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I have cards at both LQS's and some fans at each who steer custom customers my way at times. I had a call last night from an obvious bargain hunter who wanted to come over and get an "estimate" for an applique quilt. She wouldn't answer any questions over the phone and wanted only to come by and have me offer multiple options.

I know this would have been a time-waster for me and perhaps a design stealer. I've had people come by and pick my brain and then depart without leaving the quilt.

I was especially wary when she didn't seem to be fazed by my back-log time.

I carefully explained to her that I don't do estimates until we discuss options, don't offer design options unless I'm sure the quilt will be left for me to quilt, and I thought I would pass, but thanks for thinking of me. She was stunned and couldn't believe I would pass up the potential job. I told her that's how I run the business and the rules stem from business experiences and aren't just a whim.

OMG--she said she was impressed by my honesty and thought she could trust me with her "once in a lifetime" quilt. We have intake scheduled after the first of the year--but I think she might still shop around in the meantime!;)

What a crazy but great business!


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Hi Linda,

Thanks for sharing this thread, it does help in dealing with customers professionally and prevent waste of time.

Corey


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Corey Starkey

IQ & Bllissed Millennium

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Linda, would you please e-mail me? I can't seem to get the U2U function to work -- we recently changed computers -- and I need to contact you before MQX. My e-mail: blueskyquilting1 @ gmail.com (omit spaces) Thank you so much.

Barbara Conquest

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Hard to know exactly what people want until you meet them...good plan on your part...if she would give you the size of the quilt, I have given ball-park estimates that sometimes send some people on their way to find a cheaper option...I call those my tongue in cheek "bye, I'll miss you :)" customers....


aedc2cc10e0045c5397509e8f6b74d4d.png

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewmanyquiltssewlittletime/

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

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Like you I don't apologize for the way I do my business. I don't take a quilt until about a week or two before I'm ready to work on your quilt. When I put you on my list I take the dimensions of your quilt, style of quilting if know, if not I make a note of that and give myself a little more time. It has worked for most of my customers. I've had a few get offended but I decided I have enough stress in my life and I wasn't going to let my quilting become another stress!

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When quilting starts to become stressful and not fun, that is when I will cease quilting ! I had several calls just before Thanksgiving wanting quilts done for Christmas or before. I told them I was not taking on anything else until AFTER the holidays because I had my own things to do, company coming, etc. I refused to stress myself out and not enjoy my family. Some were a little miffed, but I gave them other names of quilters and told them if they still needed their quilt done after the holidays to give me a call. I don't really care if they ever call!. I have more than enough of my own FUN projects to do. I would be very surprised if any of the other quilters took their jobs either. :o


D7F6E8B831DDA5A10DA95B7BBCD5C9C7.png

APQS Millenium and Quiltazoid

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I had a lady "miffed" at me, too. She got my name from a LQS. She contacted me mid November and needed a quilt done for a Christmas gift. I said I had 1 spot left for an E2E design, not a custom. Great, this will be a panto. Ok, here are the dates I can meet you this week. Humm...she couldn't meet because she had lots of things to do to prepare for Thanksgiving the following week. Then I said I could meet with her right after Thanksgiving. We set up a date to meet. I called her the day before to confirm and she said she was too tired from her Thanksgiving company and didn't put the border on yet. Urghhh! I finally agreed to meet her Dec 4th. I called her on the 3rd to confirm. Oh, she said, she forgot to put her borders on. You know, she was out Christmas shopping, etc. but, since she must have it for a Christmas gift, she would like to meet me on Dec 14th and needs it back on the 15th so she could have enough time to bind it. RIGHT! I said I would not be able to do it, but gave her several suggestions. 1) wrap up the top and give it to her son and explain she would have it quilted in January and mail it to him at college, or 2). She could take a picture of it and put it in a card for him, but give me the top now to quilt in January, or 3) call other LA quilters and see if they had an opening.

She really told me off!!! I decided I don't want to do any of her quilts...ever!


Sandra Darlington

Darlington Quilts

2005 APQS Liberty, Circle Lord Enhanced

sandradarlington@aol.com or

DarlingtonQuilts@Gmail.com

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Love this topic! I used to sew with a lovely (well, most of them anyway) local group of people. I was fairly new to the group, and several of them had me quilt for them. One of the long time members bought a longarm. She is a lovely person. She has come to me for lessons and is doing fine. Many of the ladies now go to her for their quilting. I have no problem with that as all. She doesn't quilt at my level. We always agreed to price the same so we wouldn't step on each other's toes. They've known her forever and I really don't mine if they prefer to go to her out of friendship or whatever. I'm easy about that and have more than enough business of my own. Here's the problem.

I went to this group because it's just plain fun to get together to visit and sew on or own projects. It's "me" time. Some of the women would bring in quilt tops and ask me to give them "quilting" ideas. Well, what they wanted was an intake appt. or free consultaion. So, trying to be nice, I would interrupt my sewing, look at their quilt and give them ideas and even thread options. They'd thank me but not leave the quilt with me. Next thing I know, the other quilter would bring the quilt to me saying, "This is what they told me you said to do to the quilt, but I don't know how to do that so can you teach me??" Hmmmm....so now I've designed the quilting and need to teach someone else how to do it! Waste my time not only once, but twice! NOT!!

Well, it hasn't caused any problems between me and the other quilter, we are still friends. But I have stopped sewing with the group. I'm not going to be taken advantage of in that manner. HMMMMM....go to the experienced one for the design work, then take it to the other for the quilting. It wasn't fair to either of us quilters. They wanted her to do as I suggested which was above her skill set and experience level. I have stopped to visit with the group, but told them I now charge $25 dollars for an intake appointment which will be applied to the quilting if I quilt for them. They have said they don't like that (right, because free is so much better) but they leave me alone and don't ask for consultations so they can take it to the other quilter anymore!


Merry Jo

Merry Jo Rembold, Julian, CA

APQS Sales Representative

Millie & Quilt Path

Facebook: Creative Quilting by Merry Jo

Merryjorembold.com

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Good for you Merry Jo !!!! It's a shame they had to ruin what had once been an enjoyable group/time for you. The other quilter maybe should have told them that she couldn't do that style of quilting and suggest they have you do it since you designed it anyway. I fault her some on that situation too.


D7F6E8B831DDA5A10DA95B7BBCD5C9C7.png

APQS Millenium and Quiltazoid

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Linda/Mary Jo,

Thanks for sharing.  As I embark on this new retirement venture, I appreciate you all sharing your war stories.  This helps me to set my business plans/goals and not have my time wasted by "phishers". I have 2+ years of my own quilting to do, my time like theirs is valuable.  I take in quilting to supply by habit of "QUILTING". My years of education is not CHEAP.  I,  like you all have spend big $ and many hours in learning my craf (Just liek Lawyers/Dr and such).  Do you think they would go to a Dr./Lawyer/... for advise for free only to go to someon/where else that they felt more obligated to?   So stand your grounds. This is a business and a well time invested and costly educated process.  Thanks again for sharing.


Blissful Quilting until next time…

Judith Washburn

BlissQuilter.com

APQS - Houston, Texas

832-724-6335

Creative Machine Quilting & More

APQS Millennium Blissed with IntelliQuilter

 

 

 

 

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Sounds like a call I got a couple weeks ago. A lady said she and her daughter were new to quilting, both had made a few pillows and the lady was almost done with a quilt top for her husband. How much would I charge to quilt it?  What kind of thread would I use,? Could she put any design she wanted on it or just a pantograph?  Did I charge by the hour or by the inch?  Too many questions, especially when she wouldn't set up an appointment for me to see the quilt. I even offered to go to her, rather than her coming to me.


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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