Row By Row on display at Modern Domestic in Portland, Oregon.
Are you planning a road trip this summer? If you’re like me, whenever you travel you’re always on the lookout for a crafty destination, somewhere to buy a unique fabric or interesting notion or pattern to remember the trip by.
That’s what Row By Row Experience is all about. Founded by quilt shop owner Janet Lutz in 2011, Row By Row is a summertime shop hop that all brick-and-mortar quilt shops are invited to join. Each summer there’s a theme and shops design an original “row” pattern as a free giveaway to customers who visit the shop during the summer months. Most shops also sell kits to accompany the pattern. Lots of shops employ local designers to design their blocks, creating neat collaborations.
Today, 3,100 shops across the US, Canada, and Europe participate in Row By Row and 1.4 million quilters participate in the program. On average the program brings in 200 new customers per store in a period when many shops would otherwise see slow sales. I wrote a more in-depth piece about Row By Row and Janet here if you’d like to learn more.
I love modern quilts and I thought it would be neat to round up some of my favorite modern Row By Row blocks that have been created for this summer’s theme: sew musical.
I’ve sorted these by region so that you can easily see which shop might be in your local area or the region where you’re traveling this summer. You can also go onto the Row By Row website and search by region, then view the picture list of all the shops in your state. Here are my favorite modern rows:
Silvia Sutters designed this bird with piano keys block for Finch Knitting + Sewing Studio in Leesburg, Virginia. A boutique sewing and knitting shop with modern fabric, quality yarn, cool tools, and fun on-trend classes for all ages, Finch is owned by Nicole Morganthau who grew up in a family of women who sewed. Finch’s building was built in 1790 and is right in downtown.
This beautiful row is called “Cottage Home Rondo” and is being offered by Crimson Tate in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The pattern of the half square triangles is inspired by a jazz composition and incorporates Liberty of London fabrics as well as Free Spirit solids. Crimson Tate is owned by Heather Givans who started out as a high school art teachers. She’s now a fabric designer and shop owner. Her shop is located on along the cultural trail on Mass Ave.
Sew to Speak in Worthington, Ohio (just north of Columbus) designed a block inspired by retro vinyl record players for their row this year. The shop was founded in 2008 and is owned by designer April Rhodes and her mother Anita.
Fancy Tiger Crafts is offering this clever play on the Beatles Abbey Road album cover. it’s a foundation paper pieced block designed by Keely Shaw and one of the shop’s co-owners, Amber Corcoran. Fancy Tiger is located in Denver, Colorado in the hip Broadway shopping district just a mile south of downtown. The shop carries yarn, fabric, and fibers and hosts an open craft night on Tuesdays from 6-9 pm.
Row by Row Experience starts tomorrow 🎉 This years theme is Sew Musical. Stop by the shop to pick up your FREE 🎶Summertime Soundwaves🎵 row pattern! We’re also working on a 📀SUMMERTIME SOUNDWAVES playlist (live on Spotify) 🎹 Comment with your go-to summer songs and we’ll add it to the playlist! 🎧 @rowbyrowexperience
Modern Domestic is offering this modern row, “Summertime Soundwaves” along with a Spotify playlist. Located in Portland, Oregon, Modern Domestic offers a curated fabric selection, instruction for sewists of all stripes, and an emphasis on community. The shop was founded by longtime friends Lupine Swanson and Michelle Healy.
Located in Ventura, California, Superbuzzy specializes in modern and Japanese fabrics. Founded by Kelly Stevens and a friend in 2006, today the shop sells fabric, yarn, notions, and Zakka, and gifts. Their row this year is called “You Spin Me” and is inspired by retro LPs. It can be used either vertically or horizontally.
Lindsey Neill designed this record player row for Bolts & More, a fabric, quilting, and scrapbooking store in Gilbert, Arizona, just outside of Phoenix. The store opened in 2016 and offers classes in sewing, embroidery, and mixed media.
“Who Let the Pugs Out” is an 18″ x 18″ block designed by Aimee Leptick of Little Bird Designs for The Quilter’s Bolt in Millbrook, Ontario. Described as a “modern and sociable shop,” The Quilter’s Bolt is owned by Kate DeKlerck. She opened the shop in 2015 after a working in a childcare for more than a decade. There’s an online tour of the shop here.
This is just a taste of the modern Row By Row blocks available this summer. Some other favorites include Intown Quilters‘ in Decatur and Atlanta beautiful music note row inspired by the Indigo Girls. Stitching It Up in Cedar City, Utah has a gorgeous jukebox row. KISSed Quilts in Grand Coulee, Washington has this incredible row depicting the refracted light that was on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. And there are definitely more! Follow the #rowbyrowexperience hashtag on Instagram and you’ll surely see some modern rows pop up in your feed throughout the summer.