Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have issues.....(Now with pictures!)

No, they aren't my issues, but they are one of the reasons that I haven't gotten my next giveaway up yet. (They're worth it though!) School is rapidly approaching, and I've been busy getting 3 kids ready for that. We also have 4 birthdays in the next month in our house. Then, the weather would not cooperate with my picture taking times. Afternoon summer showers do not make for good picture lighting, and no one bothered to tell my 11 month old that he should wait to eat so mommy can photograph her fabric. Could someone clue him in? (He looks a little clueless in that photo - that or he's hoping someone can rescue him from those 4 crazy, older siblings)

But the best reason I haven't posted yet is that this I had to do some more sewing before I had my giveaway ready. Huh? Yes, prepare to be amazed - this next giveaway includes COMPLETED BLOCKS!!! All you have to do is sew the blocks together, add some borders (if you want), and quilt that puppy! You'll have a completed quilt in no time. Alas, it's overcast again this afternoon. Have no fear, there are no plans to leave the house tomorrow and I fully intend to take advantage of the morning sun. So make sure you come back to see what's up for grabs.

Now on to my issues (at least the quilting ones). Have you ever had a quilt go terribly wrong? You pour your heart into it; spend endless amounts of precious time on it, only to be disappointed. I must explain that with 5 little rugrats, my time to even piece a quilt top is taken here and there as I can get it. I do not have the time, or the guts to quilt my tops. I have done some simple stitch-in-the-ditch on some crib size quilts, but nothing serious. So the two quilts that I made for the new twins were sent off to someone to be machine quilted. I had used this person once before and been pleased.

Something went terribly wrong this time. There was horrible communication, etc, etc and I ended up with two quilts that I am sick over. I don't even want to post pictures. They're not mutilated - just not what I intended and not the quality that I would like to give. So I am faced with ripping out every stitch and seeing if I can find someone else to quilt them, or having to sit down and sew a binding on each of the disfigured pieces (there's my dramatic side coming out).

So after you all see these, you're going to know how dramatic I am.

Looks decent - until you get up close.

In each of the white squares is this beautiful feathered heart. But it's too girly! I know there will be those who say it's fine for a boy - but it's not what I wanted. I love it - but not on this quilt for this baby.

So the next quilt I pull out has a large meander all over. Not too bad. I would have wanted it a little closer. Then I flip the quilt over and see this:

You can clearly see that the backing that I sent is even with the strips centered in a border of blue. I assumed she would notice this and make sure the top was centered before she quilted. If you click on the picture I think it will come up larger and you can see that she quilted into the blue border on the left but didn't touch the border on the right. That was unnerving! It's a case of not taking enough time or care.

I think the disappointment is in the fact that there was little to no communication with the quilter. She went a.w.o.l. on me and then I get this email that the quilts are done and she'll be shipping them. Up to that point - 3 weeks after I'd sent them to her - I still hadn't told her what design I wanted quilted. I sent her the quilts and emailed saying that they were for boys and that I didn't want the quilting to take away from the piecing, but that I wasn't quite sure of my design choice - did she have any suggestions? I also said I wasn't sure of what thread I wanted. I expected her to get back to me so we could have some dialogue and then I would make the final decision.

My gracious friend who had the beautiful babies, and knows how much time I've already put into these quilts told me to not worry about it one bit, but that they'd be just fine. It's just not what I wanted. What would you do? Rip out the quilting or soldier on and give them as is? I desparately need advice because I'm too emotionally wrapped up in this and not thinking straight. HELP!!


Julie said...

A couple of thoughts:
1. Babies will spit up/slobber/poop or otherwise mess up a quilt...
2. I used to have this really cute poem about quilts, the gist is that they are made to be used and loved
3. Check out this blog about Funugly Quilts

I feel inspired by her (mis)-use of color and just plain human-ness.
4. Be kind to yourself.

Anonymous said...

I agree, if its for babies they will do gross things to the quilt and won't care about the stitching.
I'd send as is, but not use the same quilter again.

I AM said...

I will bet that they aren't as bad as you think they are.

And baby quilts? They get slobbered on and pooped on and thrown in the dirty grass and, I think they might be ok to give.

Come on girl, show them to us! :)

Scottish Nanna said...

Hi Jen First of all you have a lovely family.Oh how lovely it would be to have all your blocks ready and just have to sew them together that would be just a dream, yes I am just a learner I would give your baby Quilts as they are the person they are going to will love them because you made them.and they will be special to them.
Hugs Mary.

Linda said...

My gosh that's a brood and a half you have there, gorgeous kids.
Now to your baby quilts. How dissapointing for you. I'd agree with the other ladies, your friend has already said that they will be fine. I'm sure she knows how upset you are over them, but as they have said babies do all sorts to quilts. So give them to your friend, and just remember not to use the same quilter again.

Dawn said...

Oh my, I have to share my story: The same thing happened to me! I ended up giving the quilt to my husband to use as a "white elephant" gift for his office party. That's how bad I thought it was! The lady who bid and won the "prize" was so excited, thought it was beautiful and sent me the nicest thank you card. So sometimes quilts are beautiful or ugly in the "eyes of the beholder"!

susan said...

what does the recipient think of the quilting? if she likes it(and it sounds like she does), i would bind them and give them to her. i know its hard when we are unhappy with something, but i think in this instance, since it is babies using the quilts, i would let it go. i would also love to see them myself

Tine said...

I had a similar experience with a quilt, only here the quilting itself is wonderful, but the quilter used crappy batting :-( I too considered taking it all apart to replace the batting -but no. My DH said, if I still wanted to do it after 6 months he would understand. 6 months later, after seeing my daugther LOVING it, because of the batting, I am thankful I left it as is.
So I would leave the quilting, bind the quilts and soldier on :-)

And show us some pictures!!!

On a Whimsey said...

Quilts are like people, they have souls, warts and all!

YOU know it is not how you would have like the quilt to turn out but the recipient doesn't and will love it!

Unless the quilt is to be demonstrated or shown, a quilt has a character all of its own and should be allowed to breath and live.

Your quilts will have personalities and be so loved, don't worry!!!

Thanks for sharing:)

magikquilter said...

I have a different take on it as I am a perfectionist and I do not know how you would go about undoing machine quilting anyway. Is there no way that the quilter can be persuaded to redo them? You obviously did not get what you asked for....is there any chance of a photo as I cannot say without seeing them whether I feel you should send them or not!

MelissaS said...

How bad are they?!

I know how you feel though. Show them to your friend. If she loves them then go ahead and bind and gift them.

Move on to the next project...it will make you feel better.

Tine said...

Seeing the pictures, I understand how you feel! In the first quilt, the feathered stars are beautiful, but they are girly -I agree!
On the second quilt, I cannot believe she didn't center the quilttop on the back! I would contact the machinequilter, and make a complaint.

nclangs said...

Jen, your family is beautiful!! As for the quilts, the recipient doesn't see anything wrong with them, so just be happy that they are done and bind them up. Then, get back on the phone or email to the quilter and convey to them how disappointed that you are with the work that you recieved.

susan said...

after seeing the quilting, i have to agree with you. the first one looks fine, but if you arent happy with the hearts, and she just went ahead, i would complain. to be fair tho, i can see where she thought you were asking her to do what she thought best. the second one tho!!! oh my, that is without a doubt shoddy workmanship. i wouldnt hesistate to send that back. can the stitches be taken out without damaging the piece?

ladydi said...

I'm in the "finished is better than perfect" group, but that's when I've done the work myself. If I'm paying someone because they can do it better than I can, then it really should be better. That being said, you've agonized enough, just bind them and let the babies enjoy them.

You have a beautiful family, and I am amazed that you had time to make these two magnificent quilts!

Ullis said...

I think the quilting on the first quilt is beautiful, not too girlish at all! I think you sjould give this one to your friend as it is.

The second one I think you should send back to the quilter! What she has done is so unprofessional, it shows that he/she doesn't respect your work.
I would send it back to have it requilted (and the quilter should do the frogging!). If you choose to keep it, at least you shouldn't have to pay the full price!!

Besides the off-centered quilting, both quilts look just lovely, and your friend will surely love them :)