Saturday, June 4, 2016

Do you Row by Row?

I'll be honest - I've been a nervous wreck.  Upon the recommendation of a fellow shopkeeper who also has a yarn/fabric shop, I am participating in the Row by Row Experience this year.  It's been a bit of work getting ready:

1) I had to design a row based on this year's theme, Home Sweet Home, and write instructions for it.  My row is Blue Ridge Sunset, depicting the view from my front porch - the sunsets, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the dogwoods in bloom. (To be honest, the sun COMES UP on the Blue Ridge Mountains and SETS on the Appalachian Mountains when you are at my house, but I really wanted blue mountains so I hope no one will take umbrage at the liberties I took.)

It's one thing to make something for yourself or a friend, but something else completely to make it for public consumption (and critique).  I'm nervous about what visitors will have to say about my row this summer.  I hope they like it, but I plan to wear my "big girl panties" to work each day and just deal with it if they don't.

2) I had to decide whether or not to order fabric license plates, and if so, which to get.  I'm happy with my final selection, two of which are also appropriate for the knitters/crocheters who visit the shop, and I'm having fun thinking up projects to make with them, like this drawstring project tote bag.

It turns out this was probably a good investment as I've already had people call and order the fabric plates from me.

3) I'm most nervous about the fact that I am more of a YARN shop than a QUILT shop.  I'm worried that folks will come in and see my paltry selection of fat quarters and Kona Solids bolts and be disappointed that they scheduled a stop.  The only criteria for shops was that you have all the necessary accoutrements for making a quilt - the fabric, the batting, the notions, etc - and I do, I just don't have a lot of any of it.  But, I guess that if they come, they are really coming for the row pattern and I shouldn't sweat it.  There are probably lots of quilters who also knit or crochet, right?  Breathe in, breathe out, and stop worrying about it, Erin!

4) I still haven't kitted up my row, although I have written the instructions as well as a spreadsheet that tells me how much of each fabric I need for each kit.  The hard part is done - all that remains is cutting and packaging.  I'll start that next week.

On top of all that, I have two weeks of kids'  summer camp starting on Monday.  Next week we are making Molas, the week after is Crochet Camp.  Those will be some long days - fun, but long.

So last night, I put aside my worries over the Row by Row and summer camp and just went to the sewing room to SEW.  My Strippy Scrappy Flippy Happy quilt needs just one more column of blocks to make it 5x7, then I'm adding borders and calling it done.  You would think my scrap bins would seem more depleted by now, but no.

I also put together 3 more of these colorful blocks for our Guild's comfort quilts project this month.  Since I can't stay at the meeting to make blocks with everyone else, I'm hoping to have a bunch of blocks to donate - or even a completed top - by next weekend.  I just can't quite figure out how I want to lay them out...

On the agenda for today is making a mini mola pincushion, working on my Westering Women block for last month, and making a couple more comfort quilt blocks.  Plenty of time to stress over Row by Row in the coming weeks.


Jean said...

A beautiful row by row. I love the colors and the dogwood. We had dogwood trees in Ohio, and my Dad just loved them. In a retirement place where there were woods, he tried growing them for seed. Enjoy all your visitors, and yes, some will have inappropriate comments, but enjoy the good ones. Hope have parts of your in progress quilts on a design wall somewhere where visitors can see them You go girl.

Barb H said...

Erin, I think you have a winner with your Row x Row pattern. I love it! And I think many, many others will too. So glad your shop is doing so well. If I ever get back to Virginia, I'll stop in for sure.

The Cozy Quilter said...

Beautiful row! I wish I was visiting again this year to get one! Your shop is charming! Don't worry! This is a great chance to meet some new people ...many quilters I know also knit. Your problem with the scrap bins never going down is universal. Lol.

Becky said...

Dang!!!! I LOVE the row. I wish I was down there to do the whole hop! One row wouldn't do me much good! Don't worry. I know many quilters that are just as avid knitters. I don't know why those two crafts go together, but they just seem to be popular as a pair!

Would love to be making a stop in Lexington this summer!


Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I haven't done the Row quilts, but, I have a few friends that travel, and make stops on (and out of the way) for the Row kits. I like your block. It makes total sense to me. Love the purple mountains and the pink flowers in it.

Moneik said...

I think you'll be very happy you did the RbyR experience. I know it's been wonderful for getting people to stop in the shop. Even if they're only there for the row, you'll find they buy other things as well. It's a great boost to day to day. Be prepared though, you'll probably sell way more kits than you anticipate. Good luck!

joe tulips said...

I love your row. You did awesome! I just finished last years "Midwest" row quilt. I'm working on my "out west" now.

Char said...

I love your row and I'm sure everyone else will as well.