making Tshirt quilts for clients


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I'm thinking of opening up some time in my schedule to make a few tshirt quilts for clients. I stopped doing this years ago because I was never sure what to charge so I'm hoping that maybe some of you wonderful people may have some help for me. What is a typical charge for making tshirt quilt from start to finish? Someone I met at MQS last year said she charges $18/shirt but I never thought to clarify with her if that included the extra sashing fabrics and also the machine quilting, batting and binding.  I was thinking I could do a specific charge per shirt plus an additional charge for the machine quilting and finishing.

I want to be able to make this worth my time but I also dont want to seem too greedy or to be nickel and diming people.

 

Also, for those of you who have done this for clients ~ do you have a contract you have them sign? I'm nervous about people not being happy with the work or how I cut up a shirt or some other ridiculous claim. I just want to cover all my bases first before I proceed.

 

thanks for any input you can offer!

 

~Ashley

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T-shirt quilts are time consuming from start to finish. Do not short change yourself. Your time is valuable. Normally the people who brought me t-shirts, had no clue about quilts for the supplies needed. My price quote included the price of the fabric, stabilizer, then preparing the block and quilting. The joy on the customers face is normally worth the work....but it is a lot of work. 

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I would say you charge $20 per hour for cutting, piecing, and quilting.  Your income tax, your social security tax times 2, plus insurance, and other business cost will probably require that amount for you to make a fair wage.  Your time is valuable, and costs are probably higher than you expect, so make sure you are not working for $3.00 per hour.  

 

Best of luck.

 

Cagey

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I was asked by a friend to make her daughter a tshirt quilt for graduation in 2 years. I've never made one and really never wanted to, nor do I run a business. BUT she is a dear friend. So I would love to do this for her. I don't have the first clue what to charge or even how to make one. Yes I've watched videos and even went to goodwill for some tshirts and bought stabilizer to practice. She wants a bed quilt, say (85x85) 5x5 -15 in with 2 inch sashing, at even $16 a shirt that's $400. Does that sound about right? Any tips would be helpful as well.

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Slyvia B used to do a lot of these.  She was always on the forum, so I would do a search for t shirt quilts and review past posts.  I think she charged $25 per shirt and that included everything.  She liked to pick the material for sashing etc. because she had a wonderful eye for color and some people don't.

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I've made a couple of these for clients and my suggestion is to pick all the fabrics for sashing and backing yourself.  Most of these folks don't sew and really don't have a clue.  They will bring you discount store fabric that will shred, fade or worse and then be very disappointed.  I also agree that they are time consuming, but oh so nice when they are done well!

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I do t-shirt quilts all the time.  They are a main stay of my business.  I charge extra for sashing and borders.  The regular charge in my area is $22.00 a shirt .  Only includes batting and backing and binding.  If they want special backing that is on the customer to bring to me.  I do simple quilting on the t-shirt quilts.  

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I do t shirt quilts all the time.  I do a collage style without sashing and borders.  I meet clients at LQS and help them choose fabric for backing and binding.  Or if a block one with sashing and borders, they choose fabric.  We shop together and they pay.  I provide batting and thread and interfacing.  So we end up meeting 3 times, When I get shirts (and I meet at LQS) and we discuss a bit of placement.  What shirts are important to the customer and what works well on the edges.  We shop and they get a glimpse of the top and the third time for delivery.  I would never choose some of the fabrics they choose, but they are always happy that way. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I should refund each client $100 just for the expressions they make when they see their completed t-shirt quilt! :)  Seriously - its extremely rewarding to turn someone's life into a beautiful handmade quilt.  I've never had anyone complain and I get repeat business.  But I also treat every quilt like its my own and is made of precious jewels.

 

My basic charge is $16/tshirt + $2/sq ft for edge-to-edge quilting (non computerized on a Lucy)  Here's what they get:

 

I meet them at my local mom/pop quilt store (where I buy all my fabric).

They bring t-shirts and I bring 3 sample quilts that show the 3 board patterns I use

 

When it comes to fabric choices I do any of these:

I pick out the fabric based on their favorite colors

They pick out their fabric (mostly with my help but always 100% cotton)

They give me color options and later I put several groups of fabric together, txt pics, and wait for client to provide feedback.

 

The price includes interfacing, sashing, blocks, borders, batting, high quality 100% cotton muslin backing, Omni thread, needles, and supplies.

 

What adds to the basic pricing:

 

If the client wants a non-muslin backing I only charge the difference in price from what I paid for the muslin and what I pay for their backing fabric.  In these cases I buy up to 1 yd more backing fabric than I think I need but don't charge them for this overage.  If there is a repeating pattern on the backing fabric I like to match up where the seams are so this takes more fabric.

I also charge $15 in this case for sewing the backing together, ironing the seam etc.

 

Any t-shirt that takes extra work is an additional $5. For example - sports jerseys that are thick or button down shirts

Any photo that they want printed on fabric is an additional $10-$21.  I scan the photos myself but use a professional printer.

 

If the client wants their fabric pre-washed I charge $35.  In this case I hand wash it and hang dry.  Takes longer but I like to do it this way.

 

If they want their quilt tomorrow its an additional $5,795.00  Nobody's taken me up on this yet! Whew.

 

In a word - DO IT!  

Charlie

 

 

 

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  • 8 months later...

Hello... the information on what to charge for a t-shirt quilt is really good. I have been asked to make a couple quilts and wasn't sure what to charge. But I do not have a long arm and would need to send it out for quilting. How much more should be charged for this or does the $25.00 per shirt include the price of quilting.

 

Thanks for all your great information.

 

Shannon

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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...

Love this information.  I also want to give my customer some options to cover the cost. So I was hoping to deduct for her to cut the t-shirts and give her a discount, then if she wants to fuse them, another discount.  So, then I would just have to square them up, and continue the process.  What do you think about that idea? and if so, how much discount should I give her? I do have a long arm and plan to e to e the quilting.  I will do sashing and border and sew on binding by hand. What do you think? I like the $25 per hour cost.

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