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  1. #1
    Prairie Pointer

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    Jun 2015
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    Default Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    I have a conundrum that I'd like input on. I took one of my quilt tops to my local long arm quilter back in December. Amazingly, she got the quilting done very quickly, and it was a pretty pattern that I really liked.

    Fast forward to this week. I finally got around to binding it, but I couldn't understand why I had so much backing left over. Then I saw that she had put the backing on wrong: the stripes are going across the width instead of down the length. There was plenty of backing, and because it was a stripe I had sewn it together lengthwise with two matching stripes that were supposed to run down the middle (see photo). We had even laid it out at the shop.

    I'm surprised at how bothered I am by the mistake, and she has two more of my quilt tops in her shop (they've been there since early January, but that's another issue). How do I (or do I) tell her about this as I don't want it happening again?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    I would finish binding it and take it in to show her and mention the backing issue. Does it impair the function of the quilt? Maybe if you have a similar backing in the future you could pin directions on the fabric so when she gets ready to load the long-arm it is apparent what goes up and what goes down.
    Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
    it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

    "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."

  3. #3
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    I discovered it after it was completely bound. When I originally brought it to her, we had laid the backing out and discussed which way the seam would go in the shop, but of course, I know I'm not her only client, so a note pinned to the backing may be the answer for the future. I guess that while it still works as a quilt, it looks terrible to me (It's more about form than function.), and I'm more than a little surprised that something that looks so obvious to me as a new quilter (a double stripe in a random place) didn't raise a question with her. Thanks for your input, Sandy; it's truly appreciated.

  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    I agree with Sandy, if you want your backing in a certain direction, then be sure the instructions are spelled out in writing for your LA person. I have gone so far as to pin a note to the "top" edge of the backing to indicate this is the top edge.

    I recently took a quilt to my LA lady, and the backing had appliques on the back, so the top edge was evident, but sadly, she didn't "center" the back and the appliques are all more to the left and bottom, then centered on the quilt. My mistake, for not pointing it out to her and making her put it in writing or marking the backing better (although I did put pins in for the center points).

    Keep in mind for future quilts, most Long Armers will prefer to load a pieced backing with the seam running horizontally so that it lays flatter on the roller bars, so if you want something different be very specific and put it in writing, do no rely on the person's memory. So if the current other projects with her have specific needs, a visit may be in order so that she knows before it's started.

  5. #5
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    Thanks, Caroline. In addition to being new at quilting, I'm new at taking my items to someone for the quilting itself. I've always sent it to MSQC and have never had an issue. I was just surprised that two identical stripes in a random location didn't raise an eyebrow! Looks like having her make a note of the seam placement on the order is the way to go. I think I have a trip into town today!

  6. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Apr 2015
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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    I agree with Sandy to tell her when you bring the quilt back. Now, for the 2 quilts that she has, is there anything special you want with them? If yes, be sure to go back sooner rather than later and just tell her that you want to make sure that she has written notes to refer to regarding XYZ on these quilts. As a longarmer I also agree with Caroline's statement that most LA prefer to load the seam on the backing horizontally. This would not have been an issue with your request as long as the design was not a directional design,(Quilt could have been loaded landscape style instead of portrait style). It is always best to have everything written down and you both have copies. I have heard of too many disappointments which could have been avoided if things were written down. Sad because such a simple task could result in happy campers all the way around.

  7. #7
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    Thanks so much for your input, Karen. Learning how to quilt my own projects is on my list for this year. I like the idea of having complete control over the process. If a mistake is made, then it's my mistake. Somehow, it's easier for me to live with.

  8. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    I find that I have to point out even obvious things to my LAQer because she is so busy. It might be 2 months before she actually is ready to quilt my top. I talk to her about everything AND attach a note.

    I had an unfortunate thing happen with another quilter. I had pieced the backing for a quilt and gave a very generous amount all around. When I was binding my quilt I noticed she placed the backing seam 1" from the end of the quilt. By that time there was nothing that could be done. That's when I began writing notes and pinning them to my quilt top. If I take batting to her in a separate bag, I make sure to mark it with my name where she will see it. I buy good quality cotton batting and I don't want to end up with poly batting.

    LAQers are human and they can forget things. Notes help them remember.

  9. Thanks JaneMarieS thanked for this post
  10. #9
    Prairie Pointer

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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    UPDATE: I just wrote her a nice email, attaching a picture and letting her know it was likely my mistake for not writing it down and telling her what I learned about horizontal backing seams. We'll see how it goes. (I opted to send an email because there's no unnecessary emotion in it and I could think carefully about the wording.)

  11. Thanks snippet, Sandy Navas thanked for this post
  12. #10
    Rotary Pro

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    Mar 2017
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    Default Re: Conundrum (Requesting Input)

    I can understand your disappointment, but I think it's really pretty! It breaks up the uniformity of the stripes.

  13. Thanks JaneMarieS thanked for this post

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