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Hi all...

I have been longarming for YEARS...and have never come across this conundrum in my own business. although I know it was bound to happen. I just need some sage advice...(okay, it doesn't have to be sage)

I recently quilted two reproduction quilts for a customer that I have quilted for in the past. They both turned out wonderful. One had borders, and the other one didn't. The customer was unhappy with the border size when I laid the quilt out for her to see, but hey, that wasn't my problem. :o)

I got an email from her a couple days later, telling me she didn't like the quilt design I used. (freehand, beautiful feathers that has always been a fan favorite) I used a variegated thread, because the reproduction colors were scrappy in the quilt...yadda...yadda.

She wanted me to use off white thread, and a big stipple!!!!! She didn't tell me that when she gave the quilts to me at a guild meeting. She wants me to rip out the quilting, (Did I mention it is beautiful?) The quilt is big.....

I work in the quilting industry, (publishing), and see lots of quilts go by...I have talked to my co-workers, (art directors etc...), and they all agree the quilt is beautiful.

She wants me to give the quilt back to her after the stitching is ripped out, so she can put larger borders on it...

Do I rip??? (one of my co-workers will do it for me...for a price)

I will never quilt for this lady again...

Thanks for your time. I know this is a long post, but I am feeling sorry for myself.

Karen Burns

Compulsive Quilting

Carnation, WA

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Boy that is a tough one, only because she could create a whole lot of bad publicity. I think I would tell her that I would take it apart and give it back to her and be done with it. I wouldn't quilt it again and I wouldn't give her a refund. Boy I don't know the more I think about it I may just have told her she could take it apart and then I would stipple it but I'd have it in writing. I'm not much help am I. Maybe somebody will have much better advice than I. I'm anxious to hear how others would handle this. I require my customers to sign off on the sheet of what they want done. If they aren't sure then I put left up to me and they sign it.

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I agree with MaryBeth. You shouldn't rip it out.

Let her take it to other quilters for their opinions and to see the quilting and maybe they will show her the error of her ways. She should have have stated what she wanted if she knew exactly what she wanted. And, by the way, didn't she piece the top, or at least know what it looked like? Why is the border size your problem anyways?!

Although this opens up a can of worms with bad publicity...but gorgeous quilting should win out! Shouldn't it? ;)

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Sounds like she just wants to adjust her borders, and she should have done that before she gave it to you. Could she just be using her dislike (of beautiful feathers? PLEEEEASE!) as an excuse because she really doesn't like her borders?

If you think she might broadcast her dissatisfaction, I might take out the quilting and give it back to her to do with as she wishes. I would not re-quilt it, nor would I quilt for her again.

Honestly, some people are such a headache!

Good luck!

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Do you have an intake sheet where you discussed options with her? Did she state what she wanted in the borders? If she signed off on everything then you are in the clear. Could it be that she's not saying she thinks you did not do a good job. On the bordersN but simply wants bigger borders and rather than attach new borders and pay for expensive new feathers, or feathers that she thinks would not look right in a bigger border, she's choosing something that she thinks will be cheaper or look better for the bigger border?m. If you have her original selections in writing, and it's not your feathers she's unhappy with, I would tell her that you will have to charge her xx amount for ripping, and give it back to her to add the new borders, and then bring back to you for the new design for which she will have to pay xx for the sdditional quilting. Or she can rip it herself and you will charge her xx for the additional quilting only. If she's not happy with your work, then I would ripp and give it back unquilted as long as you have her order in writing. If nothing is in writing, let her rip, re quilt it and say goodbye.

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Hello All!

I would not rip your stitches out of this quilt!!

It may be uncomfortable for you and the quilter, but it is her quilt and you did your job in quilting it.

Now it is the quilter's responsibility to decide what to do . If she wants to take out the stitches and have it redone, so be it. She most likely will decide the quilt is fine the way it is. Some people obsess about things that don't matter.

I'll bet you did a great job.

Sylvia From Canada

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Karen...I sort of had one like this years ago....customer who made a quilt from McCalls Mag using one of Robert Callaham's patterns...great beautiful quilt....and if you know him you know that about 98% of his quilts are hand quilted. The customer wanted it to be EXACTLY like his quilt... I told her that I could get it close, but couldn't match it because A) I am a machine quilter and B) I didn't have the perfect stenctils that his quilter had used, but I had one that was close....I MEAN VERY close his feather wreath had 12 loops my feather stencil had 10 his inside had 6 mine had 5....

Okay, got the quilt finished...patted myself on the back and admired my work...I did looked just like the quilt in the magazine with the tiny exceptions. Took to the LQS that I quilted for dropped it off and ran to catch a plane as I was leaving town for a few days. Just as I got onto the plane the LQS called and was screaming at me that I had ruined her quilt...that it wasn't what she wanted and I would need to redo it. I explained that I was sitting on the plane and it would need to wait till I got back, BUT if they would care to look as such and such issue, and look at the designs on the quilt it wasn't ruined it was pretty d****ed awesome.

Okay landed and got another call from the LQS, this time they were backing me up...they had looked finally at the mag, saw what I was talking about and told the lady to go home, she was being to picky. That the quilt had great stitches, it was quilted as close to the picture and it wasn't ruined...they suggested she could pay her bill and leave.

She then took it across the state to the only other quilter at that time and showed it and the mag to that quilter and wanted her to take it out and requilt it....nope that quilter said it's fine don't take it out you can't get it closer than that unless you take it to his private quilter and have her hand quilt it. (Just what I said)

NOPE she then found another quilter to finally take it apart and that quilter being a BRAND new quilter didn't know to say no...was scared she would loose a customer, so she took it apart and requilted it. I don't have a clue what it looked like, but the customer went screaming into the hills once again yelling that the second quilter had also ruined her quilt. I haven't a clue what happened after that, I lost track of the quilt....

but what I am trying to say...the quilt is perfect, you did a GREAT job...if she wants it taken out and if she wants to find another quilter, FINE let her. You have your records as to what your instructions were, and if like most of us, you have pictures of what it looked like before you let her have it.

Your other customers aren't going to buy into what she says so let it hang in the wind and let it dry up. Don't do it...that will only make you feel worse and feel used. Its not worth the stress and put the monkey back onto her.

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Hmmmmmmmmmm This is a tuff one. But, I would probly send it back to her since you do not intend on not quilting for her again. Like some of you said, I think she is wanting you to help her fix her mistake. If you do rip out I think I would tell her the you did not have the time and time is costing( or in a nice way). Sorry I do get straight to the point. . Yes I would charge her for ripping it out. Now that said, it depends on how good she is as a customer and if she is a regular and how many customers you have now and if this will cause reprocusions later. But whatever you do, you will have to live with it. Good luck and let us know how you decided to deal with this.

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Several things to consider:

She may have an alterior motive??? I'm just sayin.....

Ripping stiches---there is a chance to ruin tear quilt top. Why risk it??

Ripping takes many hours you could piece a new top faster!

I suggest you give her the quilt back. Take the high road!! Give it back as is quilted and give full refund and say buh bye forever cuz who needs a psycho custmer like this one ....sheesh!!! Some people...

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Thank you everybody! I just needed to be sure I wasn't totally losing it when I found myself mumbling under my breath about not wanting to rip the darned thing out!

This is a customer I will never quilt for again. She is in my quilt guild, but I am President, so she would have trouble bad-mouthing me. :D

You have all been helpful...I normally really like quilting...Really.....I swear....


Have a great day!

Karen :o

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I would give it back with her check. I wouldn't rip. You would spend days that you could be quilting for others. You did your job. If she has decided that it needs to be redone, then she's going to have to take it out. I guarantee she'll change her mind after that first hour (and then what is she going to do?!?) You may have lost money on the job but if it keeps her quiet, then it's worth it.

I dropped off a little quilt today that I did custom quilting on (SID, different designs in blocks, 5 thread changes). She was disappointed in it. She wrote the check before she saw it, then was upset that it cost so much and she couldn't see the quilting.

There was an obvious lack of communciation because I pulled out the threads I was using and showed her when she dropped it off. She expected to really "see" the quilting on the top; I didn't use loud enough thread.

I didn't take her check since she was unhappy. I offered to rip it out and re-do but she does realize the time I put into it. She also has realized that she can quilt these little quilts on her own. I have probably seen the last quilt from her. We left on good terms today so I'm hopeful that she won't bad mouth me. We agreed that she needs to be very specific about her desires.

I have only had one other bad experience and I lost her as a customer. Honestly, it bothered me tremendously at the time. Now, I'm not concerned because I don't have time for people like that in my life. Good luck with your decision.

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What?!! What?!!

No way would I do anything to "fix" this quilt nor would I give her back one cent.

If I took a car to be painted, chose the color, paid for the job and picked up the car--would I ever have the nerve to call a couple of weeks later and tell them I changed my mine and tell them to remove the paint job and give me my money back as well?

Get real here! You did your job, she accepted and paid--that is that! No second guessing, no refund, it's HER problem, not yours. The next move is hers--see if she can find some poor patsy to abuse with her unreasonable demands. Sheesh!:mad:

Some "people will treat you as badly as you allow."

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Ditto to what all these fine ladies have to say, especially Heidi and Shana. I always get a signed form when I pick up the quilt.. PERIOD. I also have a disclaimer about pokies too!!! I show my new customers the type of threads I use and have a sample of some things to show (all done from the back of my CUV!) I also carry a sketch pad so they can draw what they are thinking, since we all don't read minds. If they saw do what you want or think that looks best, I make them sign on the dotted line - no ripping out for me.

You don't need this, she will move on.

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i agree that you shouldn't rip anything out....her issue...SHE'S not happy with HER work, how is that your or your quilting fault???

but the stories of pita customers made me think of this:

i was at standing in the check out line at joann's the other day. the lady in front of me was having a problem (you can tell by the tone of the conversation) the lady apparently had a receipt for something, but no bag ? : } ? so i eavesdropped....wasn't to was getting loud...

get this!!!

the lady had been in the week (yes week) before and had purchased some fabric...when she got home she realized she had left the purchased fabric in the bag at the store!! (we've all done that once right?) so here she is a week later demanding that the store give her another cutting of fabric!!! ...well, she DID have a receipt...


the nerve...but being a big chain store, they did give her more i'm next in line and the manager is still standing there....looking very defeated....bless her i'm ever the comic, so i say "that took some gaul to pull that little stunt" the manager gave me 30% of my total purchase...

the moral: there are people out there that complain NO MATTER WHAT and feel they are right NO MATTER WHAT! davis has a saying "she/he would complain if you hung them with a brand new rope" i have come across one of these fine citizens in my business, and i was happy to tell her that i would no longer LA for her...anyone who has worked with the public will tell you that customers aren't always right...BUT i have been on the other end of this situation as well....i've had customers bring in quilts quilted by others for my opinion...and i have had quilts brought to me that i could tell quilting had been's all in a day's work for us....

i'm sorry that you are dealing with this...having an issue arise that is unplanned for can be daunting...when i get in one i keep telling myself that in one week, i'll be laughing about it, and in a year i'll have forgotten all about it...

wow i got long winded...*whew* sorry- had alot to say :)

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I just wanted to mention something. The customer I lost over the quilting I did had told me to do what I wanted on the quilt. I think I did a beautiful job quilting. She hated the borders which were beadboarded. I never accept "do what you think best". I make my customer tell me what she has in mind because I'm gunshy now. I don't make my customers sign anything but maybe I should...

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Hi Karen,

I agree with what everyone said about not taking out the stitches. If she had told you to begin with that she just wanted meandering, I am sure that is what she would have gotten. But since she didn't, she got something better and doesn't even deserve for you to fret over it.

Now, since I live in the neighborhood, would you pleaseeee tell me who this is, so I don't accidentally end up in the same boat. I am sure the forum doesn't want to listen to 2 of us!!

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