Sign in to follow this  
mswings

Ever refused a quilt?

Recommended Posts

No, I haven't ever refused a quilt...but I think there are some I should have;). I did have to send one back because there wasn't enough backing fabric provided. I don't have a business. I just quilt for myself and a few friends.


DF1D9777693A0E7E10F19189083694EB.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mostly quilt for myself also but with anything, I prefer the "sandwich" method of addressing any kind of concern. Start by saying something positive, then your concern & then positive again. In this situation, you might say something like, Oh! I love the colors you've chosen, then very sweetly say, but I can see some issues with the piecing & I think my machine will have a hard time going through that. I really can't risk damaging my very expensive machine. Suggest she tie it & tell her how wonderfully it will work tied. Then tell her you can hardly wait to see her next project & hope you can quilt for her in the future. She saves face & invites her to do a better job & come back next time. She can tell everyone how sweet & helpful you are :) Hope that helps...


Caren E. Martin

Ult 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After I started my LONG ARM QUILTING business, my cousin decided to bring me an antique quilt that had been sun faded and heavily used to "repair". I tried to tell her that I didn't repair quilts, but she insisted I try. After stewing for months about how I should repair this quilt, I pulled it out one more time and realized it was so rotten that there was nothing I was going to be able to do to improve it and sent it back (all you had to do was touch the quilt and the fabric would separate). Made her mad at me, but that's not what I'm in business for/not my expertise, and I really didn't want to do it in the first place. Another lady brought a duvet she wanted me to quilt, and I turned it down as I had that gut feeling that it wasn't going to work out the way she wanted it. Go with your gut and don't look back. Good luck.

I hope Linda R will chime in with words of wisdom on what to say to customers when you're in that situation. Her advice is invaluable at times!:)

EDITED: While I was typing this Caren gave some good advice!


Cindy Thompson

(My perfect quilting combo...Milli and Quiltazoid)

Chrome Top Quilts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by MastiffMomQlt

I mostly quilt for myself also but with anything, I prefer the "sandwich" method of addressing any kind of concern. Start by saying something positive, then your concern & then positive again. In this situation, you might say something like, Oh! I love the colors you've chosen, then very sweetly say, but I can see some issues with the piecing & I think my machine will have a hard time going through that. I really can't risk damaging my very expensive machine. Suggest she tie it & tell her how wonderfully it will work tied. Then tell her you can hardly wait to see her next project & hope you can quilt for her in the future. She saves face & invites her to do a better job & come back next time. She can tell everyone how sweet & helpful you are :) Hope that helps...

I like the sandwich idea, then nobody feels bad :) Thanks, I'll definately keep that in mind!


Marlene &

Lollipop Lucey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are not a miracle worker. If there are lumps, wavy borders, seams that are open and it's not square don't be afraid to say no. Be honest, maybe they will try harder to quilt better. If it's a very old little lady, just do it and make her swear she won't enter it in a show. I did one of those in the beginning thinking I could make it purdy. Well driving by at 15 miles an hour it looked pretty darn good. She said she was giving it to a young child.

BUT OH NO.....................She put it in the local show with my name on it as the quilter. There were tucks and pleats and it was not my fault but of course you know the longarmer always gets blamed for stuff like that. Thank God that was a long time ago and I can laugh about it.

Always think of your reputation and what you are putting out there for others to see. That is how future customers find you.


APQS Freedom owner
pahasapa@enetis.net

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't refused a quilt yet....however, I have taken the opportunity to suggest to a beginner or just sloppy quilter I would be happy to help them improve their skills with free lessons, explaining I am no expert but am willing to share any knowledeg i do have with them. I take pictures of the poor work in places and then show how to improve that and explain how it limits the quilitng outcome and choices. Three ladies have taken me up on the offer and are still cutsomers. One has become quite a piecer and the others continue sending me quilts. The third has become my best customer. One is really proud of her improvement. This gal was cutting her fabric on the carpeted floor, sewing on a card table that bounced, and had an old out of repair machine. With her I started with asking about her equipment and sewing space. We have done this whole thing via email as she lives at least nine hours away. I even went so far as to send her a beginning quilting book I no longer needed for reference in case there was something I forgot to go over with her, she just let me know to expect three quilts soon and is proud of her work now. I guess it is all on how you present the help . Like Marlene says always find SOMETHING to praise, even it is how well they put together fabrics and color choices. If I was faced with the problem Cindy had and there is absolutely no cure for a crumbling quilt I would have done the same thing.


Shar Schmutz

www.CottonCandyQuilting.com

Blissed Millennium Owner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the very first quilts I took in for a customer was just exactly like this. The intersections were so thick it was like hitting a brick wall! I didn't refuse it, but, I called my client, explained the problem, gave her one of my books on piecing (that I never got back!) in an attempt to educate her. Then I told her I would "Tack" the quilt on the quilting machine as it was the best approach I could think of. Oh, did I mention her batting was that super thick stuff, all poly, that uphosters use! The thing looked more like a matteress than a quilt. She did pay me, and I never saw her again.


829834B6A4EFB2C9917C5B33099F9108.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all pretty good advice, but again, just remember that that quilt may show up one day at a show (Karen McTavish shared a story like this at MQX) and everyone is right - your reputation is on the line....go with the sandwich idea!


aedc2cc10e0045c5397509e8f6b74d4d.png

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

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to refuse a quilt, but I broke my own rule. I usually sit down with the customer and the two of us measure the quilt top and I take a good look at the backing. In this case the backing was pieced and wasn't square, straight or anything inbetween. It dipped once mounted on the machine by a good 4 inches. I mean we are talking about a huge bubble. I called the customer and had her come to the studio to get the quilt. I praised her for the quilt top and talked about making a square backing using various fabrics. As gentle as I was, she never came near me again. She tried many of the other longarm quilters in our area without much success and finally remade the backing and had it quilted. I sure don't know what else to do in situations like this. Our name rides on our work and this wasn't going to turn out well if I had quilted it. I hadn't sat down with her when she first came to measure. She's known to be a top quilter and I was a bit intimidated. I apologized like crazy when she came to get it, but........


Sylvia Jacobus

Millennium-Blissed & Quilt Glide & George

APQS Sales-Service-Education

http://www.vintagequilting.com

http://vintagequilting.blogspot.com

Vintage Quilting

Kent, WA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a lady that brought us one awful quilt. It was her first and she was so proud. I praised the colors and the pattern but gently explained it wasn't pieced well and if she did some of it over it would be awesome. She was so sweet and willing to learn. I loaned her a seam gauge and a pick with instructions to pick it out and sew it again. When she had it ready to put the borders on she came over and I taught her how. It still wasn't perfect but it was VERY good and quilted out beautifully. I get at least 1 quilt a month from her now and they are a joy to quilt. She still comes over for help when she is stumped but I am happy to help as it makes our job easier.


Cheri Blevins

2009 Millie ~ Quiltazoid equipped

http://bitsandpiece.weebly.com

eblevins3@frontier.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kudo's to all you girls who educates and give these newbies wings to fly ;)

I would love to teach and help these girls, but I live in a remote part of the country and goes to the big city once a month to pick up and drop off at the quiltshop. Maybe the quilting teacher may gently guide them along...

Meanwhile, I have finished the dreaded quilt, and though there are lots of bumps and tucks I think she would cuddle up and enjoy it, it is just in time for winter!! Hold thumbs ;)


Marlene &

Lollipop Lucey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't refused a quilt yet. I live in a heavily populated long arm community and I think if I refuse someone I may lose more than her. I have done some quilts that make me wonder why she keeps coming back to me. Right now "she" owes me for 3 and won't return my calls. I even have been giving her a discount because she brings me so many. I am going to have "SUCKER" Tatooed on my forehead.


Marie Brewer

Pine Needle Quilting

Hermosa, SD

Mille Owner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I charge more automatically when I see issues with a quilt. I don't quote a sq inch rate, i quote a total for quilting services. Helps make up for the extra time and effort it takes. I have returned quilts to have borders fixed and have rec'd them back so that approach seems to be fine.

One very poorly done lone star I quilted for a customer came out so terrible I didn't see the woman for 18 months after she picked it up and I explained the 'why' - probably should have refused that one. Still have nightmares about how it looked. Almost called to tell her my studio had been robbed - think we all have at least one of those experiences. All is good in the end.


Kathy A

Liberty & Millenium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never refused a quilt because of poor workmanship. Early on because I needed the business and lately because my customers are so loyal that I don't have much room for new customers. Believe me, I know how lucky I am being able to make that statement!:cool:

BUT.....I have refused quilts because of the "poor fit" element. You know, that one where their pushy attitude and superior air doesn't fit my stiff backbone!:P:P:P

I've had my share of interesting make-it-fit piecing and mountainous mounds of fabric. I take photos of problem areas just in case, but really, the piecer knows all her mistakes, just as we know every stitching bobble. They put their fingers in their ears and say "Lalalalala I can't hear you!" in their minds!

When a problem quilt is picked up, we oooo and ahhhh, talk about all the prettiness, and then I casually point out "There was some extra fabric in the border/block right here and I took a tiny tuck/medium tuck/huge pleat here. I marked it with a safety pin so you can find it again. (heh heh) When you are binding it, sew the pleat down with an applique stitch." That's my "Thank you, ma'am" speech. Very direct, tells what happened, tells what my solution was, tells her what to do next. No apologies from me. Just the facts, nicely put and so fast the quilt is down and in a bag in a jiffy.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice from all of you. Thank you all, I'll go for the sandwich approach first and offer some guidance about how to avoid those pitfalls... Hopefully I'll see her again in the future... with good 'quiltable quilts' that is....:D


Marlene &

Lollipop Lucey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is the picture. I used to never say no, that is until I met this quilt and quilter. Obviously, this could not be quilted out, though try I did. It was horrible and the quilter kept insisting she was a fabulous quilter and that she used to be a seamstress. Really? Some seams were FOUR inches, some 1/8 inch. It was a full 12 inches longer on one side that the middle! She wanted to bring me another quilt and I told her those kinds of quilts do much better when tied and to use very puffy batting. I learned to say no because there is no way anyone would want a repeat customer like this.

post--13461908432721_thumb.jpg


www.webshots.com/user/victoriasews

www.Fiberobsessive.blogspot.com

Innova and Intelliquilter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have refused a couple of quilts. That was because they were covered in cat and dog hair. The pet hair was so thick on the quilt.......

When I get a quilt in that has "issues" I do make suggestions to the customer on how to solve the problem. They then have the choice of fixing it themselves or I can do it for a fee. With one of my customers, a very sweet older lady, I have actually taken apart her quilts. Making sure the sashings, borders, squares are the same size, and then sewing it all back together. She is always so happy with her finished quilts.


Sharon Dimberg

APQS Dealer, Quilt Design, Piecing, Long Arm Quilting

quirkyquilting@comcast.net

Quirky Quilting by Sharon

APQS Millennium

Sew Batik Associate #1049

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is very hard to find a "Tactfull" way to approach a bad quilt. We all respond to them as best we can. Why do we expect to have a "happy" outcome to every person that approaches us? At least 50% of the outcome is fixed, before we ever see it. It just doesn't happen. I just do the best I can.


829834B6A4EFB2C9917C5B33099F9108.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

victoria....are you serious? you quilted that?

:o:o:o:o:o:o:o

that is the worst i have EVER seen.

:(:(:(:(:(:(:(

OH MY GOD!

do you have a finished pic?

i can't even imagine.....


Meg

"Do small things with great love." Mother Teresa

"Life's too short to fuss with thread." Meg Fazio

http://theonewiththreadsonherclothes.blogspot.com/

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hell Victoria :o Yours wins, but only by a smidge!! I wish I had a picture of the back... You wouldn't believe me if I tell you. Thanks for posting a pic, I'm glad to see there are more of these going around... In my book that is a definate No thanks. Do you have a pic of the "done deed"?

Some people should rather give up quilting and take up gardening instead :P:D:P:D:P


Marlene &

Lollipop Lucey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this