Memory Quilts

As I am in the process of completing  four memory quilts for a client and her children using their beloved father’s clothing, I found this article to be interesting.

By: Andrea Funk on July 9th, 2015

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Memory Quilt Made?

MEMORIAL QUILTS  |  HOW MUCH DO T-SHIRT QUILTS COST

memorial_quilt_with_photos-703443-editedOn the Internet memory quilts range in price from $100 to over $1,000. Why such a large price range? There are a number of factors that go into the cost of making a quilt; taking a free quilt out of the discussion, here are a number of cost factors that go into the pricing of a memorial quilt.

Materials

There are 3 basic materials that go into all quilts. There is a quality range for each type of material. Higher quality material costs more and will be reflected in the price of your quilt. So if a quilt is very inexpensive, the materials used to make that quilt will also be inexpensive.

Fabric

Although memorial quilts are made in many different styles, added fabric is generally used for the backing and binding of the quilts. To help think about fabric, compare it to the thread count of bed sheets. The lower the thread count, the cheaper the fabric. Fabrics can also be made from 100% polyester, 100% cotton and any combination of the two. 100% polyester fabric with a low thread count is inexpensive, whereas, 100% cotton with a high thread count is much more expensive.

Batting

Batting is the “stuffing” that is used in the middle of a quilt. Batting comes in a variety of quality levels – from thin 100% polyester, to high quality needle punched cotton batting. Polyester batting tears easily, it bunches up and will poke out the back of the quilt. Needle punched cotton battings are the best choice, and will cost two to three times more than polyester batting.

Thread

All quilts use thread for sewing the blocks together and quilting. There are cheap threads that won’t withstand time and use and there are quality threads that will. The less expensive a quilt, the less likely it will have been made with quality thread.


Find more information on memory quilts here.


Labor

MemorialquiltforalittleboyAnother cost that is calculated into the price of a quilt is labor. Minimum wage is about $8 an hour. Typically, minimum wage is reserved for entry level and unskilled workers. Accomplished quilt makers are not unskilled. Usually, they should have over five years of quilt making experience – the more the better.

Skill

It takes skill to make a memorial quilt. If it didn’t take any skill or experience, you would make it yourself.  Highly skilled and talented quilters make the nicest memorial quilts. This means that their hourly rate will be much higher than minimum wage. If you want to only pay minimum wage to a quilter, expect an entry-level unskilled quilter to attempt making your quilt. If you value your clothing and memories you are putting into your memorial quilt, an inexpensive quilt should scare you!

Time

How long does it take to make a memorial quilt? This depends on a number of factors including quilt style, complexity and craftsmanship. A low-cost quilt will take less time than a more expensive quilt. This means that the low-cost quilt will have a simple style without any complexities and the workmanship may be questionable.

The Worth a Quilter Places on His or Her Work

If a quilter under prices their work, they are telling you up front that they do not think that their time and skills are good enough to charge more. Think about what this tells you. If someone does not find value in his or her work, will you.

Style

Wright_Family_Memorial_Quilt_3-447719-editedThere are two basic styles of quilts – those that are made in columns and rows and those that are made with our Too Cool puzzle style. The number of steps and the amount of time it takes to make each style is vastly different.

Traditional

A traditional style memorial quilt is made from blocks in columns and/or rows and the blocks are all one size. This makes the project very easy and involves very little planning and time to layout.

The “Too Cool” Style

A memorial quilt made with many different sizes and shaped blocks involve a lot of consideration, planning, math and other time consuming steps. This style of quilt will take 10 times or longer than a traditional quilt.

These and other considerations are indicators of the quality of a quilt. They also greatly influence the price of the quilt.  For example, someone with great skill and artistry using cheap material might make a good looking quilt, but the quilt still has been made with cheap material that will look cheap and not wear well. Conversely, a quilt made with high quality materials that is poorly made is still a poorly made quilt.  You want a quilt that is made from high quality materials by a skilled and artistic quilter.

Look carefully at the cost of memorial quilts. Be sure to know what you are paying for. A quilt that costs only $100 is probably going to be a disappointment.

To learn more about having a memorial quilt made, please feel free to download our Memorial Quilt Guide. It has information that will help you through the process of having a memorial quilt made.

Download the Guide

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