Thursday, July 29, 2010

What would YOU do?

Early in February 2010, I sent this quilt off to a long-arm quilter that I "met" online, with assurances that the quilt would be back to me in time for me to bind it for an early March birthday when I had hoped to give it away as a gift.

Unfortunately, the quilter's life was in turmoil, and the quilt didn't make it back to me in time. The quilter let me know it would be late, and I said, "no problem" and went to plan B for the gift. However, I waited and waited and waited, and the quilt never came.


So, swallowing my distaste of confrontation of any sort, I called the quilter at home in early June to inquire as to the status of my quilt. It turns out, it was done, but that she had been very ill, so it had been forgotten and never mailed to me. I understood, gave her my get well wishes, and received assurances that her husband would pop it in the mail to me.


Another month went by, and in mid July, I sent her a get well card that included an inquiry as to the status of my quilt. I rush to my mailbox every day hoping it is there, but alas, only bills and invitations to protect my family with more life insurance. (sigh) I don't want to pester someone who is ill, but I'd really like my quilt back. Is it shallow of me to be concerned with some scraps of fabric when someone is facing a debilitating illness? I don't want to be aggressive or confrontational, but if the quilt is done, it seems like someone should be able to pop it in the mail for me, right? And I pre-paid, so I can't even use payment as an incentive for getting the quilt back to me.


What would YOU do?

I know one thing I should do is learn how to machine quilt my own quilts. Last night, Curt and I mitered the borders on my little orphan 4-patch mini, sandwiched and basted it, took a long swig from my drink (iced tea - caffeine is about as strong as I go), and sat down at the machine to teach myself to machine quilt.

The road to H*** is paved with good intentions. The floor of my sewing room is paved with the thread that I pulled out of that aborted attempt. Apparently, to free-motion quilt, you need not just feed dogs that drop, but also the "optional" quilting foot. I'll be heading off in search of that optional foot tonight. Oh well. In the meantime, I started hand quilting my red, white and blue tablerunner. Learning new things is great, but sticking with what you know is nice, too.

17 comments:

Amo House said...

You should certainly push for completion of the contract you entered when you paid for this person to complete a piece of work for you. No matter her personal circumstances, she is supposedly conducting business and should complete. She should, at the very least, have insurance to cover incidences like this. It's not your fault, don't ever think you should back off, she has your property and money. Insist on return before you take this further, legal perhaps.

Good luck!

Amo House said...

Oh, and you do beautiful hand quilting but persevere with the free machine. Don't look at it as an alternative but as another string to your bow. :-)

Hazel said...

I agree ,she said it was done so why didn't her husband mail it to you ? This sounds very fishy to me ,go ahead and push or do what you have to ,to get your property back . I know off one blogger who did this to other people I hope it wasn't the same one .

Char said...

I understand how you feel about bugging someone who is ill, but, it is your property and it's paid in full. Great job on the quilt . you know I love strings.
Keep trying with the machine quilting. I've just gotten to the point were I actually like my machine quilting. Don't be too critical, once the quilt is washed it all kind of smooshes up and the stitches will look much better to you.

Moneik said...

Sure hope you get it back. Sorry, but my experiences with this quilter were not good. Hopefully she'll return it to you soon. Good luck with your machine quilting. If you don't enjoy the FMQ foot try the walking foot and do straight light quilting. I did a lot of it before I started FMQing.

Becky said...

Oh no!!! I am so sorry this has happened....and my heart dropped when I read Moneik's comment. Definitely pursue it....in writing... with lots of stern warnings! Good luck.

P.S. I loved this quilt! What a bummer.

Livin' Blue Quilter said...

I think you should continue to pursue this matter also. Something similar happened to me several years ago. As you, I acknowledged her illness with concern, but also insisted she would not want someone to do this to her and that asked if there was anything that I could do to get the property back, then I would. I offered to send a pre-paid UPS or Fedex label and envelope, so that it could just be dropped off. Don't give up. The quilt belongs to you and I hate this part but if all else fails, take legal action. Good luck with this. Robin

I am learning to free motion quilt as well.

Cindy said...

I would keep persuing it and not feel bad at all. She has a business and even though she is very ill I'm sure her husband or someone else she knows can run it to the post office. Being ill is no excuse not to return to you your paid for, finished quilt.

quiltfool said...

I would make contact again. I'd end that with "ok. If I don't see it in a couple weeks, I'll give you another call to make sure it got in the mail before I panic." Very casual. Then, in a couple weeks, contact again. Best machine quilting book is by Harriet Hargrave. Or, Diane Gaudynski. Don't have Diane's books yet, but will be getting them. I have Harriet's and it is FANTASTIC!

Jorie said...

I think you have been extremely patient and understanding for her situation! I assume she has family and friends who help her on a regular basis and would be able to make a quick trip to the post office for her. I really hope you get that resolved, that's a beautiful quilt!

Meanwhile, I also had a failed attempt at machine quilting awhile back, because I tried just dropping the feed dogs and using the normal "default" foot on my machine. It was horrid! I ended up needing a new machine not long later, and the one I got came with both a walking foot and a free motion "darning/quilting" foot, and it's AMAZING! I tried my first hand at it with a pillow front and it looks amazing to me, only other quilters would be able to know it was done by a beginner ;) Stick to it, it is super fun!

Shirleymac said...

I agree with everyone else. If it's happened to others then that's a sign that you need to push and get it returned to you ASAP. You've done your part in being patient and understanding that she was ill. But if she said her husband would get it in the mail to you then there is no reason for you not to have received it well before now.

Barb H said...

There are times when a person MUST be assertive, and this is one of them. You have waited patiently for 6 months to have your quilt returned--there's no excuse for it, even if she has been ill. Small claims court is designed for just such situations. Where I live, you can file a claim for $5000 or less for a filing fee of less than $100--a very simple procedure that doesn't require a lawyer. If she doesn't return your quilt, you have the option of going that route. Let her know you mean business!

Em said...

Erin, What a quandry and seems so dishonest on her part when leading you on...I am sorry! And...I feel your pain about machine quilting...I have been frustrated over the learning process and I have the correct foot...they make it look so easy on U Tube and Green Fairy...I feel your frustration and...LOVE YOU!!!

Chris Hudson said...

Hello Erin,
I echo the comments of your other friends, do what you can to get your quilt back. I would add, tell her to send back your top even if it isn't quilted.
I also agree that Diane Gaudynski is an expert on machine quilting. I have been quilting my own pieces for over 20 years, and love it, it's my favorite part of the quilting process! (binding is my least favorite) Be patient with yourself, and start with small projects! Nothing bigger than 36" square, until you are more confident. Good luck - on both issues!
Best, Chris

Chris Hudson said...

P.S. Regarding machine quilting, you might enjoy Melody Johnson's blog, fibermania. Go to the section called FAQ on machine quilting. Good info, and funny, too. Happy practicing!

Stephanie said...

V, I think you should send a certified letter to her with threats of taking action. This will certainly motivate her and if not you should seek legal action immediately....I say JUDGE JUDY! LOL Stephanie

Kim said...

You know Erin this is not right.....
Sadly, you for prepaid and now you have no leverage. But..
I would call one more time and beg for your quilt...otherwise I'm afraid you may never see it again.
I have a feeling it wasn't done when you called and she is trying to get it done to mail to you asap.
You have been lied to more than once by this lady and now its time to get your quilt back.

Good luck and
Happy sewing