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!