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Marie0722

Choosing designs for custom quilting

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I was wondering how those of you that quilt for others handle this part. Do you discuss the details of how to quilt with the client? Or do you quilt what *you* think works best?

Last year we had Kathleen Riggs at our guild for a trunk show, and she said she never discusses anything with a customer. If they want to decide how a quilt is going to be quilted, they need to find someone else to do it for them. Her reasoning was that they picked her because they liked her work, and it wouldn't be "her work" anymore if she quilted what she was told to do.

I have always thought it's the customer's quilt, and they have to like it when it's done but I am beginning to reconsider. I am dealing with one of my guild members right now who came to me with a quilt that she felt needed "something special". I am not the only longarm quilter in our guild, she has four or five to choose from. But she chose me because she liked the things I bring for show and tell. And she didn't know what that "something special" would be. All she knew was how much she was willing to pay for it, and it was a reasonable price that she had in mind. I have been running ideas by her for three days now, and she settled on something that she saw online which is very simple and does not suit her quilt/fabric choices at all in my opinion. My suggestions are all "too much". And I am thinking if I had just finished her quilt my way, she would have loved the result. She probably just can't visualize how it would look. I will quilt what she wants, it's her quilt after all, but I know I am not going to be happy with it.

That's why I am considering Kathleen's way and would love to hear how others handle it.


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Beatrice,

I mostly get those customers that always say do what you want, this is my budget so I go from there...do you have a program that you can take a pic of the quilt and draw on it?  If so then you could show her the options and give her your professional opinion on how it would look....


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

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

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Beatrice,

I think both sides of the quilt are true. ")  

In the case of Kathleen Riggs, she must be famous for her quilting and people want to say " this was quilted by Kathleen Riggs", therefore no consultation. 

In your case with this particular customer, she almost said the same thing, chose you over others whom she had access to, likes what you do, wanted something special with out knowing what she wanted. I think that was giving you the creative license to do what you do.   Waters got muddied when you tried to get her input on the quilt.  

The other side is some people have a very definately idea of what they want, either dictated by end use of the quilt, or budget.

So, I guess you do need to rethink, some know what stiches they want and some want you.

What a great compliment to your skills!

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Thanks for your input, ladies! I came to the conclusion yesterday that it was my mistake. I personally can't imagine not knowing how you want your quilt quilted, and I always try to encourage people to get involved. That's what I did with free motion quilting for years. And then I finally realized it's not going to happen because most people just don't like the quilting part. That's essentially why I ended up buying a longarm.

I have decided that while it's the customer's quilt and she has to like it, if I am not happy with it, it shouldn't be out there with my name on it. There is nothing I can do in this particular case, I have stated my professional opinion multiple times and given good reasons (in my opinion :) ) why the design does't work. But she wants it, and I will do it. But from now on I won't get them involved like this, and I will reserve the right to refuse when they insist on something that I don't think will work. In this case she was reluctant to give me the creative license to do what I want but she had no clue what she wanted either. I should have realized this and insisted. But I had never really talked to her before... it gets easier once you get to know them a little better.

Vicki, I don't have a program but I usually draw on clear plastic to create an overlay and then take a picture. I am not going to waste more time on this one, I will get it done and out of the house and file it as a learning experience.

Ines, thank you for saying this. When I look at all the pictures here and everybody is so talented, and then I look at my own stuff, and I see all these "flaws" (and yes, I know that I am the only one to see those :) ), I find it difficult to believe sometimes that people might choose me for my skills, especially since I haven't been doing this for very long compared to some of the others around here. As for Kathleen Riggs, she is definitely famous in her neck of the woods. She is in her 20s and from Alberta, Canada. Her mother is a fantastic quilter as well, and her father is a certified Judy Niemeyer instructor, so it must be in her genes.


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I really like the customer to be part of the decision making process, but only if they really want to. Most of my customers just say "do what you think is best" but every once in a while, someone wants to really be involved with thread choice, design choice, etc. That's fine with me! I usually let the quilt tell me what it wants. I often look at the fabrics in the piecing to tell me what kind of designs would fit best. 


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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Most of my customers want pantographs, and I always try to get them involved in design and thread choices because I want to get an idea what *they* like. Usually I make a few suggestions, and when I feel they are going somewhere that doesn't work at all or when I can see that they have no idea what to pick, then I gently steer them where I would go. That has always worked in the past. This particular quilt was just so frustrating because I found a design for the background that would have been perfect, and then she insisted on the other one. I hated doing it... it felt like the quilt was screaming *no*... and I don't like the result at all. Oh well, nothing I can do about it other than learn from the experience.


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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 8:50 AM, Primitive1 said:

Beatrice,

I mostly get those customers that always say do what you want, this is my budget so I go from there...do you have a program that you can take a pic of the quilt and draw on it?  If so then you could show her the options and give her your professional opinion on how it would look....

I found a very reasonable software program for just this purpose and it works great and is easy to use.  It's called Quilter's Lightbox.  You take a picture of the quilt and load it into the program.  Then you can bring in pictures of your quilting designs and overlay them on the picture of the quilt.  You can select thread colors, size the designs, and play play play.  I think it only cost around $25, so very reasonable.  

 


Lora.

Lora in California -  Ultimate I with IntelliStitch and IntelliQuilter.  The Thimble Bee http://www.thimblebee.com

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Another program that I use to organize and categorize my designs is Evernote.  There is a free version, but I'm using the paid version.  Anywhoo, you can add tags to each photo of your quilt designs.  That way if a customer says she only wants to spend a certain amount, I can search for designs that are in that budget and let the customer decide what they like from a shorter list.  This has served me well also.  

 


Lora.

Lora in California -  Ultimate I with IntelliStitch and IntelliQuilter.  The Thimble Bee http://www.thimblebee.com

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Thank you, Lora, I will look into it. I have been thinking I could probably use Electric Quilt for auditioning designs but haven't had the time to figure it out. Quilter's Lightbox sounds much easier though!


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