Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey posted a great blog entry on how recipients of quilts just do not appreciate the crafter's time and skill not to speak of the cost of the material that went into a quilt.
And right she is.
We live in a time when you get everything cheap, mass produced in China and we have lost the understanding of handmade value. Most people just don't "get" handmade. Sad but true.
I have given hand sewn doublesided quilts as gifts many times, never to see them again. They now live hidden in some closet and I spent up to £100 pounds in material and several months of my time handsewing the quilt. Just makes me sad.
Katy's post was a reaction to a post by the girls at Ink & Spindle about THE FORMULA on how to price handmade work. You can find that post here: http://inkandspindle.blogspot.com/2011/09/formula-how-to-price-your-wares.html
If I did the maths for let's say a large double sided hand sewn quilt like this one or this one 'the formula' would mean I'd have to ask loads for it.
Let's do the maths for the Sand and Sea Quilt:
Fabric: 2 Jelly Rolls, binding = £50
Wadding: = £30
electricity, sewing machine, thread, etc.: estimate =£20
= £100 materials
Time: well, I can't remember exactly but probably about:
2 hours cutting
2 hours design
15 hours hand piecing
2 hours basting
5 hours hand quilting
4 hours hand binding.
= ca. 30 hours at let's say £10 hour = £300
Cost (time + materials) = £400
Wholesale price (Cost x 2) = £800
Retail price (Wholesale x 2) = £1600
So according to the Formula I should ask £1600 for this doublesided hand sewn quilt. Sound right to you?
Is anyone willing to pay that? NO. Is anyone willing to pay half that? NO. Is anyone even paying LESS than a quarter of that (less than the COST as in time and materials)? Not yet. But maybe one day?