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Row by Row: What you need to know

Tuesday, June 21st is the kick off for the 2016 Row by Row Experience! Some of you have your plans all made - you know what rows you want and have mapped out your route! And the rest of you are thinking what the heck is Row by Row, am I right? Not to worry - we're here to fill you in!

Row by Row Experience began in 2011 in New York State with just 20 quilt shops. It grew to 62 shops in 2012, 138 shops in 2013 and then went nationwide in 2014 with 1250 shops participating. We joined in last year and were among the 2655 shops that participated! We had an absolute blast meeting all the Row by Row shop hoppers and we knew we were definitely on board again this year.

So what do you do exactly? Row by Row is basically a nationwide shop hop, but with no fees, no cards to stamp, etc. You simply stop in a participating shop to pick up a free pattern for their original quilt row. The best place to start is to visit the Row by Row Experience website to find a list of stores participating in the states you will be visiting this summer (don't forget your home state)! Click on the state you are interested in and you will find a list of all the shops. Each state also has a Facebook page setup where you can see each shop's row and learn a little bit about them before you set off on your adventure. The North Dakota shops even have a handy Flip book of all the shops in one place. Stop in the participating stores to pick up a free pattern for their row. Most shops will also have kits available to purchase of their row so you don't have to keep track of yardage, etc. as you travel. If you create a quilt using at least 8 different 2016 rows from 8 different 2016 participating shops and be the first to bring it into a participating shop you will win a stack of 25 fat quarters (6-1/4 yards of fabric!). Use that shop’s row in your quilt and you will win a bonus prize! Whether you win the big prize or not, a Row by Row Experience quilt is an amazing souvenir of your 2016 summer travels.

This year's theme is "Home Sweet Home" and each shop's row represents that theme in some way. The yellow brick road of Oz inspired our Row by Row pattern this year! Dorothy knew there was no place like home and we know it too. We hope you enjoy dreaming of somewhere over the rainbow as you sew our row!

But that's not all! A lot of shops also have personalized fabric license plates specially made for the event! Quilt shop owners are clever folks, you know. There are some good ones out there this year! Here's a sneak peak at ours.

We've seen some really cool uses for these. Some quilters piece them into their Row by Row quilt top next to that shop's row, or they use them to piece the back of the quilt. Some have even appliqued them to tote bags! Some many fun uses.

A new thing we are excited about this year is our Row by Row Visitor Map! Last year we were so surprised how many people travelled through Fargo and stopped in to pick up a kit or pattern. We were sad we hadn't kept track of where everyone was from, so this year we planned ahead! Add a pin to our map so we can see how far you've really come for the love of quilting.

We hope you stop in this summer and remember to make Row by Row stops part of your road trip plans!

Just a few rules to note:

Row by Row runs from June 21st through September 6th, 2016. During this time shops are only allowed to distribute patterns and sell kits in their brick and mortar store. We are not allowed to mail free patterns or sell the kits online or over the phone in any way. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause you! September 7th - October 31st is considered the hibernation period and we may not distribute or sell patterns or kits in any way during this time. However, after October 31st any patterns or kits that remain from the summer will be available in the shop and online!

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