I love it when someone asks me a question. Why? Because I never really know when I'm writing a blog post whether I'm giving you too much information, not enough information, or talking about stuff nobody but me is interested in. So when someone asks a question, I know I'm touching on something that's of interest, and I can explain without feeling like I'm wasting everyone's time.
The other day I mentioned I had kitted up the Vintage Christmas block of the month pattern by Bunny Hill. Here's what the finished quilt will look like:
Bella Pink asked me about the "kitting up" process, so I thought I'd write a post about it. Bella Pink said she has a lot of fabric set aside for specific projects, and she feels that if she could kit up those projects, it should free up some of that fabric for other uses.
I think block of the month ("BOM") projects, and specifically applique projects, truly lend themselves to kitting. In the past, I've participated in a couple of BOM quilts through the Fat Quarter Shop and other shops, and for those, I would receive an envelope each month that contained the fabrics I needed for that month's section. What I often do is much like that.
A friend of mine wanted to make the Vintage Christmas quilt and it was one I liked too, so for her birthday about a year ago, I surprised her with a kit containing the fabrics she'd need--and she almost always likes her quilts to be made from the "original fabrics," so I searched the internet for the right ones. Once I gathered what I needed, I started putting the kits together.
Because the pattern is broken down into blocks, I took the instructions for the first block--the house block in the upper left hand corner of the finished quilt--and figured out how much fabric I would need to piece the background. I then roughly cut what was needed, cutting the fabric a little bit larger so we would have plenty. Then I pulled out my rulers and calculated from the drawings what sizes of fabric squares were needed for each of the applique pieces. Once I had all of the fabric cut for the first block, I put it into plastic pattern bags and marked them "Vintage Christmas #1."
I then went on with kitting up the rest of the blocks in the same fashion. Each little packet is complete in itself--for example, I think you can see in the photo above that a piece of pinkish fabric appears in the first packet, as well as the second packet, and the third packet; I decided it was easier to do it this way, for this project, than to figure the total amount of a specific fabric that was needed to complete the entire quilt. But keep in mind that when you're kitting up a pieced quilt, it might be best to calculate the amount of fabric you need for the whole thing--it just depends on the project.
When I finished kitting up the individual blocks, I then made a final packet containing all of the border fabrics, including the applique.
For my own kitted quilts, I often put everything I need in a giant binder. I prefer these with the clear front sheet so I can slip a picture of the quilt into it and know right away what's in the binder.
I then use sheet protectors and zippered pockets for the instructions, pattern, and fabrics for each block. And when I finish a quilt, I "recycle" the sheet protectors, zippered pockets, and binder for the next project.
By the way, how often do you start a BOM project and then fall behind somewhere along the way? When that happens to me, I also use the binders in a similar way--I start putting each block's fabrics and directions into a binder so it all stays together. And I usually keep the finished blocks on a cardboard tube covered with batting. (See HERE.) If I didn't keep things organized this way, I'm sure I'd misplace some of the monthly envelopes and never finish the projects!
If your New Year's resolution is to get more organized, perhaps this, or something similar, could help you accomplish your goal! Happy stitching!