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Thread: What is a reasonable Turn Around Time to expect from a Longarm Quilter?

  1. #1
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    What is a reasonable Turn Around Time to expect from a Longarm Quilter?

    I usually do my own quilting on baby or lap size quilts, mostly Stitch in the Ditch. Last year I made a few twin to queen quilts that I had quilted a local longarm quilter. They were a bit too much for me to handle on my machine. I also wanted a nice meander stitch on them as they were special quilts for my DGranddaughters who were getting married or their own houses. Each time I left a quilt with her she asked when I wanted it I replied 4 weeks/a month. She said she'd call me when the quilt was done. Each time I let about 6 weeks pass without hearing from her so I called her and again she asked when did I need the quilt. I mentioned that my receipt said 4 weeks and she had the quilt for me in about another week. First time I thought oh well she got busy but when it happend again with the next two quilts I was very disappointed because the quilts weren't finished when I wanted to gift them. I love her work as the stitching is very good, the quilts lie very flat and since we're guild members her pricing is very affordable. I'd like to use her again but want to handle the turnaround time up front but need to hear from others if I'm expecting too much by requesting a month for turnout time. I'm open to any ideas how to handle this. May in Jersey
    Last edited by May in Jersey; 01-28-2012 at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member Annie68's Avatar
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    Lets see, she asked when you need the quilt, you told her a month. So, next time tell her you need it in a week and see if that works better.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Maresan's Avatar
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    I would tell someone up front when you need a quilt done by and I bet this deadline will be meant, within reason.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    It really doesn't matter what the turnaround times are with other LAQ!

    If it's been a problem in the past, you know it may continue as such.
    You like her work, and want to continue with her.
    You've noted that once you called, she moved on it.

    So ... when you leave it with her, you need to tell her a FIRM date you need it.
    And ask if she can make the date or not?

    And if she can't ... you have to be prepared to take your business elsewhere.
    Otherwise, you are sending her the message that your FIRM date is NOT so.
    That it's only a wishy-washy one!
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  5. #5
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Have you mentioned to her that the delay is making the quilts late as a gift ? Mention that and also shorten up the time you give her to get them done and see what happens.
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have had similiar experiences with some Long Arm pros. I had one hold three quilts "hostage" missing the scheduled delivery by almost 4 weeks. Each quilt had the completion date clearly stated on the "work order/contract". It was enourmously stressful since all were gifts , and every day I wondered if I would have them back in time to bind. It is a professionals responsibility to complete work as promised or commited.
    I understand that "stuff" happens , but you should have been notified that she would not be able to complete on schedule. Understanding you may love her work and the price is right , but if you continue to use her services , you can expect similiar service in the future. I would start exploring other options. Let your wallet be your voice.

  7. #7
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    As I mentioned the first time I thought she just got busy. Second time I reminded her that we agreed upon a certain date because I needed a few days to finish the quilt for gift giving. The third time same thing so I guess it is a done deal that I need to look elsewhere especially since our guild is having a show in May and she probably had many quilts to do.

    She has been doing longarm quilting for at least 20 years and I really was taken back upon her not notifying me there would be a delay but it really seems she just forgot about it. I've seen some posts by quilters that they have a pile of quilts to get to so maybe that's how she works.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    usually a month is standard to me unless it is a busy season like x-mas you should expect longer

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    A month is not at all unreasonable for turnaround time. 6 weeks is also reasonable, or 2 months, or even longer if the longarmer has a backlog of quilts, and many do. On the longarming forums I've heard some longarmers start to fret when their backlog is only one month long.

    What is not reasonable is that you were given one time, and not notified when it couldn't be met, and this seems to be a pattern. Perhaps she accepts quilts from guild members at a discount and therefore feels that she can put them off and do the quilts for her full-price customers first? That would be a reasonable policy if it's clearly stated to the guild members that they will have to wait. Or is she perhaps not doing the longarming as a business, but just doing quilts for friends when she has time? Has she had personal or family health or other problems that made it impossible to meet her commitments? Is she just late in doing everything in life? Whatever the reason, it seems clear that you will need to either find another longarmer who can meet your schedule, or plan to wait until this lady finishes your quilts.

  10. #10
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have always tried to have good communication with customers- if 'life' happens and i get behind i right away contact the person and talk to them about the delay- if it's going to be a problem i will find someway to get it done on time- usually (because i do stay in touch) it is not a problem.
    turn around definitly depends on the quilter- i know a couple who have 6 months to a year---i thought that was pretty crazy---i would not want to be responsible for someone's quilt that long- my (norm) is 2 weeks- but there have been times (last spring when we had 3 family deaths in a week) that set me behind- and i really had trouble getting back into it-and getting them done- i think one took me a couple months---but i did stay in touch - and make sure it was not a problem..
    i think having good communication is a must. if you are happy with her work- but unhappy with her turn around- you should sit down and talk to her about it- maybe she could be more (realistic) about her time management and do better. or maybe it is just a hobby for her- and she has lots of family commitments- and simply does not want to be (scheduled) if that's the case you could find another quilter- or plan accordingly- but communication is the important part.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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