Do you have finished quilt tops languishing in some dark corner of your sewing room, just waiting for the day that you learn how to do free motion quilting? Or perhaps you just like making tops, but don’t have any interest in quilting them. Or maybe you want something more than stitch-in-the-ditch.
Let me give life back to those tops by quilting them for you! Then all you’ll have to do is add the binding and a label and hand them over to the recipient.
A bit about my quilting
You can scroll through all the quilts I’ve quilted for the Community Quilts program to get some idea of the sort of quilting I do: https://rhondabracey.com/tag/community-quilts/
I quilt on a Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen sit-down machine, not a long-arm, so I don’t use computerised patterns or pantographs – all my quilting is me pushing the quilt under the needle; as a result, your quilt will be uniquely stitched.
I’m a true ‘free motion’ quilter, which means I rarely mark the designs I stitch – I just sew them where my fingers and brain take me. At this stage, I only use rulers for straight line stitching, though I intend to add ruler work as I learn more. My stitches are as even as I can make them, but I don’t use a stitch regulator.
I don’t do ‘heirloom’ quilting, which is the very intricate and perfect quilting you see on traditional quilts in quilt competitions. So if you want the very precise and competition-level work that you see in juried quilt shows, I’m not the quilter for your quilt.
While it’s in my possession, your quilt will be well looked after. No-one in our house smokes and we have no pets, children, or grandchildren, so it will NOT come back to you with pet hair or cigarette smoke clinging to it, or crayon marks from over enthusiastic kids.
I live near Bunbury, Western Australia. Unless you live close by, you will have to post your quilts to me to quilt.
All prices are in Australian dollars. Minimum charge for any size quilt: $100.
These prices include preparing the quilt (ironing the top and backing fabric, and pin basting the quilt sandwich ready for quilting) and then quilting it.
- All-over simple design from edge-to-edge (e.g. stipple, ‘open headbands’ [https://rhondabracey.com/?s=open+headband], winding hearts/leaves/flowers, large circles/pebbles etc.; covers entire quilt top, including borders): from $0.055 to $0.075 per square inch (for those who calculate better in square feet, that’s $7.92 to $10.80 per square foot)
- Custom quilting (e.g. different quilting design in the border from the main top, stitch in the ditch, quilting according to the pattern of the quilt blocks, feathers, ruler work etc.): from $0.075 to $0.10 per square inch (for those who calculate better in square feet, that’s $10.80 to $14.40 per square foot)
The ‘from’ prices are only a guide – until I see a photo of the top, and discuss with you how you want it quilted, I can’t be more precise than that at this stage. The prices above don’t include any of the ‘extras’ listed below.
Alternative: To make it easier, I can also charge per hour — that way you don’t have to work out all the calculations below. My rate is $50 per hour for quilting. I recently did some custom quilting and based on the calculations below it would have cost over $300, but as it took me only 5 hours to do, the per hour rate ended up being cheaper ($250) for the customer.
All extras are included on the ‘Request for Quote‘ form; this section explains what each section on that form is about and how it will be charged. (Note: If you’re using Firefox v19 as your browser, you won’t be able to fill in the form automatically; instead you’ll get a message at the top of the screen that looks like this: . Click Open with Different Viewer and either select Adobe Reader or save it to your computer and then open it from there.)
- Extra preparation (e.g. trimming all threads; stabilising the edge seams; joining batting pieces, if necessary; joining backing pieces, if necessary etc.): $30 per hour, charged in 15-minute blocks (you can save a lot of money by making sure all threads are trimmed and none poke out on the top; that the edges/edge seams of the top are made stable with holding stitches – no waves, wobbles, wonky edges, separation of the seams etc.; that the batting is all in one smooth piece; and that the backing is all in one smooth piece). If I find that any of this work has to be done and I wasn’t expecting it, I will contact you to discuss this extra fee.
- Batting: If you want me to provide batting, it will be at cost from the retailer plus a $10 handling fee; I will provide you with a receipt from the retailer to show how much I paid for the batting. Be aware that Australian prices (as at March 2013) for batting range from $15 to $35 a metre (39″), depending on width and what it’s made from.
- Backing: If you want me to provide backing fabric, it will be at cost from the retailer plus a $20 handling fee (which includes pre-washing the fabric); I will provide you with a receipt from the retailer to show how much I paid for the backing. For large quilts, I will use wide-back fabrics wherever possible. Australian prices for wide-back fabrics range from $20 to $35 a metre; for standard 42″ width fabric, they range from $20 to $30 a metre. If I purchase standard width fabrics for your backing, they will likely have to be joined — this will be charged at $30 per hour, and calculated in 15-minute blocks.
- Thread: One solid or variegated thread colour is included in the price, along with a bobbin thread to match the backing fabric (typically); additional top and/or bobbin thread colours are $5 per colour
- Optional: Final squaring up of the quilt, ready for binding: $30 per hour, charged in 15-minute blocks (I leave the quilt ready for your binding; if you want me to bind the quilt, that would be a separate charge depending on the sort of binding you want done and we would have to negotiate that)
- Postage to return your quilt to you: budget for at least $25+ within Australia; $60+ for outside Australia (postage will be ‘at cost’ and will be based on the weight and size of the folded quilt, the packaging required, and if insurance or tracking is required). All items will be sent through Australia Post (Australia Post charges within Australia: http://auspost.com.au/apps/domestic-parcel.html; international charges: http://auspost.com.au/apps/international-parcel.html). As a guide, a large quilt may weigh more than 3 kg; smaller quilts (e.g. lap quilts, single bed quilts) typically weigh less than 3 kg.
- Complete the ‘Request for Quotation‘ form, save it, then send the saved copy and one or more photos of the quilt to my email address: email@example.com (NOTE: the email address on the form is mine and will still get to me)
- On receipt of the completed Request for Quotation form and photo(s), I will calculate the approximate cost and reply via email. If necessary (and if time zones allow), we will talk on the phone.
- 50% of the estimated cost is to be paid by you upon my acceptance of the job and your acceptance of my quote (the 50% is only an estimate as the final cost will include postage, which won’t be known until the job is done).
- The balance is to be paid on completion when I send a photo of the completed quilt to you and have calculated the postage based on the size and weight of the quilt, the packaging required, and where you live.
- I will only post the quilt back to you once I have received full payment from you.
- Payment is to be made via PayPal or, if you are in Australia, via electronic banking – EFT details will be provided once you accept my quote.
- If you provide your own batting, it must be at least 4″ wider all round than the quilt top. I also need to know what sort of batting you intend to provide. If your batting isn’t suitable or it’s too expensive to post, I can get batting for you ‘at cost’ plus a $10 handling fee (my closest retailer is a 40 to 50 km round trip from where I live, which accounts for the ‘handling fee’).
- If you provide your own backing, it must be at least 6″ wider all round than the quilt top. If you’ve pre-washed the fabrics in the top, then please make sure you also pre-wash the backing fabric. Again, I can get backing for you ‘at cost’ plus a $20 handling fee (which includes pre-washing), but you will have to trust my choice in selecting this fabric. I will not choose backing fabric for you until I receive the quilt top as photos aren’t always correct as far as colour is concerned.
- There are to be no embellishments (e.g. beads, buttons, zips, etc.) or leftover pins etc. on the quilt top.
- Before I can give you a quote, I’ll need to see a photo of the quilt top. Please email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
- I’d like to know what types of fabrics you’ve used in the top – all quilting cottons? batiks? various (e.g. silk, cotton, polyester, T-shirt fabric etc.). This will help me determine the price per square inch as some fabrics are more difficult to work with than others.
- If you have a preferred thread colour for the top, I’d like to know that too; otherwise, I’ll use my experience to pick a suitably coloured thread.
- I also need to know how the quilt is intended to be used – this will affect the type of top thread (e.g. cotton, trilobal polyester, rayon, silk, etc.) and bobbin thread (e.g. Invisifil, Bobbinfil, Deco-Bob) I choose. A quilt for a child’s bed will likely get more wear and laundering than one in a spare bedroom or on a wall, so the thread has to stand up to the likely wear and tear it will get.
- Have you measured the quilt top yourself, or have you taken the measurements from the pattern you made it from? Please measure it yourself, by taking and recording these measurements: full length of left edge, full length of right edge, full length of vertical centre, full length of top edge, full length of bottom edge, full length of horizontal centre. Are the measurements of the edges within an inch of the vertical and horizontal centre measurements? Please make sure you include all these measurements on the ‘Request for Quote‘ form. The square inches will be automatically calculated from these measurements.
- Do you have a preferred quilting motif/design? If it’s one you’ve seen on one of the Community Quilts I’ve done, then email me the web address of that page. Otherwise, I’ll choose a design based on what I believe will enhance your quilt top.
- Do you want your large offcuts of batting and backing returned to you (e.g. you may want to use backing offcuts for the binding)? If so, let me know. If not, I will either keep these offcuts for other projects, or donate them to individuals/organisations that make quilts for charitable purposes or to other craft/community organisations who will use them. I won’t just throw them out.
- Finally, I need to know what date you want the finished quilt by. I have a day job three days a week, so there are days I can’t do any quilting. Ultimately, the date it can be completed by will depend on when I get it as well as how much available time I have to work on it.
Let’s work on a scenario for a large 60″ x 80″ (i.e. 4800 square inches) quilt top that I will assume is made from quilting cottons or batiks:
- Preparation (ironing and pin basting): included
- One thread colour: included
- Edge-to-edge quilting using an open headband motif 4800 square inches x $0.055: $264
- Squaring up ready for binding (15 mins): $7.50
Which brings the total to $271.50 plus whatever postage will apply. Naturally, extra services, actual time taken for those extra services etc. will change that price up or down.
If you have any other questions, email me at email@example.com
If you are interested in getting a full quote (not inclusive of postage), please complete the ‘Request for Quote‘ form, save it, then email the saved copy to me along with at least one photo of your quilt top – I cannot give you a quote without that information.