Thursday, January 2, 2014

A couple firsts: Commissioned quilts and a new young quilter's quilt #1

Judy had me make three quilts for her kids for Christmas.  She had purchased kits and had me piece, quilt, and bind them.  I was relieved that they were very simple to make-just some yardage with a couple borders.  All flannel, including the back.  This was the only pic I got of the top, but I think you can get the idea of it.  I'm new to the whole commissioned quilt from start to finish thing. But it went well.  (Thanks Grandma for watching the kiddo for a couple solid days while I cranked these puppies out!)  I decided to keep track of my time constructing the quilts (not including quilting time-that was a separate charge) and charged an hourly rate.

She wanted to keep the quilting simple so I did loops with a few leaves.  There is a similar looking leaf in the border print, so that's where that idea came from. 
A few things I learned from making commissioned quilts:
*Be careful if you decide to pre-wash their fabric for them.  Have your client do it, or don't do it at all. 
*Charge an hourly rate that is suitable for your area and your level of expertise.  Plus, it keeps it much simpler for you to ensure you are getting paid what you deserve for your time, talent, and workmanship.  Although it might be harder to know how long a project will take you if someone wants a quote, after a while you will get an idea how long it will take you to do certain tasks, like binding by hand for example.
*I don't mind doing simple projects for people (like these quilts or the baby quilts I did here), but making commissioned quilts is NOT something I really want to actively pursue.  Honestly, I'd much rather be working on my own projects or quilting on the longarm than making someone else's project.
So that's my 2 cents on that subject.  Have you ever made a commissioned quilt??  What tips or advise do you have? 
Thanks for choosing me to make your special quilts Judy.  I hope your family enjoys them for many many years to come!

OK--This little quilt here is a first-time quilt made by my 12 year old niece Emma!  (With Grandma's assistance.)  She decided to give it to her horse riding instructor for Christmas.  how sweet is that?! 

I didn't know what to quilt on it, so I ended up doing a random assortment of everything :)  swirls, flowers, leaves, feathers, big bubbles...I don't even remember what all else. 


Anonymous said...

Cute fabric and a great first project, Emma! Perhaps a little quilting protege for Grandma?
~ Becki

Sarah said...

I haven't sewn a commission quilt before, but I have sewn up quilt tops for a shop that they display and then when the fabric or kit are all sold out I can keep the quilt top. I have to say I don't really enjoy it either. I don't like the feeling of pressure of a time line or due date, and I'd rather be working on my own thing instead of feeling like I have to finish this first. Made my hobby feel too much like a job.