The 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.
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
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!