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Thread: Attn: Long Arm Quilters

  1. #1
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    Attn: Long Arm Quilters

    To those of you that take in quilting for income, do you prefer that your customer chooses the quilting pattern or do you appreciate being given the freedom to quilt it as you choose? Im just wondering if I maybe expecting too much from my LAer.

  2. #2
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    I prefer it to be a partnership. It is your quilt after all, and you are the one that has to live with it - it just comes to visit me for a short time ;-). I prefer to know your likes and dislikes (loose quilting vs. dense quilting, loves feathers vs. hates feathers, etc.). That being said, I'm supposed to be the 'expert' in the relationship, and I will try to gently guide you in a different direction if I think the design you choose will be inappropriate - perhaps flowers would not be the best choice if the quilt is for a teenaged boy, or the density is wrong for the batting we're using. Some things that are fairly easy to do on a domestic machine (SID for example) are much more difficult on a longarm. And if your seams are not straight and pressed every-which-way, SID would NOT be a good choice as it will point out the flaws rather than camoflage them.

    It also depends upon the customer. Some do not want to think about the quilting design process, they just want me to get 'em done. Others want the input as that make the quilt more 'theirs'. So I try to work with you in the manner that suits you best.

    Hope that helps!

    Andi
    Andi R
    http://www.andicraftsquilting.com
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    http://www.craftsy.com/user/1347131/pattern-store
    Proud owner of "Smart Alec" (A-1 with IntelliQuilter) and "Maggie" (the Prodigy)

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I like both equally well. When I am given freedom to quilt as I choose I do worry the entire time if my client will like what I chose. I know I like it but difference in taste is what makes the world go round. Thankfully my clients have liked what I did, or at least they haven't told me if they were unhappy even though I explicitly ask. (I can't fix a problem if I don't know about it)

    Recently Loving Izabella from the QB had me quilt two of her quilts and she had a lot of input about what she would like. We collaborated a lot on quilting yet she still gave me a lot of freedom to do what I liked with the rough ideas of designs discussed. I was in contact with her during the quilting process if something changed from what we discussed as well.

    Often, when a client drops off they have nothing in mind. I suggest ideas and tell them "feel free to say if you don't like anything I suggest because if you don't I will run with it." LOL, they have never said no so I am hoping they like what I did.

    I have never had a quilt given to me with very explicit instructions like I want feathers in this block and flowers in that sashing bit and I want this specific design in the borders. I would be OK with that if the designs requested were within my capabilities AND if the client was willing to go with my advice and experience if I think a certain quilting style would not compliment the quilt at all (like an allover meander on a skillfully executed hand applique) In fact I think I would decline to do a job like that if they insisted.

    Finally, I make it clear I am a human being and my LA is guided by me, not a computer. If they want quilting where every feather is symmetrically perfect, every back track is dead on and every repeated motif does not vary one centimeter from the same motif quilted in other areas then they need to take their quilt to a computer guided LA quilter.

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    I have had several quilts done for me. My LAer has a book of designs that I can pick from or I can let her do what she thinks. I have had her call me to ask what color thread I wanted, but never to suggest another quilting pattern. I have always been very happy with her work and the bonus is, I can drop it off one Wed. and it comes back the following Wed. can't beat that.
    Sue

  5. #5
    Super Member cjtinkle's Avatar
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    Well, I don't quilt for hire anymore, but my favorite customers were those that let me choose. I had much more fun that way, and I believe it showed!
    http://tinksquared.com/
    Farming, cooking and quilting my way through life!

  6. #6
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I want my customers to guide me a bit. They will usually have some sort of an idea of what they would like the finished quilt to look like and I want to accommodate them. A friend sometimes tells me to do whatever and it is fun to experiment but I'm always a little anxious until I see that she likes it.

  7. #7
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    I've had one quilt (my avatar) done by a long arm quilter. She showed me all her thread colors so I could choose what I wanted. We discussed what pattern I wanted (all over stipple and echo quilting around log cabins) and she used feathers in the borders - lovely! So it was partly my choice and her creativity and it turned out beautifully!
    Proud grandma of Coast Guard grandson and Air Force granddaughter!

  8. #8
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    Thank you for your input Long Armers. I usually meet my gal at a local charity that she works at 1x per month as I am unable to climb her stairs to her studio. Consequently, I've not been able to view any choices she might have to offer. I have always just told her to do what she thinks will work best & I've never been unhappy with what she's done. Now with Christmas coming up, I have 2 quilts for her to do & wondered if I should try & be a little more prepared by letting her know what I would like or if it would be easier for her to just do it the way we've been doing it. Thanks for your opinions, they really were helpful. I am at a loss so I really do like it when she does the choosing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR View Post
    I prefer it to be a partnership. It is your quilt after all, and you are the one that has to live with it - it just comes to visit me for a short time ;-). I prefer to know your likes and dislikes (loose quilting vs. dense quilting, loves feathers vs. hates feathers, etc.). That being said, I'm supposed to be the 'expert' in the relationship, and I will try to gently guide you in a different direction if I think the design you choose will be inappropriate - perhaps flowers would not be the best choice if the quilt is for a teenaged boy, or the density is wrong for the batting we're using. Some things that are fairly easy to do on a domestic machine (SID for example) are much more difficult on a longarm. And if your seams are not straight and pressed every-which-way, SID would NOT be a good choice as it will point out the flaws rather than camoflage them.

    It also depends upon the customer. Some do not want to think about the quilting design process, they just want me to get 'em done. Others want the input as that make the quilt more 'theirs'. So I try to work with you in the manner that suits you best.

    Hope that helps!

    Andi
    These are my exact thoughts. I try to help them and give them some ideas of what would be appropriate for the quilt--but I still like them dto give me as much unput as possible. Unless they are very passive and say-"I have no idea--you do what you think is best". Even then, I still ask them if they was dense quilting or heavy quilting.

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