By: Anne Copeland and Beverly Dunivent
Despite a number of negative images imposed upon kit quilts, they have played an important role in quilt history. Quiltmakers have used kits to further their quilting skills and design knowledge, using designs sometimes copied from museum artifacts, private collections, and winners of national quilting contests. Documented examples illustrate that kit quilts have never lost their appeal to quiltmakers and quilt viewers. Kits have continued in popularity independent of the changes and trends that have occurred in twentieth-century quiltmaking. Kits have also been an important segment of the quiltmaking industry. Quilt entrepreneurs have used their quiltmaking and quilt designing skills to take their products from the cottage to the factory. The quilt kit industry has provided economically viable employment opportunities for many people, a movement that has been only partially documented.