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September 09, 2010



Poor Sara. Yes, I definitely think she should ask for a price adjustment. The quilter made a pretty big mistake. Since, the quilting quality was good, be sure to let the quilter know that too. It helps to soften the pain of criticism. If the quilter is a reputable one, she will want to do the right thing.

Jenny M

I am a quilter and I would want to know, she should have a better system when she takes a quilt in to prevent that. The third quilt should be free or the quilter pays for someone to take quilting out on them and redo. Let the quilter know and see what she has to say.

Sue Bennett

I would want to know. But also this happened to a friend of mine and she complained and all the quilter said was well what do you want me to do about it now. I cant take all of that out and if you dont like it dont bring me any more of your quilts. That is what she said. Really. She was a very good quilter with wonderful work. So if you want to keep using the quilter choose your words with wisdom.


I agree with Jennifer...let her know how happy Sara is with the quality of the quilting. And, then, Jenny's idea of the quilter paying someone to take out the quilting and re-quilt them is excellent. Sara brought her quilts to a quilter to get a job done. It should be done properly for the money she paid. The question of going to this quilter again? Yes, if she makes things right. No, if she doesn't, regardless of the quality. Tough situation for Sara...


Definitely think the quilter should be told of her mistake - along with sincere comments about the quality of her quilting. Sara could have a couple suggestions for remediation and let the quilter choose, as long as all the suggestions work for Sara as well. Custom quilting is expensive and the quilter should have a system of checks & balances to make sure she is doing what the customer wants. There are many talented quilters out there - I'm sure if needed, another can be found. Might be important to point out to the quilter that just as she puts her time and effort into her work, so did Sara. Sara expected her efforts to turn out one way, and thanks to the quilter, that didn't happen.


I would say something, and I do believe that monetary adjustment is a fair solution. I recently had an issue where the quilter hadn't noticed that the batting had doubled over itself in one place. I took it back to the quilter and she ripped out the quilting in the affected area, fixed the batting, and re-quilted it. She would not accept any other solution so it is possible that the quilter will want to re-do the quilting too.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia

Wow, machine quilter problems are epidemic right now! What I would do would be to tell the quilter how pretty the quilting is and mention the mistake and hope that she proposes a solution. I would not expect her to pay for someone to pick out all that quilting, but the right thing for her to do would be to not charge for the third quilt. When I give a quilter more than one project at a time, I put everything (flimsy, batt, and backing) for one quilt in a plastic bag and everything for the other quilt in another plastic bag. Will be interesting to learn how this plays out. The finale to my machine quilting disgruntlement will be on my blog tonight.


Oh man. I'd like to think I'd mention it in some sort of way that would allow her to become more aware. I'd put the ball in her court as to giving me a reduction in price. And, depending on how she handled it, I may never use her again. Truthfully, I'd probably never return either way.

As for the quilts, I reckon I'd hope my heart could live with. If not... chalk that up to life experience, ha?


Absolutely talk to the quilter about the problem. When the 3 tops and backs were delivered to the quilter, were they separated out and labeled in some way to indicate which goes with which? For the quilts that I do for customers, my work order includes a spot for description and measurements of both the tops and the backs. This quilter apparently doesn't use that type of system and might want to change after this experience. Most quiltmakers put quite a bit of time and thought into choosing the "right" backings for the look and feel of the top so this is not something to be overlooked.


I am a long-armer and I would definitely want to know if I made a mistake of this magnitude. No doubt that I would give a huge reduction on the price of the third quilt.

Barbara Anne

Yes, mention the error to the quilter along with the compliments on the quilting itself.

These backings are quite interchangable and I agree the quilter should have a system that prevents any kind of mixup.

A quilter I've used with great satisfaction quilted one of my quilts in the wrong thread color because she hadn't looked at the work order I'd filled out and that she and I had discussed. She was kicking herself before I even knew about it and she insisted in picking the stitches out and requilting it the chosen color thread. I have used her services again with pleasure.

Calm and kind conversation will no doubt bring satisfaction. Quilters are good folks!



Like others have said, be sure and tell how much you liked the quilting...but definitely tell her she got the backings mixed up. She should know that to help her develop a different system till it don't happen again.

Her reaction to the mistake would determine if I went to her again. If she wants to make things right, let her....if she is really sorry she will want to do something to make it right.

If she has the attitude of the one quilter mentioned above, in the third post down, I would not use her again if I was paid to use her.

Barbara Anne

Opps! Should have proof-read before posting. I meant to say the quilt backings ARE NOT interchangeable since one quilt top has juvenile print fabrics.

BTW, love the quilts!

More hugs!


Honesty is always the best! Always praise then ever so gently explain the dilemma.....
Good luck

Tricia L.

Oh no! The backing on the first quilt is not the end of the world, but the juvenile quilt...oh no. That is so much quilting to pick out...I would hope the quilter would do the 3rd quilt for free. At least all 3 backs weren't switched around!


That's a pretty big mistake. One expects that someone who has a quilting business to have some sense of color and design. It's it's apparent that those backs really do not "go" with the tops at all -- you think she might have just stopped to question before she loaded them up on her machine? I agree with everyone else's advice to compliment her quilting, but let her how disappointed you were. The one quilt in particular is now unusable for Sara's original purpose.

This story, along with the one from Nancy (near Philadelphia) should be a lesson to all of us. No matter how well you know your quilter, and no matter how many quilts he/she may have done for you in the past, ALWAYS open up that quilt and look at it before taking it home.


I'd let the quilter know for sure, and if Sara isn't comfortable making the request for a reduction see how the quilter takes the news about the switch. She may automatically offer a reduction in price, good publicity/relations and all that would make it smart for her to offer some kind of deal.


What a shame. Makes me realize that if I would ever get my items quilted I would pack each separately. Even though I'd hate to do it I would tell the quilted what a great job the quilting is but that the backings were swapped. If she's worth using again she'll propose a solution. We're all human but even to me that backing just doesn't look right. I hope she gets a solution she can live with.

Susan Ramey Cleveland

I think I agree with Nancy near Philly. Tell her of the mistake and also how much Sara likes the quilting. But don't ask her to pay someone to pick out all that quilting. That sounds like an expensive nightmare. Anybody can make a mistake. And both quilts are beautiful as they are. But then that's just my opinion.


Sara must tell the quilter because the quilter needs to put a process in place to avoid this error happening again. It is in the quilter's business interests. If it was me, I would voice disappointment and ask for a price adjustment to be applied to the third quilt.

I had a situation once where my longarm quilter turned the backing the wrong way, really a minor issue compared to Sara's situation. Yet she realized what she had done after quilting and told me about it when I picked up the quilt and gave me a 10% price reduction. It made me trust her even more but also impressed on me the need to take steps to ensure the quilter knows what you want done with/to your backing.


Yes, I would definitely mention it to the quilter. If she doesn't mention it to the quilter, then the quilter will never know that she made a mistake. Then the quilter won't have the opportunity to make adjustments to her current system for keeping backs and quilt tops together before quilting.


Oy! I would definitely tell her. The quilting might be fabulous but the job was not well done. Every time I look at the quilt it would pop up at me. Quilt backing is not something that most people take lightly. We think about the backing just as much as the top and to have the wrong one quilted on is like putting the wrong block in the middle of your quilt. It's there. It doesn't go with the rest. It's ruined. I would let her know that the quilting itself was wonderful but the backing was mixed up. Her response will determine if Sara should use her services again.


Uh, that's really bad! I'm so sorry for Sara!
As the others told, Sara should definitely tell the quilter that she (the quilter) made a big mistake ~ but as always, it matters how you say it. Be objective (even though you have all reason to be angry)...maybe the quilter offers herself a solution that Sara can accept (she should ask herself if she can live with the swapped backings or not...if not, she should tell that the quilter).

Helen in Switzerland

These things do happen - but looking at the two backings it should have been blindingly obvious which was which. I would talk to the quilter and ask her what she suggests doing about it - and if she doesn't come up with anything then I would take the third quilt away. Quilters are professionals like anyone else with their own business and need to take due care in what they do.


She definitely needs to know about the mistake made. This is really a big deal.
There really is no reasonable fix. I would
say since she really can't fix the mistake
she owes Sara the third quilting free. We
go to a lot of time and expense to do these quilts and choose the just right backing. The backings were pretty easy to figure out. She blew it. Two bad quilts is tragic.
Communication with your quilter seems to be as important as their work itself.

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