Monday, November 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Quilt Kits

I tend to be a little eclectic in what I enjoy in quilts. I love wild, free form design but also enjoy a perfectly pieced vintage style quilt. I also have wide likes when it comes to quilting cottons....from traditional calicos to more graphic designs. In the past couple of weeks I have had a chance to indulge in both desires and thus 'A Tale of Two Quilts Kits' is born.

A while back I was in Sunflower Quilts and saw the cutest wall hangings. Each had a large picture of kids doing typical kid things like sailing a boat on a pond or walking to school. The style was very 40's looking and I thought they were quite charming. Come to find out most of the quilt was pre-printed with not only the central picture but several borders as well. Among quilters, this is called cheater cloth as the only thing you need to do is quilt it without the hours of piecing little bits of fabric.

A couple of weeks ago I saw that the kits were on sale for half off and I picked up a basic one, without additional borders. Hey, half price and cute... how could I go wrong? Well, I didn't go wrong. What do you think?
I think its really quite cute when finished and, although you can't see it in the photo, I got a chance to quilt with a shimmering metallic on the water part. I have sent it off to a friend for her grandson. At only 36" x 36", its more of a nap or drag-around quilt than a bed quilt. I hope he enjoys it even if it doesn't go with his contemporary themed room.

That was quilt kit number one. Simple, to the point and actually looks good. Quilt kit number two is a whole other story.

After working on the first one I remembered that I had another quilt kit in the house that I had bought several years ago to go with my living room couch. Not a cheater quilt but pretty simple piecing. Here is the cover sheet:
And here is what I produced:

Pretty different right? I learned a couple of lessons on this kit. First of all, when the packaging says similar fabrics to the photo, check carefully that they are even close. Do you see any red in my quilt? Also, don't assume that you can actually produce the picture on the cover when what you are given can't produce the number and type of blocks required. In this case, the cover picture had 49 blocks, 24 of one style of block and 25 of another. The fabric given would only make 18 of one and 30 of another. Such a pain! I have not quilted it yet and that might take a while as I need to find some backing that won't feel like I am wasting it on a mediocre project.

So that's my tale - one cheater quilt that worked that I thought was cute but not in love with, one I thought was a little edgy and I was in love with... now the reverse - the cheater I am in love with and the edgy one is now on my hate list.

Lesson learned - Love and hate are two sides of the same coin, its the flip that can change it ... or the kit makers.


Paula said...

Very beautiful quilts!

Martha said...

A realy nice little nap quilt for a very precious 2 1/2 year old. It will be given to Alex on Thanksgiving from his "Auntie Alice and the pooch who was named after him". Thanks Al