When creating a new quilt, it can help to have an idea of its final owner. Choosing colors and fabrics can be made easier knowing the room in which it is likely to find it’s home. If you are making a bed quilt for your young niece and she just loves pink, the choice is obvious. If you are creating a quilt for your cousins hunting lodge, that too evokes a set of colors likely to contain deep earthy greens and browns, and maybe some plaid. Knowing the final owner and thier preferences can make some of the decisions in getting started easier. This is true for making gift quilts, and commision pieces.
Often the harder part is working with those choices if they are outside your comfort zone. Finding balance between what the recipient will love and what you can be motivated to work on can be a big challenge. If you hate orange, it can be challenging to get to work on that halloween quilt. It is an issue that sooner or later most quilters have to face.
Another issue that can challenge us is that most non-quilters underestimate the materials costs and the time it takes to make a quilt. Sometimes the difference between the perception and the reality is laughable ( if it doesn’t make you cry) There are several memes that float around social media outlining the costs of making a quilt. While they are trying to be helpful by explaining why custom quilts cost what they do, they also regularly forget to include any sort of resonable labor cost for the time it takes, despite still quoting prices that are well above market value. It can be discouraging for those of us who do custom work, and even more so if we need to make a living from it.
Finding the balance between the needs of the person recieving and the needs of the maker can be tricky, and it is why I never agree to a project for comission without an in person planning session. I have learned over time to read people fairly well, so that I can tailor their desires to projects that are appropraite for them and are things that I wont hate making. An in person consutation also ususally includes budget negotioations too. After many years of doing this I have found ways to work within the customers needs and often set up payment plans that make bigger and more complex quilts possible for the client than might otherwise be possible. I have also learned to say NO. Sometimes the middle ground just can’t be reached, and then I send the project on to someone else.
I have several pending new projects for clients promting all these thoughts. We shall see how it all progresses, and of course I will share the finishes with you when they are done.
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