Anyone remember last year when I made a pj quilt top from lots of old pjs?
I've just checked, it was 27th January 2012 that I posted about it. Shocking.

Well this year one of my goals was to get it quilted. It sat on top of my wardrobe for the whole year waiting for me to do something with it and nothing was done with it so I thought, right, just send it to the long arm quilter and have done with it. So I did.

Now it's back so I can show you the after pics.

We had it stippled and asked the quilter to go around the pockets rather than over the top. Just in case one day we do want to use one to store lollipops or other nocturnal snacks.

We asked for a grey background and although this looks ok in this photo, it's a bit more of a grey-green in real life.

We also paid for it to be hand bound. No way was I going to handstitch the binding on!

So now, here's the thing. I don't feel it's fair to criticise something that I couldn't do, but at the same time, this quilting service cost me over £200 and I want to be honest with you readers. I can't blog about something and only tell half the story.

I'm disappointed with it. There are quite a few skipped stitches on the stippling, is that normal for LAQ? Also, there were quite a few cat hairs on the quilt. I know most of you are saying, so, just pick them off. Me, I'm a germaphobe, and I am really not a pet person. To me, the thought that someone else's pet has been sitting on my quilt, which I've paid to be quilted is just ick. I stuck the quilt in the washing machine and then just went over it with my lint roller and picked off the remainder.

I know many of you own cats and don't see the issue here, but to me, the quilt felt icky til I'd washed it. I'm not allergic to cats, that would have really wound me up, I just don't think it's professional to let your pets sit on top of something that you've been paid to quilt.

That said, aside from the cat hair, skipped stitches and backing that's more greeny than a true grey, I'm pleased it's finally done! It's thinner than I thought it would be but it's very warm. We had it on the bed last night on top of the duvet and I was so warm I kicked off my bed socks!

I would definitely have a quilt LAQ'd again, but I would probably use someone recommended to me and check beforehand that they don't have pets seeing as it obviously bothered me!

So what do you think, am I over reacting and I should just suck it up and accept that other people's pets should not gross me out?

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  1. There's a few things that I think :) As a pet lover with multiple pets, it's a constant source of embarrassment for me that I can't seem to get rid of all of the pet hair, no matter how much vacuuming we do. Of course, I think it's more dog hair than cat hair, but I digress....

    I would imagine that the quilter did not let the cat lay on your quilt, but if she had to put it on the floor or something to lay out the layers, it probably just picked up the cat hairs that way.

    Of course, the quilter should also be sensitive to people with allergies and not knowing you, should have mentioned that she has pets just in case. Just yesterday, we had a quilt guild meeting and there was a new lady there that does long arm quilting and we had been given some batting and one of the leaders tried to give her a piece of unwrapped batting (for a service project) and she couldn't accept it because she said it looked like it had pet hairs on it and she is very allergic. I do think it's something your quilter should have mentioned.

    I probably would have washed my quilt when I got it back, so the pet hairs wouldn't really bother me...but I'd probably hardly notice with all of our pets.

    If anything, I'd be more irritated with the state of the binding. IMO, those are not proper corners at all and there has to be thread that matches the fabric better in color, too. I really dislike doing the hand binding on quilts, but I'm also a BIT picky about it, too. When I do mine, I do a stitch that doesn't show at all! Of course, I'm a bit slow (I don't think it's the stitch I do) and it takes me hours and hours (and hours) depending on the size of the quilt.

    I don't know about the skipped stitches. I know that when I quilt on my machine, I sometimes get them, but I've never had anything long-armed, so I don't know how "normal" that is... I would think not, especially for a service you are paying for.

    *Wow, apparently I'm a chatty cathy at 4 something in the morning... I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, so I've been reading blogs and such :)

  2. ohhh Samantha...I am so sad to hear you are not happy with our quilt .

    But I must admit if I was you I wouldn't be very happy either ! :-(
    I don't know the prices of long arm quilting in England but 200 sounds high for stippling ?? For that price I would of done it for you ...LOL

    As for the cat hairs...I would of been a bit annoyed. We have a dog and dog hairs are everywhere ( I don't want someone else's cat hairs) but if I had a business I would make sure my longarm area was " animal " free since lots of people have allergies and don't want my dog hairs on their precious quilts...yes, you can wash it but what if it was a quilt you didn't wish to wash ( like a photo quilt, or fancy hand applique ) instead you have to spend hours picking out animal hairs....not good

    For me the worse part is the binding..That is really sloppy workmanship...if I am being paid for a has to be perfect ( or close to it) I would of been really "upset" if I got that back...the corners are not mitered, the thread color is wrong and you can see the stitches. Sorry sweetie but that is bad!! If lady can't do proper Binding work...she shouldn't offer it as a service. :-(
    If this was all done by a friend ( for free) I would of said...Ok, its not the best but it was free...But since you paid good money for it ...I'd be "pissed"

    Sorry Samantha...what you just experienced was always my greatest fear of letting someone else quilt my quilt for me. Thank goodness my first experience was a good one.

    P.S. I am one of those sick quilters that actually enjoys sewing down the binding...its my farewell to the quilt.

    1. oops...I just realized I might of been unfair with my comment about the price...I didn't realize that the backing & batting were included in the price. ( I included mine own) with that in mind the price might be OK ???
      Maybe someone that has more experience with longarm quilters would know better ?

  3. You would think a long arm quilter would let their customers know if they have pets or if there are smokers in the house BEFORE you have them quilt your quilt. A friend of mine used a LAQ and when she got her quilt back it smelled of cigarette smoke, which as a non-smoker that's gross. So she learned a lesson about asking if there are any smokers in the house before she has a quilt quilted. I suppose you would need to ask about smokers and pets too?

    That binding was not done very well either. The corners should have been mitered and the stitching should no be showing like that. There should be any skipped stitches. If she had issues with her quilting she should have corrected them. Sounds like this LAQ might have been rather new to quilting? She should have given you a discount or offered to redo the areas with the skipped stitching.

    Visit your local quilt shop or quilt guild and ask around about LAQ's and then ask to see a few examples of their work first before having them quilt another quilt for you. Also ask for names and numbers of their clients so you can ask them how satisfied they were with the quilting and perhaps see if you can see their quilt too.

    A LAQ that wants to stay in business should be smoke-free and pet-free, or at least have a studio that is pet-free so that no pet hair will ever enter their studio or get on any clients quilts.

  4. How sad that people don't take pride in their work, no matter the price. I wouldn't be happy with the binding or the pet hair either. I wouldn't recommend that quilter to others nor use their service for future projects.
    Love the quilt though. :)

  5. Once to took my duvet in to get dry cleaned, and when I got it back, it smelled like cigarette smoke, because she smoked at the back door, and the duvet was hanging to dry. I would also feel the same about cat hair...ick.

  6. oh wow, that binding is appalling! Seriously, I've made one quilt and bound a handful of projects and I could do a better job than that - I'd be surprised if it didn't come off, look at the gap between the stitches? You shouldn't be able to see the stitches, she should have used matching thread and that is NOT a mitred corner.

    I'd be truly pissed off about the cat hair. I hate cats and I certainly don't want their hair on my stuff, especially not on something I've taken so much care and attention to make. I'd ask for a partial refund.

  7. Don't know about quilting at all.. but would not be happy about animal hair on it either.. That stuff travels, so the cat may have not been sitting on it if that makes you feel better.

  8. First may I say that I know nothing about sewing at all. I'm a crocheter and knitter. (And Samantha's sister, by the by.)

    I can't help but wonder whether skipped stitches means that the stitching will eventually unravel, just as a missed dropped stitch in knitting can lead to a hole or run in the final fabric (unless it's fixed). Perhaps a lovely quilter could answer this?

    Also, what is hand-binding supposed to look like? I did a Google Image Search but most of the pictures came up with a different colour edge and quite a few of the pictures had visible, messy-looking stitches. I would be disappointed, too, to see such an edging but I am wondering whether some people expect that with hand-binding?

    The cat hair issue just makes me angry. I used to have cats and occasionally still find a stray hair in my yarn, despite keeping my stash away from the kitties. But I am always careful to pick out any hairs when I am working, and I wash and block commissioned items and check them over carefully to make sure there are no stray hairs (whether from a cat or from me!). I think it is unprofessional and shows a disregard on the part of the crafter for their own work and a disregard towards their client if they send out something hairy, or smelly, or poorly finished.

    If the quilter struggled with finishing this commission then perhaps they should have contacted you and advised you, or offered a discount/partial refund.

    I am so sorry, Samantha. I am glad that it is warm and that you can now use it (and that it's one less thing on your to-do list) but I am sorry that it is not as Wonderful as it should be.

    Maybe you need a blanket to make up for the disappointment? :p

    (Edit: Apologies for the essay!)

  9. Pretty much have to echo everyone else's sentiments. I'd be disappointed with skipped stitches in something too, especially if I'd spent £200 to get the quilt all finished off and nifty-looking. Like other people have said, the binding is appalling and amateur.

    As for the cat hair, well I know from the experience of living with a zillion cats that the cat hair gets everywhere. Sometimes I find it even comes from ME onto other things! When I sold some clothes on ebay, everything was washed and lint-rolled, then lint-rolled again after sale before being very carefully packaged up to send off (and I put on my hair-free painting shirt over my clothes too). Even as a pet owner, receiving something covered in animal hair is really off-putting, so I can totally understand where you're coming from there.

    I think it's worth contacting the quliter to ask for a partial refund, outlining what you're disappointed in. £200 is hardly a drop in the ocean!

  10. First off I love that you left the pockets! Such a great detail!!

    It seems like I've been reading/hearing about all sorts of long arm issues recently. I echo the sentiments of the previous comments. I'd be appalled at the cat hair and annoyed at the color of the backing... but my biggest issue is the binding. I would not pay for binding of that quality. The rest of is passable but that binding is not even mitered. I'm not one to act as quilt police but I wouldn't pay for binding that's poorly attached.

    I hope you can make peace with it in the end. Just one more lesson learned the hard way right?

  11. As soon as I saw the pictures I jumped over to comment but it appears that every thing I was going to say has been said. The worst bit is the binding - I have only done a few quilting projects and consider myself a beginner BUT there is no way my binding would look like that! I would definitely ask for it to be corrected, or if not a partial refund as it means you have to get someone else to fix it.
    The grey/green is annoying but hopefully wont be seen.
    Some of the battings now are very thin but still toasty warm.
    Cat hairs would annoy me and I have two cats! If there are animal it is super hard o keep their hair off stuff, but I would always tell someone that I have cats AND keep the item stored away from the cats as well as run the roller over it regularly (rollers are a cat owning essential).
    On the positive side - the quilt looks Fantastic from the front and keeping the pockets out is clever/quirky.
    will you be able to resolve the issues or will it bug you every time you see the quilt? If it bugs you, you really will have to have the issues remedied or eventually you will hate the quilt.

    I look forward to hearing how you resolve the matter. hugs.

  12. I agree with everyone. That's a good bit of money to be paying for a less than satisfactory job. The front does look good!

    I think cat hairs are kind of like people hairs. I'm not bothered if I have hairs on me or my stuff when I know it comes from me or my pets, but finding someone else's (pet) hair on something is just so gross. I made a blanket that got dog hair from my brother's dog on it in the process and was weirded out by that. (Luckily the blanket was for my brother and his wife so I sure hope they weren't bothered by it!)

  13. Love this and would love to cozy under it. I remember when we were little my mother had someone iron all our ruffled dresses. They came back smelling like cigarette smoke. She was not happy!

  14. What a neat idea to make a quilt top from old PJ's.
    I think I'd have been heartbroken to spend all that time, not to mention the £200 for the quilting, only to get the quilt back and not be happy with it.
    I would not be happy with it either. I wouldn't like the pet hair and I definitely wouldn't like that shoddy workmanship on the binding.
    So sorry you had this happen to you.


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