per inch did you average on your early quilts?
2. Any suggestions for types of binding? (self binding, making your own, folding over either the front or back).
3. Have better success quilting in a hoop, or without anything ('free' quilting?).

Thanks so much for reading, and I would really appreciate any tips, etc as I am a novice trying to pick up a craft that died with my grandmothers generation in my family AND my bf's family. They both used theirs skills to supplement their incomes when they had little ones underfoot.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010 01:40:26 PM by Quills - Reason: remember a few more questions. » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2010 04:19:23 PM »

Hm?  The "Quilt Market" is a giant trade show held in Houston every fall.  It is NOT open to the general public, however. And I'm sure that's not what you meant.  Smiley

Some of those questions are gonna be near impossible to answer.  I don't sell my quilts, so I am gonna pass on most of those. I have been quilting since forever.. I grew up watching my grandmother quilt.  Been sewing since I was 9.  Random opinions, however, those I got plenty of, LOL.  

Hand quilting IMO works better in a quilting frame of some type.  You still have to baste the quilt like crazy first, whether it's hand or machine quilted.   If I had to hand quilt something I would never finish.  Top of the line hand quilters average around 12 stitches to the inch, but the # of stitches to the inch does not matter nearly as much as the evenness and consistency of the stitching over the entire quilt.  

As for binding, it really depends on the type of quilt - are you making a baby quilt that is going to be washed a lot? (use a double folded over the edge binding, sewn down whatever way suits you) or are you making an art quilt that will hang on the wall and likely never be washed?  (in which case anything goes - you could even have no binding at all..)

Selling quilts in general is not easy IMO because too many people do not want to pay a quilter a fair living wage.. You can bust your butt and make a gorgeous king size Lone Star quilt entirely hand pieced and hand quilted, then set it for sale for $500 (which IMO is the very least it should go for).. and then you get idiots who come along and look at it and go "Oh I can get one like that at Wal-mart for $40."  and off they go, totally clueless.. and there's a LOT of those idiots out there.   :p  :p  :p   Never mind that one of those child labor made import quilts is likely to fall apart after washing it a half dozen times... :p

Another thing to consider is your costs.. you do NOT want to pay retail prices at Joann's for fabric if you are going to be making lots of quilts to sell.   You will have to have an impossibly high markup to cover your costs.  You do always want to use the best fabrics and threads and batting that you can get, which for most bed quilts means 100% quality cotton, which means quilt shop quality fabrics.  There is a difference.  Art quilts can be made of almost anything.. they are a whole different world unto themselves.  

if you can't find anything helpful here on craftster, there's tons of quilting message boards and free patterns all over the web, lots of quilting magazines too.  

Anyway, you asked.. hope it helps some.  Happy quilting!  Smiley
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010 04:20:08 PM by hollys » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010 05:18:56 PM »

Thanks so much! First of all, I had no idea there was a Quilters Market- I was just meaning the demand for quilts lol. the rest of your answers were great, dont wanna write a novel again tho... I had not really even thought about looking for quilting message boards! I guess it was my brain freeze working on me. As for the quilts I am making now (3 baby quilts). Their usage is up to their mama's. If they want to just put them up and keep them, thats fine with me. If they wanna love 'em to death, that's fine too. I was considering possibly making and (trying) to sell baby quilts that are not as traditional as some that I have seen, i.e. a traditional pattern but in much different color schemes than what you normally see. My current one is lime green, orange, brown and turquoise. Too many fabrics to describe, and my cameras broken, sorry. But, I know that moms in my area consider the traditional quilt patterns and traditional quilt fabric colors together to be too "country" or "quaint", so I thought maybe they would be interested. Around here, a large number of the moms will not shop at walmart, and have money to blow, so I might fill a niche?
anyway, thanks so much, you have given me a lot to think about that I had never even considered. It is nice to have someone put my thoughts in to different words so I can re-think them through. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2010 02:57:17 AM »

I've only sold a couple quilts and they were to my mom's friend. She bought the fabric and then I think I charged her $100 each? I don't remember, I would charge more to a stranger. They were baby size and I used a simple pattern. I can knock one of those out easily in 2 days (probably 2 or 3  3-hour sessions)

Personally I love to make my own binding, I like Heather Bailey and Oh, Fransson's tutorials for binding. I am a naughty girl and machine stitch my binding after I fold it over. I'm not sure if there's anything I hate more than hand stitching!

In general when I sell anything handmade I add up the cost of materials and then figure out how much time I spent making it and figure out how much I want to be paid per hour. Then adjust for market trends or whatnot. Ok so that's pretty loose lol! Grin You might check etsy and see what quilts are going for.

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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2010 01:30:32 PM »

Well, I finished my first quilt today, for my bf's nephew who was born on the 23rd of December. I hand did binding and all ( I bought the binding tho) and I am hooked! I have two more to make for his family that I need to finish by January 14 or so, and then I am off the hook until april or so (yet another baby on the way, and its a boy too, so they will have 4 boys under 2 1/2 in their family at one time, no multiples!). In between the January and April quilts, I may try to make one or two and try to unload them on someone lol. I am excited, but I also would be ok if I ended up giving them as gifts later on, that would be ok too. I will post pics later in the finished thread! Grin
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