Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My 2016 Kit Conundrum

One of my resolutions stated in my quilting goals for 2016 was,
     Assess my kits stash; limit impulse kit purchases to two maximum in 2016.
It was a rather stupid goal. Goals should be to do something, not to not do something.

Being optimistic, I had not figured out nor elaborated on what I would do if I had not met this goal and the year was not yet over. How do you undo doing something in order to still be able to achieve a goal? I had to rethink. The spirit of the goal was kit reduction. I needed to decrease my stash quilt kits by sewing up, giving away, or repurposing more than I had bought. See how good I am at rationalizing and wriggling out of something?

Well, I have bought three kits, sewn up two, and repurposed a third so I guess I am dead even, although counting the repurposing as a completion may be cheating a bit. I repurposed a kit titled Tessellation Zigzag. I recognize that my original purchase incentive had been the clearance markdown price. The kit was priced at less money than the fabric alone cost would have cost, plus it included a pattern. I liked the primary colorway and the concept of tessellation has always intrigued me. The kit has been sitting in my closet for years, I do not know exactly how long ago, but at least as far back as when fabric was around $8 per yard.

These were the fabrics that came in the kit.

There was a half yard of eight of them and a fat quarter of the purple. I folded each in my standard configuration for storage and segregated the batiks, on the right.

The one yard of batik fabric included for the wide border is really wild!

Then I opened up and read the pattern and had a bonus surprise. The pattern was for a paper-less chain paper-piecing technique that I did not know existed and to which I had never been exposed. I am curious to try it! Lesson learned: explore those kits that you buy for "someday" as soon as you get them. You may be seduced into doing them sooner.

I love the look of batiks but I am not a fan of working with them. I once bound a quilt with a batik and the weave was so tight I had to buy special needles to puncture it. My poor fingers hurt so from sewing on the binding by hand. As many years as I have sewn, I have never been able to get used to using a thimble. I will be sure not deploy any of these batiks as a binding fabric.

I have repurposed kits in the past. Here is one from a kit of batik fat quarters. I titled it Color Play of the Day's and blogged about its completion in my July 13, 2013 post.  The original kit is shown on the left with a French Braid pattern. I used all thirty fat quarters contained in the kit but with a totally different pattern, Dash in the Box from A Quilter's Dream. My repurposed version is shown on the right. It is the quilt with the batik binding that did in my fingers.

The three quilt kits I bought this year are Hedge Maze to expose me to Kaffe Fassett prints, Pixie Sticks to initiate me to using solids, and a study in blue and white Dresden Plate variation that will absolutely go with my living room couch. I had a reason to buy each - not just  the lure of a low price.

The two that I completed are Overlapping Squares 48" x 48" (June 8, 2016) and Orange and Grey 40" x 50" (August 10, 2016)

So now I have three and a half months to reduce my kits stash. With the busy holiday season, will I be able to sew up another kit... especially since I have master bedroom and family room drapes ahead of a kit project on my to-do-next list? Quite a kit conundrum. Aha! I have an idea. My daughter is a quilter. Perhaps I can gift her a quilt kit for Christmas, reducing my stash by one! Oh, no! What if she gifts me a quilt kit for Christmas?

I better get to sewing, not blogging. Right after I check out Let's Bee Social #142. Things there are happy, happy, happy this week!


  1. No! Do NOT gift our daughter with a quilt kit!!! ...Although I guess it would be a fair turnabout after you called me down to talk you OUT of the aviatrix medallion last year, and I talked you into it. But I too am developing quite the stash of quilt kits that seemed critical at the time, but now just seem like one more thing to do. So I think we should *probably* call a truce... unless I see something I like when I'm out in December ;-)

    I don't think it's "rationalizing" to refine a vaguely stated goal, but it probably is fair to say you missed your goal this year, and come at it next year with a more specific goal and genuine room for improvement. I think repurposing counts, as long as you actually USE some of the repurposed fabric for a project. I have used batiks but never as a binding, I realize... I'm surprised it was so uncomfortable! I do love the quilts you made from kits this year, and I hope you can squeeze a third in!!!

    1. Sigh. I guess I did miss my "no more than two kits goal this year". I was just weazling to say it was vaguely stated. It was clearly stated and I blew it! You were right to call me on it. I will think through next year's goals more thoroughly.

    2. On second reading, you did specifically say "IMPULSE buys" so, there's your out if you need it. Maybe these were carefully studied acquisitions! I always try to balance my fabric buys with project completions, because then that fabulous new quilt line is my carrot for completing the WIP that is giving me pains; so I think "sew more kits than I buy" might be a good goal that lets you trim your kit stash without depriving yourself so starkly.