Yes it was “Sew Much Fun!” First, a little bit of history as described on their website:
Row by Row Experience™ began in 2011 with 20 quilt shops across New York State. In 2012 the event grew to include 62 participating shops. Pennsylvania came on board in 2013 for a total of 138 shops throughout the two states. In 2014 over 1250 quilt shops participated in 34 states and Ontario.
This year all 50 states and 9 Canadian provinces are participating in the Row by Row Experience. The dates for participating in this shop hop are June 21st – September 8th. Patterns are designed by individual shops and are available for free when you go into the store. Kits are also available to purchase and they include the pattern. One free pattern per person is allowed and you can purchase as many kits as you’d like but you must go into the store to participate. The patterns are designed around a theme. This year it is water, Row by Row H2O. I could only find two previous themes: from 2013, Summertime & 2014, Sew a Season. Prizes for finished quilts are also available. Be the first to take your finished quilt into a store, using at least 8 different rows from 8 different shops, and you could win some much needed fabric!
It was a beautiful day for a road trip. Starting point was the Cloth Castle at 9:30 am. http://clothcastle.com/ It was amazing how the 11 of us travelling together could stay on the same page as far as in store timing went. I think a lot of it had to do with 8 having to catch a ferry back to the mainland later that night! The pattern from this shop is a paper pieced wonky log cabin with optional applique of a sea turtle, “Dreaming of Hawaiian Seas.” This shop had it’s first completed quilt in mid July. I used two of the official Row by Row 2015 fabrics in this block/row.
Next stop was the Bib n’ Tucker quilt shop and we were there at 10:10 am. They were having their grand re-opening and Joan won a door prize while we were there. The pattern from this shop depicts fish swimming up the Goldstream river. They had their winner at the end of the first week of July, that’s less than three weeks in! http://www.bibntucker.com/
Next stop was the Satin Moon Quilt shop. I got lost in the beautiful quilts hanging on the wall, in particular the lighthouse quilts and patterns. One of the local designers, Susan Teece, designed “Ocean Waves” for this row. This row requires a little bit of curved piecing. It definitely depicts the west coast and I had a lot of fun stitching this row together. http://www.satin-moon.com/ A finished quilt showed up here in early July.
After three quilt shop stops we were still on schedule and managed to get out of Victoria by 11:30! We headed to Kaleidoscope Quilt Company in Duncan and were greeted enthusiastically by Amrit and her staff. I love this row, “A Walk on the Beach.” Embellish, embellish, embellish is written on the pattern and that’s what I intend to do. Just got to figure out how to drill holes in my seaglass without breaking it! The fabrics in this row are from the available kit. A completed quilt arrived at this shop in early July as well. http://www.kaleidoscopequiltcompany.ca/
Next stop was Transfer Beach in Ladysmith. What a beautiful day and place for a picnic. I loved Lorraine’s comment that “it smells like home.” Lorraine is from Newfoundland and I’m so glad I could show her this beautiful piece of Vancouver Island. http://www.tourismladysmith.ca/top10/transfer-beach.php Check it out if you can! It’s awesome.
From here we were looking at a 90 minute drive through Nanaimo and over the hump to Port Alberni where we found Kismet Quilts. “West Coast Rain” is a paper pieced pattern of some modern looking raindrops. Loved it so much I made 4 blocks for my row! We were also the first “road trip” group to come to the shop. All the Bobbin the Robins came out for the photo op…Karen M is the one on the left wearing skates. I wonder if she skates as well as the original Karen M! http://www.kismetquilts.com/ From here we were heading back to Nanaimo and were on the clock as it was 4:00 pm and we would need close to an hour to get back there. Both shops in Nanaimo are within 10 minutes of each other but it would be close.
The shop closest to north Nanaimo is Serge & Sew. We arrived at 5:00 pm and did a whirlwind tour through the store. This is a very fun pattern, “Message in a Bottle.” I remade this pattern twice as most of my rows are made using my stash fabrics and a few theme fat quarters pieces. After getting a group photo, those of us who were finished shopping headed south to the next shop. http://www.sergesew.com/
As we were driving down the highway to Snip and Stitch we gave them a call to say we were five minutes out and would they please wait for us. They very kindly did so as the first group of us arrived at 5:25 and the others were a few minutes behind…thank you! We kept these guys open an extra half hour. The pattern here is one of my favourites, “West Coast View,” designed by Daphne Greig. http://www.snipandstitch.com/main.html
Next stop was Carlos O’Bryans down on the Newcastle Channel. A perfect spot to finish the road trip that was H20 themed. Three of us got to stay here in Nanaimo while the other 8 headed to Duke Pt and home to the mainland.
I do believe we can say we were able to stick to our itinerary as we hit all 7 shops, had our picnic lunch and dinner and did NOT get any speeding tickets! As the licence plate from Serge & Sew says it was “Sew Much Fun!”
Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye