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.
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.
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!
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!
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!