Thursday, October 5, 2017

Derrick's Memories ~~ refinished

You know how the customer's always right? I was raised on a farm that sold vegetables at the local farmers' market. Daddy never argued with a customer. If someone wanted to return something a week later, he took it back and agreed to either replace the item or return the money. Even when the customer was wrong, the customer was right. 

It's a good thing that I learned his lesson. A recent customer asked for a custom quilted memory quilt. I specialize in creating interactive or three-dimensional quilts, so I assumed that is what she wanted. When I sent photos to her showing the extra work, she texted to say she did not want anything other than square, quilted squares. All the same. Nothing three-dimensional. 

I was shocked and a bit disappointed, surely I mistook her response. When I questioned her, I discovered that she didn't even know about the three-dimensional work. Talk about a miscommunication! So it was back to sewing machine for me. Only I'd already bound the quilt, so it wouldn't go back on the long-arm. Until. 

After attempting to sew the new blocks using my Bernina, I decided that I had to try the long-arm again. Here's what I discovered. 

I can't clamp a quilt back onto the long-arm, but I can work on it. It's far from easy, but doable. The top diagram shows how a quilt is normally loaded on the machine. The red line represents the quilt which rolls through the feed bars (pink) under and over the takeup rollers (gray) and around the topmost roller.

Instead of clamping, I slipped the quilt (green line) under the takeup bars (gray) that are in the long-arm headspace. After I straightened out the quilt, I pulled it around the back and over the top. Because the I needed to get to the center of the quilt, I rolled it on itself and pushed it against the bars as much as possible. The bottom of the quilt, I draped over the top of the feed bars (pink).

 It worked but it was far from easy. The jersey that I needed to tack down was especially fussy. This athletic mesh fabric sticks to the needle and causes friction so that the needle can't move up and down the way it should. Then there are all the extra layers of fabric because I was trying to "smush" everything down rather than cut some away. 

It's a bit difficult to see in these pictures but the jersey shoulders are not as puffy as they were. The customer would prefer that they be completely flat, but that's not possible unless I cut the jersey. 

And so, this week's finish is a refinish. A sticky situation solved though and a (hopefully) happier customer.

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Preeti said...

A happy customer is a return customer. An ingenious quilter is a smart quilter - that is YOU. I have worked on just one t-shirt quilt and did not enjoy it. Kudos to you on making one twice!!! That longarm diagram is absolutely awesome!!!

Karen S said...

That was a very tricky one to do. Great problem solving on your part. At least you found out before you sent it!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Ugh!! I'm SEW sorry this happened. I wonder how your client could have missed the fact that you are know for your 3-D work?!

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Well, the good news is that I really tried to do it her way. Sometimes people just have different tastes and I have to respect her decision. That's not saying it was easy...but I'm sure if I look deeply enough I can find a lesson or two. Maybe when the sting wears off a bit.