I've gone and done something I never thought I would do - sold an actual quilt, in an actual shop. Well, not really a shop, it's the local co-operative art gallery down at the coast, but it certainly sells stuff. I go in there whenever I go past and there's a pretty good collection of things - mostly art that hangs on the wall but also a bit of pottery, jewellery and a sprinkling of other crafts. They were very welcoming and relaxed about me putting in some quilts, so I did, and two of them sold! Isn't that exciting? The gallery takes 30% commission to cover costs and seems to be run on a largely volunteer basis.
I am quite chuffed with this, but of course there is that lingering suspicion that I am being a Bad Quilter because of the ridiculously low price I put on them - $150 for a double or queen sized quilt. It doesn't even cover materials, let alone any of my time or any overheads, or (heaven forbid) make a profit. And when you do that - essentially give your time away for free - you are in danger of undermining every other quilter in the world who actually wants to sell quilts for a realistic cost. I am, in theory, very supportive of the "We are Sew Worth it" argument, and think that that the buying public are, in general, unaware of the amount of time and effort that goes into hand made items.
But. But. I'm not in the quilting business and I don't make quilts for money. I enjoy making them, and I give them away for free all the time. I make whatever I want, in the colours I want, to the quality that I think is satisfactory. I like the idea that people will buy them and enjoy them. To me, $150 is quite a lot of money for an object, and I would treasure anything that cost me that much. And there is the question of the market. Most of the paintings in the gallery are about the $300 mark for an original of a decent size. If I tried to cost recover I would have to charge about $2000 a quilt, and no-one would buy it.
Nothing is ever simple, is it. I should just be happy that I have two quilts out of the cupboard, and $210 in my pocket.