Quilting Blog

Are You For or Against Quilt Kits? The Debate Starts Here!

Do you prefer working with a quilt kit, or choosing your own fabrics?

While some quilters say having a quilt kit inspires their creativity and gets them sewing quicker, others feel it limits their options. Either way you look at it, there’s an option for every type of quilter!

Moda Somerset Sweet 16

A quilt kit typically includes a pattern and specially selected fabric, with all the yardage you need to make a specific quilt. This may be pre-cuts from a particular fabric collection, or an assortment of fat quarters and yardage from different designers that work well together.

We wanted to hear your thoughts about the pros and cons of using quilt kits, and here’s what you had to say:

Pro: Quilt design included

Do you ever struggle to decide what quilt design to make next? And then, you have to wonder about what fabrics would go well with that pattern?

LynnEl S. says, “I love quilt kits! If the pattern and design are something I love, I will buy the kit. Otherwise, I’m good with making my own pattern, design and buying fabric. Oh heck, I love buying fabric no matter what!”

Lisa T. agrees. “If I use a kit it’s because it sings to me,” she says. “I use pre-cuts if I’m doing something fast. I haven’t totally gone to the dark side yet in just doing improv, but I’m sticking my toe in.”

Con: Don’t get to pick your own fabric

Is picking fabric your favorite part of quiltmaking? You’re not alone!

“I don’t buy kits because picking the fabric is my favorite part of making a quilt,” says Kathy S. “Sometimes I make my own patterns, and sometimes I use a published pattern. I rarely follow the pattern exactly because I like to add my own twists.”

Rayna G. agrees. “I work without a kit, without a pattern, and without planning ahead,” she says. “Admittedly, when I started quilting 40 years ago I used patterns, but that stopped decades ago. Why would I ever want someone else to pick out my fabrics for me?”Charming Baby Quilt Kit

Pro: Ideal fabrics for the quilt

There are many people, like Rosemarie W., who like both approaches. “If success is heavily dependent on the fabrics (hues and/or values) then I prefer a kit,” she says. “Otherwise, I am using my stash. I have too much fabric and a self-imposed moratorium on purchasing more.”

Con: Limited flexibility

On the other end of the spectrum, quilt kits can be considered a creative limitation by those who prefer to choose their own fabrics and pattern.

“I don’t do kits. If I occasionally end up with a pre-cut, it ends up getting chopped up and thrown in with my scraps. I really feel limited creatively otherwise,” says Ivy B.

Cherita D. agrees. “I prefer to either create my own pattern or pick one out and have tons of fun with picking out the right fabric for me,” she says.The Birds and the Bees Quilt Kit

Pro: Cost efficient and flexible

Oftentimes, quilt kits include a generous amount of fabric for the price. Getting the pattern as part of the package can save a quilter big bucks!

“I have bought kits from local stores,” says Diana A. “I’ve made them and found them to be generally generous with the fabrics they provide. Sometimes you can’t beat a design that’s all there for you!”

And let’s not forget that there are no quilt police telling you that you have to use the fabrics in a certain way.

Con: Pressure to make a quilt exactly like the sample

Let’s say you love the fabrics, but don’t like the quilt design. You may feel bullied by the “quilt police” to make a quilt that’s exactly like the sample. As a solution to this dilemma, many quilters add the kit fabrics to their stash!

Susan S. says “I do prefer to pick my own fabric, but have been known to buy a kit because I liked the fabric, and then I use it in a completely different project.”

Amanda B. also uses the fabrics in quilt kits her own way. “I have bought (and been given) a few kits, but I don’t think I’ve ever put them together following the kit. I just used the fabric how I wanted or added it to my stash,” she says.Cotton + Steel Glass Half Full Quilt Kit

Pro: Quick, easy projects

Have you ever needed a break from tedious quilting projects and wanted something more carefree? “I like kits and precuts for a fast project when I don’t need to think,” says Jennie H.

Shelly G. has sewn several quilts from a kit, and has a couple more kit UFOs. Though she often prefers picking her own fabrics and letting it ‘tell her’ what it wants to be, she says, “The kits I have made were fabulous or I wouldn’t have made them!”

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If you are ready to find a quilt kit that sings to you, check out all of Craftsy’s quilt kits here! Or, if quilt kits just aren’t for you, visit our fabric yardage and create your own sample pack of new favorites.

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21 Comments

Julie Abraham

Another good thing about buying a kit is that it prevents your stash from growing out of control! You should end up with very little remaining fabric.

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Karen@

That’s assuming that you use your kit and don’t just add it to your stash! 🙂 I enjoy taking quilt kits on quilt retreats because I don’t have to design in a group or bring more fabric than I’m planning to use.

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maureen

I find selecting coordinating fabrics for quilts and other sewing projects challenging. Kits help me learn that skill by seeing what other creative folks pull together

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Lori

If I ever wanted to do a fast quilt and loved the fabric in the kit, I would get a fabric kit. I think it is great for a lot of people. I, personally, do not love quilt kits because I like picking my own fabric and most of the time like to choose my own design. That is the challenge for me, coming up with designs.

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Joan Lomas

I’ve only had one quilt kit so far, but I did not use the kit pattern, I made my own design, just different squares and went from there. Now I’ve used patterns from Pat Sloan’s BOMs. Others, I’ve looked at a pattern and changed it around with my own ideas. Kits give you a lot of fabric at one time. That’s what I like the best.

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Melissa Terhune

I do both! I live way out in the country and getting to a fabric store is a 2 hour drive. If I see a quilt kit I love (especially in the winter when the roads are snowy and icy) I buy it. During the summer, I go to town more often and I buy more fabric then. I don’t limit myself either way. I buy what I love, kit or not. If I feel like changing something in a kit or pattern, I do.

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laurie36

I would never buy a kit, since I want all my quilts to be unique.

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Nancy

As someone who used to work at a quilt shop I have a wonderful stash of fabrics. however I find adding precut strips gives me a chance to move out of my comfort zone with a wider variety of fabrics and colors without breaking the bank. And I am trying my first kit as it turned out to be an economical way to work on the blocks as I take my first online class. I think it offers a quilter the best of both worlds to be able to have these options. I started quilting in the eighties and I remeber being looked down upon by those who thought using a sewing machine to piece and quilt was not acceptable. There is room for everyone in todays quilting community. It is a wonderfulk time to be a quilter.

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Tweela

Kits were a wonderful way to start my quilting “journey” as, initially, I had little confidence in picking colors or in coordinating fabrics. Kits are also a great way to make complex quilts with many, many fabrics as it would be very expensive to buy the fabric required separately. If I REALLY love a kit pattern, I can use it again, or parts of it, to make another quilt. Now I almost never buy kits but I am very glad to have had them to encourage, to introduce new techniques and to bring a sense of accomplishment when first starting out.

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Linda

I’ll currently only buy a kit if I like the pattern and the fabric in it AND the “fabric will be the actual fabric shown.” I have been reluctant to buy kits, this is my limited experience. In the first kit I bought, the fabric choices were fine but the fabric was cut so poorly I had to pull from my stash because the supplied pieces weren’t big enough. In one kit bought from the pattern/ fabric designer the fabric was as shown and was adequate to make the project. One kit was exact fabric shown and generous. And the last kit, I loved the design and trusted this well-known on-line & brick and mortar fabric store when they said it was kitted by them and was the same colorway…NOT. It was a scrappy, primitive type star wallhanging and the supplied reds were 5 fabrics from the same French General line and one out of place bright red. Whoever kitted it must have been color blind. Makes me seriously question why I would ever buy another kit.

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Andrea

I would love to use a kit, I think it would be a learning experience and then you could use the pattern and make your on design. I have found it is less expensive to just buy material on sale at my local fabric shop. Kits are so expensive. One day I (with fixed income) will hopefully be able to purchase a kit I want! Thanks

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Jen

I like both, I’m very much still in the beginner phase so I think kits can give you a bit more confidence because you don’t have to work out yardage as you would for your own designs and they are a good way of learning different blocks in a way where you know what the end product will look like. I also like the convenience that they offer as I can just get sewing, it encourages you to try different things too.

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Charlotta Norby

There’s a time for everything! Even for kits – some kits, at least! But most of the time, by far, I prefer to pick my own fabrics.

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Kaholly

Ive only used one quilt kit so far, but I was delighted to have it when I’d lost my mojo but still needed to sew. It was all right there. I didn’t need to think! I just cut and sewed.

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Lorena

I love the versatility of quilt kits, and will continue to buy them. I would like the option to buy coordinating fabric that I might used for borders, and binding

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Marlene

I like kits as I’ve found it saves me time and often money trying to find fabrics for that pattern but I have no problem trading out one of the fabrics for something I have in my stash. I do like being able to buy coordinating fabrics for the backing and binding.

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T. Milabar

I happen to like both. When I purchase a kit it is usually because I love the pattern and fabric both. I love to pick my own fabric also. You do tend to buy fabric you don’t need. An individual should try both. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Challenge yourself.

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Sue

I haven’t yet done a kit, but I wouldn’t hesitate if I needed to start something quickly (like a gift for a particular event). I love picking out fabrics for a quilt, but I spend hours to days to weeks agonizing over them–do they really go together? A kit would sidestep that.

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Doreen S

I’ve never used a kit to make a quilt. I think it is a good idea for someone just learning to make a quilt or if you have to make a quilt in a hurry. But I would feel like I was cheating. When I say I made it, I mean I made the whole quilt myself from scratch. No one else picked out the fabric or cut out the pieces for me, or quilted it and put on the binding, I did it all myself!

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Linda K

A few years ago, I bought a kit locally, with a promise of classes & help. The fabrics didn’t match and the instructions were confusing. I went back for help and a different person was at the counter. I was told to figure it out. Or use the fabric for something else. That kit is still sitting there. I know craftsy will stand by the kit that goes with the class, but I’m too nervous. Really funny when you know I’m sewing my own, isn’t it? I think I’d buy a kit when I get some of my stash used up. (30+ years collecting 6 large trash bags full!)

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Runwita

I’ve purchased one of the Van Gogh kits from Craftsy but haven’t started it yet–my first. I have created from books, selecting my own fabrics. I use panels for baby gifts, wall hangings for quick gifts, but mostly to practice machine quilting patterns, especially for wholecloth quilt designs. Why limit my options?

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