I refuse to purchase a quilt kit.
When 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.