Thursday, June 18, 2015

Row by Watery Row

In its fifth year, the Row by Row Experience is an opportunity for quilters throughout the US and Canada to visit quilt shops, collect patterns, make a row quilt, and win prizes. . . and have a whole lot of fun and memorable experiences in the process!

Sounds like a typical shop hop, right? But it's quite different. Quilters don't have to buy passports, they don't have to pay a fee, and they can collect rows from a variety of locations to assemble a quilt from eight different row patterns. Each participating shop has created an original pattern for a 36"-wide row following a theme. The theme for 2015 is H2O--Water. The row patterns are free, but they can ONLY be obtained by visiting the quilt shops in person. Prize-eligible quilts need to be finished--that means quilted, bound and labeled. The row-collecting starts on June 21 (Summer Solstice!). And ends on September 8.

And the whole event originates from Syracuse, NY, my home base. With just a few days left to prepare for the beginning of the event, I chatted briefly with Janet Lutz, owner of Calico Gals in Syracuse, and the originator of the nationwide Row by Row Experience. She said, "With over 2650 participating shops, all focused on our June 21st start date, most all the details are in place. We're ready! The shops are very excited to create a fantastic experience for quilters traveling from shop to shop and between states and provinces. My best advice is enjoy the journey, drive safely, and experience shops that are new and different from your usual routine."

As a pattern designer, this is my third year working with shops to prepare their patterns for the event. Two years ago, I worked with two shops to create their row patterns, and last year I assisted six shops by creating their row patterns. This year I was thrilled to help create a grand total of 13 original patterns for twelve shops.

Better get your travel journal ready, you'll want to go out of your way to visit these shops to get your row patterns for the 2015 event.

Here's the Hummingbird Highway Row By Row Experience Roll Call (in alphabetical order by state or province). I don't have final photographs for each shop's row. Since I don't want to blow their big reveal, if I don't have the quilt photo, I'll just provide the pattern title, and you'll have to investigate further. Each state or province has a facebook page and many of the row samples can be found there.

California. Monica's Bead & Quilt Creations, Palm Desert. Oasis

Illinois. Quilts & More, Stronghurst. Thirsty

Kansas. Sunflower Quilts, Hiawatha. Rubber Duckies

North Carolina. Wish Upon a Quilt, Raleigh. Great Quilter Reef

Nevada. Quiltique, Henderson. Save Every Drop

New York. Calico Gals, the home of the Row by Row Experience, Syracuse. Drip, Drip, Drop

Ohio. Quilt Foundry, Maumee. Quilting Quackers

Pennsylvania. The Sewing Box Quilt Shop, Somerset. Make a Little Wish

Pennsylvania. Sew Special, Uniontown. The Giant Rubber Duck

Saskatchewan. Cindy-Rella's Sewing and Quilting, Regina. Message at Sea

Texas. Buttons N Bows, Houson. Great Egret

Wisconsin. The Calico Shoppe, Eau Claire. Anchors Aweigh

West Virginia. Sew Special, Morgantown. Aunt Phibian and Her Beau


Happy Travels and Happy Stitching!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Books and Art in the Big Apple

Last Thursday, I got on a train headed from Syracuse, New York to New York's Penn Station. After a bit of retail therapy and a really yummy dinner at the hotel in Times Square, my first real objective for the weekend was a book-signing at BEA - a super-sized wholesale book show held annually in May.

All the big publishers have booths at the event, with lots of author signing going on all around me, I wasn't sure anyone would be interested in my book, When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters! Guess what. . .they were! The line started to form at the Taunton Press booth shortly before the signing was scheduled to begin.

BEA book signing

And I had stacks and stacks of books to sign! Perhaps I should have spent some time toning up my hand muscles to prepare!

BEA Taunton Press booth

I signed each book, and took some time to chat and make some new friends!

BEA Taunton Press Booth

Once the books were gone, it was time for Taunton to serve up some goodies from one of their newest titles in from the cooking side of the house! Samples of recipes from Blue Ribbon Canning were quite popular. . .and quite yummy!

Blue Ribbon Canning Sample

I wasn't the only person signing books that day! Dr. Ruth Westheimer has a children's book! Leopold is about a turtle who just can't seem to get out of his shell to try new things! Cute!

Dr. Ruth

And this is Meg Medina, a delightful woman with a new children's book about crossing generations and cultures through common interests. I was completely drawn in by the parrot on the cover illustration. . . of course!

Meg Medina and her new book

On Saturday, Dave and I went to one of my favorite spots in New York. But first, you HAVE to have the Subway Selfie, right?

Times Square Selfie

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or, simply, The Met, is one of my favorite places anywhere. The huge collection of art and artifacts allows you to step back thousands of years in time in one gallery, then step across the hall to another gallery to see art from this past century. It's mind-boggling!

The Met

One of my favorite sections in almost any art museum is the collection of Impressionist art. Degas is famous for his portraits of ballet figures. This striking portrait done in pastels and charcoal has a deep blue velvet border on the frame.

Degas ballet portrait

The rooftop garden at The Met offers an escape from the busy bustling inside the museum and on the streets below. And an opportunity for another selfie.

NYC from The Met

Such a beautiful day to take advantage of the walk back to our Times Square hotel via Central Park and the Sailboat Pond.

Central Park Sailboat Pond

That's it! Just a quick trip. Our return train ride on Sunday was delayed, so we spent pretty much the whole day in transition back home. But that's okay. It was such a pleasant ride and a great little getaway for an early Summer weekend!

And it's always a good weekend when there retail AND scrap are involved!

Happy Stitching!