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Thread: Turn around time for longarm quilters

  1. #1
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    What is a resonable amount of time to expect your quilt back if the longarm quilt doesn't give you her turnaround time? I've used this longarm quilter in the past and a month was her turnaround time. Gave her one a few months ago with a due date of 1 month, she didn't say anything about it being too soon, etc. After 6 weeks I called her and she said "when do you need it?", told her wanted to gift it the next weekend and she had it for me in a few days.

    Gave her 2nd quilt when I picked first one up, agreed on due date of 7/23 - a month. Asked should I call you? No, she said she'd call me. Here it is Aug. 9 and I haven't heard from her even after I've called her last week. Thought I'd ask here if I'm being unreasonable wanting my quilt back after almost 7 weeks. She does excellent work, gives guild members a reasonable price but it isn't worth it if I have to beg to get my quilts back. The one she has now is a queen size, simple meander requested and I want it back so I can add binding. It's for DS#2 and his wife's 30th anniversary which will be in 2 weeks. Let me know what you think, May in Jersey

  2. #2
    Senior Member LisaGibbs's Avatar
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    I know that if you want to stay in business you need to respect time frames or at least call and give an update if you can't make it in time. Kind of like going to the Drs. and maybe seeing them an hour after the appointment!!

  3. #3
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    I never hesitate to call. I'm freindly and accept if they explain was a problem but they should have made the initial call if not done as discussed. I only quilt for friends and they still expect a call if I won't have ready when promised.

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    It is a tough call. Sometimes stuff just happens. Machines breakdown, quilter gets sick or has an ill family member. However, a phone call is in order if an agreed upon deadline can not be met. She may be getting more business than anticipated. I know of some LA quilters that are booked out over a year in advance, and many more whose waiting list is several months. LAers who don't quilt full time, like myself, take longer as well. On average, I need a quilt for at least two weeks just for the quilting process. If others come along they have to wait as well. It is very easy to get behind if one little snag happens but communication to the customer is in order always. Even in an emergency situation once the emergency has passed a phone call should be made and definitely returned.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    I try very hard to return quilts to my customers in a timely manner, especially when we have an agreed upon due date. That being said, stuff happens. Illness, family problems, machine breaking down, the quilt that should have take 4 hours to quilt takes 4 days, thunderstorms when you don't want to run the machine......you get the idea.

    But if I am having some kind of unexpected delay, I will call the customer and let her know.

    Since your LAer hasn't done so, I would call her and remind her that you needed it for a particular date.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Becka's Avatar
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    I think you're well within your rights to make a friendly call and inquire about your quilt, since it is past the agreed upon deadline.

  7. #7
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Did you get the date in writing?
    After seeing all these posts on LAing, I would make sure I got something in writing, signed by both parties. If the LA-er doesn't provide a standard contract (ask before you go), I would write out something at home and bring it with you with the following info.
    Today's Date:
    Your Name:
    YOur Phone:
    Your eMail:
    Quilt Description:
    Length in Inches:
    Width in Inches:
    Total Square Inches:
    Type of Quilting:
    Name of stencil/Panto (if applicable):
    Who provides batting?
    Type of batting:
    If provided by LA service, $ of batting:
    Who provides backing?
    If provided by LA service, $ of backing:
    If seaming is done by LA service, $ seaming:
    estimated Total Cost:
    Completion Date:

    It is understood that the Long Armer will contact the quilter with any issues.
    The quilt top will not be altered in any way without written consent of the quilter.

    Then the LA & Quilter will both sign.
    Probably not a legal document, but it will go a long way to prevent misunderstanding

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It is no different than any other business. If you aren't going to be able to meet or keep the agreement than they should be the one contactingu.
    However, it does not hurt to call them a week or so ahead of time to remind them, especially if they have a history of being forgetful.

    If you like this quilter and her prices, maybe this will be the norm if you continue to use her. If it is unacceptable to deal with this each time, maybe find another one? :D:D:D

  9. #9
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    If she gave you a date then she should stick to that date, or at the very least close to it. I would call her and ask about it. I know there is a shop here that does LAQ and they are already booked past christmas, other are a 3-4 month wait. but you should ask her about it to be certian

  10. #10
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I think I would call and find out what's happening. If she gave a date to expect it, the quilt should be completed by that date or she should call and explain to you why it isn't finished. Please let us know what happens.

  11. #11
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Thanks for your thoughts.

    To answer the question someone mention, yes, I did get a receipt, with my name, phone #, size of quilt, quilting pattern, color of thread, price and due date.

    I only have her do the quilting, provide my own batting and backing cut to size (she requests 4" larger all around) and when I get it back I square it up and add the binding.

    I'm going to wait a day or so and give her a call again, hopefully all will be resolved. May in Jersey

  12. #12
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    May, you're a very patient person. If I'd made a call and had not heard back in 24 hours, I wouldn't be happy.

    Not only is a call in order if the due date won't be met, the call should be made as soon as it's apparent that the commitment won't be met in case the owner needs to find someone else in order to meet a date.

    JMHO.

    Cathy

  13. #13
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    some times life does happen- but a turn around date should be settled upon- or the quilter should at least keep in touch and let you know if there will be a hold up-
    i used to always get them out within 2 weeks- i've had alot of (life and death) happening this year- when it looked like i just couldnt' get to quilts i called people and let them know what was happening- and when i expected to get them done- and asked if there was a need by date---i always- always stay in touch if i have someone elses master piece in my home- i really don't like having them around too long- worried about something happening to them---would rather get them done and gone again...but communication is essential to run a business

  14. #14
    Junior Member gaevren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    some times life does happen- but a turn around date should be settled upon- or the quilter should at least keep in touch and let you know if there will be a hold up-
    i used to always get them out within 2 weeks- i've had alot of (life and death) happening this year- when it looked like i just couldnt' get to quilts i called people and let them know what was happening- and when i expected to get them done- and asked if there was a need by date---i always- always stay in touch if i have someone elses master piece in my home- i really don't like having them around too long- worried about something happening to them---would rather get them done and gone again...but communication is essential to run a business
    This x 100. Communication is the key.

    The only reasonable excuse for not communicating with your customers, ESPECIALLY when it seems like you won't have something completed by the agreed-upon date, is because you're in a coma or dead! Well perhaps I exaggerate a bit but you know what I mean.

    Things happen that are sometimes beyond our control- or we make mistakes (we're only human). I don't get upset when a business makes a mistake or when something unexpected happens, unless they refuse to make it right and/or never give me a courtesy call. The business that goes out of their way to make sure I know what's going on (customer service 101!) is the business that I'll go back to.

    You might want to voice your concerns to her politely. I am wondering how she keeps track of when these quilts are due. At the very least I would have a calendar with due dates on it so I could refer to it and see what needs to be finished asap or who needs to receive a phone call!

  15. #15
    Super Member whinnytoo's Avatar
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    I do most of my customer quilts in 2-3 weeks depending on if its custom work or not. That explains why some of my quilts have been waiting for over 2 yrs!
    I always ask when they need it for...... I think its the only way

  16. #16
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    If there was an agreed upon time she should honor that time frame. If there were problems she should have called you to let you know there would be a delay and make sure you were o.k with waiting longer. I stay in touch with my customers throughout the process and even send pics of the work in progress at times.
    Good luck, you are being very patient!

    Phyllis
    QuiltingGranni

  17. #17
    Super Member StitchinJoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by May in Jersey
    What is a resonable amount of time to expect your quilt back if the longarm quilt doesn't give you her turnaround time? I've used this longarm quilter in the past and a month was her turnaround time. Gave her one a few months ago with a due date of 1 month, she didn't say anything about it being too soon, etc. After 6 weeks I called her and she said "when do you need it?", told her wanted to gift it the next weekend and she had it for me in a few days.

    Gave her 2nd quilt when I picked first one up, agreed on due date of 7/23 - a month. Asked should I call you? No, she said she'd call me. Here it is Aug. 9 and I haven't heard from her even after I've called her last week. Thought I'd ask here if I'm being unreasonable wanting my quilt back after almost 7 weeks. She does excellent work, gives guild members a reasonable price but it isn't worth it if I have to beg to get my quilts back. The one she has now is a queen size, simple meander requested and I want it back so I can add binding. It's for DS#2 and his wife's 30th anniversary which will be in 2 weeks. Let me know what you think, May in Jersey
    I think you should call her and explain that you expected your quilt to be done around July 23, and were wondering if there is a problem. Tell her it is for a gift and you need it next week.

    I'm a longarmer, and I give scheduled due dates, typed in black and white on the first line of my workorder.

    If my machine needs a part, or I am injured and out of commission, the quilt is going to be late. I usually know it long before the quilt is due, because I don't cut it close with my schedule.

    I have had several situations where quilting was delayed. once my stepmom was very ill and I needed to take care of her. Once I was on crutches. Once my machine needed a part and they sent the wrong one--it was down a week that time--grrr!

    Life happens. But when it does, I can look at my project plan,see what's next and know what will be delayed.I ALWAYS call my clients and explain, and give the option of coming to get their quilt without it being quilted. I haven't had anyone take me upon it. But I know 3 good local longarmers who I admire and trust, and I will refer clients to them if necessary.

    Good luck to you with this situation. I hope you get your quilt in time for the anniversary!

  18. #18
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    I know that things can cause a delay in the completion, but a committment IS a committment. My feeling is that the completion date is part of the contract and should be respected. If the date cannot be met to get your quilt done, you should get a phone call explaining the reason why the work isn't done. Just my thoughts.

  19. #19
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LisaGibbs
    I know that if you want to stay in business you need to respect time frames or at least call and give an update if you can't make it in time. Kind of like going to the Drs. and maybe seeing them an hour after the appointment!!
    I agree. Things can come that are out of their control that cause delays, but it's just good courtesy and good business sense to call the customer and let them know.

  20. #20
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Usually a month with mine

  21. #21
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    I have only sent one quilt out and it was back in 1 week. I was very happy with the job she did. I'm sure it it was a densly quilted free hand job it might have taken longer.
    Sue

  22. #22
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    Business is Business!

    I call and ask the LA quilter when she can schedule my quilt. I really do not want my quilt sitting in anyone's house for a long time. I don't think she wants 10 or 20 quilts sitting around either. This creates an insurance problem.

    Again, Business is Business.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Becky Mc's Avatar
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    My LQS has a LAQ and they told me last week that they are in to DEC for dates to get your quilts back. They are thinking of getting another machine or getting someone to do an late afternoon shift to get cought up. That is a long time for a turn around. I don't know if there are other LA quilters around but I will sure check into it when I am ready to have one done. Wished I had the money to get a LA I have the room and the time. Oh well one can dream.

  24. #24
    Senior Member katcox's Avatar
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    i think I would also mention, If you have a problem with getting it done please call me so I don't worry. maybe she will get the hint.

  25. #25
    Super Member ksea's Avatar
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    I don't think that you would be out of line to give her a call and remind her that you need it for a specific date

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