I've been busting to show you this quilt for a couple of months now, but I've been holding off while I get my first Paper Pieces quilt kit ready for you! Designing a kit takes a lot of process and details, many of which I had to learn on the job, so hopefully from now on, we'll be total pros and won't take so long!
I knew from when I first started toying with the idea of selling English Paper Pieces, that I would want to sell kits as my main focus. I love the idea of getting all the right pieces and just adding my favourite fabrics! And so for what feels like years (but is more like just one year), we've been researching and making decisions about pattern layout, format (PDF? Printed? Free here on the blog?), packaging (Can I PLEASE buy tins? PLEASE!! - this is actually a pretty tricky undertaking - but hopefully soon!), hiring an illustrator or tech editor, including extras like needles or thread, etc, etc. So this quilt has been the guinea pig. The best way for me to make a million choices is to dive in and start creating, seeing what decisions actually arise as they come. It's been a great learning experience and I'm really glad to be here on this side of it!
So! Want to hear what we settled on?
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, we decided to go with a printed copy of the pattern included in the kit, and a free web version on my Make page. We (my techy husband Tim, my business guru brother Josh, and little ol' stitching queen here) decided that we wanted our inspiration to be shared and readily available. All our kit patterns will be available for free here, (unless of course, we kit up something that someone else has published), but we'll also print them so that you can keep the pattern tucked in with your project as you make it, for those like me who don't always like to follow instructions on a screen.
Second, we decided to go with a sweet, but sturdy recycled cardboard gift box. It's the perfect, affordable option for when you're just starting out with a new idea. And we could source them locally from a reputable company. The tins just need a little more research before I can dive in comfortably.
I asked a tech editor that I met working for Free Spirit if she could check my work, and I've LOVED the input from her. As someone who usually just tried to figure out a design rather than follow a pattern, I found her experience and opinions about how much detail to include, what images were needed, and so on, invaluable.
Our kits will include just the paper pieces (the right amount to complete the quilt) and pattern for now. Perhaps down the track we'll create options to include needles and thread. Would that be something you'd choose if you were buying? At the moment we cut everything to order and warehouse almost nothing. It's efficient and creates hardly any waste. Taking on extra stock that we don't manufacture ourselves will require a little rethink in the way we use our space. But we're open to it.