Costing the Nordic Quilt

I recently came across this really helpful article and handy spreadsheet by Molli Sparkles about professional quilt pricing. It’s well worth downloading the spreadsheet and putting some figures into it, seeing what kind of amount pops out the bottom as your ‘retail’ price.

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I tried it with the Nordic quilt that I’m just finishing the binding on now. I had an idea that I wanted to sell it on Etsy when I finished, but I wasn’t quite sure what sort of price to list it as. (As it turns out, I made a bit of a mistake with some of the quilting so it’s destined for my sofa rather than someone else’s sofa.) I guessed that someone *might* pay about £400 if I could but the right artisan, handmade spin on my listing. But that would take ages to sell I reckon, since I have no brand behind me and no track record. *le sigh* It’s always an uphill struggle when you start out.

So anyway, here’s the spreadsheet I filled in. I have used a wage that many of my craftsman/maker friends use as a target – £20 per hour. I feel like I have the sewing / quilting skill to justify that amount.

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Yup, that figure at the bottom there says £795.90 in total. That’s how much I should sell the quilt at, to get a half-decent hourly wage and a small amount of profit in my business.

I mean what I find interesting about that spreadsheet is how little difference the fabric makes to the final price. I used roughly four meters of fabric for the front of that quilt. At premium UK rates I would have paid about £48 – nearly double what I actually paid from the fabric from Massdrop* (although worth noting – I bought a large FQ pack and only used half of each except the solid colours, I still have £20 of fabric sitting around in the same colourway). You could equally save money by buying from somewhere in the States like Craftsy*. But the reality is that it just doesn’t matter that much.

Buying in the UK would have made my quilt cost £820 rather than £795 – but the problem is that nobody is going to pay that much for that quilt. Which is a shame really, because the binding is looking really rather neat, and I have enough fabric to make another… and check out that gorgeous Ikea fabric I’ve used for backing! Isn’t it just lovely? I can’t wait to see how it washes and perhaps buy a few more bundles of it.

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  • Molli Sparkles

    Thanks for the link my love! Mwah! But here is the problem: You’ve already set yourself up for failure in your head by stating that no one will pay your price. How do you know that? That’s just what you’ve been conditioned to believe. Not necessarily true! Demand what you’re worth, and if it sells wonderful! If it doesn’t, you still have your pride. Someone might offer you less (and you might decide that’s okay) but you’ll never get there if you don’t ask. You are worth it!!!

    • Charlotte

      That is my long term plan! This was still a practice piece – there are lots of things wrong with it at the moment because I was trying out some new techniques. (Not least… there’s now some chocolate on one of the white squares from where I was sewing on the binding in front of Game of Thrones last night…)

      I totally think it’s worth the money. *I* would pay that much money for it if I had that much money and I loved it. But the difficult bit is connecting with those kinds of people – I don’t encounter them in my everyday life, so I have to work a little harder to find them.

      • Molli Sparkles

        Hahaha… Chocolate stains are the best! At least you’ve got the first stain out of the way! Now you can really break it in. 🙂 Re: finding the right customer, they’re out there, but I do understand the limitations. You have to know your market, and economics of that area. Good luck and remember with the Internet you have a huge marketplace!

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