This is a topic I have spent innumerable hours on the internet researching. I have been to many forums and boards including Etsy, Missouri Star Quilt Company, QuiltingBoard, and even e-how. They were all off the mark because they don’t consider competition prices on Etsy and what buyers really feel like spending for a quilt. One website, for example, priced a baby quilt at $600 when you factor in time, materials, craftsmanship, and even how tight the free motion quilting is. Well, in my world, no one is going to go for that!
So, I came up with my own formula and hopefully this will work:
x: cost of materials
-Backing + Front + Batting
-Don’t use “sale” prices, as they are limited-time-only offers
y: Size (square feet)
-A 40×40 swaddling blanket would be 40/12 inches=3.33 for one side. Multiply length (3.33) and width (3.33) for a total of ~11 square feet
-You should always, always time a quilt style the first time you do it. For example a 40″ quilt with appliqué would take more time than a 40″ quilt without appliqué
-Factor in the time it takes you to design as well!
Okay, so using this formula here’s my real-world example for a crib Custom Chevron Quilt. Remember, cost= x (y/z).
x (materials): about $40
-Backing: I can get it for $5.50 a yard at Fabric.com using the Kona solid line. I’m going to purchase two yards for the backing based on my Robert Kauffman QuiltingCalc app (see link at bottom). So, that’s $11 bucks.
-Front: I’m going to use three different fabric colors for the chevron design. I want a yard of each at $5.50 per yard (again, using Kona solids). That’s about $16 bucks.
-Batting: I use Mountain Mist batting–it’s cheap, warm, and does the job. It’s normally $11 so that’s the price I’ll use for the calculation even though it’s currently on sale. Remember, you’re not always going to be able to buy materials on sale.
y (size, square feet): 38
-Twin (65×85): 65/12″ per square foot= 5.4 ; 85/12″ per square foot= 7.1. Multiply them together to get the total (5.4 x 7.1 = 38)
z (hours): 7
-I timed myself and this project takes me about 6-8 hours. I’ll use 7 to be fair.
cost= x (y/z)
cost= 40 (38/7)
cost= 40 (5.4)
cost= about $215
Now, go ahead and look up your competition. Etsy sellers LOVE to use non-standard sizes, for some reason. For the love of God, make sure you’re looking at the competition for the same style (in my case chevron) and size (65×65 not just “twin”). This quilt featured on Etsy is in the same ballpark. Hers is $200 and slightly larger, due to the border, but your price is competitive and fair. She probably used this type of calculation as well! :)
If this article helped you, be sure to comment. I’d love to hear any modifications you make to it!