Saturday, July 6, 2013

My New Project for June -- A Disaster!

It's time already to report on my NewFo for June.  I thought this would be one project I could start and complete pretty quickly.  I was really excited about working it with my friend Rose Mary at retreat last month.  We had seen this kit for "Rainbow Square" and pre-ordered it from Hancock's of Paducah.  

Looks pretty simple, right?

The first problem was with the pattern itself.  The wording was so vague on Step 1 that everyone who read it thought it meant something different.  Even Ruthie (who has actually tested patterns for a quilt magazine) had trouble figuring it out.  We did a lot of ripping on Step 1.  

No matter how carefully I stitched my 1/4" seams, the strip sets were wonky.  Look at how much difference there is between the ends and the middle of this strip set.  

It was at that point when I pulled THIS strip from the jelly roll.

REALLY, Marcus Fabrics?!?!? This is a 2.5" strip that will work out to be an accurate quilt block?  No wonder everything was turning out wonky!  

At this point I was hoping to still make the blocks turn out true - somehow. After all, this wasn't the first time a wonky-block-gauntlet was thrown in my path.  I could probably still make it work.  The next Step was to sub-cut, rearrange, and sew back together.  Like this -

Hmmm.  I might be able to get those seam allowances to line up better, if I "ooch and skooch" a little, right?

Wrong -- more ripping!

I still wanted to save this project.  I decided to cut the binding fabric and use that for the insert strips instead.   Time to go "out of the box."

Yikes!  That is so far off, I don't know if there is any saving it.  

I know the seams are accurate.  I am pretty exact in my sewing.  In fact Angela from Quilted Joy doesn't even measure my quilts before she puts them onto her long arm because they are always precise and well pieced.  

I guess it is time to contact Marcus Fabrics.  In the mean time, no more pre-cut kits for me! 

I am linking up with Barbara at Cat Patches.  I hope the other stitchers in the NewFo Challenge had more success in June than I did!


  1. I have a couple friends who would have already tossed this whole project in the garbage by now.

  2. I hate when this happens and more and more pre-made kits are like this from manufacturers. Not enough fabric, crazy directions and badly cut strips. I just don't buy them anymore.

  3. I hate when that happens and it's more frequent then not. There's not enough fabric (and good luck ordering it), badly written patterns and the fabric cuts are off. Uggh. Last couple of my quilts have been this way and haven't had the heart to finish them.

  4. Sorry for the hard time that ruins the best laid "quick & easy" project.

    About 2 years ago I used my 1st pack of lollypops and did my math based on 2,5 " wide and ...ASSUMED ...THEY WOULD BE STRAIGHT !

    Same findings in the pile: 3 strips were not OK, AT ALL.
    Lucky me my project didn't go for the entire pack so I was able to swap strips.
    But I was not a happy camper ...nor quilter. My best energies for the rest of the project.

  5. I'm glad I've gone with never buying pre-cut kits. So sorry you had such a hard time with yours. I sure hope that Marcus Fabrics makes good on your refund.

  6. This is so sad! I recently had a jelly roll where the strips were anywhere from 2 1/4" to 2 1/2" - almost everyone was crooked. We expect better! This morning I opened a kit that called for 3 fat quarters of white. I was to cut 2 1/2" X 18" strips. Well the kit had 3/4 yard of white not 3 fat quarters! I don't buy pre-cut veggies; guess I'll stop buying pre-cut fabrics! ~Jeanne

  7. FYI for future reference -
    This tip from Brenda @ BearPaw helps deals with wonky precuts.

    Mind you, it doesn't excuse the shoddy prep work when putting together the precuts - and then charging a premium for them.

  8. "Fast" quilting projects never are fast for me, and I've never even had the kit with miscuts problem. Sorry for all your frustrations. No wonder you were surfing blogs instead of quilting--thanks for visiting mine. :-)

  9. Bummer. I'd contact Hancock's of Paducah and have them give you a replacement. It's a shame cuz it's a beautiful quilt.

  10. Oh my. Makes you wonder what's in the water they're drinking, doesn't it?

  11. I had a similar problem with a Bali Pop. Some of the strips were not a full 2-1/2" wide! I would have been much better off cutting my own strips!

  12. Yikes! I've never had that happen but am glad to know it does. Your fabric is sure pretty though.

  13. That's not fun at all. As proud as they are of those jelly rolls you think they'd be more careful of what's in them!

  14. Sandy, I am glad you gave us a heads up. Maybe someone from Marcus Bros. will see this and figure out why their strips are so poorly cut. Maybe the cutter was hitting the bottle before lunch!

  15. Hello Sandy -

    We apologize for your difficulties, and do appreciate your taking the time to write to us. We are well aware of the cutting issues and have taken the steps to correct the problem. Please be assured that this is not indicative of our usual fine quality. New bundles will be shipped to retailers beginning in August. At that time, you would be able to exchange them, and the retailer would then contact us for credit.
    Lisa Shepard Stewart / Marcus Fabrics

    1. "We apologize for your difficulties" hardly seems like a very heartfelt, remorseful apology. And thanks so much for telling me I can exchange it at the retailer. I kind of already knew that. I don't want an exchange, though, as I don't want to deal with this Marcus Fabrics again. So, thanks, but no thanks.

  16. I've stopped buying pre-cut strips, there are too many of these issues. I will buy charm squares or layer cakes - but I always "trim" them and check them first. It's easy to do with a square, not so much with a 2 1/2 in. strip that is a wobbly 2 1/4. Good on you for getting the word out there - we pay a premium for good quilt fabric and should be able to expect quality!

  17. I have had a couple of charm packs and a jelly roll from Moda with wonky cuts. For the prices we pay for pre-cuts they should definitely be accurate. They are supposed to be die-cut by machine, not by monkeys.

  18. Oh my gosh! What a headache. :( I've only picked up a couple of charm packs before, and since I have to wash everything first (systemic issues with the sizing), then iron it all, I've never used them as-is. I would have been so upset with these problems!

  19. Okay, Everyone, I want you to know that Marcus Fabrics has responded to my email and even gone so far as to make a personal phone call to me. They recalled this particular kit because there was a problem with the cutting, and they have offered to send me a new, different kind of kit in order to try their product again.

    Hancocks also offered me a complete refund in the form of a store credit even though this was not in any way their fault. I refused it and they still insist that I at least have free shipping on my next order. I doubt I'll take them up on that either, but I will shake the hand of Justin Hancock the next time I'm in Paducah!

    I want you to know that I rarely write complaint letters or emails. I DO however write praise letters to stores and companies as often as possible because I really really like doing that!!

  20. Oh Sandy, what a bummer. I agree their "so sorry" was like a pat on the head to a child. Now go out and play. Why is it that I have to be a bitch about something to get the customer service I should have gotten in the fist place? Glad you stuck to your principles. I think I would have caved and taken a new kit just to put them to the trouble of sending it to me.