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Thread: Fusterated with my quilt store

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2008
    I have a quilt store just down the road from the house. I really like it because it is close and several of the instructors are just amazing! I have learned so much from them. But lately the store owner has just been getting on my nerves. She is overly nice person, kind of sickly sweet. Her voice is kind of high pitched and she has the worst laugh ever! But I could handle all that if it was just that. But I took a class she taught and hated it. It was a one day, 10am-4pm class on appliqué. I didn't learn a thing. In fact I had to remind her to do things, like put stabilizer behind the fabric and I only knew about that because I read it in a book! I also signed up for a block of the month club. Money is really tight right now so I have to put a hold on making anymore quilts so I thought this would be a good way to keep my limited skills up ( I am just a beginner). I was under the impression that each month she would go through the square with us, explain how to do it, and answer any questions. Not so much. We sit through a 30 min sales pitch on new fabrics, patterns, or tools and then she hands us our package of fabric. Thats fine, I can struggle through at home and learn from trial and error. But this last square she cut the fabric so you have to use thangles to make the half square triangles instead of the "old fashioned" way. In the previous months, it was always an option but I guess she wasn't making enough money that way. It is just so frustrating! I use to go to their free sew Fridays but I dread going now because she is there the whole time!

    I guess there was no real point to this posting, I just needed to vent I :lol:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    northern New England
    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Businesses will be doing more and more of this kind of thing I am afraid.
    Why do you say that, Loretta? What do you mean? I find that small business owners generally get even more 'customer oriented' as economic times get stressful for both themselves and thier customers.

    Kyssyfur, perhaps if you asked the owner to go back to making the use of thangles, or any other technique that requires the purchase of additional items, an option and not a necessity, she would be most agreeable. I'm sure she'd understand. How was the BOM club advertised? Did it say you had to use thangles and would not really get any instruction in completing the blocks? Tell her you are new to quilting and could use some guidance. I bet there are others who feel the same way you do about it. Give her the benefit of the doubt, same as you expect her to give you.

  3. #3
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central FL
    That is a pet peeve of mine too - having to buy fancy rulers, templates, and such, for just one project, when there are several ways to accomplish the same end.

    Times are tight, and many people work on commission. I think the trend will continue, too.

  4. #4
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Williamsport Pennsylvania
    I am sorry you are having an awful time. Please feel free to vent. We are all friends here and understand it. I had a venting session a couple weeks ago and the members listened and offered positive feedback. So vent away, we will listen.

    Have you met any of the other quilters in the class. Maybe you can form your own guild and each teach something new each session. Unfortunately I do not have a schedule to do something like this sot this is my quilting guild as it is many other.

    I hope things improve.


  5. #5
    MCH is offline
    Junior Member MCH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    San Francisco Bay area
    Hmmmm...Well, this could take a bit of "standing firm". YOU are the one who decides how you spend your dollars and your time.

    If the class is free, then a good business person would make the kit available, but charge full price for it.

    If the class is not free, then a good business person would make the kit available for purchase at a discount on the day of class.

    Details, including special tools or notions should be noted on the package. That is in addition to reviewing in class everything necessary to comple the project. It's called "full disclosure".

    In my humble opinion :roll: , this shop owner is running the risk of alienating customers with her "hidden charges". You could always take the kit back to the store, let her know you discovered her "hidden charges" and give her the option to either take the whole thing back or to provide you free of charge with whatever wasn't disclosed up front. In this case, it would be the number of "thangles" you need to complete your project. Of course, this would be a one-time deal.

    Thus, you've put the ball back in her court...you've given her the opportunity to keep you as a customer (and it sounds as if you're one of her 'bread and butter' customers) or lose you as a customer. It's her move.

    Now this is that "gremlin" in me speaking...the ideal time to do this would be when other customers are in the store...and could hear your conversation.

    If all else fails, you could just leave the kit on the counter, walk out, and "eat" the cost of the kit, considering it a "tuition" charge to the school of learning to push back on merchants who do not respect their customers.

    If this woman is smart, she will do whatever she can to make you happy, within reason, of course. She needs your dollars and your good will. It takes a long time for a good merchant to develop customers' good will. It can be deeply eroded within seconds. It seems to me that the owner of this quilt shop is dangerously close to losing the good will of a frequent customer.

    As others have said, stay close to this board with both your questions and your enthusiasm and you will become a better quilter, enjoying it more. This is a world-class resource comprised of innumerable creative, smart folks.

    Remember, it's your money and your time. You decide how you want to spend it.

  6. #6
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    I'm sorry to hear of your issues with your favorite store...I'm in a similar position with all three of the quilt stores in my area. 2 of the 3 are normally incredibly helpful with expertise shared frequently. However, I've noticed over the past year that the freebie advice is minimal at both of the spots. It is unfortunate because I can go online for free and may do that more often now.

    It seems like the ladies of the board have already rallied with some great advice...here's my 2 cents.

    If I signed up for a block of the month and I didn't receive sufficient info at the demo, I would definitely let the instructor know I needed more help. If I didn't get the help that I needed within the cost of the class (like they suggest private lessons or signing up for an additional class) I'd be happy to let them know I can buy an all inclusive kit whenever I want from JoAnnes. Not that I prefer the bigger store, but I pay a premium for my quilting supplies at a quilt store for their help and quality of goods. Once quality and/or customer service is out the window, why pay more?

    PS if JoAnnes isn't close to you, be sure to let them know you can purchase online and that you are internet savvy.

    Best of Luck :-o

  7. #7
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Clay Springs AZ
    Im still a beginner as I am not a perfectionist. I just dont have the patience required to do a really good job.
    I found that by watching the videos at websites is the best way to learn.
    Even if you only pay for one year of QNNTV it is worth it to have video on demand. And it is only about 24 dollars a year. I have learned more than the experts in my little group of quilters and I share what I learn with them. They are still much better quilters than me, but they sure like the new easier methods that I find out about.
    There is a free site for videos but it is not full screen like QNNTV
    It is Quilters TV. Watch all of Eleanor Burns, Quilt in a Day, as she is by far the best teacher for detail.
    I have never taken a class at a shop, its just to expensive.
    Good luck and have fun.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    We have a local shop that charges for everything....to attend a demo for a longarm quilting machine - there is a $10.00 fee to just watch - no project nothing to take away only what you have seen in the demo. Wouldn't it better serve the shop if she offered this demo free?? I realize that it is costly to run a business - however to get folks in the door and charge them $10.00 is being somewhat selfish. This shop also placed a minimum dollar amount on purchases in this spring's shop hop before you could register for the door prize that was offered. Had to spend minimum of $25.00.....(it is hard to walk out of a shop not spending at least this much...) some folks just got back on the bus and waited when they learned about the amount. Oh well. On the other hand - Sad to say that we have a beautiful shop (not the one mentioned above) in the area that is closing due to health issues - this lady ran her shop like you were calling on her for a visit and I always come away from her shop planning on when I would be able to return. It made me very sad when I left her shop for the last time - how differently these two shops are from one another.

  9. #9
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Carolina
    Many, many years ago, there was a girl leving her job with state parks to move back with her family in Pa. I wanted to do something speical to say goodbye. I made on block of the school house design, but made it fairly large. Well, I needed a teeny bit of yellow flannel for the widows. The owner of this shop informed that I'd have to buy an eigth of a yard. Okay fine. But when one of the employees walked up front from the back of the shop and spoke to me, all of a sudden, she was giving me the teeny bit (actual amt. needed for 2 tiny windows for free!) It was a long time before I ever wnet back in there. I felt that I was the same person, before the employee spoke to me, why shouldn't she have extended that courtesy to me before instead of afterwards? She wasn't placing any emphasis on keeping customers, it was only who knew who that was important to her. I still shop there (although infrequently) b/c other quilt shops in the area are either further away or do not have as good a selection. The best one is about 50 miles from here, but with gas prices as high as they are, I cannot just jump in the car and run over there just to see what is new.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2008
    I did go back once to try to get help and her style of teaching is more like "here let me do that for you. There see, now just do it like that." *lol* Which doesn't work for me, I want to do it, I want to know why I am doing something, if this something I am doing applies to everything or just this one square I am working on, etc.

    I just need to take a deep breath and tell myself to chill. And to her defense I am 7 months pregnant so it really doesn't take much to get on my nerves. And I just feel so much better having vented. I tried on my husband but he got all giddy thinking of the money he would be saving and stop listening after about 3 words in.

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