Are you a non-professional quilter or a part-time quilter looking to make some money from your quilting? Are you having a difficult time monetizing on your masterpieces? If the answer is yes, then read on.
Study the market before you start
If you are really serious about turning your quilts into cash, it’s important that you study the market before you start. Studying the market helps you discover what types of quilts are in high demand. As soon as you find out, you may consider only making those quilts which are in high demand among your potential customers. Doing so makes it easy to sell your quilts while letting you get a good price for a quilt.
People that take quilting just as a hobby don’t have to spend much time researching the market as the results from the research might end up in a conclusion that the demand for the item which they love to produce is very low. If your choices are flexible or if you are ready to produce any quilt then there shouldn’t be any problems for you to earn a reasonable amount of revenue from your hobby as a quilter.
Determining a price for a quilt consists of a few steps, the first one being market research which you should have already done before sewing quilts.
Keeping track of the time you spend
The second step in pricing needs to be done during the creation of the quilt, which is “keeping track of your time”. You should note down or maintain a record of the time you spend on the quilt; this includes the total time you spent on the quilt (from picking a design to finishing the quilt).
Start with finding out the overall time you spent on each of the steps in making a quilt (preparing the pattern, piecing, basting, quilting, binding, putting your sewing room back in order after the quilt is finished etc.), then estimate the total time it takes on all these steps and divide it by the size (in sq.ft) of your quilt. Now you have calculated the time it takes to produce one square foot of a quilt of that particular type.
Figure out how much your time is worth
The next step in pricing is determining the price of your time, or deciding how much the time you sped on making a quilt is worth.
If you are a relatively new quilter or if you are doing an unskilled work then the minimum wage might be between $6.00 and $7.00 per hour. If you are an expert quilter or performing difficult work, your time is worth significantly more than that. Something around $10-$15 per hour should be good rate in this case. Still, it’s truly up to you to decide how much your time is really worth. The market research you had done can help you in making a decision about that. You may also wish to contact other quilt sellers in your area and talk with them about this and reach a conclusion.
An appraisal is a formally written document about the estimated value and other attributes of a quilt. Stuff that should be included in a quilt appraisal are, a complete description of the quilt, a defined value, system used in determining the value, the purpose of the appraisal (sale or resale, insurance purposes, IRS requirements, division of property etc.) and the signature of the appraiser.
Selling your work
After your quilt is finished, you would likely want to sell or market it so that you can generate money for the time and effort you had put in sewing your quilt. Small scale quilters, new quilters, part-time quilters, or someone doing quilting as a hobby usually discover that the marketing of their quilts is tougher than the production. So let me look at some quilt marketing methods which can be helpful for the above mentioned group.
Quilting brokers and stores
It’s difficult for beginner quilters and part-timers to open their on quilt stores and sell their quilts there. For these types of quilters it will be useful to look for other ways of promoting their work. There are quilt brokers and handicraft stores that will be glad to sell your pieces upon paying a cut. It should be easy for you to find such brokers and stores in your area and offer your quilts through them. When your quilts become popular and when the demand for your quilts increases you may wish to step up to larger scale or full time quilting and consider directly marketing your products to customers.
Selling your work at internet auction websites
Another option available for amateur or part-time quilters is to list their work on internet auction sites. There are plenty of them available out there. Online auctions make it possible for a quilter to seek a way to sell the quilts at maximum price. Some of such sites even give you options to sell your quilts at a fixed price instead of listing it for auctions. It’s up to you to figure out if you want customers to bid for you product or just buy it at a price you specified.
Some sites might even allows you to specify a “Minimum Bid” so that you can prevent your work from being sold at a lower price than you want. This is a really good way for part-time or hobby quilters to sell their work.
Alternative quilting related income sources
There are many other ways to generate income from quilting related activities. Next you’ll find two of such ways that require a certain level of knowledge.
Offering quilt lessons
If you are an experienced quilter and don’t have much time (only a couple of hours a day) to invest, you might want to pick this option. You could find some schools teaching quilting and contact them offering to run a quilting class for beginners. If you have a unique quilting technique of your own about which you can run classes, it will be much easier for you to get a contract as a quilting teacher. Another option is to offer quilting lessons at your own place. You might use your spare time like this and you should be able to earn good enough revenue from this.
Designing new quilt patterns
If you are someone who is good at sketching new and unique quilt patters, you can easily make lots of money selling them to other quilters as demand for fresh patterns will always be great. For marketing quilt patterns of your design, you could use the same methods described above for marketing quilts.
Like in any venture, if you use your time and resources in the most efficient way it’s not hard to make a successful quilting career or generate good revenue from quilting.