Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rowing Along

First off, I want to thank the friends who reach out to me after my father passed. Your words of friendship and comfort meant, and still mean, a great deal to me.

Since I've been home, I've been keeping busy with piecing more quilt rows. I'm lucky enough to have friends and family all over the country who are taking great delight in mailing me row patterns from quilt shops near them. One dear family friend who I've known since kindergarten decided to send me the kits and not just the free pattern! Oh and for those who are wondering if they missed something, I'm participating in this year's Row by Row Experience shop hop. It's huge!

My neighbor, I made the Dresden tea cozy for her, is on a road trip currently and has been stopping at quilt shops in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland! She's having a blast seeing all the different quilts and picking up rows for me. I didn't even ask her to, she just volunteered. I've been getting semi-regular texts from her asking me to look up quilt shops along whatever route she's planning on for day trips.

FH is on a business trip, as of 4 o'clock this morning, and has already acquired a row kit and another pattern for me. I've even been lucky enough to make two new friends in different parts of the country (one in Hawaii) because of this event and we've been gathering patterns (originals, no photocopies)  for each other and mailing them.

I've finished up two more rows since we've gotten home and am working on two others. I'm going to start the list with references linking back to my first posts about these rows and provide the names of the shops where they can be picked up. I wasn't thinking clearly when I wrote up that post two Wednesdays ago. These will be in order of completion.

Row 1 is from Peoria, IL. The shop is called Prairie Points and is one of my favorite places to visit.

Row 2 is from Morris, IL. The shop is called The Fabric Center and is right down the street from a great little bakery. I just want to say what a lovely shop this is and if you're visiting the Chicago suburbs, you really, really want to visit it.

Row 3 is from Winfield, IL. The shop is called The Quilt Merchant. Another lovely shop in the Chicago suburbs.  This row took me out of my comfort zone with the fusible applique. I always do needleturn because I prefer the look, but this kit came with the applique pre-cut and with fusible web already attached. I think it came out alright, despite me getting a single square turned 90 degrees int he wrong direction. A friend quipped that that fish is now a "Nemo" fish due to having a wonky fin, and I thought it was funny enough to let it be.

Row 4 is from South Elgin, IL. The shop is called The Twisted Stitch and is kind of hard to get to, but totally worth the effort when you get there. So many bright and colorful fabrics! I decided to make one fish who doesn't follow the crowd in this row. I think the "Nemo" fish from the Winfield row had an effect on me or something. ;-)

Rows 5 and 6 are in the works currently. Both feature applique, so are taking a bit of time.

Row 5 is from Rochester, IL. The shop there is one of my all time favorite shops in Illinois! It's called Peace and Applique and of course many of the quilts there feature applique! As you can see, I've gotten two of the three fish sewn down and the third placed. There will be seaweed in between the fish, but I changed the way it's done. In the original they made the seaweed fuzzy and textured, but I was afraid it wouldn't hold up to washing, so I drew up some quick designs to needle turn instead. Finishing this row is on my to-do list for today.

I needed a break from hand sewing yesterday so I began piecing the background for Row 6. It's from another all-time favorite quilt hop, Jackman's Fabrics, specifically the St. Louis, MO location. I haven't had a chance to get the row pattern from their Fairview Heights location. Currently the background is in 6 strips that need sewn together. Another project for today.

In the course of hopping around and gathering row patterns, I've also visited the following shops: The Quilted Fox, The Quilted Cottage on Main, Nonnie's Attic, and Harvest House Quilting. Quilted Fox and Quilted Cottage's rows aren't going in the aquarium quilt. Quilted Fox featured the Eads Bridge and is being stashed away for a different project. Quilted Cottage did a lovely trapunto applique design with seashells, starfish, and sand dollars, and is embellished with beads.

Nonnie's Attic did a cool paper-pieced turtle design, but the printer they sent the design to messed up the size of the paper-piecing guide. They had to get the all clear from Row by Row to take the names and addresses of people who walk into the shop and mail the rows to them once the printer fixes the mistake. This design will eventually make it into the aquarium quilt.

Harvest House's design is also going in the aquarium quilt. I just haven't started it yet. Oh and talk about a dark horse shop. It's a hidden treasure located in the basement of the owners' home! They used to do the big trade shows and then stopped for health reasons, but they're still in business! Such a fun little shop full of wonderful and beautiful things.

I also have been given or sent patterns from a few people that are burning figurative holes in my stash. Patchwork Plus in Wood River, IL features the meeting of the waters, i.e. where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet. I'm saving this design for a future project.

My in-laws were vacationing in Sanibel Island, FL when Row by Row started and picked up the pattern there for me. Three Crafty Ladies is a shop I hope to visit in person some day. That would require having the time and being invited to go to Sanibel with them ;-) Their row featuring some adorable turtles will be going into the aquarium quilt.

And finally a friend went to a wedding in Cedar Rapids, IA and popped into The Cotton Creek Mill in West Branch. She says we need to road trip there sometime together because the shop is so cool! I asked her to pick up their kit for me because it features a panel design of a barn, with barn quilt, and a windmill. It's being stashed for another project.

That's it for now. I'll post progress pictures and list the places where new patterns and kits have arrived from next weekend. Ttfn!

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