Opinions sought

The beautiful Flo and I have been hand-dying our own quilting fabric. It is good fun, we do it for the pure pleasure of creating colour with our own hands. It is not particularly cheap though. We need to create an income from this process in order to sustain it. If we want to dye more fabric – and we do – then we need to get some money from the stuff we have already dyed.

We had go at selling our fabrics at a market last year, but it was not at all successful. We decided that we would need to create quilts with our fabrics in order to make any sales. Being the smart people that we are, we have realised that our best bet for sales was to make something for children. Here is our first (almost) completed creation.

You can see that I haven’t put the binding on it yet. The quilts are about 1m (40in) by 1.1m (44in). The background is a whole piece and then our original drawings (this one is Flo’s) have been raw edge appliqued onto it. I have then quilted it quite heavily and added detail to the applique shapes. We have used a brushed cotton or flannel on the back to make it snuggly for a little one.

I have quilted ferns in the background because it seems appropriate for dinosaurs.

So this is what I would like to know, dear readers. How much should we charge for these? We are thinking to charge $85 – $95 Australian. This is our logic:

1. We are selling them at a craft market, we think that $100 is a psychological barrier at that venue. They may be worth that, but if no one buys them then it is pointless.
2. We will cover our purchase costs, but not really pay ourselves much for our time. That is the bane of the craft sales world. You are making one off items, you can’t really pay yourself for that until you have a designer name.
3. Selling them (we have made 18) at that price will give us enough funds to buy PLENTY of materials to make more.
4. We enjoy making them and are happy for this to be a self-sustaining cycle – sell them to make more – rather than an earth-shattering business to put us onto the rich list.
5. We want each one that we make to be unique. We don’t want to take orders to re-make these ones. We want to design quilts that match the fabrics we dye because we love the serendipitous nature of hand-dying fabric. This is pure fun for us and we would like it to remain so.

Given all of that information, would you buy one of these for your son, daughter, granddaughter or grandson. Would you think that paying $85 to $95 would be a reasonable price for a hand-crafted original item purchased at a craft market. Please give me your honest feedback. (See that email address up there? Use it if you feel you have a lot to say.)

Oh and by the way, if you see one that you love, but can’t come to the craft market in Townsville at the end of July…make me an offer!


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13 responses to “Opinions sought

  1. kirsty

    Your quilting is SUPERB!! great job (and who’s surprised? not me)

  2. Sussanah

    I would pay that much I think. I’ll get Jen and Leoni to have a look because they are supreme shoppers and should give you a decent market appraisal

  3. h&b

    Gorgeous – and it’s the fern background that would sell me.

    Have you looked at Etsy.com ?

    Lots of Aussie bloggers building up great reps there.

    I’m a bit Scottish with the $$ and have been umm’ng and ahh’ing over a certain quilt ( RRP: $70 ) for about a year now. I’m *really* stingy though, and wish I wasn’t so … so don’t listen to me .. I am stingier than most, by all accounts šŸ˜‰

    And : GOOD LUCK ! šŸ™‚

  4. precious pink pumps

    yep i would pay that no worries.
    remember, i paid $500 for a PLAIN WHITE bedspread. Perhaps I am not the right girl to ask! Seriously, I can see that the workmanship is very high standard, that alone is worth it.

  5. Tanya

    I think that’s a great price for such great work. A good thing to go with the quilt might be a trendy cardboard tag or a brochure with a bit of your history – how you and Flo became such classy quilters – with a web address or something so they can see your other fabulous work. This could also generate more business…

    But that’s just a thought from someone who has never sold a thing in her life…

  6. Brenda

    I recognise the challenges of the craft market environment with its bargain psychology but my view is that you are undervaluing your work.

    I happily give away the majority of baby quilts that I make but I decided a while ago that I would not sell such a quilt for less than A$200. (Even then I consider my clients are getting a bargain.) My quilts tend to have more piecing than your sample but are not so densely (or expertly) quilted.

    You will see that I have put a pricing note on my website. I suspect that this deters some people but that suits me just fine.

    If we do not value our own work, then we can’t expect others to.

  7. meggie

    Wow that is fabulous! Love the art work, & also the wonderful quilting.
    Pricing for markets is always very dicey. I suppose it depends on the area where the market is held too. There are areas in Sydney that would readily stand those sorts of prices, but I dont think any of our local markets would. Probably not much help for you. I think they are well worth the money, it is just a ‘market mind set’ may not approve.

  8. Fairlie

    That dinosaur quilt is just georgeous…Made particularly so by the amount of fern quilting in the background.

    I think your pricing is quite reasonable for a market, but you could probably get more in your hand for them (and they’re worth more!) if you tried to place them with some of the upmarket baby stores – although that process may have it’s own headaches!

    Or, as H&B suggests, why not try an etsy store?

  9. crabshack dweller

    the quilting is beautiful, and the dinors very cute. I think that the price is very reasonable considering that you are INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED for your works of art. I agree with Tanya’s idea for the tag about yourself and Flo. It adds interest to the package.

  10. Stomper Girl

    It is really difficult pricing your own work at first. Are there any boutique-y shops in your vicinity where you could speak to the owner and ask what she thinks the market value should be? Sometimes a dispassionate eye can help…

    I think it makes sense to start with at least a break-even rate and see how you go.

    The quilt is super-gorgeous so provided you have customers with good taste and some disposable income, you should have no trouble.

    H&B’s suggestion of putting them up for sale in an ETSY store is also a good one.

  11. Congrats on the new blog – it has a great look! Really pretty quilt!

  12. Kim

    The quilt is great – I wish I had the money right now to buy one from you for my dinosaur loving son. The quilting makes it!!

  13. Amy

    Awesome quilting! Great design… The price definately sounds reasonable… (I did not shop for bedding while in Australia, so i don’t know about comparables, but a big proble here in the USA is that department stores sell Chinese made full sized quilts for about US$25… So I guess some of it depends on the clientelle that you are marketing to – is it a craft bazaar where there are a lot of similarly priced items – whether it be fine arts or wood works? Are you planning on selling the fabric as well – occasionally seeing a finished item, may spur the sales of the materials… I know that is why they make quilts in quilt shop booths at quilt shows.

    Again Awesome quilting… there is enough on the dinosaurs without being too much!

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