The Cost of Thread

In my opinion, as a professional machine quilter, you SHOULD be charging your customer for the thread that is used in their quilt.

Here is a question for you – What makes a quilt a quilt? You may answer, “It’s the fabrics, or piecing pattern, the quilting design, etc.” If you think about it – the THREAD is what makes a quilt a quilt!

Have you ever chain pieced a lot of pieces with no thread? What do you have? Lot’s of pieces of cut up fabric! Have you ever quilted a section of a quilt with no thread? What do you have? Three layers (quilt top, batting and backing) with a lot of holes in it!

THREAD is what makes a quilt a quilt! It is a legitimate part of the cost of doing business!

I wrote an article Calculating the Cost of Thread which I am posting in a pdf file below.

I encourage you to download this article and you have permission to print out one copy for yourself and you can keep a copy of the pdf file on your computer for YOUR USE ONLY!

To view the article “Calculating the Cost of Thread”  Click Here

Note; This article was originally written in 2000 and I have significantly updated the information.

I encourage you to leave a comment with your thoughts.

About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 10 and quilting forever!

13 Responses to The Cost of Thread

  1. Pingback: The Process of Pricing | Machine Quilting Business

  2. Pingback: Belated Happy New Year | Machine Quilting Business

  3. Margaret Landon says:

    Hello Cindy, Again, the information you give so freely is invaluable !!!!! Could you please do an article on Home business space versus renting space. I understand the differences, however you always put a thoughtful spin on everything you write about. Margaret Landon The Quilt Parlor

    Sent from my iPad

  4. Nancy says:

    I don’t charge for thread. I have it included in my total price per inch. I have gotten several customers this way. They seem to think a price quote, plus batting, plus thread…plus…plus, plus is just too much although often it comes out to the same price as another quilter would charge
    MY theory on machine quilting is this: You can’t quilt with out thread so of course it is included in the price!!

  5. Amy Bouchard says:

    I also have always charged a thread charge. I have never had any customers ever complain about it at all.

  6. Lynn Bell says:

    Hi Cindy,
    I have figured the cost of making a quilt about six different ways, and they all come to within $20 dollars of each other, so I’ve gone to the 10 cents a square inch method, then I round up or down (depending on the quilt) to get an even number. It really doesn’t matter what you paid for the fabric you used in the quilt, you still have to replace it at today’s prices.

    Regarding adding the cost of thread to your quilting jobs, that is a question I’ve pondered and struggled over. I charge what the other ladies in our town charge, which is $30 per hour beginning the moment I start working on the quilt. That includes loading time, quilting time, and, if necessary, correcting & ironing time and piecing the backing time. My customers know they can save a bundle by bringing me the back pieced and the top correctly pressed. I can knock out an over-all free motion pattern on a lap quilt for between $50-$75. They know that if they want a more intricate pattern it will cost more. I’ve been adding the cost of the thread to their expense, but I purchase smaller spools and give the left-over thread to the customer. I’m never too sure if that should be included in the $30 an hour.

  7. Kathy says:

    Do you charge tax on the thread or batting as it is not a service, but a what? Not a product.

    • Cindy Roth says:

      I don’t know where you are located, but here in WA State, machine quilters are considered manufacturers. And, as a manufacturer, I am required to charge sales tax on the WHOLE, COMPLETED project, including my labor, thread, batting, backing fabric, etc. Because of this, I purchase most of my supplies at a wholesaler (E. E. Schenck, Portland, OR where my purchases are tax exempt. When I can’t purchase supplies at a wholesaler, I get (business) tax-exempt status from the companies I purchase the other items from.

      FWIW – in most Western States machine quilting is considered manufacturing and you need to check with your own State. If you call your State’s Department of Revenue, they should be able to help you.

    • Margaret Landon says:

      Yes you tax it all.
      Margaret Landon
      The Quilt Parlor

  8. barbara stroup says:

    I charge $10 for thread – to every customer, period. I recover the cost of my investment, and maybe make a little extra. No one has ever questioned it.

  9. Sandy says:

    Thank you, thank you! Sandy


  10. Nancy says:

    Love these helpful hints and articles! Keep em coming Cindy!

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