Thursday, August 24, 2017

Commissioned Baby Quilt


This quilt marks a first for me, being commissioned to make a quilt.  Although technically, David was commissioned to make this quilt, it instantly became a team work project.  Just like we use to have Brangelina (well before the divorce), Julie at Pink Doxies has coined us to be "Dish (Dave +Tish).  So Dish was commissioned to make this quilt.

From the get go, I wasn't sure about taking on the project.  I have never made a quilt for money.  All of my creations to date have been for the pleasure of creating or were made to be gifts.  I have never figured out a good way to put a price on what we do.  That all changed the evening David texted me from work to let me know that he agreed to give a gentleman that contacted him a price on making a baby quilt.  Followed by, how much would it be?

After a deep breath (go figure, my crystal ball was broken) I bombarded David with a boat load of questions.  Does he have a pattern in mind?  What colors in fabrics?  Size?  Lots of quilting or keep it simple?  Time frame?  Basically, what I got back was, colors dark purples and dark greens, smaller in size and keep it around $100...helpful but not helpful.

Using EQ7 I came up with three simple mock ups, a four patch and two different bar quilts.


One thing I love about this program is it easily gives you the fabric yardage needed for a quilt.  This allowed me to create a spread sheet in Excel, to calculate a rough estimate on what it would cost to construct the quilt.  I included things such as; fabric to make the top, backing, batting, binding fabric, and a thread usage charge.  Then came the hardest part, labor.  For any of these quilts, piecing and a simple all over quilting, shouldn't take too long.  The size ranged from 30" to 40" depending on the quilt.  So I estimated, 2.5 hours on prepping and piecing, 2.5 hours on quilting and 0.5 hours on binding.  I only set our hourly rate at $10/hr since this would be a fairly simple project.  This kept everything right at the $100 mark, give or take a few dollars.

After the dust settled, our customer decided on the third quilt, and David suggested we add a light green to the blocks with the dark purple bars.



The customer loved the idea and so we ran with it.  I went to our local quilt shop during lunch one day to pick out fabrics, praying that David and the customer would like them.  I probably wouldn't have chosen this color pallet myself, so I felt unsure when picking the fabrics.  This is what the shop owner and I landed on.  I forgot to ask if it was a boy or girl quilt...I crossed my fingers flowers would be fine.


Thankfully, this quilt is for a baby girl and the father to be loved the fabrics.  So, last weekend, while I worked on other projects, David went to work cutting and piecing the quilt top together.  We kept track of the time it took for each step of the project, so that in the future we would have a better idea when working up a quote.  The prepping and piecing was estimated to take about 2.5 hours.  In actuality, it took more like 3.5-4 hours...I totally underestimated.  

Together we quickly basted the quilt together, leaving me to figure out the quilting.  I wanted to do a quick custom quilt job on this one so badly.  I even had David make an extra block with the tiny bit left over.


This is what I came up with and I 'll be honest, I just wasn't sold and neither was David.  I decided that a good ol' stippling (I've finally made peace with this filler) would be perfect for this quilt, so I ran with it.  

I pulled out my thread containers to decide what to use.  I could have sworn I had a spool of an Aurifil purple variegated thread, but sadly I couldn't find it if I did. Maybe I've reached a point I should catalogue my thread colors...is that too nerdy??


For the quilting I decided on Aurifil #2510 Light Lilac.  I love how it melts into the lovely lilac fabric that backs this quilt and disappears into the lighter sections of the front, but pops out for a bit of fun on the darker fabrics.  Because this quilt will be used and washed a quite few times in it's life, I chose to machine bind the quilt.  In my experience, it just holds up better.  I sewed the binding to the front, then folded it over to the back.  Then I clipped it into place and stitched in the ditch from the front.  The Dark Egg Plant blended in nicely when I sewed off the seam line and into the binding fabric, no visible wobbles.



As for the quilting time, I over estimated.  In actuality, it only took me about 45 minuets to quilt this one.  So, what I underestimated in piecing I over estimated in quilting and it came to about the same over all time.  Talk about luck.  I think with time, it will get easier to guesstimate an approximate cost for making a quilt.  I am happy to say that we pretty much came in right at the price I quoted him give or take about $5.00.  


All that is left to do, is give it a good wash with some color catchers to be safe and deliver the quilt.  I hope that it will see lots of warm snuggles, take some wonderful naps, play a few games of peekaboo, catch falling tears and bring comfort and maybe even tuck in a few stuffed animals in a few years.  I will probably never meet the little girl that gets this quilt, but I hope that she knows that it was made with lots of love from two strangers trying to bring beauty and warmth to the world one quilt at a time.


I know for certain this will not be the last commissioned quilt we take on.  David already has a 70" quilt pieced that he was contacted about making, I just need to get it quilted up by October, but we'll talk more about it later.  Until then, Dish will be working away at projects.  Dish.  It cracks me up every time I type it.





25 comments:

Paige said...

Great team effort! Tish you stipple quilting is beautiful! Great job, DISH!

Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl said...

Estimating the time it takes to do something is really tricky, especially at the beginning. I am so glad that in the end the balance worked out and you were within $5 of your estimate; that's awesome! Great team effort and lovely quilt that I am sure will have a lifetime of fun memories and adventures. :)

Sue said...

I was looking forward to seeing what you would come up with for this commission and especially how much you would pay yourself and you've done swimmingly. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it using similar fabrics for that price here in Australia but I'm impressed that you managed to pay yourself a decent wage. On to the next one?

Nancy J said...

DISH, that is great and a whole lot better than " Tavid"!!! Lovely quilt, great stippling, super binding, and maybe the start of a future quilting and more from
" The Dishes".

Stitchin At Home said...

This is a lovely quilt and the stippling I think was the perfect choice for the quilting. Dish did good.

Lynn said...

A lovely quilt, perfect for a new baby. Colours worked out really well and you can't go past a stipple! Great job.

Vicki in MN said...

I am glad it all worked out in the end, good job you two!

Ramona said...

Congrats! on your first commission. It's a great baby quilt and your quilting is perfect.

Rina Mason said...

What a cute baby quilt. I am totally in love with it and am so glad that you posted your first commission quilt for us to see. Are you going to be releasing a pattern? My niece wants me to make a couple of baby quilts for her future little ones before I get to the point I can't sew anymore and this one would be just perfect. I know I could figure it out but I never want to steal someone's design so if you are going to do a pattern please let me know.

Cheryl said...

I love the combined "Dish" name :) The commissioned quilt looks great.

Lori said...

so pretty

piecefulwendy said...

I totally relate to your working through the pricing. I think it's one of the hardest parts of making a quilt for someone else. I think you thought it through well; it comes very close to how I have done it for quilts I've sewn. It's a pretty quilt that should get many years of use! Good team work!

Janice Holton said...

Dish! It's perfect! I really loved reading this post and your thought process that went into the planning and pricing of this great little quilt. Very interesting! Gave me a great starting point if I ever find myself in that situation. Your posts are always so detailed and full of interesting things!

Preeti said...

The "Dish" is yummy and the quilt is pretty.
Keep it up - spicy and sizzling :-D

KaHolly said...

It's magnificent! What a team you make! There's $100 to put toward more fabric/thread!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Well done! I love that Dish works as a team -- a great hobby for the two of you to share.

legato1958 said...

Team Dish creates a lovely quilt!
Susie

Emily said...

Dish! That's just too funny! It's lovely, and it's nice that you have such a great vision for the quilt's life with its new owner.

desertskyquilts said...

It's beautiful! How wonderful that everything worked out so well. It's nice the two of you work together. My DH and I both used my quilting machine, and so many things were a joint effort. Makes a good marriage. =)

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

Well done on the commission and the finish. It takes a man to see the bigger picture sometimes . Oh no . I can't say that. I will rephrase that to it maybe took david to see the opportunities quilting opened . Dish ! Brilliant !

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

Oh by the way , my friend has just returned from Canada . Whilst there she viewed double quilts that were priced at can$1000. Some of them weren't even that nice

Sandy said...

Way to go, you two! I would not have chosen those fabrics either, but they sure do work well together, and the quilt is beautiful.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

The quilt looks beautiful, and you two did a wonderful job on it. There is a time and place for a large stipple, and this was certainly the time. I like that it keeps a quilt soft and cuddly - exactly what a baby quilt needs. I always underestimate the time it takes me to work on a quilt. I'm impressed that you hit your estimate so closely. Good job!!

Jayne said...

You guys are a great team!! The design is simple, yet elevated with the colors and quilting! Well done to you both!!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Dish,
I love, love, LOVE this quilt and the colors! Love the blended name, too. I am sure the baby girl will love this very much, and feel the love and thoughtfulness that was taken to pick this out especially for her. ~smile~ Roseanne

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