Who would have thought this would become quite the phenomenon?!  As I visit so many of our quilting stores during the course of my work, I heard about the “Row by Row” many months ago. I even tried to sneak a preview & buy a kit at one of the stores back in June but was politely told no, they were only being sold from the next week onwards.


So what exactly is this all about?  It is a pretty clever program to get quilters to visit and support local quilt stores which have been hard hit by quilters buying online or not supporting the local quilt store. The idea was/is to visit the participating quilt store, chat with the staff & other customers, see what they have to offer; and collect the free pattern that store had designed for the “Row by Row” program. In addition,  quilters could also purchase kits with fabric & pattern and/or fabric by yardage. The fabric for this program was all from  specific lines of quilting fabric and the theme for all the quilting designs in 2015 was Water. I have seen some wonderful quilts and runners made with all sorts of different quilting patterns – each from a different quilting store.

row by row 1

There was also the option of purchasing little fabric “car number plates” for adding into quilts or ?  each one with a unique saying or words from that store.

stitch happens

I have heard that many stores totally ran out of patterns, kits and fabric – some literally within days of the program starting. I don’t think many anticipated how big this would become ….it would seem it has taken on a life of its own!

This lady, Sylvia Klotz from Outlook, SK, won the store Row by Row contest for her quilt at Veronica's Sewing Supplies in Kindersley, SK. Veronica is a Janome dealer

This lady, Sylvia Klotz from Outlook, SK, won the store Row by Row contest for her quilt at Veronica’s Sewing Supplies in Kindersley, SK. Veronica is a Janome dealer


Our Janome & Elna dealer in Humboldt, Saskatchewan: Haus of Stitches reported to me that they were quite blown out of the water (excuse the pun) when a lady turned up at the store to get the quilting row they had designed. In conversation with her, they discovered she was from Upstate New York, had travelled by air to Saskatoon and then taken a bus from Saskatoon to Humboldt (about 1-2 hour bus ride!) After completing her purchase at Haus of Stitches, she walked back to the bus station and started her return journey to New York state. I promise you that story is true….I am not making it up. And I was incredibly surprised and impressed at such determination and dedication to quilting and this program in particular. Wow!



Another Row by Row Experience 2015 true story: Ann Margaret is a customer  at Langley Vacuum & Sewing,   Langley, BC and she told us that she drove across Canada during the summer from BC all the way to Quebec stopping at quilt stores along the way – participating in the Row by Row experience. Seriously….she DID. Apparently her hubby asked if she needed him to come out with another car or trailer for all her purchases!

The design for the Row by Row Experience at veronica's Sewing center, Kindersley. Veronica said it would not be a SK design without a grain elevator!

The design for the Row by Row Experience at Veronica’s Sewing center, Kindersley. Veronica said it would not be a SK design without a grain elevator!

Facebook pages have popped up. Here is a link to the Row by Row Experience in Ontario, Canada and Atlantic Canada also had a facebook page dedicated to Row by row: click here for that link.   Google it and you will find plenty more info. People have not stopped talking about how much fun it was. I think we can safely say that it was a huge success.

Did you take part in this Row by Row Experience? Perhaps you would like to send us a comment & tell us how many patterns you collected? Is your quilt finished? Was it fun? What was your favourite design?  I’m now kicking myself I did not get in on this action. It sure sounds like it would have been enormous summer fun!



About Janome Canada

For over 100 years, Janome has been the brand of choice for sewing, embroidery, longarm quilting, sergers, coverhem machines - and MORE! Our Janome Canada head office; our Janome HQ, is the Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Be sure to follow us here on Janome Life blog, as well as our other Janome Canada social media so you get the most from your Janome machine! @janomehq @janomecanada Janome HQ Facebook, Janome Canada Facebook Janome HQ You Tube channel, Janome Life You Tube channel
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8 Responses to THE ROW BY ROW EXPERIENCE 2015

  1. Dorothy Holt says:

    The Row by Row road trips here in BC were the best ever!!! How crazy to travel all over just to pick up a pattern or kit. But I did and several of my good friends did the same. When were knew we were going to a specific place we communicated so as to pick up extra kits for all of us. It worked super well and I am working on 2… two separate quilts now ( i have 28 rows to do… all kits!). I will definitely go back to most all these shops for the 2016 Home theme. Some of the kits are put together super great!
    Love it. I tried to get my local shop to join way back in Dec but she had several excuses not to. She now knows what this sweet little program would have done for her business.


  2. Jan C says:

    The theme for the 2016 Row by Row was just announced. It is “Home Sweet Home”.


  3. wphilbin says:

    Hi Liz,

    I work at Al’s Vacuum and Sewing Centre in Sarnia, Ontario. Unfortunately we can’t participate in the Row by Row Experience as we do not sell fabric. I have participated myself in the Row by Row experience for 2 years now. Last year I visited about 75 shops. My quilt won the prize at Sew Elegant Quilt Shoppe in Port Huron, Michigan. It’s just across the Ontario Border. My daughter, Amy, won the prize at the “Your #1 Sewing Centre” in Campbellford, Ontario. This year, during the first week of the Row by Row, my husband and I toured western Michigan, southern Wisconsin and northeast Illinois. We visited 50 shops. He is a very patient husband. My quilt won the prize a Sew Together Quilt Shop in Richmond, Michigan about 15 miles south. I also visited 6 shop in San Antonio during Janome Institute. In total this year I visited about 125 shops. Each shop has a unique atmosphere about it. They certainly are not all the same. I have a very good friend that travels to quilt shops with me sometimes. This year, her daughter and granddaughter both got involved.. The Grandmother, Daughter and Granddaughter all won prizes for their quilts. Attached is a picture of me and my winning quilt.

    Wanda Philbin Al’s Vacuum and Sewing Centre Sarnia, Ontario


  4. cherylsewing says:

    I got into the Row by Row big time. I couldn’t visit all the stores that I have kits or patterns for, so I got friends that were travelling to get both kits and license plate fabrics for me where ever they could. I’m still collecting as I go to Arizona in November, I have a few kits that I will pick up while there. They value the “Snowbirds” business so have kept the line going for us, when we can purchase out of the contest time frame. I don’t remember when I’ve had so much fun doing something like this in my 70 years. Having done this the way I did, has made me want to try to visit all these places that I couldn’t get to personally. What a good way to bring business for our quilt stores.

    In Saskatchewan’s south there were 4 participating stores and the travel distance would have been 4 ½ hour drive. In the middle of the province that takes in Saskatoon it would have been greater as the route would not have been direct to get the other 7 stores. Unfortunately we had no participating dealers in our beautiful north SO, a couple of us are going to make our own “Northern” row. I’ll send pictures when we have it done.


  5. AliceM says:

    Will there be one for 2016?


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Alice,

      That would be a question best addressed to the individual quilt stores and their fabric suppliers. I was merely observing and reporting on what I saw & heard this summer. As it was such a success, my guess is that something similar might be done next year ……I guess it is best to wait & see?



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