Commissioned quilts are one of my great joys in life. Nothing makes me happier than to create something for one special person, and I’ve been touched to be chosen for that honor for clients around the world. I particularly love being asked to make a reproduction/replica of a family heirloom so it can be used while preserving the original for future generations.
Some of the projects I have been hired for include memorial quilts, doll quilts, baby quilts and toddler quilts. Most people find that they want something really similar to an existing quilt I’ve made, in which case they can order a customized version at my Etsy shop.
On the other hand, if you want something that’s a replica of a family heirloom, an antique quilt that needs finishing, or just something truly original, then you probably need to go with a full commission. If so, read on for answers to the most common questions, pricing and the process for having a quilt custom made.
Frequently Asked Commission Questions
How long will it take?
Depending on several factors, projects can be completed in as short as 2-3 weeks and as long as a year. Factors that affect how long any given project might take include:
Complexity of the quilt design (complicated quilts take longer)
Size of the quilt (bigger quilts take longer)
Scale of the finish quilting (tiny, complex motifs take longer)
How quickly the client responds to requests (quicker responses make the project go faster)
Type of fabric (quilts using clothing take longer)
How many projects are already on my plate (more means everything takes longer)
Can you include clothing material for a memorial quilt?
In general I am somewhat willing to include clothing in a quilt, however I do have limitations. Clothing must be 100% cotton, woven, shirt-weight material in good condition and free of odors and stains. Well-worn clothing will fail quickly in a quilt top, so items that are nearly-new are your best choice. At this time I am not accepting projects that include knitted fabrics such as T-Shirts.
Can you make a replica of our family quilt?
Yes!! These are my favorite projects to complete. They can be tricky depending on the project, but it’s one of my most treasured types of commissions. In general most quilts can be replicated, however certain types of quilts require hand-piecing and can be cost prohibitive. In these cases, you may want to consider replicating the colors/patterns in a similar but machine-friendly pattern.
Can you make a wall-sized version of our family quilt?
Generally, yes!! Again, one of my favorite projects. The limitations here are the size of the original quilt pieces. If the original quilt has very tiny pieces, then you may want to consider replicating a wall-sized section of the quilt, rather than miniaturizing the quilt.
Can you finish my antique/vintage unfinished quilt top/blocks?
I do take on this type of project, and enjoy them, but whether or not I can do this for you depends heavily on the condition of the pieces provided. First off, the pieces need to be in good condition — i.e. not stained, ripped, damaged or full of odors. Also the fabric should be unworn and the existing stitching (if any) intact and structurally sound. You wouldn’t want to spend the money and have the quilt fall apart later. In addition, the workmanship of the pieces needs to be such that they are usable — flat, square, similar sizes, etc.. If they are extremely wonky then there might not be much to be done with them, though there are creative options. Always best to send pictures and discuss it with me.
Will my quilt look just like the one on Etsy / Instagram / the Blog?
Not exactly, no. It will be similar if you have chosen to have me create something similar, but no quilt will ever be identical to another. Fabric availability changes and so your quilt will be unique and original to you. I see this as a plus, personally.
How much “say so” do I get in how the quilt looks? Will I get to make changes?
In general there will be a point in the design of the quilt where I will show you some kind of sample or mock-up of how the quilt will look. How “rough” depends on the complexity of the quilt — it might be just an approval of the fabrics, or one sample block, or it might be a full layout. This is at the quilter’s discretion and based on my experience of what will demonstrate the quilt without undue rework if there are revisions. I can accommodate a limited amount of back-and-forth at this stage. My desire is for you to be happy, however, I can’t continue to revise indefinitely. My goal is to keep the revisions to 1-3, but this will be on a case-by-case basis. Once the sample is approved, the top will be created and no further revisions to the top will be possible. However, I will get your input on options for batting, backing and binding when the quilt project gets to those points in the process.
Can you make a quilt just like (someone else’s) quilt?
In general, I can’t copy someone else’s quilt for you, unless I have their permission. I can create something original for you with a similar color palette or pattern, however. If you absolutely must have a copy of an existing quilt, you must get permission from the quilt creator and that person will have to contact me directly with their permission.
Can you make a quilt for me from a specific purchased pattern?
If the pattern creator has given permission for their work to be used in this way and you can provide me with a copy of the pattern and proof of your purchase, then yes.
Can I provide my own fabric?
Maybe. That depends on what fabric it is exactly. If it is premium quality quilt fabric from a reputable quilt shop or online quilt store, then most likely yes. It will need to be new, unwashed and not exposed to smoke, pets or other odors. If you are specifically asking about clothing, see the question above about memorial quilts. Otherwise, we can talk about it, but most likely the answer will be no.
Does providing my own fabric lower the cost of having the quilt made?
That depends. If you are providing clothing as per the discussion on memorial quilts, then no, it will not. Working with clothing is time consuming so any savings in fabric costs is quickly swallowed by the additional time it takes to prepare the fabric for quilting. If you are providing premium quality quilt fabric as discussed above, and you are providing enough for an entire quilt or quilt backing, then there may be a slight decrease in cost. However, the bulk of the cost of having a quilt custom made is the labor and expertise of the quilter, so it will not be a substantive discount.
Can I provide my own batting, thread or other materials?
I’m sorry, but no. I use high-quality 100% cotton thread and USA-grown and manufactured cotton batting because I know that it will produce a quality result.
Can I copy the quilt you make for me to be re-sold or mass produced?
In general, no, unless we have specifically made that agreement. Note that quilt designs created for the purpose of manufacturing are substantially different in pricing than a regular commission. Please contact me for more information.
In general, the commission quilt process follows this pattern:
We discuss your project, outline size, style, complexity and other factors and I quote you a price and tentative timeline.
You pre-pay for your quilt using a custom Etsy shop listing.
I prepare a rough design of the top and get your approval. For more details on this see the question about “say so” above.
Once the top is complete, I get your input on options for batting, backing and binding.
I complete the quilt, wash and photograph it and ship it to you with a mini lavender sachet.
Unfortunately it is hard to give an exact price for custom quilt design services because so many factors come into play, as discussed in the Frequently Asked Question above. I can try to give you some guidelines here, however.
The customizeable quilts listed in my Etsy shop are an economical option. These are quilts where the design has already been done and the customer is just specifying colors and patterns. Customized versions of existing quilts can be as low as $159 for a simple baby quilt and as high as $1999 for a complex King-sized quilt.
Antique finishes and reproductions vary widely in cost. Again, the costs will depend on how much repair work is required, how much fabric needs to be added, how complex the pattern and how large the quilt. Unless the project is extremely simple, expect to pay a premium for these types of projects. If a replica is not in your budget, consider a simpler quilt, or even a customizable quilt from my Etsy shop, but with fabrics and colors that approximate your original. It can be an economical option when a full replica is out of reach.
Fully custom or original quilts cost more because the design work is being done just for you. In general, custom quilts will tend to run about twice as much as a customized pre-designed quilt, so about $300 for a baby quilt and up for there. This assumes that you want a quilt, but that I can continue to offer a similar design to other clients.
If you are wanting a quilt designed for your exclusive use, including patterns, surface design, manufacturing or other offerings, then the cost is substantially more. Please contact me to discuss your project in detail.
Want to Move Forward?
If you’re reading to talk about your quilt project or have another question I haven’t answered here, please contact me!