You all have heard me brag about Karen before. She was one of my first quilt teachers and is incredibly talented. If you live in the Louisville area, try your best to take a class from her. You will learn so much!
When she brought me this top to quilt for her, I instantly knew one additional fact about her. Her fabric stash is HUGE!! Okay, so I probably could have guessed that long before, but look at all the 1930’s scraps in this top! WOW!
Karen recently sold me a Viking embroidery machine from the Smocking Shop. I think I’m going to have to kidnap her and bring her to the house so I can drain all of her machine embroidery knowledge from her brain. I’ve never done machine embroidery so it is a whole new skill for me. I’m so excited about all of the possibilities!
Karen’s quilt also gives me the opportunity to present a cautionary tale to those of you who machine quilt for others. When I met with Karen to take in her quilt she told me she just wanted a meander. The introductory level of quilting I offer is called “Budget Value Meander” and is priced at .017/sq. inch. I wrote it all up on the work order and headed on my way.
Now, here’s the part that I should have clarified with her better. What do you think of when you hear “meander”? Do you think of a tight dense, stipple- not micro stipple but fairly small and close together? Or do you think of a wide open meander with fluid lines and spaced out at healthy distances?
Well, after I delivered the quilt Karen called me and asked me if I could add more quilting lines to her quilt. That’s when I realized that her idea of “meander” and my idea of “meander” were very, very different. As her machine quilter, I should have clarified the density of the design she wanted to ensure that her vision and my vision were in sync. But in my personal quilty language I call smaller meandering “stippling.” That doesn’t mean, however, that Karen agrees with my preconceived definitions. What I should have anticipated is that everyone has their own definition of “meander” vs. “stipple.” Instead, I just assumed she wanted a wide open quilting line… and I assumed wrong. In fact, while I was quilting it I thought it was a bit out of character for Karen to choose the budget value meander – I should have listened to that inner whisper of doubt!
So… keep an eye out because I’m getting Karen’s quilt back and I’ll be making good on bringing her vision to life. I should have trusted my gut instinct of what styles of quilting I think my customers like. Karen has been wonderfully understanding and, as always, incredibly gracious. I’m so glad she called me and let me know her thoughts. Moral of the story: Listen to your customer and communicate the details.
There you go – learn from my mistake! I promise I’ll make some more for you to experience vicariously as well. 🙂