I was admiring the gorgeous quilt that won the top prizes at this
year's local guild quilt show a few weeks back today. It was made by
one of the owners of the LQS here. I opined that picking the fabrics
must have been really a hoot when she said that she hadn't picked any,
it was a kit.
OK, I understand somebody entering a kitted quilt if they are just
getting started, but ...... this struck me as just a bit unethical.
The show is viewer's choice and the quilt is stunning. It's paper
pieced and the design just seems to glow. But she didn't really make
those fabric choices.
What do you folks think? Am I just being rude and snitty, as my DH
I've got a pile of old magazines that I've just been reading, I've read
many many articles, so I'm a bit mixed up, but I'm pretty sure one place
said that back in the 30s it was entirely normal to enter kit quilts
for shows. In the present day, it seemed that it might be ok, but very
much depends on the rules for the specific show. If it's a kit, credit
must be given to the designer of the quilt and displaying it might break
the copyright of the original designer and it should definitely be made
clear on a note by the quilt that it was a kit designed by x and made by
y. If she didn't fill that in on the application and it's just something
she happened to let slip, I agree that would be unethical. Even with the
information being clearly stated, I guess that not all viewers would
read it or take it in, but I guess that's a risk you take if you enter a
show that's entirely viewers choice, there are some traditional designs
that can be stunning as well as some that come completely from the
makers imagination, a judge should be reading the accompanying info and
applying knowledge, you can't expect that of viewers choice and some
unusual winners crop up.
Having said all that, even if it's all within the rules, I'd hope for a
better example by an LQS owner, in a similar way to how you'd expect a
fireman to not have an open fire in the woods, you expect something a
little bit more from them, whether that's fair or not!
On one hand, it doesn't seem ethical, esp. if she didn't give credit
*did* choose those fabrics for that particular pattern. On the other
hand, the workmanship
*is* hers, even if the fabric choices arent.
Maybe they should have a separate category for "Quilt Kits"?
Most of us view kits as nice but a sort of "cheater quilt." I do think it
is unfair for the competition who has to pick their own fabrics. I
certainly think he/she should admit that it is a kit so the judges can take
that into accout.
It isn't any different than buying a Thimbleberries quilt pattern and
then buying exactly the same Thimbleberries prints as shown in the
pattern sample picture. The only advantage would be having the full
fabric line or lines the designer used when designing the quilt.
I've seen many BOMs sold as monthly block kits, but they would only be
listed as BOMs in a show. Many of those BOM patterns are only sold in
kits so there isn't even a chance to choose a set of fabrics yourself
unless you want to throw away several hundred dollars worth of kit
fabric, do a lot of math to figure actual yardage needed, and buy all
new fabric to make the quilt.
I don't think a quilt kit would be easier to sew than following a
pattern in a book either. It might be harder since there is a risk of
running out of any of the fabrics included in the kit, and if the
block pieces are pre-cut there is the added risk of poorly cut pieces
to challenge the quilter.
I think as long as the designer was mentioned on the information card,
as it should be for any other quilt designer, it should be all right.
It isn't like all the quilts at a show are expected to be original
patterns by each quilt maker. If that were expected there would be a
lot fewer quilts in shows, and probably a lot fewer shows too.
Debra in VA
See my quilts at
Did the judges know that it came from a kit? I once saw a quilt made from
in a show and people were raving about it too. Scads of fabrics and it was
It did win a prize but I didn't see anything on it that said it was from a
I knew that it was because I had bought the same kit then returned it when
I knew I just
couldn't do that much hand applique !! Mary/VT
What I think: the rules of each show will vary, so some
may permit kit quilts, others not. If you prefer
another set of rules, volunteer for the next show
committee. Of course the rest of the committee may out
vote your suggestions, but at least you would have
tried. (BTDT!!) If a committee is required to hang
those quilts, perhaps that should be a separate
committee. You are not rude, nor snitty ... unless
you've blabbed it all over the show and guild, which of
course I doubt. I'd have your reaction too!!
PAT in VA/USA
While Sunny is being snitty, I'll just be uppity. (Ha. My mind zigzags off
here to the How the Fight Started and 'which one are you then?').
I simply can not imagine making a quilt where someone else chose the
fabric prints and colors and orchestrated the blending thereof. I can't
even take a cheater panel for a crib quilt and leave it alone; I always have
to make it mine.
Even out here in the Swamp where all they sell is barbed wire and hawg
feed, it would be impossible for me to accept what someone else put
So. I reject the notion that a kit would be an unfair advantage. We
'uppity' quilters would think of it as a handicap.
Which one are you then? Polly
I think it depends on the rules of the show. Our local show is not a
judged show, so rules are probably more lax than in a judged show and I
would find a quilt from a kit to be more acceptable. It seems like the
"kit-builder" should be given some credit. Of course, you could end up
with quite a list of credits: "Pattern designed by A, fabrics selected
by B, piecing and/or applique done by C, quilted by D". I'm not a big
fan of kits, because I like the challenge of selecting fabrics to make a
pattern my own; for me part of the process is making something that is
not exactly like someone else's.
Julia in MN
It all depends on the rules of the show. Some shows don't allow kits at all.
Some allow them, but say that there must be a notation on the entry form.
Other shows (including many guild shows) don't care. It's only unethical
(which is pretty strong language) if she broke the show rules.
Personally, I don't see much difference between entering a kit quilt and
entering a quilt made from a pattern and having a friend choose the fabrics.
In both cases, the person entering the quilt didn't design the pattern and
didn't choose the fabrics. As long as they aren't taking credit for what
they didn't do (in other words, I think patterns, kits, etc should ALWAYS be
credited on the little sign hanging on the quilt), where's the problem?
I think you have a valid point. but I also think there are many
aspects of quilt shows where this is common practice. I also feel
when you send your quilt out to be quilted by someone else they should
be given the credit for that part of the quilt. Kits, patterns,
quilting are all things that should be taken into consideration when
I have also been to shows that do not use accredited judges. Are the
awards valid, accredited or is that just a "matter of opinion"
I think it depends on the rules of the show. I don't see anything wrong
with using a kit. I agree with Debra that it isn't much different than
buying a pattern, and then buying the exact fabrics shown in the pattern. I
personally think kits are less expensive than buying the fabrics separately.
I nearly always add a little something else. You can take a pattern from
any quilt magazine, and most of them tell you exactly what fabric line was
used, and which fabrics were used. The quilt guild that I belong to does
not have a category for kits. We do ask if the person entering the quilt
did the quilting. If not, we want the name of the person who did the
quilting. I don't think there is anything unethical about it at all as long
as it does not break the rules of the show.
Our guild show doesn't allow kit quilts to be entered for competition.
They also don't allow kitted block of the month quilts and such. IF
there is room in the show these items may be entered for display only.
Along the same lines they also do not allow whole cloth that are
pre-stamped with the quilting design. sigh. (That one I don't
understand...... especially with the small ones that are a single
stencil. why should it matter if I transfered the design, or someone
else did it?? I am doing the quilting-- selecting the backing, batting,
thread and finishing. sigh)
I agree with you. And also think that kit quilts should be labeled as
such. We all know to acknowledge the designer of the quilt on the label,
well, the selection of the fabric is a part of the process that should
also be credited. In my opinion anyway.
Pati, in Phx
Yes, you are right. The show that I saw the quilt made from a kit was a
but it was still a treat to see it made up. The shop that sold the kit
was 2 hours away
from this town so perhaps the judges hadn't known about it...and how could
with so much available today. And would it have made a difference..I don't
I've noticed that a lot of art quilts today use paint on the surface ..kind
of make your own
fabric....and I had to get used to that idea which was new to me. Quilting
surface designing..etc., are moving in all directions !
Now that could create problems !!! I do remember entering only one
show but had to send a picture along w/ the entry form so perhaps they
would ...if they had a lot of quilts entered.....deny one..or both entries?
I guess I'll never get into judging ...I wouldn't want to be the one making
"Sally Swindells" ...
Boy, my sentence after "(BTDT!)" is really confusing
... even I cannot understand it! I THINK I meant to say
something along the lines of "If the committee elects
or is required to accept kit quilts, perhaps that
should be a separate category." Clear as mud?
PAT in VA/USA