Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Not Quite What we Planned

This is the second broken chevron that was requested by a customer.  It wasn't what they expected, they picked the fabric and pattern. I was frustrated and didn't get more than one picture, oops. Neither of us could  get into the project.


They picked Pearl Bracelet in rainbow colors.  The colors appeared real dark for a baby quilt.  They decided they didn't want it and then decided they would take after all.  I took the liberty of choosing a striped binding, that I thought tied it together and lighten it up a little,  they hated it.  They claimed it made to the quilt too babyish. Each to their own opinion.  I love stripes as bindings, and even have them on the two lap quilt Richard made me.

We now see why people charge a deposit on quilts on etsy when making a custom order.  Have you ever made a custom quilt for someone and they backed out?  How did you deal with this?  We are making a second quilt at cost, eating labor for them to be happy. Not our easiest customer so far.

It is funny we wrote this post months ago and hated the quilt so bad (well the experience with this customer) that I never posted it.  It is time.  It must be shown.

10 comments:

Carol said...

I don't normally make quilts for selling, but someone asked me to make them a queen sized quilt and they were willing to pay for it so I went for it. I spelled out all the costs, including having it professionally quilted and they were all for it. They loved the fabrics, but once it was finished they said they "weren't feeling it." It was an expensive lesson learned and getting a non refundable deposit would have been a good idea. I love the stripe border on the quilt you made and don't think it looks "babyish" at all.

Shanna said...

I think it looks fantastic! I understand your feeling. When I make a commission quilt, I am nervous the whole way. I want them to be happy, I want them to like it. I breathe a sigh of relief when they do and fear when they don't. I am curious though, why are you expected to make them a quilt at cost? I wish you the best!

Myra said...

Yep, always get at least a 50% deposit, nonrefundable for any reason, except death or an accident (it's happened for me - a customer was in a car wreck!) I'm always clear on that. I make sure all details are agreed upon even as the project progresses. Some customers like to choose every detail, and some let me choose most everything which I like the best! It might also be a good idea to make all custom orders run through your Etsy shop to protect you as well as them. Myra~

Sandra said...

I will no longer do custom digitizing for machine embroidery. Too many times they decide they don't like it or they keep changing their minds. I refuse to deal with that type of frustration. As for quilts...well I will make something for friends but not strangers.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I do only commission under contract (everything is spelled out so no questions) with a 50% deposit non-refundable. This is were EQ helps as you can do a mock up (and load fabrics) so they see the 'end result' before a final decision is made. And we have to put out of our mind what we like from what the customer wants.

JLVerde said...

This scenario is precisely why I don't sew to sell (and rarely sew on commission).

The general public has NO CLUE how much time/effort goes into handmade items or that handmade means there will be variations in finished products. Or worse, that if it's custom to them it will be a royal pain to try and sell it if they back out last minute.

Sewing as work sucks the fun out of it, too.

giddy99 said...

I don't even take requests from friends or family (except my husband, and his Dream Quilt is already a DOOZY). If someone wants something specific, then they need to make/sew it themselves. :)

Nikita said...

I don't understand..didn't THEY choose the fabrics and pattern? Well their loss.. someone else will surely appreciate it because it is a nice looking baby quilt.

desertskyquilts said...

It's a lesson learned and you bite the bullet on this one, but always get paid enough to at least cover your materials up front. If it's a baby quilt, how can the binding make it too babyish? I don't agree anyway, but I thought THAT was strange! I'm sure you've already found someone who loved it, and if not, put it up on etsy. Do you have a printed quote sheet that outlines all the costs involved in making a quilt - something you copy for yourself and the customer when they give you the deposit you'll ask for next time? =) If so, I would add a statement to the bottom that the customer understands they picked the pattern and fabric and therefore are responsible for paying the balance after the no-refund deposit. You aren't, or shouldn't be, making quilts on commission for approval after finish. This isn't off-the-rack, it's personal commission.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

tough break on this one. I like the binding, and it is the least bold part of the whole quilt!
I have only made one baby quilt as commission, and really didn't enjoy it, even though it was a simple quilt to make. It is hard to please people, especially when they have no idea how much work goes into these.

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