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Thread: Messed up quilt back from long arm quilter

  1. #1
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    Messed up quilt back from long arm quilter

    Before I get too upset, maybe I goofed. My 50" x 50" wall hanging came back with puckers quilted in on the front. The back is fine. What would cause this? I squared up blocks before putting them together, pressed it very well so there would be no wrinkles or bulgy spots. This is a quilt I wanted to put in a show in January and, of course, now I can't. If I take out all the stitching, will needle marks show? Do I say anything to the lady who quilted it for me? Thanks for any advice/help.

  2. #2
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    I think that you should say something to the person that quilted it.
    Then I would find myself a new long arm quilter.

  3. #3
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    If your quilt has white fabric the needle marks are probably going to show (at least that's what happened to me). You might try sewing on some scraps from your quilt and seeing if the stitches removed leave marks.
    Joyce

    Four things you can't recover: The stone.....after the throw. The word......after its said. The occasion.....after its missed. The time......after its gone

  4. #4
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    You might also try on your sampler to wet down the removed stitch area. This is suppose to reclose the fabric holes. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    So sorry this has happened. 50 X 50 seems small for the LA to have problems with it to me. I would question her about it. Did you mention that you wanted to show it when you dropped it off? Not that it should have mattered because if this is the her best? I would be looking for another LA. I know sometimes there are problems with a top but before stitching the "problem" with puckers, I think a LA should call the owner! Now what do you do? You've got to try and fix it and sometimes the holes will close in if washed but as others have mentioned, on a light fabric I can still tell they were there. BUMMER!
    Long armers on QB, do you call your clients before stitching in puckers on a quilt top?

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Usually the reason a quilt winds up with a tuck on the front is that the quilt itself was not flat, and that usually is because the borders were wavy before quilting. I'm not saying that this was the case with your quilt, just that it's the usual explanation for a tuck.

    I would ask the quilter for an explanation. We've had several posts like yours recently, about longarm quilting that came back with less than stellar results. One thing I've decided is that if I ever do start to longarm for others, I will talk to each customer about any problems with her quilt before proceeding, and if the final results aren't as good as they could have been, I'll discuss the issues with the customer. It seems to me that if the longarmer had mentioned the tuck to you, and discussed why it was there (assuming that she realized there was a tuck and that it was unavoidable, which may not have been the case) you would not now be questioning the quilting.

    As far as removing the holes, usually that is successful. You might need to mist the quilt lightly and massage the holes to get them to close if you don't want to launder the quilt. Best of luck in salvaging your project for the fair.

  7. #7
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1rottendog View Post
    Before I get too upset, maybe I goofed. My 50" x 50" wall hanging came back with puckers quilted in on the front. The back is fine. What would cause this? I squared up blocks before putting them together, pressed it very well so there would be no wrinkles or bulgy spots. This is a quilt I wanted to put in a show in January and, of course, now I can't. If I take out all the stitching, will needle marks show? Do I say anything to the lady who quilted it for me? Thanks for any advice/help.
    Please let us know what your deceide to do, so we can learn from this. Would be especially interested in what the LAQ has to say about her work. If it was me I would take it apart as YOU will always see those puckers even if no one else will.
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  8. #8
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    If the quilt was quilted with an edge to edge design stitched by the quilter from the back of the machine it might be that the quilter did not realize that puckers had been stitched in. If it were my quilt, (and I am a longarm quilter) I would take it back to the quilter and explain to her/him that I was planning to enter it in a show and wanted to know if she could removed the puckers. Sometimes it is possible to remove a pucker with a bit of steam without needing to rip out any stitches. Sometimes the quilting stitches need to be removed to take a pucker out. If the fabric is cotton a little spritz with water and a gentle rub will remove the needle holes. Seldom does a quilt need to be completely washed to remove the needle holes. (I could probably name 20 longarm quilters, many of whom quilt for show, and they have probably never quilted a top in which they didn't have to rip out and redo at least a little on it). I have been quilting for over 12 years on a longarm, have had several customer quilts entered in shows, taken several ribbons for quilting, and have always needed to rip out somewhere on a top. Just want to encourage you that your top can be fixed and ready for the show. Wishing the very best to you and a blue ribbon for your quilt.

  9. #9
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    So sorry this happened to you. I for one know how it feels to have your quilt messed up. I am to new to have advice, but wanted to say I am sorry this happened. I took all the stitcheing out of mine and found a new LA'er. Can't wait to get it back and see it looking how it should look. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Super Member Krisb's Avatar
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    Posts like this one make me wonder whether there is or should be some certification process for LAQ's, demonstrating a basic level of competency. Or could I go and buy a frame, put my Janome 1600p on it, put ads in stores and/or papers, and start a LA business? And if I did want to engage the services of LA quilter, how would I be sure that the person was competent and reputable? I know---use somebody from this board, of course!

    This is a serious question.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    Ask to see samples of their work. I don't quilt a lot for other people, but I take pictures of my quilts and have several of my own that I can show them. Talk to friends that use a LA quilter and get them to recommend someone and look at your friend's quilt. Even if the quilter quilted from the back of the machine, she should have been checking the quilt for any problems. If you talk to her and she acts like she doesn't want to fix it or doesn't know how, take the quilt to another LAQ. It probably can be fixed and the needle holes won't show after spritzing with a little water.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    communication is extremely important when you are hiring some one to quilt for you- you need to take the quilt to her- discuss what you would like- talk about any problems that may come up- also when the quilt is finished- you should look it over- before paying- and see if it is what you wanted- if there are problems they should be discussed - find out what happened- taking the quilt home - then complaining to everyone else solves nothing.
    if the problems are due to something you did the quilter should be able to discuss it with you and explain how to avoid them next time, she should also be able to suggest some ways to (fix) the current problem- that size seems awful small to really have had any problems---have you checked out other work by the quilter-do you know that normally her work is much better? you need to go back to her & discuss the problem & see what can be done to fix it- either by you or by her.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  13. #13
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    I had a lot of my quilts done on a high end Statler Stitcher by a friend. What I found was that she relied on the computer too much and would walk away from the quilt while the machine was running during interuptions. Issues happened that she did not see while they were happening. Since I was not asking for a show quilt, I did not mind most of them but when it was a tension issue or fold/pucker, I was so very disappointed.

  14. #14
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry this happened to you. You must be heartbroken

    Lack of communication is the big problem. IF there was a noticeable issue (top not square, improper seam intersections, different types of fabric, etc.)before or during the quilting process, the LA should have communicated it to you.

    Where do the puckers occur on the quilt top? Do you have pictures you can post?

    Another quilter asked but I didn't see an answer...Did you explain that you wanted to enter it into a show? (Stopping to say it shouldn't matter...just asking if she knew and you still got those results.) Is this your first quilt using her services?

    There is a SERIOUS learning curve to longarm quilting. Someone could go out and just buy a long arm setup, put up flyers and quilt for others...but if they are not competent at it...they won't have any customers. The longarm business is run by reputation.

    I would talk to her about it...in person with the quilt. Someone mentioned that the LAQ should make suggestions to you. Are you open to suggestions from her?

    Did you ever hear of the phrase "ohhhh that'll quilt out"? Everyone should remember that only so much can be quilted out.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member allie1448's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krisb View Post
    Posts like this one make me wonder whether there is or should be some certification process for LAQ's, demonstrating a basic level of competency. Or could I go and buy a frame, put my Janome 1600p on it, put ads in stores and/or papers, and start a LA business? And if I did want to engage the services of LA quilter, how would I be sure that the person was competent and reputable? I know---use somebody from this board, of course!

    This is a serious question.
    I think it is sometimes too easy to set up as a LA quilter without the experience or knowledge. I only do a few quilts for others and always make sure they know that even after having my machine for 21months I still consider myself a novice on a steep learning curve for anything other than simple meandering. Good luck with your quilt I hope you get it fixed and let us know the outcome

  16. #16
    Member slmeyer's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry to hear of your LA quilter experience. I am a LQer and always meet with the customer first and discuss the quilt. If I see a problem that may will not quilt out I tell them before I take the quilt so they will know what to expect. What I tell customers regarding warpy or wavy blocks and borders is that when you iron it, if it does not laY FLAT AND SQUARE then it probably won't quilt flat and square. There are thing you can do to resolve those issues, but they don't always work. I would talk with her and see if she can requilt any of those areas.
    Sherry

  17. #17
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    I would talk to your la quilter. If you don't you won't know why it happened. If it was your mistake you need to know what it was and if it was the quilter they need to know you were not happy with the results. That way whomever was at fault will be able to avoid this situation in the future.
    Happy Quilting.

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    Thanks for all your input. I did with your encouragement call the LAQ and told her of my concerns. Since she had done another quilt for me in the past, we had a good conversation. She is coming to pick up the quilt so that we can both decide what to do. Regardless, it's the last one she'll ever do for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1rottendog View Post
    Before I get too upset, maybe I goofed. My 50" x 50" wall hanging came back with puckers quilted in on the front. The back is fine. What would cause this? I squared up blocks before putting them together, pressed it very well so there would be no wrinkles or bulgy spots. This is a quilt I wanted to put in a show in January and, of course, now I can't. If I take out all the stitching, will needle marks show? Do I say anything to the lady who quilted it for me? Thanks for any advice/help.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rj.neihart's Avatar
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    I'm really sorry this happened. This has always been one of my fears if deciding to take my top to a LA. I'd have a talk with her and let her know the problem, and hopefully there is a way to fix this. Could be she's not as experienced as she had hoped, or could be some pucker was on the top before she did the quilting. If you don't talk with her, she will never know of your unhappiness.

  20. #20
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I am sorry this happened with your wall hanging. I am glad to hear that the quilter is coming to address your concerns. What I do find a bit disturbing is your saying, "Regardless, it's the last one she'll ever do for me." If you turn this situation around how would you feel? Example, you make a quilt but one of the blocks does not lay flat so she says "You didn't make this square right so I will not quilt for you anymore."
    It was mentioned that there should be some type of certification for longarmers. Then shouldn't there be some type of certification for shop owners and "quilt teachers"?
    You can go to a beauty salon and get a bad haircut from a licensed professional. You can go to a doctor and get an incorrect diagnosis.
    My point is we are human and we all make mistakes.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    One advantage of hand quilting is that you can work out little puckers into the quilting and they disappear. If you have noticeable puckers you may want to find a good handquilter. I've been amazed how much extra fullness I can work in and the finished quilt looks flat. Handquilting covers a multitude of sins. :-)
    Thimble and Thread

  22. #22
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    I have been machine quilting, first on a domestic sewing machine and now on a LA, for more years than I care to count. Posts like this, and there have been several recently, really bother me. Never, I repeat never, have I delivered a quilt with a tuck stitched in either the back or the front, and I might add---I never will. However, I must quickly add that I've gone through all kinds of maneuvers to avoid tucks, including ripping out quilting as Bobbielinks stated earlier! Unless both sides of a quilt sandwich are meticulously pieced and square, and most ARE NOT, edge to edge pantographs are out of the question for me--again referencing Bobbielinks' point. Fullness needs to be worked in---a recently completed quilt measured 2 1/2" longer on one side than on the other (a textbook example of wavy border). I've come to realize that customers resent having their piecing 'sins' pointed out to them, so I do whatever I have to do to fix the piecing and charge accordingly. My clientele evidently appreciates that because I always have a backlog. My advice to ANYONE about to send out a quilt for quilting is to look at some of their work. There are all different attitudes among long armers---just like among piecers. Some folks are really anal about their work; some think if you can't see the problem from town, it's all good. One last point: when you find a 'Particular Patty' long armer, expect to pay a little more and wait a little longer for your quilt to be quilted.

  23. #23
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    I am glad that you have had a conversation with your LArmer - and am hoping for a happy resolution for you. I am hoping that you post a picture of your quilt!

    I quilt my own tops now, but have sent out a couple of my tops in the past (to my wonderful cousin who is a LArmer). That was years ago, on my first quilts, and my quilts came back beautifully quilted! After reading posts like these (there have been several as of late) - I think of calling her and asking her - do you remember quilting my quilts? Did I have wavy borders, etc that you had to take pains to work out, or other issues? Because if I did - she never said anything to me.

    These posts make me determined that I will continue to quilt my own tops on my DSM. Invariably somewhere on the quilt (usually in the border) - I will have a small area that I come to that I have to really slow down and work with to ease in a little fullness (to avoid a pucker). And yes, I have ripped some quilting out to re-do it. Sometimes it is such a small area I leave it be, because I know that since I wash my quilts and like that "puckery" look - it will disappear when the quilt shrinks. My quilts are generally square (I say generally to mean that I do not have one side that is substantially longer than another - very minimal difference if any - but that difference is obviously enough to cause some problems).

    From these posts I am learning. I think if I ever choose to send a top out I will either use my cousin (involves mailing my quilt out of state), OR make sure I communicate closely with the LArmer before leaving my quilt. It seems to be very important to see their work in person, ask them how they handle quilting issues that come up (ie, wavy border), ask them to let me know if they see any problems with my pieced top BEFORE they start (actually, anywhere in the process where it is causing them grief), seems it would also be beneficial to speak to other quilters they quilt for (references). Communication seems to be key.

    And - WOW - all of you LArmers that do such beautiful work on this board!!! I would have never said it was a walk in the park, but I didn't know all of the intricacies of what you might face as you work on other people's quilts. I am amazed at the beautiful quilting that you do!
    Dawn

  24. #24
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    Was the top squared up to begin with? Opposite sides the same length?

    It seems to me that some piecers/appliquers expect major miracles from the people that do the quilting. And some LAers do work wonders.

  25. #25
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    So sorry this has happened. 50 X 50 seems small for the LA to have problems with it to me. I would question her about it. Did you mention that you wanted to show it when you dropped it off? Not that it should have mattered because if this is the her best? I would be looking for another LA. I know sometimes there are problems with a top but before stitching the "problem" with puckers, I think a LA should call the owner! Now what do you do? You've got to try and fix it and sometimes the holes will close in if washed but as others have mentioned, on a light fabric I can still tell they were there. BUMMER!


    Long armers on QB, do you call your clients before stitching in puckers on a quilt top?
    I sure do. I want each quilt I finish to be my best work. Sometimes the puckers are easily fixed and sometimes the owner doesn't care. I have one client that doesn't care, her work is always messy.
    We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.

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