take a sip of inspirationThe Row by Row Experience has been around for a few years now. The idea is that quilt shops around the world make a free 9″ x 36″ quilt row pattern available to customers, and if a quilter makes a quilt from at least eight rows and then is the first to turn it in to a participating shop, they win a bundle of fat quarters. It’s an enormous shop hop!

I love the concept, and I love many of the rows. I’ve purchased a few particularly interesting kits over the past few years, but I’ve never done the quilt. Frankly, although I like many of the rows, I’ve never found the quilts made of these rows to be particularly attractive.

However, I do love a challenge, and since my kids and I were planning a road trip around the beginning of the Experience this year, I picked out a bunch of shops to visit in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. I truly enjoyed meeting and chatting with shop owners and employees.

The Shops

I picked up a pattern and kit from every shop I visited, but I didn’t use them all in the quilt.

Mare’s Bears Quilt Shop Lewes, Delaware : Bigger than I thought! I liked all the shore-themed fabric.

A Different Touch Chesapeake, Virginia : A friendly store with lots of great samples from their classes.

Material Things North Chesterfield, Virginia : Bright and cheerful shop with a bright and cheerful owner! The row was fun to make, especially the paper-pieced mini quilts.

Chadwick Heirlooms Richmond, Virginia : LOTS of fabric. They had new lines there that I haven’t seen anywhere else. We also had a fun conversation about the premiere of the movie Misty of Chincoteague.

Quilter’s Corner Midlothian, Virginia : Another place I’d love to visit again to take classes. Great samples.

Quilting Adventures Henrico, Virginia : I especially enjoyed the quilted signs labeling the different areas of the shop. Wish I’d gotten pictures!

Sew Easy Sewing Occoquan, Virginia : Cute town, but parking was tight. The staff was pleasant.

Material Girls LaPlata, Maryland : Big shop with something for everyone! A nice-sized sale section, too. Their row has gotten the most comments out of any on my finished quilt.

Capital Quilts Gaithersburg, Maryland : A great selection of fabric, beautifully organized. I think this is the one with a glow-in-the-dark quilt in the bathroom with a sign encouraging you to turn off the lights to check it out? I don’t remember for sure. (Anyone?)

Bear’s Paw Fabrics Towson, Maryland : I think I’ll have to declare that this was overall my favorite first-time-to-visit shop on the trip, and it’s close enough to home that I’m likely to visit again sometime. I especially enjoyed the indoor gazebo filled with sample bags and patterns.

The Village Quilter Mount Holly, New Jersey : Home, sweet home! The shop where I learned to quilt, and the shop where I brought my finished quilt!

My Row By Row Quilt

row by row quilt row by row label

village quilter fat quarter bundle row by row prize
25 Fat Quarters from The Village Quilter in Mount Holly, NJ–the prize for being the first to bring a finished 2017 Row by Row quilt into the shop

The Mug Rug

Participating Row by Row shops also offer fabric license plates. I didn’t collect them, but I did incorporate miniature versions into the rows on my quilt. During the mug rug swap, my aunt (the only participant from outside of New Jersey) decided to create mug rugs from license plates available in her area, so this week’s Mug Rug Monday is in honor of both the completion of my row quilt and my aunt’s birthday, which was last week. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUNT RELL!

Texas quilt license plate
This mug rug was made by Laurell Griffith.

close up of Texas row by row license plate mug rug

mug rug buttonWhat’s on your quilty bucket list?

mug rug monday






6 Replies to “Row By Row and Mug Rug Monday–License Plate

  1. Congratulations on the win of the fabric bundle! I’ve never done a Row by Row, but I like to see them. That mug rug is cute!

    1. Thanks, Wendy! There are some really great rows out there. The fun part is really checking out new shops. The website is a great resource for finding shops, even if you don’t go Rowing!

  2. Love your row by row. I’ve never done one before. I recently added designing a Disney theme park inspired row by row to my bucket list. I’ve actually got lots of great ideas in mind, but finding the time to design it and put it together is a whole other matter. Have a great day! –Andrea

  3. Congratulations on winning the Row by Row–great job! I went to many of those quilt shops last year and they were fantastic. Hit quite a few new ones (to me) this year in New York and Colorado. Always looking for ideas on what to do with the license plates, so thanks a bunch!

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