What Exactly Is An Unfinished Quilt Top?

Find out my definition of an unfinished quilt top vs. a finished quilt and why you would want to buy one.

So, once in a while I receive an email message from a potential buyer asking what exactly an unfinished quilt top is. They want to know what they will actually be receiving from me if they purchase one of my Etsy listings. (By the way, if you like the lap quilt in the photo, it is for sale here in my Etsy shop.)

So, here is my definition…

My Definition of an Unfinished Quilt Top

An unfinished quilt top is the entire top layer of a quilt. The individual fabrics are pieced together into a pattern and the top is ready to be layered together and quilted. When I sell a quilt top that is exactly what you get. You receive a completed quilt top (sometimes with borders). You would need to add the batting, backing, quilting, and binding.

By contrast, a finished quilt has all of those elements. The layers are quilted together and there is a finished binding applied. A finished quilt is ready to use on a bed or as a throw quilt.

Where the confusion comes in with the term unfinished quilt top is I believe some people are thinking it is a quilt kit.

My definition of a quilt kit is one where you receive a pattern and the fabric – either pre-cut or yardage. If I buy a kit I expect to have to sew the pieces together myself INTO a quilt top.

Are These Terms Interchangeable?

I notice some Ebay and Etsy sellers use the terms “ready to finish” or “ready to quilt” in their listings instead of “unfinished quilt top”. I think it is okay to use them interchangeably.

So, what are your thoughts? Is the term confusing or not? I think it might be to someone who does not quilt themselves.