Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flip Flop and "Row by Row" Shop Hop

     It has been a very quilty week. It all started last Saturday when I drove down to Rhode Island to visit some quilt shops taking part in the "Row by Row Experience." What's that you say? I'll explain further down in this post. One of the shops, Just Quilts, in Bristol, RI had a table runner similar to this one on display which caught my eye, so of course, I had to purchase some fabric and whip up this little flip flop table runner.
     On Wednesday night, I took a class at Heart in Hands in South Weymouth, MA. Here's the little zippered bag that I made. Wouldn't these make lovely, handy little gifts?

     On Thursday night, it was my turn to host my quilting group, and we made plans to visit some of the shops taking part in the "Row by Row Experience" in Massachusetts. Many quilt shops across the country are taking part. Only sixteen states are not represented. This is how it works. You must visit a shop in person and ask for their pattern which is free. Many of the shops also have kits made up for their row which you may purchase, or you may choose to use your own fabrics. In addition, many shops have fabric license plates with cute sewing-related sayings available for purchases. For instance, Heart in Hand's plate says, "Wicked Quiltah." (For those not from this area . . . "wicked" means awesome, as in, I had a "wicked" good time, and people from the Boston area are alleged to have a bit of an accent. We sometimes use "ah" in our speech where there should be "er"s. 
     Anyway, at 9:00 on Saturday we met at Donna's and with Edith behind the wheel we set out on our adventure. (This is Donna's mandavilla; it's magnificent.) After picking up another friend and with our GPS, lists, and maps in hand we were off.

      Our first stop was Marketplace Quilts in Salem. It was a really cute little shop.

     Here is this shop's sample row. . . purr-fectly adorable.

     From there, we took a short drive to Sew Creative in Beverly. Next up, Red Barn Sewing and Yarn Center in Merrimac which had lots and lots of tempting fabrics, and finally, Quilters Common in Wakefield.  Just a note if you are "rowing," this Wakefield shop is around the back of a building. It may appear as if it is closed, but go through the glass double doors in the center of the building, head down the stairs, and you will see the shop with its helpful, friendly staff and bolts and bolts of fabric. (I added this note because if Liz hadn't got out to see if there was any info posted, we would have driven off believing that the shop was closed. We did stop at one other teenie-tiny shop on the list which I won't mention by name. There really wasn't much fabric at all, but the owner seemed thrilled to have visitors stop by. 
     All of the shop owners were very enthusiastic about the number of new people visiting their shops. People are traveling from all over trying to collect the patterns; it's a bit addictive. :-) All in all, it was a fun day and we did our part to help the economy of Massachusetts. 

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