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CostHelper > Recreation & Activities  > Quilting

Quilting Cost

How Much Does Quilting Cost?

 average costBasic Tools: $500-$1,000 
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Basically, a quilt is a big piece of cloth created by sewing together a lot of smaller pieces in an interesting and beautiful pattern; this quilt top is combined in a "textile sandwich" with a layer of batting in the middle and a plain piece of cloth (the backing) on the bottom. "Quilting" can refer to either the entire process of making a quilt or just the specific (and visible) stitches used to bind together the three layers.

Typical costs:

  • Basic quilting tools can add up to $500-$1,000, which includes a standard sewing machine. Other tools include one or more rotary cutters, a self-healing cutting mat, a tape measure, good quality scissors, a fabric ripper, a seam ripper, an iron and ironing board and a basic how-to-quilt book. Many people already own some of these items, which will cut the total cost.
  • The cost of fabric, thread and batting to make a quilt for a double or queen-sized bed starts around $85-$145 but commonly runs $200-$350 or more. Crafting a quilt takes a lot of time, and most experienced quilters prefer to work only with high-quality fabrics. Most quilters prefer to pick out their own fabric, but kits that include instructions and all materials needed start around $20-$40 for smaller projects such as a wall-hanging or baby quilt, but can run $60-$100 or more for bed-sized quilts.
  • A standard sewing machine ($200-$2,500 or more) can be used to piece the quilt top, for the "quilting" stitches that join the three layers together and for binding (hemming) to hide the raw edges after it's quilted. Manufacturers have created sets of rails that hold a standard machine; the three layers of the quilt are positioned on the rails and the quilter "drives" the sewing machine across the fabric. Rail systems start around $400-$800, while free-standing frames are $1,000-$2,000 or more. Larger sewing machines, for home use, run about $1,500-$2,500 or more.
  • A dedicated quilter may want the flexibility of a professional longarm sewing machine, which works on the same principle as rails but the frame is much larger (starting at 12 feet). These start around $15,000 and go up; quilters who purchase them usually provide quilting services to others for a fee.
  • Quilting books, videos and DVDs[1] can run $10-$100 or more, and often are available in local libraries. Senior centers, adult education programs, fabric stores and others offer quilting classes for $10-$100 or more (check if there's an additional fee for materials). The higher-priced courses usually last longer and may include access to sewing or quilting machines (instead of bringing your own sewing machine).
Related articles: Knitting and Crocheting, Knitting Machine, Scrapbooking, Polymer Clay Jewelry

What should be included:
  • Quilting can be a relaxing, creative and rewarding activity that results in a warm, beautiful quilt. provides detailed how-to instructions for each step of quilt making[2] . describes quilting stitches that can be done by hand or using a standard sewing machine[3] and gives how-to instructions for basic machine quilting.
Additional costs:
  • Some quilters piece together a quilt top, hem the backing and select the batting, then hire someone else to do the quilting stitches, either by hand or machine. This can add another $100-$300 or more for a standard-sized quilt.
  • Hand-quilting can be easier and smoother using a frame and stand, which can run $70-$300 or more; provides directions for a building a simple floor frame[4] .
  • Quilting guild fees, quilt show entry fees, quilt magazine subscriptions and similar "extras" can add $10-$100 or more to the total cost of this hobby. Quilting camps, retreats or workshops can run $90-$500 or more, depending on length, location and types of presentations; quilting cruises[5] can run $1,200-$9,000 or more, depending on length and accommodations.
  • Most quilters watch for fabric sales and then stock up. Some quilters shop thrift stores for new or nearly new items that can be converted into quilting fabric.
Shopping for quilting:
  • Almost all fabric stores and some big-box stores have sections devoted to quilting supplies. Lists of local quilting stores are provided by the American Quilter's Society[6] and World Wide Quilting Page[7] .
  • Experienced quilters are the best source of advice and support; the American Quilter's Society lists local quilting guilds[8] or you can search for local chapters of the National Quilting Association.
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