Need a little bit of encouragement

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I could sure use some encouragement today!  A client brought in a southwestern, very intricately pieced quilt.  She brought in the pattern book and said that she would like it quilted like the book, but that I could make some changes.  OK.  It looked simple enough so I agreed.  I sketched dimensions, practiced, etc.  When I'm ready to start working on it I notice that she hadn't caught all of her seams.  I called her to let her know.  She picked it up, along with the backing & batting and brought them back a few weeks later.  Once again, I'm ready to go with it and this time I notice her backing isn't pieced like it usually is.  I call her again to double check to see if she wants me to piece the backing.  Nope, she gave me the wrong backing.  It comes back into the studio with the correct backing.  So I've finally got this beast on the machine and I quilt the borders which look really great.  But then I start to work on the body of the quilt and it's not looking so pretty.  Her points look great, but when I start to quilt linear chevron lines to them as she requested, the imperfections begin to show.  And it's a very pretty quilt!!


Instead of doing custom, I'm pondering keeping the borders and then doing an overall panto in the body of the quilt.  At what point do you just say, I'm in over my head?  I don't know how to achieve the look that she wants in my time frame.  Adding to my stress is my entry for QuiltCon waiting to be quilted that's staring at me every time I walk into the room.


In the past when I've struggled with a design I've walked away for a length of time and came back ready to go.  This time, that hasn't happened.  I'm avoiding my studio like it's the plague.  Any suggestions? 

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 Send her a kind and carefully-worded message, explaining what your plan was and what obstacles are present that make you want to change your quilting plan. Include some photos and ask her how she'd like you to proceed. Unload her quilt and load your QuiltCon entry. Let her know you'll work with her but have a deadline quilt that you need to start and after she (and you) decide what the plan will be, you can re-load and finish her quilt. Not to be too cruel (or cause you to lose a customer), but she doesn't own your time---you do. Even if she was given an estimated finish date, the delays caused by her errors have pushed other projects back and you're allowed to pop her out of line for a finish later. Hope it all works out happily for both of you.

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I agree with Linda. I am an accountant. During tax season I would have situations similar to this. That's correct. You own your owe time.

I had a fun little sign in the break room that read -----

Lack of planning on your part does not necessarily create an emergency on my part!

I don't know whose quote this was but I liked it.

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