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I've had a customer ask me to make a t-shirt quilt for her. I've made many but never one for a customer.

What is the going rate for the quilt, start to finish? I googled t-shirt quilt and found some prices that range from $10-$16 per block but when I posted on another forum, they said $22-$25 per block. Should I choose something in the middle of those price ranges or go for the higher rate?

What do you charge?

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I know, it is always hard todecide what to charge...usually after making one of something, you get the feel for what you need tomake it worth your time and effort...When I make something like that, I charge for making the top (which is the hard part to figure what to charge)...then the usual charges..fabric , supplies, quilting, and binding, plus thread...just dont forget to use a lite weight fusible interfaceing to keep the block from stretching

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Thanks for sharing this info, Beth. I wasn\'t sure what the appropriate donation would be and I guessed $350.00. Here is the story: I am making a t-shirt quilt for charity and the person who wins the auction--similar to ebay (the auction is on line, Intranet through my employer), and the auction is set up internally for employee bidding only and its for charity... all money goes to our our local United Way. I find out who wins right before Thanksgiving and some time early next year will be busy making a tshirt quilt for the winner! (there is a bid war going on between two coworkers...it\'s getting lots of bids!) :)

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Hi Tracy,

Awhile back I was looking for a niche to fit into in my quilting community and I thought about T-shirt quilts. They are so full of memories and the pattern is pretty simple; it seems like there is a good demand for these. Bring me a pile of T-shirts and I\'ll make a quilt.

So I priced out the time to cut, stabilize, sashing, piece, backing, quilt and bind a T-shirt quilt and I came up with about $23 a block if all they bring you is the T-Shirts. The backing and batting are big chunks but the labor is the real cost in this. I sort of veered onto a different path and dropped the idea of T-Shirt quilt though I believe that there is a demand for them that is universal. Everybody buys T-shirts to remember a place or event. The all-cotton ones are so soft. I can\'t wait to hear what you decide on this idea.

A friend got a T-shirt quilt making kit with templates and a book off the internet so I know they are gaining popularity.

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My prices for t-shirt quilts are $15.00/block for a straight setting, $17.00/ block for the crazy setting. This price includes fabric, batting and quilting. I alwys use quilt shop quality fabrics, but I try to get them at the 40% off clearance prices, if I can. When my prices were $3 cheaper than this, I was getting too much t-shirt quilt business. I really don\'t like doing them, so it is okay with me to only do one once in a while. I even tell them, if they don\'t like my prices, they can find out how to make them themselves on the internet, then I quote them the quilting only price. They usually just have me do it.

They are extremely labor intensive...I try to avoid them at all costs.

The pricing may depend on your area. Since I have raised my prices I have only done about 3.

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OK Mary Beth, this will be my first tshirt quilt, and from the internet I did find lots of info and instructions on how to make one...but if I need expert advice I am going to ask you for help. So, in a nutshell, I cut the shirts in half, measure and square up the center pieces, iron on the stablilzer to the back keep these from going wonky and then put it between sashing then quilt? Any suggestions on threads or other tried and true tidbits for me?

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My very first project on my Millie was a t-shirt quilt - the t-shirts were stabilized, then machine appliqued onto denim. I quilted with a panto, using Bottom Line grey top and bobbin. Absolutely no problems - nobody had told me I couldn\'t succeed at it!:P This was for my church\'s summer camp, so there was no pricing involved, can\'t help you there.

And just a couple of weeks ago, I quilted a pair of t-shirt quilts for a customer - used an allover large meander, again with Bottom Line top and bobbin. The only problem I had (and not worth worrying about) was a dye transfer from a heavily silk-screened design into the white t-shirt material surrounding it - my needle holes had a green halo for a few stitches. :o I\'m thinking that those t-shirts hadn\'t been washed before my customer put the top together.

If you need any help, or even just encouragement, feel free to U2U or e-mail me.

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Shana,

When I make a t-shirt quilt I start by cutting the arms off then cut the shoulder seams and what could be the side seams, and cut the neck cuff off.

After everything is cut off and I have a flat, front or back panel, I press my iron on interfacing to the t-shirt. I cut the interfacing 18"x whatever the width is on the bolt...like 24". Then I cut my shirt to size. I try to always make my block 14 1/2" x 14 1/2" then it is a 14" finished block. If the shirts are small I determine the size I want and try to make them all the same size.

If you try to cut your shirt to the correct size, then press the interfacing to the back, most of the time the edges roll on the t-shirt and it is a pain in the neck. I cut it out big, the cut it so size later.

I had a t-shirt quilt in here last week. The lady bought iron on interfacing as I instructed, but didn\'t iron it on. Because the t-shirt fabric stretches, and the sashing didn\'t it was a mess to quilt. I won\'t make one without the interfacing.

The price of my quilt depends on the number of shirts. I have not done any less than $250. Most are around $350.

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There\'s a great book on t-shirt quilts called A Scrapbook You Can Sleep Under by Lauren Kingsland. I took a class form her and bought the book and made an entire quilt using the techniques.

It is very clear and has creative design ideas on how to use the t-shirts in the sizes they come in - 14 1/2 square doesn\'t always look right. She also has you mark the sewing line on the t-shirt fabric with a lot of extra fabric so that you don\'t stretch the edge of the t-shirt. Works really well.

I did a lap-size t-shirt quilt for $220 - it had about 12 blocks, but some were small, but that averages $18/block. My materials cost would be less than a larger quilt because of the smaller size. I wouldn\'t go lower than $13 per square foot of total quilt size; $15 would be a better minimum.

I enjoyed doing the t-shirt quilt - I like the idea of helping people preserve their memories.

Good luck -

Julia

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I realize that you wanted actual advice and I have none, but I wanted to show you the t-shirt quilt I made for my cousin anyway. :P

I made this t-shirt quilt before I got my longarm. I never had seen a "rag t-shirt quilt" before so I decided to make one up. It is one row too long but I couldn\'t decide which t-shirts to leave off. I made it for my cousin\'s birthday from his wife. I told her she could take off either the top or bottom row if she wanted. I thought it turned out pretty cute. This quilt is so heavy that if I were to make another one I would leave the batting out, I don\'t know why I used any to begin with.

I wouldn\'t make one of these for money, as I doubt anyone would pay me enough to make it worth my while as I HATE cutting all the seams to make it fray. It took me forever.

There is also a mistake that I didn\'t see until I looked at the pictures....after I already sent them the quilt. :(

ScottsT-shirtQuilt005.jpg

ScottsT-shirtQuilt007.jpg

ScottsT-shirtQuilt.jpg

ScottsT-shirtQuilt006.jpg

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Hi,

I\'m more of a lurker than poster.

I just did a custom T Short quilt for a customer and I charged by the square yd. plus fabric...the price per sq yd incuded all labor,stabilzer,quilting,binding,label, anything that needed to make the quilt.

I asked her about how big she wanted it, did the the math to get the yardage and mutilplied by $150.00 per sg yd. Her cost was $300.00 plus $150.00 for LQS fabric.

I took her to the shop and let her pick out the colors. I eneded up using over 30 dif fabrics and did a dif look for the quilt.

I have it post on webshots under Nuts4quilts profile under how to make a quilt.

:)

I did a story on how long it takes to make a quilt from start to finish.

Hope this helps :D

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Thanks everyone for your advice. I\'ll give the woman a price and see what she says.

She has seen pics of previous t-shirt quilts that I\'ve done and just oohed and aahed over them. I\'m guessing that she\'ll pay what I ask.

Julie, that denim t-shirt quilt is so cute! I love that you added the pockets. I made a flannel rag quilt for my son when he was in the Army. I too made the mistake of putting batting in and it was so heavy that it was nearly $70 to mail the silly thing to Germany!

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Okay, so I go to the place where the woman who wants the t-shirt quilt works. I show her my work, give her my price list and business card. She\'s a little surprised that I\'m asking $18 per block but still wants the quilt.

In the background is another woman, I\'ll call her Ms. Negative for the sake of nothing better. She keeps saying things like "I\'ve never sewn a stitch in my life and I made a t-shirt quilt" (she had a friend who basically did it for her). "Why would you pay when I can show you how to do it", "if I made a quilt, anyone can make one, it\'s just not that hard". Ugh....Now you know, if she has "never sewn a stitch in her life" the quality of her quilt is probably not very good.

So, I realize that I made a mistake by going to the potential customers workplace, I should have seen her alone in my home or elsewhere. Everyone else in the office was clamoring over my quilts and photos except Ms. Negative. All she could do was make snide remarks. It just really irritated me.

So, time will tell if the customer will want the quilt or not.

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Here\'s a twist! I had so many people asking me about T-shirt quilts, I decided to have a class! I showed them how to do them the right way so they could be quilted easily. Now they make them and bring them to me to quilt! Easy peasy as Shana would say. I makes it a lot easier for me! And they come in stabilized correctly and square. It doesn\'t get better than that!! I\'m planning another T-shirt class after the 1st of the year!

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Merry Jo, that is the only way to go!! That way you make sure they do it right, so when they bring it to you for quilting you won\'t have any problems. I always tell them my prices, then I tell them that if they can sew, they can look the directions up on the internet and make it themselves. They always bring it to me. Usually the quilt is a graduation gift and they are a surprise so they couldn\'t work on it without being found out. But I always, always, try to get them to make it themselves. But I also always tell them that they need to have it machine quilted and not tied, because it lasts longer when it is quilted.

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  • 2 months later...

I dont know where you guys find your customers. I would love to have just one of them. I make t shirts quilts and when I supply the t shirts, cut up, sew and quilt on a long arm, I can barely find people who will pay $100.00. If they supply the shirts, I charge $65.00. I live in the midwest and people just dont want to pay. Ive had some offer me $25 for one of my pieced quilts. Its discouraging to say the least. And if you saw all the quilts I have at my house, you would know. I just cant sell them for less than the cost of materials.

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I can\'t find my actual picture to post so, I hope this works in regard to posting a T-Shirt quilt which my best friend made. She did something very unique. She didn\'t just cut the T-Shirts into blocks she actually made them look like a T-Shirt - She had the main design from the T-Shirt, used some of the solid T-Shirt fabric for sleeves and then appliqued a cotton fabric - almost a half circle - (light neutral color) in the area of the neck so, it looks like a shirt.

Terri's T-Shirt Quilt.doc

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