When Your Quilt Shop LongArm Ruins Your Quilt

A Quilting Oopsie~

April 23, 2021 0 Comments


Last night, I promised myself I would post about this huge quilting foul-up and here it is. I didn’t screw up, the quilt shop’s longarm guy did. Like a child, he tried blaming me for the blunder, right to my face!! The nerve!! Or, you know, perhaps he truly believes that I’m the one at fault. Either way…this is maddening. I am <this close> to losing it.

Much frustration, very anger.

Sigh. But I won’t. I’ll keep it together. It’s done, and I’m thankful there are no tears or holes and even tho it will be a major undertaking, I can fix it. Getting to it~

First, a reminder of what the quilt looked like when I finished it:

LongArmGuy (LAG) called to say he had finished the quilt and he alternated between what a beautiful quilt it was, just a masterpiece and that he had named it The Beast because it took 2.5 days to complete. I didn’t give it a second thought, it is a pretty large quilt, after all, and immediately went down to pick it up. The quilt was still laid out over the longarm frame when I walked in, I went over to it to look at the quilting job, and saw this:

There’s…a seam!! What the….???

A seam. Sewn right across the border. And the stripes are now off. LongArmGuy (LGA) said “There was a huge gap of extra fabric with the border. I just folded it under and then sewed across it. I did the best I could with it.” (Think I would have noticed a huge piece of extra fabric when I sewed it on!!!) Then…he shrugged!! I am not kidding you, he shrugged. Does that stripe alignment look like the best one could do? But wait, hold on a sec, it gets worse:

Star Points…destroyed.

He said he had to fold it over and sew it down into the quilt itself, (totally disputing border was excessive) losing the star points of the above block.

I looked at it carefully and thought “Don’t panic. I’ll fix this when I get home. I’ll just unpick when I get home and smooth it out.”

We got home, I picked up my seam ripper and started unpicking that seam.

And wanted to cry.

I started unpicking at the star block, the first joint of my finger disappeared into the fold. That was close to the start of the folding over, tucking in and sewing down! By the time I had unpicked it to the border, there was > 3” folded over and sewn down. Panic set in. By the way, this happened on 3 sides of the quilt. To be clearer, this really bad thing with the > 3” excess is here and then again directly on the opposite side. You can draw a horizontal line between the two. The pic below shows just how much LAG had folded over.


How did this happen? I don’t know, I wasn’t there but from unpicking it, what looks to me happened is the batting and the backing were stretched taunt, but not the quilt top. The quilt top looks to me to have been had not been placed over the batting/backing all loosey-goosey. I want to watch some longarm video tutorials to see to test out my theory. There is a line of stitches about 1/8” from the border on all four sides of the quilt/batting/backing sammich, which I assume are to secure the three layers together before being rolled onto the longarm, but the quilt top wasn’t completely flat & smooth or stretched tight when he made the securing stitches. (This is just a guess, but this is what I see from deconstructing the thing.) Then when the three layers were rolled onto the frame, the excess wrinkled was subsequently ironed into place, then as it came off the rollers, the wrinkle was just quilted over. Not sure, but I’m guessing LAG only discovered it after he was done. He certainly didn’t catch in time to stop the machine and fix it. I will have to unpick two (2) complete rows and straighten/flatten the quilt top backdown to complete the repair.

These two rows.

Actually, the first “seam” I unpicked was just a little under one inch, and it breached into the quilt itself up to a star point, causing the one of the points to distort. The stripes were lined up but no care was given to the pattern inside the stripes, so even tho the stripes do kinda match, you can tell it’s “off”. The eye sees it and says “What am I looking at here? Something seems amiss!”

At least LAG tried to match the stripes.

Below, I’ve done my best at matching the pattern, but there wasn’t that much fabric to work with. Once its re-quilted, no one will never notice it. And~the star points are back to normal.

It took me all day to unpick 2 blocks out of those 2 rows. Where the quilting was picked out, the quilt top lays flat & smooth. It puckers up~and not in a good, quilty way~where there are still quilting stitches.

I really don’t understand how this quilt shop allowed this quilt to walk out of their shop in this condition. It’s not leaving my house until I get it completely repaired. I doubt I will spend any more money there, and I’ve spent plenty at their shop so far. They didn’t watch out for me, didn’t even acknowledge they made a mistake and ask for time to make good on it. Instead, they passed it out the door. A good business will balance making a profit and taking care of customers. You know, to keep you as a customer and spending your money at their place of business. I get things happen, to err is human and we all make mistakes, what really got to me is they didn’t call to say they had made a mistake and were working to fix it, but would miss the promised delivery date. They very clearly knew the mistakes were there but LAG tried to pass it off as I had “stretched the border fabric out too much when sewn on”. LAG actually said that to me. And left me holding a quilt they ruined and will take a metric ton of hard labor on my part to fix. Anyway, there are other quilt shops and I have my own quilt machine now. So, Quilting Bliss in Nampa, ID…we must part ways.

I am going to take tomorrow off from unpicking stitches. My hand feels like its going to fall off, my wrist really hurts. After I get the quilt back to flat & smooth with no bunches of excess, I have to re-quilt it. And…the quilting will have to match the quilting pattern of the other rows. By the way, this is yet another gripe I have: this is not the quilting pattern I chose. I chose an oak leaf pattern but what are ya gonna do at this stage and it is a nice pattern so I let it go. Instead of picking out stitches, tomorrow I’m going to work on making a template of this quilting pattern and practicing with it on the Q16 until I’m comfortable with it. I’ll unpick one day, work on the quilting pattern the next. I’m taking my time with this, it has to be right when it’s sent off to my bro. I’m wondering if I can make a tracing of it onto tissue paper, then place the tissue paper over the top of the quilt and sew right thru the tissue paper.

This quilt will have quite a story once its done.


Jyps 🦋

Jypsea Rose