I had a very enlightening discussion this morning with a lovely "scrap' quilter. She makes lots of scrap quilts and gives them away to anyone who needs or asks.
The conversation turned to finances. "How much do you charge for these quilts?" I asked.
"Oh nothing. They are just scraps.": She replied!
So, we sat down and did a little bit of math to help her understand the value of her work and the materials she is using.
We started with a 1 meter length of fabric. I rounded the numbers to 40" x 40" which is a total of 1600" square inches.
40 x 40 = 1600 square inches
We then agreed that to purchase fabric (at full retail) is about $20 per meter. I am against calculating on "sale" price. We never know if or when we'll get a good deal and its always best to do our calculating on full price.
We then divided the $20 by the 1600 square Inch for .0125 cents per inch. That's 1 1/4 cents per square inch.
$20.00/ 1600 square inches = $ 0.125
That's not a lot!
We then multiplied a sample quilt of 30" x 40" = 1200 square inches
30" wide x 40" long = 1200 square inches
Multiply our 1200 square inches by our price per square inch. = $15.
1200 x $0.0125 = $15.00
Well, that's not much. But wait, there's more!
We usually have 3 layers to the quilt, the quilt top, batting and backing. Multiply that $15 by the 3 layers and you end up with $45 for this lovely little quilt!
3 layers x $15.00 = $45.00
Suddenly the value of the materials being used and 'GIVEN' away became a reality!
We didn't take into account the amount of time or skill used for this project. Also tools are used. How much is a new rotary cutting blade or a new needle or more thread? What about the cost of the class that was taken and the new skills acquired for this project. How much do we spend annually for servicing our machines?
So, this little scrap quilt, where yes, the fabrics were originally purchased for some other specific project and these are the left overs.....did cost money.
To make the math easier we re-worked our calculations.
$0.0125 per square inch x 3 layers = $0.0375 per square inch.
I suggested she round up to 0.05 (5 cents) per square inch which would include the binding (not included before) and then round up to the nearest $5.00. This would give a bit of a financial cushion if she does sell her work, but also gives her an idea of what she is spending each year for this mind enhancing, boredom busting life!
We now have a poster on the wall of her sewing room.
I really hope that this little conversation we had has helped my friend value her work and money invested.
By the way, the baby 9 patch quilt at the top of this post measures 42" x 43" = 1806 square inches x $.05 = $90.30
Happy financially knowledgeable Quilting!