Rockin’ Summer Row-by-Row Experience: My Journey Into Sewing & Quilting Part 2

As class ended, I didn’t want to leave my new friends…and new passion for quilting. I was midstream designing another quilt on our last day of class when I heard about Row by Row Experience 2015. Row by Row is a quilting challenge that happens annually across the US where quilters travel to various shops to collect patterns and make quilts. The first quilter to use eight or more of the 9 x 36 rows in a finished quilt, wins a stack of fabric. If they use the row from the store they turn their quilt in to, they win an extra prize from the store as well. This year, all fifty states and parts of Canada participated.

My Bobbin Robin (the mascot of the 2015 Row by Row Experience and a contest in herself) was branded by most of the shops I visited.

My Bobbin Robin (the mascot of the 2015 Row by Row Experience and a contest in herself) was branded by most of the shops I visited.

A collage of some of the quilting work I've done since class.

A collage of some of the quilting work I’ve done since class including my first quilt, a runner of drawings done by my nieces, and the start of my own Row by Row water themed quilt.

The idea of throwing travel and quilting together over the summer was a win-win for me. I bit hard on the idea like a fish on a hook. By summer’s end, I traveled all over eastern North Carolina, parts of South Carolina, and all over eastern Florida for patterns. Telling my friends and family members about it had patterns coming in from Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Oregon too. Some of those helpers have bitten the quilting bug themselves now as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰ By summer’s end, I had over 30 patterns and the beginning of a water-themed queen size quilt.

One surprising fact about quilt shops: they are all uniquely different and all uniquely happy, even if they are close together. In one area of Raleigh, NC, for example, there were four shops within a few minutes of each other, but each carried very different materials and supplies from the other. Quilt shops are specialized to certain niche markets and maintain clientele through customer service.

A collage of shops and shopping with my mom and sister.

A collage of shops and shopping with my mom and sister. Notice the bus tour crowd in the bottom corner at Calico Station, FL.

I don’t know if it is the “your husband called and said you can spend all you want here” signs or the bright, colored fabrics, but I rarely found a sour faced, curmudgeoned quilter. Quilters invest in fabric and pattern stashes with pride. They shop in groves (even bus tours), little two-by-twos, or individually. Quilters are young and old, pop artists and antique traditionalists. We are a wide and varied group, but a happy one.

If we count the cost of how much we spend in quilting, we may not be so happy, but I believe we quilters are happy because we feel fulfillment when we sew…and there’s no price tag for that. We are also happy because quilting generates friends. From the old days of quilting by hand in large circles around a loom (which apparently my great-grandmother and grandma did) to going to classes and working on machines to shopping and sharing pictures and ideas with strangers, quilting is a universal language of love.

6 thoughts on “Rockin’ Summer Row-by-Row Experience: My Journey Into Sewing & Quilting Part 2

  1. Rebecca, What a hoot we had as we traveled and did the row by row experience! You amaze me as I watch you take to sewing and quilting like a duck to water!! Am so proud of you, you are an inspiration and an encouragement to me. Keep this up and who knows what you will do with your craft of sewing and quilting. Love Ya,Mom

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  2. This is very interesting ! I don’t know any states have more of Quilt shop but I just wonder any quilt shops at Greenville , NC and Goldsboro, NC but I know that there not much in Kinston, NC …I always know sewing shoping is Joann , Hobby Lobby , and other shops but that shop is what I want more calm and give me time to think what next color .

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    • Thank you for reading. I am glad I intrigued your curiosity. I have not heard of any quilt shops in Greenville or Kinston, but if you find some, let me know. Sadly, our quilt shop in Goldsboro closed. There may be another shop open here in the future, but nothing can replace our beloved Thistlebee. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • Really ?!? I don’t know that Quilt shop in Goldsboro . Yes , of course ! I will do check any quilt shop in Kinston but will try check on internet too. I hope so .

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