I was forwarded a link to this interesting American article which looks into how much it costs to be a quilter. It's made me think about my hobby and the time and money spent on it.
Although I don't have a sewing machine worth tens of thousands of pounds, I did invest in my wonderful Pfaff that was £500. It has been worth the investment. The clothes, curtains, gifts and quilts I've made have been done so with ease thanks to this wonderful machine.
I also don't have thousands of pounds of fabric in my stash - honest. No, I really don't! I do have a stash and can usually conjure what I need without a dash to the local haberdashery.
But when asked to undertake a commission I rarely use a formula to work out the final cost. The article talks about materials + labour + profit, with labour at around £20 an hour and profit at about 10%. This sounds reasonable but when taking into account that I try to use the best quality materials and often hand finish my items the price sky rockets unrealistically.
The only quilt commission I've done was last year. I was flattered that someone I didn't know personally liked what I produced enough to take a punt on me. I asked for a brief and produced a couple of designs and pricing options. I didn't use a formula but guess-timated and luckily she went with the higher option for something more detailed and unique. Ultimately I produced a lovely quilt which she was pleased with but the fee did not match the time that went into making it. And for this reason, as those expressed in the article, I'll not be promoting myself for new commissions.
I will keep on making for my family and friends and take real pleasure in seeing them enjoy and appreciate my efforts.