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Kits - Make Your Own

Kits - Make Your Own

Old 04-23-2021, 12:36 PM
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Default Kits - Make Your Own

When/If you make up a quilt kit -

How "ready to sew" is it?

Do you have something very specific in mind?

Do you just gather fabrics that you think will go together? (Which is probably what I would do - washed, of course)

Are your fabrics washed or unwashed?

With a pattern? Without a pattern?

Do you have the pieces cut and ready to sew together?

Do you include thread, batting, backing, and binding fabrics?

Just wondering - - - -

Last edited by bearisgray; 04-23-2021 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:48 PM
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I do like to kit up projects. And it varies as to how far I go. Often I just put the fabric and pattern in a bag. Some times, I will cut the pieces out too and sometimes, I will prep 2-3 quilts this way. Then when I get ready to sew, I can just sew away. Actually I did this a couple of time this winter as I was using my sewing cabinet as a cutting area for both my accuquilt and my cutting matt and rotary cutter so it was easier to set it up and then do as much as I could before switching over again. When I get the top made, I like to prep the backing, batting, binding, and pick out the thread and bundle them together. Right now I have three quilts prepped that way. Just needs to warm up a bit and I will start loading one on the longarm.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:52 PM
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I have my fabrics washed and pressed and everything cut. Then, depending on the kind of quilt it is, I might make some units or sub-units, whatever will fit best with the least amount of folding in a plastic grocery bag, which I then store in boxes of a size that I can easily manage, about four or five kits to a box.

So for a quilt made of largish equilateral triangles, for example, I won't sew anything together, I'll just lay out the quilt on the wall, and take down the pieces in row order and label them. With a small piece quilt like a Bonnie Hunter quilt, I'll make the units that constitute a block. I started doing this at first because I was impatient to get my stash organized, but I recently realized it's also a great way to have a supply of leader/ender projects on hand.
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Old 04-23-2021, 12:58 PM
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Depending on what I am doing, I may be collecting fabric for years/months. I try to prewash my fabric as I get it, that when it is ready when I want to use it. However, since I really don't like to iron, I put a lot of that off so always seem to end up with needed prewashes.

For me it is "kitted" when the pattern is selected and all fabric is gathered and washed, and any special notions or tools are bought. Everything is placed together, sometimes in a bag, but it is official when it is in a project box. Even when I'm working at home and not taking the project out of the house, it travels a lot inside and I keep everything in the box as much as possible. So I'm typically am pinning while watching tv in the bedroom with the hubby, cutting at the dining room table, etc.

It is "in process" once cuts are made into the fabric. I prefer to do all one stage of a process at a time, so ideally I cut however many strips or pieces I need and only those go back into the box. Sometimes though it does make more sense to do sub-units or other breakdowns instead of everything at once! The remaining fabric is usually kept together until the top is completed, just in case I need to go back. If I have enough room in the box, I keep it in there in a bag at the bottom, otherwise it just stays out until I'm done.

One really positive thing I can say about Bonnie Hunter projects is that I improve my organizational skills immensely each time! I now have all sorts of clamps (big and small) and baggies and all sorts of ways to keep things neat and organized even through weeks of a project.

It's dated 2019 -- but here's a thread where I showed some of my boxes going together. Modern Cat still remains where it was, the Bonnie Hunter Frolic top was completed but has not yet been quilted down.
Project Boxes
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:47 PM
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I make myself lots of kits!!! (Sometimes I get carried away! )

I put in a SUPERSIZE ziplock bag:
  • the quilt cut-out (usually just the blocks and I do the border later unless it's a fancy pieced something)
    • if the blocks are all the same I will stack each type of piece together (2 inch squares, triangles etc..). I separate these with sheets of cardstock.
    • if the blocks are different I collect the pieces for 1 block together. These I separate with sheets of cardstock
  • Pattern (book, drawing, printout, etc...)
  • Test block (if I made one)
  • Notes about pressing instructions - I've learned the hard way to spend time thinking about how to press each block before I sew all of them! Sometimes I do this at a later stage, but often when I make a test block.
  • Smaller ziplock bag with leftover bits from cutting (in case I need to patch something up or I miss-counted)
  • Larger cuts of fabric leftover from cutting that I might use for border, binding, or backing
I don't cut the batting until I'm done with the top. And I also usually corral additional fabric for backing after I assemble the top.

I have 5 or 6 kits in my closet calling to me right now!
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:58 PM
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Really good question, Bearisgray. I don't think I've ever made up everything into a kit before starting a quilt. I do like having things all sorted, fabric all washed and ironed, thread selected and some bobbins filled and ready, sewing area more or less all picked up and other projects put away. Such a pampered feeling to get up in the morning and have it all set up and ready to go. But. Does. My. Brain. Work. Like. That? Nooo! First I've got to study the pattern backwards and forwards, pick it all apart, find another way to do the blocks, even when the prescribed way is just fine, usually change the block size just because, on and on. Sew some test blocks with some old ugly practice fabric because I haven't washed the good stuff yet. And then the self doubt and frustration start to kick in. Did I do the math right? Better not start cutting until I'm sure and Yah, you should have washed the fabric so why are you even thinking about cutting. Did you buy enough? Are you sure those colors are going to look right? Do you even know what you're doing? Maybe you should get out in the yard and do some weeding. Or mess up another cross stitch. So good at that.
Once I fight my way past all that, sometimes it gets on a smooth roll and the magic happens. Then I don't talk about what I'm working on with anybody. I don't know, superstition? If somebody knows about it will it turn sour and all wind up in a UFO box? Well, okay, my hubby can see what I'm doing. Poor guy, he's very careful, nods and smiles, Heh Heh, then runs for cover.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:03 AM
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To Kit or not to Kit? I have had some kits sit for so long that dust gathered. Therefore, I I only kit one or may be two that I know I have tine and drive to accomplish. I have a little spiral book that I keep as my quilting history and plans. That helps. As I get all excited and inspired, I will write down my plan, snips of fabrics and any calculations for the finished quilt. When I am ready to start, the plans have been laid out and all I need to do is pull the fabric and get cutting. If the inspiration melts into the fog, the I have not created anything more than plans which can be reaccessed at a later date. Seems to work for me! My mind is always planning faster than my blade can cut and my machine can sew.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:21 AM
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I don't make kits, but I group fabrics together on the shelf as I collect them for a future (unplanned) project. I have a section of shelving for "collections" of fabrics. Shelving/organizing wrapped magazine boards has been a challenge. Can't really sort by color because most is in blue family. So, I have seashell-ish fabrics section, fish-y section, striped section, 108" wide section, etc.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:25 AM
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Another interesting thread Bear...I have never kitted a project but have been envious of some of our QB members who do it successfully. I plan a project when the time is right (after I have finished the last project) then I proceed with finding a pattern and selecting or purchasing fabric...

for the first time, I have been cutting strips from my scrap bin and putting them in a craft box. I plan to work on a scrappy quilt this summer from Amanda Nyberg’s book No Scrap Left Behind.
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Old 04-24-2021, 04:42 AM
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I have never kitted a project, but think that is a great idea! Someday I plan to switch to making donation quilts and will probably do that at that point. I store wip’s in clear plastic containers that were meant to store shoes. I am in the unwashed group and haven’t had a problem with that. I use a hot steam iron liberally, so maybe that is why. As time goes on though, I find I go through Kleenex like crazy when I am in my sewing room, so washing would surely help that situation! I love sewing with purchased kits, with a pattern, but for the most part I see a quilt that I like and get the graph paper out and work from that. Thanks for the thread..it is such a help to see how others operate and to to adopt new methods that are tried and true!
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