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If a LAer finds a 'problem' with something you've sent to him/her - - -

If a LAer finds a 'problem' with something you've sent to him/her - - -

Old 08-03-2012, 06:23 AM
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Default If a LAer finds a 'problem' with something you've sent to him/her - - -

If a LAer finds a 'problem' with something you've sent to him/her to be quilted that will affect/afflict the finished item -

such as wavy borders, skimpy seams that might pull out, cones, backing too small - whatever -

what would you prefer the person to do?

Or what if the problem becomes noticeable part way through the process?

Are you willing to pay extra to have the 'problem area' fixed - or are you willing to 'hope for the best'?

I've seen several posts where the person was unhappy with the results - and in some cases the LA quilting did look really pathetic - but what if/when the top or backing is very 'challenging'?

Several people have said communication is important - and it is - but some people are very touchy/sensitive/territorial about things they've made -

One person (quite a while ago) had written that she was upset that the LAer had taken apart her 'first' top and redone it - it was 'improved' - but it was no longer 'her work' -

This implies that a LAer has to do an 'inspection' before proceeding - which I think would be fair to include in the overall cost.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:37 AM
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Taking the communication concept a step further .......... the piecer should have this discussion with their LAQ as to what s/he would do if/when BEFORE the work commences. And together they should come to an agreement re standards from both sides, when there are no issues at hand.


I have a good relationship with my LAQ, and she knows my standards and expectations for my own work. If I were to take something that I had missed, and not to my standards, I know she would be on the phone quickly to me. One time I took a quilt top that had been flat, and then all of a sudden changed. I frog-stitched and re-frogged and seemed to be getting no where. I was stymied and finally I took it to her to discuss, before I went any further with it. She told me that while it was not as flat as mine normally are, it was far better than many she receives! I was honest ... and she helped me figure out what to do, and I took it home and finished it off. At quilting time, we used poly batting. It can't fix problems, but it can be very forgiving and in this case, it allowed her to manipulate it a little and in the end, we had a flat top! Yes, a wonder woman! NO, I do not expect her to wave a magic wand if/when I have another problem quiltchild!

In contrast, she showed me one that she had to fix and what she had done ... and told me how she had repeatedly tried to coach the owner, only to fall on deaf ears. She clearly was getting frustrated, as she doesn't mind helping to teach, IF it is accepted. At pick up time there was going to be a very serious "communicaton" session .... about how to's, expectations ..... and if not, then ..............!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:53 AM
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I think a long armer should lay out all perspective quilts with the owner present. They are usually good but not miracle workers. It isn't fair to blame them for a top that has problems. I think LA should do this to protect their reputation and to discuss possible solutions. They should work out a price chart for any fixes that they attempt. If the owner just wants it quilted "as is" that should be clearly understood by both people.

A book made up for customers to sign for "as is" quilts may be good idea also. They should have a sample book of pictures of their quilting masterpieces as well. The LA then has some protection if an "as is" customer is showing everyone and making unfavorable comments. LA customers should also look through the persons work before leaving a quilt. Just my honest opinion, feel free to disagree.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:09 AM
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What about mail-ins?
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:11 AM
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My LA calls me if there is a problem....I pieces the backing one time and she could not get it centered to her satisfaction. I told her to don't worry about it and to finish it as is. I was able to make the correction before I bound it..all was well.....I did appreciate her calling and discussing all possibilities.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:34 AM
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I would like to hear from some LAs about this. I am not sure it is fair to have them put in a ton of time going over your quilt top (time is money). Also if they have something on their frame and come across an issue, how long do they wait for you to get back to them? It probably also depends on the type of quilting you are having done - all over or custom. I think that we should know if we put our borders on the correct way or skimped and just threw them on - I have heard that this is one of most common things they see. I have heard - haven't tried it yet, that you can put your top on a table top and pull it across to see where you have any bubbles or extra fabric - haven't got to try it yet. Unfortunately when it is on the ironing board everything seems to lie flat even when it is not. I know they normally give you a list of things that you need to do (have everything square, threads trimmed, make sure all seams are sewn, etc.).

Maybe we can hear what the most common mistakes are - I would be interested so that I would know where to pay attention.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:50 AM
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I'm a longarmer -- I try NOT to re-do another person's quilt. They are the quilter, I'm the longarmer. I talk to my customers first about what to watch for. Wavy borders, seams coming apart, dark threads behind white/light fabrics, for example. I've run across every problem and do what I can do. Most do not cause me to spend a lot of time fixing. If a border is too wavy to get onto the machine correctly, I call the owner and have her pick it up to fix or, if it was mailed to me, I ask what they want me to do.

Too many of my customers don't want to take the time to talk with me about what they want and allow me to look over their quilts. I tell them to plan on being with me at least an hour (less time is probably needed), but they seem to busy . I have finally resorted to asking how much they want to spend -- I charge per inch, and give them a breakdown of what it would cost from low to hi.

One thing I would like to suggest to all that hire a longarmer....especially if you send your quilts to them. Let the longarmer KNOW if and when you received the quilt back and if you like it or not. I HATE not hearing if a customer got the quilt --- I worry until I know they've received it and, of course, we all like praise.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
One person (quite a while ago) had written that she was upset that the LAer had taken apart her 'first' top and redone it - it was 'improved' - but it was no longer 'her work' -
I would not be happy if a long armer (or anyone else) took it upon themself to "fix" my work without discussing with me first. You don't say what the fix was - straightening a wavy border by simply taking off and reattaching maybe would be OK, but I would rather do it myself. And anything more involved than that is *my work* to fix.

I agree with everyone who said communication is the key. If you have top on the machine and run into an issue, and can't wait for a callback, then maybe it should be basted and removed from the machine, and come back to later when you have an answer. But be sure to leave a deadline in your message to the quilter
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kristakz View Post
I would not be happy if a long armer (or anyone else) took it upon themself to "fix" my work without discussing with me first. You don't say what the fix was - straightening a wavy border by simply taking off and reattaching maybe would be OK, but I would rather do it myself. And anything more involved than that is *my work* to fix.

I agree with everyone who said communication is the key. If you have top on the machine and run into an issue, and can't wait for a callback, then maybe it should be basted and removed from the machine, and come back to later when you have an answer. But be sure to leave a deadline in your message to the quilter
Basting, taking off the machine, putting back on the machine... those all take time, and time is money to a professional longarmer. They need to keep their prices down to be competitive, but also need to be able to turn a profit. I think any professional longarmer will look for problems before she starts the quilting, and probably look for wavy borders, undone seams, etc. But it's a puzzle, because not all problems can be easily spotted before starting to quilt. There needs to be a good relationship between the longarmer and the customer. I don't longarm professionally, but I do longarm for my guilds occasionally. I've returned a couple of string tops without quilting them because there were seams that were coming undone, and that wasn't a job I signed up for. If I were longarming for pay, I wouldn't fix a customer's work, but would show them how to do it.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
What about mail-ins?
Opps, forgot about mail ins. I think In those causes the LA should take a picture of the top with it spread out flat and document the problems. I would store all the digital pictures together for future reference and it would be easy to send a picture to the owner if needed before proceeding. I wonder if anyone has thought about a certification system for professional Longarmers?
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