WARNING: This blog post contains swearing. If you are sensitive to or offended by that, please stop reading and enjoy this photo of Madison. Everyone else, please continue reading.
A friend of my lovely cousin Katie was looking to have a bunch of her Harley Davidson shirts turned into a quilt. Katie, being the awesome cousin that she is, recommended me. I said, “Sure! I can totally do that!”
I have been toying with the idea of trying to sell quilts instead of just gifting them. Seemed like a great idea to just jump right in and take my first commission from someone I don’t know personally!
I was so excited!
Translation: I was a complete anxious wreck the entire time. (Actually, I think I might have anxiety about it for the rest of my life because my brain is awesome like that.)
Recurring thoughts while I made this quilt: Oh god, what if I fuck it up? She’s a stranger! She won’t just love it because she’s family and she loves me. She doesn’t even know me! What if I fuck up all her shirts? If it was just fabric, I could buy more but I can’t just run down to the quilt shop and get more Harley Davidson shirts! One of them is from Hawaii! I can’t do this for a living. I can’t even do this for extra money every now and then. I can’t make quilts for people. I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t do this. WHY THE FUCK DID I FUCKING SAY I WOULD DO THIS? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?
I survived for the most part. I’m pretty sure a small piece of me died, but I think it was just a bit of my appendix, and we don’t really need those, right?
So it’s all good.
Anyway, since this was my first “real” quilt job, I tracked my time and materials carefully. I discovered that I am AMAZING at estimating material costs. I was within $5 of my estimate.
I also discovered that I am TERRIBLE at estimating (and valuing) time. I forget how long things like shopping, washing, ironing, cutting, etc. can take. I only estimated sewing time. Rookie mistake.
I also didn’t think to ask about the shirts themselves. I assumed I’d just be cutting out a bunch of shirt fronts. But there were designs on the backs (and sleeves!), some of which noted where the shirt was from. I couldn’t leave the locations off the quilt!
I didn’t think to ask if there were rhinestones on the shirts I would have to work around…
So yea… I didn’t charge near enough. My local quilt shop revealed that they charge twice as much and cap it at half as many shirts as I agreed to. So I basically charged 25% of what I should have charged. *face palm*
Oh well. It was the price we agreed upon. Money is nice, but knowledge is valuable too. Next time – you know, when I forget how much I panicked the whole process and think a “next time” is a good idea – I will have a much better idea of an appropriate price.
In the meantime, I think it turned out ok.
I’m pretty sure it did.
She says she loves it and will refer me to her friends, so I guess that means it’s all good.
Someday I won’t have anxiety about this stuff anymore, right? RIGHT?
Oh and my ban on baby quilts has been lifted. I remembered that I like to make baby quilts because they are small and easier to work with on my home machine. My coworker was happy because she still wants me to make a quilt for her impending first great-grandchild.