Wednesday, May 23, 2007

European pain and quilting joy

I have just wasted the last couple of hours watching Liverpool FC lose in the European cup final. Normally I couldn't care less about football ( although Liverpool is nominally 'my' team). However my brother-in-law got a free trip out working as a steward and then today I covered a full time Judge who had got a ticket and who was phoning in to the court on tenterhooks to report how delayed his flight to Athens was. I kind of got the fever at that point and when I heard the news story of how the last flight full of fans out was cancelled due to mechanical failure I felt so sorry for them I had to hope that the match at least was won for them. But it wasn't, so now I feel vicariously worse!

I am betting though that there are some unreasonable behaviour divorce petitions issued as a result of the financial stress caused by this match. One stranded fan was saying that he had spent two months wages and hadn't even got there. I heard that flights on charters were going for £1000, as were tickets. Crazy.

On a much cheerier note however, I sold the Leaf Peeper quilt I showed at Quilst UK. I really didn't expect that so I am just so delighted that anyone wanted to spend so much money to own somthing I knocked up. What an encouragement. It has been bought by a woman downsizing to a new house after her husband died who had always wanted to own a quilt and went to the show specifically to buy one - and picked mine!

Whats more she asked me if, should she ever want a new one, whether I would make her one as a commission! (Oh yes!).

I have no idea, however, how to value a quilt. I know it would be inappropriate to apply my professional charging rate to the work I put in and I think I am worth a bit more than minimum wage but thats a large gap! Does anyone know of any accepted formula for working it out?

I sold this for £450 pretty much at random which does give me a profit after costs ( it was longarmed quilted and finshed by Chris Marriage) but I did hear an American woman looking at it at the show say it was cheap. ( Yes, I confess - I was hanging around my own quilt for a little while!) I didn't keep a record of my time on this one (mental note to self for the future!) so I don't even know what my hourly rate worked out at on this one. But it doesn't really matter. As I never expected to sell it I am more than happy to have 'free' recycled fabric money instead of another quilt in the cupboard.


Jennifer said...

Helen -- first, thank you so much for your kind and insightful comment you left for me about yoga/mediation; you're so right. I'll head down that path. I also laughed out loud at the thought of Dean heading out on a date with the girl next door!

I've sent off a little envelope to you in today's mail so keep an eye out.

Congrats on the sale of your quilt -- that's tremendous (and your haul and good time at the show sounds pretty spectacular, too)! I've never sold my work so i can't give advice, but i know there are books out in the US about how to price your handmade goods -- if you don't get the feedback you're looking for, you might want to poke around Amazon.

Sorry about the tough football loss in the meantime....

Helen said...

Congratulations on selling your quilt. It is such a buzz to know someone else likes what you have made.

English Rose said...

helen, congratulations on selling your quilt, that is brilliant. you must have felt a real buzz. I too have no first hand experience to offer on pricing, but I'm sure there was an article on it in one of the recent quilting arts mags. if you would like me to look it out for you, let me know.

caroline said...

Congratulations on your quilt sale. Sorry, I have no idea of pricing quilts either but would be interested to know if you do find any information out.

Nellie Bass Durand said...

It surely does feel good to have someone value your work with money.

I price my pieces by the square foot plus any special materials or embellishments and framing or hardware (in your case that would include quilting by another person). The trick is to figure out a general value per square foot of your skill level, time, and materials plus the cost of equipment. This approach sure beats keeping track of every expenditure and minute of work for a piece.

Here's my formula:
L(") x W(") = Area
divide by 144= sq'
multiply by $ per sq'
plus expenses
= price of quilt

Susan D said...

You must be so chuffed at selling a quilt, well done. It's nice to know all your hard work is appreciated.