Code of Conduct?

A while back, I received an email from a person who asked if knew of, or had, a “Code of Conduct” or a “Code of Ethics” for those who machine quilt for other people as a business.

I replied back to her that I had never heard of anything like that but it might be a good idea.

I have a couple of ideas, but before I write about them, what are YOUR thoughts about this?

Do you have a “code”, a principle or an un-written rule or two, or three, that you use in your machine quilting business? If so, post it in the comments section. Feel free to add an explanation of why.

Or, if you would prefer, send it to me in an email to I will then post it to the blog.

Here is one un-written rule I follow –

Never say anything bad about another piecer /quilter / machine quilter – even if you are joking around! This will come back to bite you on the butt! Big Time!! Ask me how I know this.

I look forward to reading what other machine quilting business owners have to say about this.

About Cindy Roth
Mother of 3, Grandmother of 10 and quilting forever!

7 Responses to Code of Conduct?

  1. llvopat says:

    Treat everyone with respect and kindness.

  2. No complaining by me, internally or externally. Yes, I will complain and cringe in my head (internally) and will occasionally (and rarely) complain to a fellow quilter. However, this is my JOB. It’s what I get paid to do. If I refuse a quilt, then I am refusing to do my job. All quilts come with personalities (some wave, some have D-cups, etc.), and I must find a way to work with the many personalities or I may lose my job.

  3. 1. We should always take a very good look at the quilt when taking it in, but even at best, some things aren’t visible until on the frame. Be honest and up front if you find a defect in the quilt, such as a tear, seam not secure, pucker, or whatever. Call the client and ask what they would like done with it. Suggest possible solutions and indicate what you are willing and not willing to do. Some repairs can be done after quilting, others need to be done before it is quilted.
    2. If something happens to the quilt while you are quilting, such as needle break that makes a little tear, or some other mishap, again be honest and up front. Call the client immediately and admit what has happened and again, make suggestions as to how to fix. This time it is your responsibility to fix it. Don’t try to cover it up, it probably will be discovered at some point.
    I had a recent mishap. I was taking out a few stitches and when I was putting the seam ripper back into my apron, the tip just barely grazed the quilt hanging over the front of the frame. It created a tear about 1.5″ long in a small triangle patch. I was horrified. The patch could either be replaced or fused on the back. It was lovely batik and I thought fusing would not be the best solution. I called my client, apologized over and over, nothing like that had ever happened before, it was just one of those freak things. I suggested the options. She was sure she had more of that fabric, would check and call me back. About 30 minutes later she called that she did have some. I immediately drove to her house and got it. Without taking the quilt off the frame I was able to release enough of the quilt top to lay it on a folding table. I took out the damaged patch, used a similar patch in the quilt for exact measurements and cut a replacement (plus seam allowance). Thankful for my little Featherweight that I could turn into several directions, I was able to sew the new patch in place. It only took about 45 minutes start to finish (plus driving to get the fabric).

  4. Sid Mooney says:

    Never bad mouth another longarmer, quilt store or quilt maker. A saying I learned long ago….”Never badmouth someone else’s work or business; you just might need a job from them someday.”

  5. PatG says:

    1. Speak freely about the cost. Communicate fully to each client about your pricing method. Always give an estimate and do not charge more without approval, preferably in writing.
    2. Recognize the value of handmade. Honor each quilt.
    3. Always get approval in advance, preferably in writing, before putting anything other than thread on a client’s quilt. This includes any marking, water and spray starch. Make sure the client realizes, preferably in writing, that bleeding may occur with the application of spray starch and water.
    4. Realize that each client communicates differently and try to meet that communication method.
    5. Customer service is key. It is not easy and is not for everyone.

  6. Deanna says:

    I have several things I do when dealing with a client in a creative environment, most of them are carry overs from creating custom bridal veils since 1976. When discussing the project, I am honest about what I believe would look the best for what the customer is trying to accomplish. However, I never tell the customer what to do. I always obtain a customer signature on the work order before the work is begun. I usually require 50% down payment before work is begun. If it’s not someone I know, I will accept a check for the 1st payment, knowing I will have time to cash the check before the quilt is released to the customer. If there is an issue with the first check, no further checks are accepted from that client. Finally, no quilt is released, no matter what the reason until the project is paid for in full. I have had situations where I released a project when it was done without the final payment and then either was unable to collect the money owed me or it was such a hassle I should have charged more for my time to collect.

  7. Fran says:

    I listen attentively and give my honest opinion what I think would be good but never tell them what to do.

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