How to commission a quilt

A playmat quilt, 'Playtime' by Amanda Jane Textiles

When would you commission a quilt?

Commissioning a quilt from a designer-maker gives you the opportunity to have a piece made that is perfect for what you want. You might want a quilt, a wall-hanging or a quilted throw. You might want a memory quilt (of childhood, of someone who has died, celebrating particular events). How should you go about commissioning someone to make it for you? Here are some pointers.

The first question to ask is ‘Who is the quilt for?’

Quilts for babies, children and teens

A baby should only sleep under a quilt after the age of one, but a quilt makes a nice surface to lie or crawl on, on the floor.

A playmat quilt, 'Playtime' by Amanda Jane Textiles

A quilt measuring 36 x 48″ (91 x 122cm) makes a good-sized cot quilt, but a smaller cover for a buggy is also a possiblity. Below is an example of a baby quilt made to commission. ‘Burnt orange’ was specified as the main colour and ‘suns’ given as the theme by person who now owns the quilt (in Australia).

If the quilt is for a toddler or a child, it may need to last a few years, so the design needs to not be too babyish. Photographs of toys or clothes that already appeal to the child may be useful prompts for the colour and design choices. Existing paint and furnishing colours in the child’s room might be the starting point. A quilt for a teenager should also be made with a view to it being taken away from home, if the owner goes to college, so again a design that will bridge the gap is good. A single-bed quilt might measure about 60 x 87″ (152 x 221cm) unless it’s intended for a small toddler bed.

Quilts for couples

If the quilt is for couple, it’s particularly important to take into account the colour and design choices of both partners. You might choose to meet with the designer maker (online or in person) to look at actual colour swatches of material to help narrow down the preferences of both people who will sleep under the quilt. The size of this quilt will depend on the size of the bed: double? king? super-king? Will the quilt lie on top of the bed or should it drape down the sides? A bed-scarf is an alternative, if a smaller decorative quilt is required, like this one:

Commemorative Quilts

Sometimes, the purpose of the quilt is commemorative. I enjoyed the commission to make a king-size quilt from this collection of treasured T-shirts. For something like this, it’s fairly important that all the fabric is of a similar type: for example, 100% cotton jersey in the case of the T-shirts.

You might want a quilt made to remind you of a particular person. This quilt uses fabric from men’s shirts to make the blocks.

A small quilt or throw can be made from baby-clothes, for enjoyment by the child or by the parent (looking back on happy memories.

If you already have a colour-scheme in mind, you might consider buying the fabrics yourself (having spoken to your designer first about quantities). This is what happened when I made this quilt, which was a joy to design and make for the Italian couple who commissioned it.

How to work with your designer-maker

If you have a fabric that you particularly want used in the quilt, you could ask the quilt-maker to design the whole quilt around it. Give the designer some colour swatches, if you are commissioning a quilt for a particular room. If the design options are open, it might be wise to ask the designer to show you some fabric samples along with a design sketch.

It’s important to agree as many things as possible before the maker starts work. Once fabric is stitched in and the quilt is quilted, it’s too late!

As soon as the size of the quilt is determined and the design agreed, the designer will be able to give you an accurate price for the quilt and will usually ask you for a deposit. You can see some sample prices on my Crafts Council listing here, here and here.

I would be happy to work with you on making the perfect quilt for your home or office or to give as a special present. Just get in touch via the contact form below.

Amanda Jane Textiles offers unique fabrics for sale here, quilt patterns here and classes here

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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