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Thread: Island Batik

  1. #1
    Super Member chuckbere15's Avatar
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    Island Batik

    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.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-27-2012 at 03:58 AM.
    The Quilting Bear

  2. #2
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I think that your inability to return the short-cut fabric happens to a lot of us, as we purchase fabric far in advance of ever using it and don't think to open up the pre-cuts until we actually get around to using them. I feel bad for you and hope that you find some coordinating fabrics that you can use to make the pattern you've chosen.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    What a lesson learned the hardest way. I feel for your issues... The short cuts, the response from the company that was responsible for the cutting... and the lack of understanding by them that driving 40 miles each way to make a return just adds to the burn! I also feel for the LQS .. poor products impact future sales , they stocked the item on good faith that they were indeed as represented. Seems like the company that orginally cut and packaged , and sold the goods is the only winner in this scenario. Speak to them in the language they understand ... $$$$...don't purchase their goods.
    I do have sympathy for your situation .. finally getting to a project with so much anticipation .. and then this kind of let down.

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    If the FQs were cut by the manufacturer and not the LQS, chances are they were cut by hand in Indonesia where the batiks were produced. I'm just guessing, but I'd bet Island Batiks has no laser cutters available to the natives who make their batiks....same as is true for all the other batik maunfactures. It's a fairly well known, and well publicized, fact with no easy solution. To ship the goods back to the US for cutting before packaging would increase costs beyond what you would be willing to pay.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  5. #5
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    I bought some Island batiks that were supposed to be 5.5 inches square, i believe. They averaged anywhere from 4.25 to 5.8. Poorest cutting I ever saw. Would never buy from them again.

  6. #6
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    I think you have some very valid points. I prefer buying yardage and cutting it into fat quarters myself. I have said it on more than one occasion nothing irks me more than to go into a store, ask for yardage, only to go home and measure it myself and find it short. And cut at an angle. It would be beneficial to everyone to have the fat quarter bundles, charm squares, etc. all standard size as you state. And then, if all fabric departments in every store would use cutting mats, rulers, and rotary cutters-no scissors allowed. We all know that when fabric is shifted even a tad, the whole measurement is off. Most of us have stashes and don't cut into them until we use them, which could be many months later. Would the retailers allow us to return a defective product, especially if the fabric line is no longer available? I have gotten defective product from Ebay sellers too. They also have return restrictions. So it is wise to check those out immediately when received.

  7. #7
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    I could understand that the width of the fabric wasn't 42-44 inches, but a yard is 36 inches everywhere. Having said that, the fat quarters should at least be 18 inches even though the other measurement could be anywhere from 18 inches to 22 inches. It is a good idea to refold the fat quarters as soon as you get them, even if you are just adding to your stash. That's what I do, especially if ordered on line.
    Sue

  8. #8
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susie-susie-susie View Post
    I could understand that the width of the fabric wasn't 42-44 inches, but a yard is 36 inches everywhere.
    When I am working with fat quarters, I just assume I'll be working with a 17" width by 20", 21" if I'm lucky. I agree, 36 inches is a yard everywhere, but more often than not, I find fat quarters run short. It's a shame.

  9. #9
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    My experience with Island Batiks has always been excellent: well-cut, beautiful batiks. However, I think they should stand behind their product and take responsibility for the poor quality product you received.
    Maggie in Jerusalem
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/maggiemwdesigns

  10. #10
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    When you wash fabric, you have to allow extra for shrinkage. If you don't pre-wash, you should be able to count on having accurate measurements whether it is in factory pre-cuts or what is cut at the LQS -- and I have found that I can't count on any of that. I assume I can get 34"x40" of usable frabric out of 1 yard of fabric. Sometimes I get more and am pleasantly surprised. It is frustrating that the work today is so sloppy.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

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