Stitch Simple is a very different kind of fabric shop: owner Jen offers pre-washed, pre-pressed, custom-cut fabrics and quilt kits. She approached me for a review and offered a create-your-own-quilt kit to me. They have a new quilt pattern periodically, and back when I created mine it was a Chinese Coins-inspired lap quilt. The current one, shown in the screenshot below, is a 40″x50″ quilt that was featured in the magazine McCall’s Quick Quilts. According to the FAQ you might be able to order retired patterns.
Building the quilt on their site is very fun … I got a little obsessed with it, actually. I was disappointed by the fabric selection, but at the same time I understood that she can only have so much inventory when she has to pre-wash and pre-press everything. And I was impressed that there did seem to be little something for everyone’s tastes. The selection has expanded since I ordered my kit: my favorites are Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern, Flutterby by Tula Pink, and Hints of Prints by Darlene Zimmerman, David Walker’s Robots, Ellie Fun by Karen Neuburger, Aunt Grace Classics, and some very cute juvenile prints (like Into the Wild) by Hoffman.
It is great fun to experiment with the fabric selections and watch them load into the pattern right before your eyes, like an online version of Electric Quilt. I waffled between Amy Butler and Tula Pink, finally deciding to go Amy Butler because I was fixated on Optic Blossom. Now I’m thinking I should have gone with the Tula Pink for better contrast between the prints and near-solids, but hey, I can always order again, right?
My kit arrived almost instantly, and I was mighty impressed by the packaging. Stitch Simple uses recyclable, shredded kraft paper for packing material, which I thought was a very nice touch. Here is a rundown of what is included in the kits:
- Prewashed, precut fabric pieces for the entire quilt top.
- A practice pack of prewashed, precut fabric pieces to get warmed up (very thoughtful!)
- Uncomplicated, carefully tested quilt kit assembly instructions
- Extra pieces to repair your quilt as it ages (very thoughtful again!)
- Refill instructions so you can make each quilt pattern again and again
There is also unlimited assistance from the Stitch Simple Quilt Kit Support Line and current kits also include prewashed, cut, pressed, and trimmed fabric for the backing.
Look how nice the unwrapped fabrics look.
It wasn’t a minute into this photo shoot before my son wanted to get involved. So here, take it away, kid.
When it was nap time I was able to unwrap the packages. The cuts are perfectly on-grain. I can’t wait to find out what it is like to sew with such immaculately prepared fabric, and see the difference it is sure to make in the finished quilt top. Now, if she just sold the time to sit down and sew …
You don’t have to buy a quilt kit to get your hands on the ready-to-sew fabric; Stitch Simple also sells their fabrics in cuts from 5.5 inch squares to as much yardage as you need. Compared to the typical cost of un-prepared fabric, the prices are very reasonable: for running yardage, it’s 33 cents an inch, which comes out to just under $12 a yard. That’s highly worth it if you are a stickler for pre-washing but hate the process, or are allergic to the sizing or other chemicals used to process many quilt fabrics. Or, if you are all thumbs with the rotary cutter, it’s much cheaper than a trip to Urgent Care!
I have read through the quilt pattern and it is evident that there is as much care put into the instructions as there is to preparing the fabric. These kits would make a fantastic gift for any quilter, but especially for a beginner, or for sewists who have not yet developed (or have lost) the ability to handle a rotary cutter. The quilts I have seen so far from Stitch Simple have all been all cute, easy, and appealing to both traditionalists and modernists.
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