Why do quilts cost so much? This is a question I hear frequently. The general public or non-crafters look to department or big box stores and see quilts sold for $25 -$150. When a quilter prices their handmade quilt for $200 - $1000, it's often met with shock and disbelief. How can that be? Is it overpriced? No. Too many times it's actually underpriced.
So let's break it down. Cost of materials, cost of services, and cost of workmanship. This is using materials and the pattern for "Baby Boutique" by Studio 8. FREE PATTERN: Baby Boutique – Ivory Spring (pictured below)
Free pattern (bonus!)
•5 years of fabric total, this includes the body of the quilt and the backing. At $12/yard........$60
•batting (the filling in the middle)........$10
•quilting and binding services...............$100
•And finally an hourly wage of $15/hr for highly qualified and expert craftsmanship x 5 hrs (if they are very efficient!).....$75
For this is a small, baby quilt - only 35"x44", the baseline cost is $245. If you are looking for a queen size quilt, then the total is quadrupled at least (approx $1000). This is just an example, there are many variables including skillmanship.
I've used costs at the lower range. Fabric can cost as much as $18/yard. Batting comes in cotton, wool, silk, bamboo, poly. Longarmers can charge anywhere from 1-3 cents per square inch. As for hourly wage, I would argue that an expert artist should garner 3-4 times as much.
So when you receive or give a gift of craftmanship, please acknowledge and appreciate the value!