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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.
    People who start projects and never finish them are cooler
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  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

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  11. #11
    Super Member calla's Avatar
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    How frustrating, and you offered good information. I trade with a shop in Fenton MI, and her name is Carolyn too........the same? calla

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    I have tried pre-cuts and strips both at least once...and once, was enough! I haven't done that again in about 2-3 years, nor will I ever. I don't even buy fat quarters anymore because of this very same problem. If there's an error in cutting, I prefer it to be mine...and yep! I DO make some!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  13. #13
    Super Member chuckbere15's Avatar
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    Island Batiks did call me back today offering to exchange them. I was at a guild meeting and asked her to call me tomorrow. I guess the email to customer service worked. I'm not sure what I'll do yet, I'm going to call Carolyn in Fenton to see if these measurements will work with her pattern. I do really love the fabric designs and colors. I guess I'm going to sleep on it, sometimes that's the best way to approach a resolution.

    Maybe, I'll ask for the lost yardage and save the hassle of returning?
    The Quilting Bear

  14. #14
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Love to know how this is resolved! We count on FQs being 18x22 - all the patterns expect them to be. Guess I'll be buying 1/2 yards and making my own FQs.

  15. #15
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    I have been burned so many times in the past that I have just stopped buying pre-cuts from stores completely unless there is a MAJOR reduction in pricing. I now purchase most of my fabrics from yard/garage/estate sales anyway and cut them myself. My financial output has greatly reduced by doing so and I so enjoy the 'thrill of the hunt'. You would not believe how my personal fabric stash has grown in the past year!!

  16. #16
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    Amen I got some fabric this week when I got the fabric home it was crooked as a dogs hind leg..I needed it right away for binding I lost a lot of yardage trying to get it right......won't buy there any more

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    I've had a similar experience, but with charms. I expected all of them to be 5" square, but when working with the pack (after sewing several together for D9P) that they were actually 5" x 4 3/4". Not that big of a difference but it would be nice to actually have what you pay for!
    Bobbi
    Quilting happily in Tennessee!


  18. #18
    Senior Member Scraps's Avatar
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    hmmm never check anything til I am ready to use it. I tried to return fat quarters to Joanne's one time and the manager would only accept half of the squares for a "return". In small print on their fat quarter labels with the measurements it says "approximate". !! Their fat quarters are wonky for sure. I never buy the pinked pre cuts - seems more difficult to sew for me. Good luck - thanks for sharing!

  19. #19
    Super Member catmcclure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bglock1 View Post
    I've had a similar experience, but with charms. I expected all of them to be 5" square, but when working with the pack (after sewing several together for D9P) that they were actually 5" x 4 3/4". Not that big of a difference but it would be nice to actually have what you pay for!
    I have a lot of pre-cuts on hand. However, I always figure on 9" square from layer cakes, 4-1/2" square for charms, and the strips can usually be counted on to be at least 2-1/4". I plan any blocks from fat quarters so I have a usable area of 17 x 20.

  20. #20
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    i try to not buy fq's in packs unless i know who was doing the cutting. i have had to get some and found even before starching or anything, just unfolded from the pack that they were off really bad. I don't like to buy precuts for this reason.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I don't understand why some are accepting being cheated for their money. Have you noticed nobody has mentioned that their charm packs were 5 1/2 by 5 1/4 ? I seem to see a reoccurring trend. If every pack it 'shorted' they have a 'free' yard to sell after a while. If it didn't make a difference then they should put on their labels 4 1/2x 4 1/2.IMHO

  22. #22
    Senior Member qwkslver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckbere15 View Post
    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.
    I'm so sorry that happened to you. I guess no one said quilting wouldn't be frustrating at times. I actually recently bought a kit that I wanted a lot and then a week later bought it again because I was going to use it a little differently than the stated pattern (several small wall hangings instead of one big one) and I feared being short on fabric. I figured better too much than not enough. I realize you can't always afford to buy extra of that treasured fabric but I do when possible. Could you add a couple of complementing batiks to stretch out and cover your shortage? I know it isn't a great suggestion but maybe it would help make matters better instead of worse. Again, so sorry.

  23. #23
    Super Member chuckbere15's Avatar
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    Just a quick note to keep everyone informed. I called the shop where I purchased them, and spoke with an associate as the owner was not in today. I informed her what was going on and that I plan on bringing the fat quarters into the shop for them to see so that they can make informed decisions when purchasing fabric for our consumption. Also, Island Batik called me back today and I told them that I would not rather return the fabric as I love the colors and the quality of the fabric and that it is not the fault of the store owner or their responsibility to make it right. And I just wanted what I paid for, nothing more. She is going to mail me a yard or two of fabric to make up for the missing fabric.
    The Quilting Bear

  24. #24
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bglock1 View Post
    I've had a similar experience, but with charms. I expected all of them to be 5" square, but when working with the pack (after sewing several together for D9P) that they were actually 5" x 4 3/4". Not that big of a difference but it would be nice to actually have what you pay for!
    Big difference over the whole quilt and dishonest of the manufacturer. Just my 2 cents worth.

  25. #25
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    When I buy fabric, be it from a store, over the internet or from ebay I always check it for any faults then measure it. That way I know what I have even if I don't use it for several years, and yes if its short I let the vendor know and expect them to compensate me. Even if it's only $2.00. I expect to get what I've paid for. I got caught when I was quite new to quilting, fortunately it was only a $10.00 buy but it taught me to check before it went into my stash.

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