Yes my quilter friends - today is the day we have all been waiting for. The 2015 Row by Row officially begins!!!!!
The rules are easy - you have to personally go to each store (that is participating of course) to pick up a free pattern for a row that measures 9" by 36". Some stores may have kits available that you can use to make their row. These patterns are COPYRIGHT so you shouldn`t be photocopying them and sharing with your friends. The idea ladies is to get PEOPLE (and their money) into the store. Copying patterns sort of defeats that purpose. And it is easy to pick up the patterns, no cost and there are so many that there shouldn't be a need for photocopying. After all - how many of the rows will you actually make??? The individual stores are 100% responsible for designing the pattern and making up kits.
I believe that pictures of the rows had to be published on Facebook by yesterday. Here is a link to the Ontario rows - some of them are pretty darn impressive!!!! And I'm thinking if the row is impressive - what does that say about the quilt store???? Oh yes - some of them, I will make a special trip to pick up because they are so awesome.
Here is the general link to all the states/provinces participating. Once in a specific state/province, then click on either the map to show you where the stores are located, or click on the list of stores, or you can click on the Facebook page that will show you the rows for that area. It is simple and the web site is well done. If you want to find out about the license plates for that area, check out this link which you can then select the state/province you want.
Some stores have also chosen to offer the fabric license plates. The license plates were very popular last year and quickly became a collector`s item. Since it is an inventory item that the stores had to purchase - the plates have been available for sale since May 15. And many of us are buying multiples of those (it is a purchaseable item so multiple purchases are allowed) so we can trade them.
There are also metal pins that you can purchase from the participating stores. The list is here at PinPeddlers.
I bought my first license plate on May 15!!!
|Lilac Lanes - first plate!!!!|
|Ruti's Needlebed - second plate!!!!!|
|Quilting B n More - SIX of them - one for me - five to trade!!!!|
Oh yes - let's not forget that there are fabrics that were designed for the row by row. It appears that every company that could get their hands in the pie did. But the two main ones to my knowledge are Timeless Treasures and Northcott.
Here are the fabrics from TImeless Treasures. Very cutsey and fun.
International Textiles (hey do you recognize that SAND one - top left!!!) From my beach tote!!!!
Anyway - do you see that EVERYONE has a finger in the pie - which is great and just adds to the feeding frenzy!!!!
As you can guess - I am pretty hyped about the Row by Row, but here are a couple of things that I don't like. Hey, I am entitled to an opinion!!!
First, there is a contest and contests make people make BAD decisions. The idea is that EACH store will offer a prize to the FIRST person who arrives at the store with a COMPLETED quilt that is made of at least EIGHT rows. Bonus prize if the quilt contains the row from the store that it was taken to. What happened last year was crazy. The event started on July 1 last year. Stores were closed in Canada, so some Canadians went to the US on July 1, picked up some rows, kits and came home and made them. Then they got more rows on July 2 and by July 3 (I might be a bit off on the dates), brought a completed quilt into the store to claim a prize. Seriously?????? I guess I am old fashioned in this regard, but quilting is supposed to be a relaxing hobby - not a FRENZY. So people were making quilts that were 36 inches wide by about 72 inches long. Eight rows stacked on top of each other. Seriously????? Who is going to be able to use that quilt - stick men????? So NO - I don't like the contest part of the event. I think they could do without it.
Second - the start date. Last year - July 1 - OK - great summer project. And this year, they started earlier - June 21 - Sunday. But I was in a store yesterday and there was a lady travelling from Alberta. Neither her nor I were allowed to get the row (as per the rules!!!). But MANY MANY MANY people start their travel in early June to beat prices and the summer rush. I think the start date should be June 1. I know - you are saying - well then why not May, why not April??? There has to be a start date - make it June 1 so early travellers are not penalized! And don't start on SUNDAY or MONDAY. Many stores are closed that day. Start on TUESDAY when everyone is OPEN!!!!
Third - there are going to be a LOT of unhappy people in regards to the license plates. Some stores haven't even received their first shipment and therefore WILL NOT have them in the store for pickup. Some stores are already on their second order. I know - it is crazy and I envision those little printers just whirling day and night. The stores need to get off their butt and order earlier - not that that would help since the printers can only print so fast. So - something needs to be done about that!!!!
GREAT TIP - but if you are planning on travelling and want to collect license plates - here is a suggestion. Take a bunch of envelopes with you, some stamps and some return address labels. If the store does NOT have the license plate then pay for the plate and leave them a stamped self addressed envelope so you know that you will get the plate. I think that is a GREAT idea. Thanks to Joyce whose e-mail this morning made me think of that!!!!
I have mapped out a way home that tries to get as many stores as possible along the route. No - I chose a route home and then mapped out the stores!!!! Whatever!!! Anyway - I have a list that I printed yesterday, bought a GPS and in the process of programming all the addresses into the GPS. Yep - I'll be ready for any detours.
I think that about covers it. Now I have to send notes and a copy of this blog post to my family/friends who I have engaged to get patterns (hey - they are NOT quilters so what do they want with the pattern). Then they can send to me!!!!! And let's not forget the plates that they are snagging all over the country on my behalf!! That is my priority - the plates - NOT the patterns.
Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let the FRENZY begin..........................