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Need advice on what to charge for custom on this beauty...

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Dear quilters,

I don't get the opportunity very often to do custom quilting. If you were me, what would you charge for custom? She wants it to have specific block designs and motifs in certain areas around the outer borders and inner areas of the top. It's approximately 98" x 98" This is a Judy Niemeyer pattern called Paradise in Bloom. 



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I would charge by the hour, which you can convert to your personal PSI, depending on how fast your quilt and how many thread breaks will be involved.

I took a class with Claudia Pfeil once, and she told us how she charge by the hour.  More importantly, she said it normally cost between $2,000 to $3,000 for her to complete a large quilt.  If it was very detailed, it could cost more.  The customer that pieced a once in a lifetime quality quilt, expected the same when it came to the quilting.  Claudia said her skill set earned that sort of charge.  While many would not pay for it, the ones that truly respected the quality and craftsmanship of her work would.  For this reason, I recommend you do not sell yourself short, and charge by the hour.  Be up front with the customer, and questimate that it will take "X" hours to complete the quilt, and give them a high expected cost.  Tell them you will keep track of every minute you spend working on the quilt. Then use a stop watch to keep track of every minute you are quilting, and record your start and stop times.  This will help show your customer how much time went into the quilting, and help you come up with a better estimate of how much time you will take to finish a quilt, and if you are earning the cost or your craftsmanship.

I would guess the piecer put in 200+ hours to complete quilt.  With that many hours in the project, you should be able to explain your hourly rate to quilt the top.  Best of luck.


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When I had sent in my 'special' quilts for custom work, I was always asked what my budget was.  Then they would work accordingly.  If my budget was too low then,  they would tell me that this quilt needs a $600 or $900  custom job and that would let me know what I was looking at for cost. 

So, ask them what they are thinking they want to pay for custom on this quilt.  Their expectations could be quite low dollar wise and that will open the conversation up for you to let them know that this quilt is going to be in the ..... range for light custom or this .... range for heavy custom

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When I still quilted for others, haven't in several years now, I started charging by the hour, $25.  I would give them an estimate range of the number of hours I anticipated but always made sure I added 5 hours because it is a moving target for sure.  Once I had a lot of custom quilts under my belt I could better gauge the number of hours their quilt might take.  


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