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Thread: question for professional longarm quilters

  1. #1
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    The woman who has quilted for me in the past has a website. I checked it out awhile ago and discovered that she has a "photo album" of quilts. She has included both a full shot and a close up of the quilting on a great many (75+) of the quilts that she has done for clients. There is no mention that these are clients quilts, let alone giving them individual credit for their work, and there was no request for permission to post the photos on her website.

    I do not begrudge her wanting to market her business, however, the strong implication (as demonstrated by one of the letters in her guestbook) is that she made all these quilts. My quilts are my own, original designs. I don't use patterns, and I always give credit to the inspiration source. I have put her name on the label of every quilt she has done for me, have referred others to her for services, and have spoken highly of her on this board and others. I am seriously considering taking my business elsewhere.

    Am I making way too much of this?? Is this a standard business practice? Should I just tell her how I feel, ask her to remove the photos of my quilts, and keep taking my stuff to her? I DO like her work but there are many others in this area who are just as good, if not better. Any advice would be most welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I'm not a longarmer, but if she is IMPLYING that the quilts are HER work, then I would speak to her about it. Especially if people are signing her guestbook stating they like "her" quilts and she's not correcting them by saying they aren't hers.
    Most quilt shops I have visited on and offline have had the name of the maker on the quilt and have given reference to them.
    So, if you talk to her and she's not willing to do as you ask, then I wouldn't go back to her.
    That's my opinion.......

  3. #3
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I agree with Terri. Your quilts are unique and shouldn't be claimed by someone else!!!

  4. #4
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    Thanks, this has been eating at me more and more since I have several tops ready for quilting and will have even more ready soon.

    This is what is in the guest book:

    You've done some amazing work! Do you ever sell any of the quilts you make to people who are not as skilled as you are?
    Jamie on April 20, 2008

    Yes I do sell some of my quilts. I can make a quilt for you with a theme, colors, or style of your choice. Give me a call and we can discuss the possiblities. Thanks for your nice comments.
    Tracy on April 25, 2008


  5. #5
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    well, I sure understand where you are coming from... which is one reason why we got the Bailey/Grace frame... (which we have NOT been able to play with because of GUSTAV... grrrrrr :twisted: )

    A friend of mine has made some fantastic quilts and had then 'done' by a longarm quilter - who also does a wonderful job ....
    The longarm quilter doesn't take any credit for somebody else's work but when my friend posted photos of her quilts on a photo board, a lot of people MISunderstood what she said and 'assumed' that the longarm quilter had done the WHOLE quilt - not that TWO people worked on them...

    there were comments like, "oh SHE does wonderful work" etc, negating all the work that my friend had done!

    I've had 3 or 4 quilts "done" and then we decided to go ahead and spend the $2500 for the 15" Bailey/frame combo...

    And I've seen sites where longarm quilters show their work BUT they also say the quilt was made by so and so etc

    you need to find out if you gave 'implicit' permission for her to take photos (which I really don't blame her for wanting photos of the work she did) ...
    She does own the copyright to the photos she took, she does NOT own the copyright to YOUR quilt...
    that's a very gray, gray area...

    and boy am I glad we decided to get the Bailey!!!

    which I am NOT going to "do" quilts for anybody else - I don't want the responsibility - I mean what if you totally booger up somebody's quilt that they took years to do???? :shock: :-o
    I know people (one woman in particular) who would immediately say something like, "I don't like what you did - you ruined my quilt and I won't pay for the work"... and then demand compensation for the quilt/time etc AND demand the quilt.... nope, not gonna do any quilts but for myself - and then when I say "I" did it, I mean **I** did it!! :mrgreen:
    (or DH as the case may be!)

  6. #6

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    Anyone can set up a webshots account for free.
    Is it necessary to list who the quiltmaker is? Probably not although we do try to put "Customer quilts" as the heading and the month they were done. A lot of us also list the maker in the description section.
    I'm sorry that this is bothering you. Talk to your longarmer and ask her to go in and list the maker of the quilts. I'm sure she won't have any problem doing that.
    Why not set up your own account so that people can see the quilts you made?

  7. #7
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    Maybe try talking to the longarm quilter first -

    It's POSSIBLE she may be ignorant/unthinking/didn't realize, etc. etc.

    I would also be upset with someone apparently claiming credit for doing "everything" when that isn't the case.

    Are there other sites that have captions with a "pieced/appliqued by Sew and Sew" - which I think should be listed first in the caption - that you could show her as examples?

    And then strongly suggest that she should do the same thing.

  8. #8
    Member KyTriplets's Avatar
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    Definately talk to her about your photos. I'm sure she values you as a customer and would want to hear your concerns.

    As a longarmer, I always ask if it is okay to put a photo of my client's quilts on my website. The work order form they sign includes a space for them to initial with their approval. When I refer to the owners of quilts on my blog I typically include only their first name for privacy reasons. Your post, however, has given me plenty of food for thought and I thank you for posting it.

    If you have found a longarmer you trust and who "clicks" with you, don't jump ship. It is so important to find a quilter you feel comfortable with. Just express yourself and I'm sure she will be happy to work this issue out with you.


  9. #9
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I'm in the process of loading online pictures of the quilts I have quilted. Interesting thread.

    I would not put the person's full name. Many don't want their name on the internet. I could probably put 'customer pieced' or use just their first name. I do quilt a lot of quilts for a quilt shop. For those, I'm going to talk to the owner. She may want to put the quilt shop name and a phone number, in the event someone wants a kit.

    I also had the opportunity to quilt some tops for a quilt pattern designer. Those would not be going on at all unless I had specific permission. I didn't get to quilt those (Waaaaaa!!!) as I had broken my wrist right before. Talk about unhappy!!!!

    If not for the fact that I have a business, I probably wouldn't be using my full name here. I quilt probably 10 quilts for others to every 1 of mine, and mine take the back seat more and more. I'm also willing to piece a quilt for someone, so it could be that she also wants to convey that option.

    For the quilts I have posted here, I have clearly said whether I pieced them or if it was a customer quilt.

    I'm glad you brought this up. I think that sometimes we assume that if people know we're longarmers, they also know that most of the tops we quilt are made by someone else.

    As for your issue, I would suggest that you talk to her. You're happy with her work, and you have a relationship. It could be simply an issue of her not thinking that others might think that she did the entire quilt. We sometimes tend to live in our own little world!!! :lol:

  10. #10
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    Yes, talk to her. I agree with Terri and Beachlady. She needs to list the name of the person, also if it is a original design by that person.

  11. #11
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    The idea of a work order/consent form for pictures seems good. That way the maker/owner can decide whether or not others can also see the work.

    Does your longarmer have one?

    If one does consent to having a photo of one's quilt in a scrap book or on a web site, could one have some control over the information that's included?

    Such as maker's name - if any, is the item available for sale, source of design, type of batting used.

    Some good issues are being raised that I hadn't thought of.

    I can see that the longarmer would like to take pictures of the finished work - especially if it's good -

    I can see that the maker/owner wants credit - and might also not want much personal information floating around -

    And I can see that the source of the design - might also want credit.

    It does get murky.




  12. #12
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    There was no mention made of her taking pictures, verbally or in writing. There was no contract and the only thing I signed in each case was the cost estimate with the quilt description and the quilting motif we agreed on. Granted she holds the copyright on the photos she took, but she does not have the right to publish those photos without the express permission of the maker(s) of the art she photographed...or at least that's how it works in the graphic arts world. She did not ask, before or after, implicitly or explicitly, no way, no how, and that is what makes me the angriest.

    I feel she is intentionally misleading visitors to her website and it makes me not trust her very much any longer. My fear is that if I talk to her and explain how I feel, asking that she remove the pictures of my work from her website, I risk her not doing her best on any future quilts that I take her. I know that sounds awful, but if I am not thrilled with something down the road, it will be my first thought. I just don't think I'll ever feel "safe" with her again.

    I really appreciate all the comments and opinions you all have put forth. Thank you so much. I have a lot to think about...and five tops that need quilting by Christmas! :shock:


  13. #13
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I don't know a single LAer that would not try to do her best on every quilt that comes into their possession. All we have is our reputation. We're in business, and business comes from happy customers. If you don't want your beautiful quilts put on the site, or if you want your name listed as the top maker, let her know. As long as you do it without being accusatory, and assuming this woman isn't a total nutjob, this is all very, very solvable. Communication is key.

  14. #14
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    Thanks, Shelley. She's not a nutjob and I would not be accusatory when talking to her, so you're probably right on! Paranoia got the best of me, one of the perils of living alone and thinking too much!! :wink: Thanks for the smack upside the head!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I didn't mean for it to be a smack upside the head...just a little nudge!

    :)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Did this get resolved??? Curious minds (ok, busybodies) want to know!!!

  17. #17
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    Hi, Shelley. Funny you should ask that today. Tomorrow I take three quilts to someone new. Her work is amazing and her website and webshots page give full credit to the piecer of any quilts she posts (and she only does that with their permission). The other quilter was quite huffy when I spoke to her, refused to remove my quilts from her site, and said there was nothing I could do about it. Wrong...I took my business elsewhere. The new quilter was actually my first choice, but her lead time has always been quite long. Now that the economy is slower, she has less business and a shorter wait. I'll post pics when I get them back. I've seen her work (design, peicing and quilting) at quilt shows and have spoken to her several times. Her website is what made me contact her, so know that how you present things on your website is pretty important to potential clients. :wink:

  18. #18
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry your first LAer was not cooperative!!! You did what was right - you tried to work with her, got nowhere (and she was snotty!!) so took your business elsewhere. It sounds like there was a reason that she didn't have much of a backlog. Hope all goes well with your new LAer!!!

  19. #19
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    Thanks, I'm really looking forward to working with her. I would like to have a long term relationship with just one quilter. And I thank you for your guidance in this, it helped me a lot to see things from the longarmer's side of things.

  20. #20
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    If you sent in pic of quilts YOU made, I certainly would say something! That isn't right claiming credit for something she didn't make.

  21. #21

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    I'm sorry that the first longarmer was so out of touch with your feelings. But I'm glad that you were able to find someone else. Good luck.

  22. #22
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    I'm a professional longarm quilter. I prepare a work order for every client's quilt and on that work order I ask permission to use a photo of her quilt for marketing purposes. Everyone says yes except if the quilt is going to a show or in a book or magazine.

  23. #23
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    at the very least i would expect the quilter to state at the beginning of her 'gallery' that the pictured quilts are customer quilts, quilted by her...that seems like the way it should be, but also, she should ask her customers if they would mind if she put their quilts in her on-line gallery.
    i always take pictures of quilts i have quilted for people but the only people who ever see those pictures are the customer. i send a picture to the owner showing the finished work so i can get paid :)
    and i even save the pictures so i can go look and see what i did on certain ones. i would never post a picture of someone elses quilt without them actually telling me they would like me to.

  24. #24
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    When I look at a professional quilter's website, I assume that the quilts are clients' quilts, not her own personal quilts.

    Professional longarmers are a pretty busy bunch. Most lonagrmers who I know rarely have time for doing very many our own. Believe me-- I have a whole closet full of my own quilt tops that are waiting to be quilted. Paying customers come first!!

    If the only quilt photos on a professional's website were hers and hers only, I think that there would probably be very few photos.

  25. #25
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    but assumption is so very wrong on so many levels. if you do the work you get credit period. that is how the world should work. no you cant please everyone but right is right.

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