What is a "Quilt Kit"?
Written by: Sam Wright
Quilt kits are great gift options for the hardcore quilters in your life. They can also help motivate you to get a head start on a new quilting project thanks to their convenient packaging and components. However, if you're a seasoned craftsperson, you might not see the need to use a kit or even understand why they're so popular. While we certainly hope our beautiful collection of quilt kits will change your mind, learning about them might soften even the most traditional and self-sufficient of quilters.
A quilt kit generally includes a pattern and specially selected fabrics needed to make a specific quilt. Each kit may consist of precuts, which are a great option for the quilter who often ends up tossing expensive fabric after trying to cut the perfect shape (we've all been there). Other kits have a variety of fat quarters and yardage from different designers like Robert Kaufman or Moda Fabrics. If you're one of those crazy people that actually enjoy cutting your own fabric, not to worry: Some quilt kits have uncut fabric, which we'll touch on later.
Why Buy a Quilt Kit?
1. You Get What You See
When you visit your local quilt shop, you might see a finished product on display. It's perfect, of course, and you want to recreate that same spectacular design. The challenge comes in finding the right fabrics and designs to craft the creation of your dreams. Hunting on Etsy or Amazon might leave you with subpar substitutes, and by that point, the project doesn't seem worth the effort.
Quilt kits can solve this problem for you since they're packaged with the fabrics already in them. All these kits differ, and it's important to note they're not exact replicas of whatever you see in a magazine. Since fabrics might be discontinued while you're planning your life-size quilt replica of a Pinterest picture, your kit might have close matches instead of exact copies. Still, a good shop will create kits with quilt blocks and fabrics that are as close to the original as possible.
2. Quilt Kits Can Be Expensive
Another reason to choose a quilt kit is the price. When following a quilt pattern, you'll likely purchase more of a fabric than you'll need because the pattern calls for a certain amount. The pattern was created to coincide with the measurements your local chain store or shop uses. In short, the pattern might call for 1/4 or 1/2 a yard of fabric when far less will suffice. A quilt kit will have the right quantity of precut fabric, so you don't have to waste time and money with extra fabrics.
3. Boost Your Quilting Confidence
The third reason to buy a quilt kit is confidence. Remember the trial-and-error quilter we mentioned — the one who accidentally wastes way more fabric than they mean to? We've all experienced that unfortunate waste, and it's all too easy to let your hesitation to buy extra or not enough take over when you visit the fabric store. Consequently, you might purchase fabric and realize when you get home that it's not quite right — too short or too long, not enough or far too much. Quilting kits help you avoid this maddening cycle by giving you exactly what you need and guiding you through the process of creating your masterpiece, from creating the quilt top to adding the backing fabric.
How Are Quilt Kits Put Together?
At Stitchin’ Heaven, quilt kits are put together by our fabric specialist and go through a simple but unique process.
Step 1: Quilt or pattern is chosen for production as a quilt kit.
Step 2: A fabric specialist will pull the recommended fabrics for the kit.
Step 3. The fabric specialist will then have a designated secondary specialist approve the fabric.
Step 4. Once approved by the secondary fabric specialist, the fabrics are then submitted to the production manager for final approval.
Step 5. Fabrics are cut according to the fabric requirement listed on the pattern.
If we look at the above quilt, we can follow the process of choosing the fabrics and putting the quilt together.
Fabric Selection: We Do All The Work For You.
In your kit, we’ll choose enough fabrics to provide you with a real variety.
They’ll all be selected and ready for your burst of inspiration. We don’t know about you, but we don’t have a ton of fabrics in our personal stash, and even if we did, we’d rather not burn time by pulling them all out of storage and cutting them down to size.
Same thing with the dark fabrics in this one. We’ve chosen dark fabrics in the fabric colors to make this quilt for you.
Then we have the light, thin fabric, and the dark, thin fabric. It’s clearly labeled.
And we have the border print.
In this kit, we also have the muslin you need to make this, which it calls for on the pattern.
So, that’s just an idea. In your quilt kit, you’re going to get a photo of the quilt to guide you, too.
You’re also going to get the fabric for the quilt top, so that means the fabric for the piecing — in this case, it’s the muslin. You have the borders and the binding for the quilt and, last but certainly not least, the pattern.
Is The Pattern Included?
90% of the time, the pattern is included.
However, we do have some kits that don't include the pattern. This typically happens because the pattern is a common and popular one or because it can easily be found in a book most quilters have on hand.
How do you know what's included in your kit?
Generally, you can find fabric and a pattern in a quilt kit but not other tools or items like a jelly roll or embellishments. Some do have charm packs, and others focus on simple patterns with unique designs, like crochet.
The fact that kits are relatively simple doesn't mean your options are limited. Ombre quilting kits exist to give your next gift a little flair, and brands like Riley Blake sell their own designs too. Other kits have batik fabrics, which are woven with a tighter thread and work well for appliques.
Besides cotton batik, a multi-seasonal and colorful gem for any project, you might also find wool or linen in a kit. These fabrics are great depending on what you'll need the quilt for. If you're gifting a throw to a friend in Maine, the wool throw might be your best bet. A linen quilt, on the other hand, will be better suited to warm climates and seasons.
If you’re buying online, the quilt kit’s description will tell you what you’re getting. If you’re in one of our stores, we have a sticker on the back of the item that shows you exactly what’s in the kit. It’s really important to read this little label because it will tell you whether or not the pattern is included. If it isn’t, you might need to purchase it separately. Of course, as fellow crafters, we’re going to disclose that to you so you don’t get home, pull out your sewing machine, and think to yourself, “Darn, I don’t have a pattern.” It stinks, we know.
The Most Common Quilt Kits
Your standard quilt kit is what we described above. A standard quilt kit comes with just the materials you'll need to cut and sew your project based on the pattern recommendations. Standard quilt kits are great, especially if you don’t mind cutting all the pieces required. Keep a rotary cutter on hand for this process, since you want all your pieces to be even and neat.
Precut Quilt kits are fantastic. Precut kits provide all the required fabric and materials; however, the fabric is cut to the recommendations within the pattern. If you're a quilter who hates the cutting process, then precut kits are best for you.
Precut kits are a good choice for those who have arthritis in their wrist, have a disability or just aren't able to use scissors or a rotary cutter any longer.
Scrap Crazy Kits
We absolutely recommend Scrap Crazy quilts. If you're looking for simple projects or a quick quilt to make on a long plane ride, Scrap Crazy Quilts Kits are your best choice. They can be done in a day and are great to motivate you to take on a larger project. The only tool you need (besides the fabric) is the Creative Grids 8-inch Scrap Crazy 8 Template and the Stitchin’ Heaven Helper Tool.
If you've been reading our blog for any amount of time, you probably know we're crazy about Scrap Crazy. We absolutely recommend watching the tutorial on Scrap Crazy and considering these excellent kits for your next DIY project. You won't regret it!
Quilt kits are wonderful products located at your local quilt store or even in an online shop. Kits provide you with all the materials needed to produce your quilt, are less expensive, and remove the confusion about whether you picked up all the right materials in the right size when you were in the shop. There are quilts for almost any project, whether you decide to create a quilted table runner or a cuddle-worthy pillow.
At Stitchin’ Heaven, our fabric specialists work diligently to pick the best fabrics and colors, allowing you to make the best quilt. Sure, you might be a little hesitant to buy a kit with precut fabric, especially if you like to wing it and embrace your creativity. Still, it’s important for all quilters to understand and see the value of a quilt kit.