Becoming a Rockstar Quilter


I refuse to purchase a quilt kit. 



America's Pictorial QuiltsWhen I wrote my first quilt book back in the early 1980’s, my editor at the American Quilter’s Society asked me to include some patterns in the book.  I said no then.  America’s Pictorial Quilts features individual quilts made by individual quilters.   No two quilts are alike, and you’d be hard pressed to find a duplicate anywhere that is exactly the same.

I believe in individuality.  One of the reasons I enjoy quilting so much is that there are thousands and thousands of colors and patterns of fabric available to choose from.  You don’t look like me (for which you should be grateful).  Your house doesn’t look like mine.  Why should your quilt look like mine?

I understand that there are patterns available for quilts.  I have drafted patterns myself, and offer patterns free on this site for the Block of the Month Calendar project.  But you will never, I repeat, NEVER see me offer a pattern AND the exact same fabric to make a clone like mine.  I don’t believe in clones.

When you go to a quilt show, look around at the BEST quilts you see.  They are usually not clones.  They were designed by a quilter, sewed by the quilter, and painstakingly worked on to create the beautiful item you see hanging before you.  Chances are, that quilter has made many quilts before that are just as unique, and will continue to make unique quilts after this one is taken home and tucked away.

We are amazed at the phenomenal quilts by Caryl Bryer Fallert.  Why doesn’t she have quilt kits for her work?   Because it takes away that which makes her work uniquely hers.  And why would we WANT a quilt kit for anything she has made?  In my opinion, the clone is never as good as the original.  If I bought a kit and made a clone, it would be a pathetic attempt at best.  I’d rather drool over Caryl’s work and own a book that features her quilts than try and replicate one myself!

I remember when I went to my senior prom, I was upset because my mom had made my dress.  Nobody I knew had their mom make their dress, and it embarrassed me.  Not that mom wasn’t a good seamstress, because she was, and the dress was beautiful. But it was home-made.  Several gals had on identical dresses in the same color from the same store, and they all looked alike.  They were angry that someone had worn THEIR dress!  I didn’t have that worry.  Nobody had a dress like mine!  I was unique! 

I encourage you to keep creating quilts that nobody else has made.  Take a traditional pattern if you wish, but do something cool and jazzy with it that puts YOUR spin on it.  Or make up a pattern of your own and run with it.  Do something different!  Do something YOU!

I realize that kits are made for people who might not otherwise make a quilt on their own.  I know they serve a purpose.  But I don’t have to like them.

How do you feel about quilt kits?  Have you ever made a quilt from a kit?  Did you like it?

Chime in with your two cents.   Leave a comment below, or send me a direct message on Twitter.twitter

6 thoughts on “Becoming a Rockstar Quilter

  1. I can't afford a quilt kit, but I'd sure like to own one…. and make the quilt. Why?

    This would be a quilt to give away. It would be the kind of “brainless” kind of quilt making…. Follow directions, fabric's right in front of you. No thinking quilting. Somedays, that's what I crave! LOL


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually got interested in quilting from a small “quilt kit” from Joann Fabrics. I put it in quotations because it was merely a blanket when I was done, there was no batting, no quilting, etc, just a pieced top and a back. It gave me the bug, though! After that I bought a book about quilts, and started collecting pretty fabrics whenever I could, and although I am still a beginner and still learning, I like what I am making 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree 100% with you Caron and have posted similar comments on forums I belong to. Nothing is more boring then to go to a quilt show and to see the same quilt pattern replicated in the same fabrics. At least quilts from a class or workshop has different fabrics involved but kits with patterns mean their are other quilts (as you so adroitly nail it) clones out there.

    I think quilt kits supress our creativity and repress our skills.



  4. I don't have a problem with quilt kits – they do have their place in the quilting world. For me they are just not right for every situation. Sometimes you just need a 'no-brainer' project. Or perhaps you are making a gift for someone where the fabric choices are completely out of your comfort zone . . . enter the kit. *ta da*
    But I will never turn to kits for all of my quilt design needs. Stash building and selecting fabrics for a project is just TOO fun. But don't get me started on pre-cuts . . . I'm having some serious issues with their addition to the quilting world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to agree, that it is so nice to do your own thing with your own fabrics and put your own spin on your quilts.
    But I also agree with Libby, I have found that a kit is a great thing even for me on the right occasion when I was in a hurry and before I got better at choosing fabrics and colours.
    Some people will never be confident enough to choose their own fabric so kits will help them join the world of quilting in their way.
    But I am glad that I am able to “spin” my own quilts now even if I still mostly follow a pattern…


  6. Oh a tremendous three cheers for you!!! We are all individuals and making work that speak of us is what art is all about!! I have met you thru Sara at Art in Stitches and I ahve seen the wonderful Decision QUilt that she has made featuring the lovely faces of Caron!!!
    I love your blog and I will be back!!!!
    Quilt on! Youar esuch an inspiration!!!!
    Best Regards!


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