Over a year ago, I bought two fat quarter bundles. The line was Ocean Breeze - Island Batik - from a local quilt shop when she visited our guild and did a trunk show. I fell in love with the colors and just had to have them. I also purchased a pattern that was fat quarter friendly and this pattern was published by the store owner. A win/win situation - supporting a LQS and local artist. I chose these fabrics to make my hubby a quilt and he's color blind. These batiks were perfect, he would be able to see the colors.
Two days ago I opened the pattern and read it completely. I then proceeded to open one of the bundles and started to organize which colors I would be using. Between the two bundles I purchased I could make three quilts as published, or in my case two bigger quilts as I tend to make more queen/king size quilts versus lap. I would have to purchase additional fabric for the setting triangles, backing, and binding.
When I unfolded the fat quarters I noticed that the edges looked like they were cut by scissors by second graders. I proceeded with preparing and cutting the fabric. After cutting the first six of the quarters, I decided to put a ruler to the second batch of six, I need eighteen for this project as the pattern was published. I was flabbergasted at what the ruler was telling me. On the "best" quarter I measured 17 1/2 X 21 inches. I do understand that a fat quarter is a half of a half yard of fabric and if my math is correct that would be 18" X 1/2 of the width of fabric.
Here is what got my goat. I called Island Batik and explained that these fat quarters were improperly cut and I lost on average an inch on two sides to square the up. There customer service representative took my name and number and stated she would call me back as this line is discontinued and she would have to check to see what they could substitute.
She returned my call stating that I needed to return the bundles to where I purchased them for a refund and the store owner would then have to return the merchandise. I explained that I don't have my receipt and it was over a year ago, but I would try.
I went to their website and reviewed their return policy. Their policy states returns accepted within 30 days with receipt, shipping cost are the customer's responsibility, and there would be a restocking fee. All these terms are backed by their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
I will take the fat quarters back to the store and explain to Carolyn the circumstances and show her the poor product. I don't think that it's fair to Carolyn or myself to eat any more cost involved with their inferior product. Not to mention the delay in working on this project. And the cost of fuel as this store is forty miles from my home.
I have learned some valuable lessons with this purchase of a fat quarter bundles plus a previous purchase of a jelly roll, different manufacture and LQS. First, don't buy them unless you can inspect each and every piece for quality. Second, don't buy from a company that will not stand behind their products. And lastly, we as quilters, the consumers should take a stand and refuse to purchase these precuts until the manufactures can get it right.
Food for thought, have you ever wonder why jelly rolls, charm squares and layer cakes all have been cust with pinking sheers? In the past they have not. And yes it helps with raveling, but it also hides poor quality. Also, there needs to be standard sizes. For example a yard is 36", a charm square is 5" square, a layer cake is 10" square, a fat quarter should be 18" X 22", etc. If the manufactors wants to offer a variety of choices more power to them, but they need to be standard sizes. Close only counts in horseshoes.
And for the record, I'm not looking for free fabric, just what I paid for in the first place.