Open Letter to Longarmers

Dear Longarm Quilter,

Thank you for taking the time to quilt my quilt. I really appreciate your assistance, your artistry and your attention to detail.

I want to support your small business, which is one reason I come to you. I want you to be successful and I want to be able to recommend you to my friends. I was a small business owner in the not-too-distant-past, so I know it is hard work and can be thankless at times.

I have very high standards, which I will warn you about in advance. I have even higher standards for charity quilts. I do my best work on these quilts, so the recipients know I care. I expect the same from you. If you feel anxious about meeting those standards, please send me away with my quilt. I want my quilt done well and I don’t want to increase your anxiety level.  I will respect you for being honest.

Please remember that this is a collaborative effort and what I say to you in our initial meeting is pertinent to how I want my quilt quilted. I have worked hard on the piecing and want your quilting to fit well with my piecing design. Please do not overshadow my piecing with inappropriate quilting. Please do not try to sell me on your designs. Listen to what I want and tell me if you can’t, or don’t want, to do what I want. My quilt is not your playground to show off the quilting that would be much better suited for a whole cloth quilt.

I will tell you that my backs are always pieced and I don’t always press the seams open, that my quilts are almost never square (though not terribly off), and that I use fusible and raw edge applique’. If you can’t, or don’t want to, deal with any of these peculiarities, please tell me upfront. I’d rather know and find someone else.  I will respect you for being honest.

Please act professionally. Do not whine, after the fact, about my unsquare quilts, pieced backs or fusible applique’.  If you whine afterwards, I will suspect you are blaming me for your own poor longarming skills and I am not interested in excuses. If you have, or think you might have, a problem with my quilt, please don’t take it on in the first place.   I will respect you for being honest.

Please be generous about your competitors. Making snide comments about them does not endear me to you or make me loyal.

Please make sure your machine is in good working order. Please make sure you know how to load the back tightly so there are no pleats. Please clean the oil up so it doesn’t stain my quilt. If you do get a pleat or have a problem, I expect you to rip out the quilting and do it over AND not charge me for the time. Your mistake = your problem.

Please have the quilt done when you say it will be done. If it isn’t done, please call me and we can work out a new time to get the quilt. If I arrive and the quilt is not done and you are not working on it, I won’t be happy. Please be realistic about your commitments. Can you really finish my 5 quilts this week? REALLY?

Finally, if someone else picks up my quilts for me, don’t tell them that you screwed up and are glad they picked up the quilts instead of me since you knew I would be angry. If you think I will be mad, fix the problem. I have a phone and can call you. I can be angry over the phone.

Thank you, Love, J