I don't know about you, but I'll be very glad when this Row by Row Experience has ended for this year. And I'll have to rethink my involvement next year. While it has been loads of fun and I was fortunate enough to have travelled from coast to coast, and hit stores in EIGHT of the NINE provinces that participated as well as at least a dozen in the US, it has taken a toll on my logistical capabilities. Finding someone to trade with to get a specific kit or plate and I have so many loose ends right now - I almost need a spreadsheet to get it under control. Don't worry - I have a list!
It seems that everyday I arrive home to another package of some sort in the mailbox! My stack of plates is steadily growing and I am very afraid to actually count how many there are! (and how many more there are to come!)
Yesterday I had the opportunity to do one final?? blast of Row by Row. Because of the bike trip (more on that another day), my car was in Roseneath which is north of Cobourg. Once I got back to my car which was late I drove to Trenton and stayed over night.
Then I was up bright and early and on the road - my goal was to get to Chesterville for 9 AM when that store opened. ACK - when I turned on the GPS - it said I would arrive at 9:25 AM because I miscalculated my departure time. Oh well - let's just say that I made up that time on the 401 and arrived in Chesterville right at the store opened. Flair with Fabrics is a gorgeous store and I had already blown my budget when I walked out the first store!!!!
|Flair with Fabrics - Chesterville|
They had two plates - both have awesome sayings and I picked up several copies of both for trading.
While I was out and about yesterday, I also introduced myself in my new role as a Northcott employee. I was able to have some great chats with the store owners and it was nice to see so much Northcott on display!
I debated with myself about the next store. They did NOT have a license plate and that was my goal, but they were the ONLY store in Quebec. I've come this far - just bite the bullet and do it!!!! You see - I had NINE stores on my list and they were open from 9 - 4 PM. I didn't want to miss any of them, expecially if they had plates which they all did but the Quebec store.
Next thing you know - I am on the ferry. Boy that ferry just whips along. I arrived at the dock - last car on the ferry. Got to the other side - third car off (I was parked right in the middle)
|On the ferry!|
|My car has pontoons!|
and a few minutes later - I was at the quilt store. Les Ateliers Quilt & Coton. This is a fabulous shop and very easy to get to. Introduced myself again and had a great conversation (in French no less - a bit rusty), but it was again very nice to meet the owner.
|Les Ateliers Quilt & Coton|
|Les Ateliers Quilt & Coton - row by row|
As I mentioned, they didn't have a license plate but they had a great row and I found a beautiful (HUGE) bundle of charm squares of Fossil Fern which is perfect for applique.
I had studied the Row by Row map and laid out my route so I had a printed copy of the addresses which I plugged into the GPS at each store for the next destination. Never once did the GPS fail me, although once it took me on a stupid road just because I stopped for ice cream. Not sure why that happened. I had to laugh because the car in front of me - the same thing happened to them. We were coming down Highway 41 to Highway 7. We had about 14 KM to go and we both stopped for ice cream. They left and made the turn in front of me to this winding little road (Number 29 through Flinton) while the GPS originally had said to keep going straight. I wasn't with them - just followed them. I saw them hesitate at that turn. It was scenic and didn't really delay too much.
Well - once I had finished in Quebec, it was time to get back to Ontario and OH NO - I am going back over the ferry. Not a big deal, but it was $9 each way and they only took CASH. I rarely have cash with me these days so I must say that I dug through everything in the car to find money for the return trip. I was .75 cents short on the way back. I didn't say anything as I handed the attendant a huge pile of change and well - what were they going to do? Push me off????? I did stop at the ATM (many hours later to get some cash)
The next stop was in Orleans. I took a picture because last year - I hit this store when I was riding my bike and I thought it was neat that here was my bike again at the same store but on the back of the car this time. Again - a GREAT store.
|Quilty Pleasures in Orleans|
Then I hit:
The Running Stitch in Kanata - plates all sold out - not reordering.
Mad about Patchwork in Stittsville - plates all sold out - not reordering.
The Pickle Dish in Carleton Place - plates all sold out - not reordering.
The Country Quilting in Almonte - had plates and met the owner.
Textile Traditions of Almonte - had plates and met the owner.
Oh - did you see a pattern there????? I guess I was a bit miffed that they had run out of plates - there are still two weeks left and some stores are still selling their plates from last year. They will sell!!!! OK - breath - it is just a fabric license plate!!!!!
BUT if anyone has a plate from any of those three stores and isn't going to do anything with it. Maybe you think you will, but you know you won't. Let's talk!!!!! I am crazy and I am willing to barter heavily for it - it could be very worth your while to have a chat!
I also hear the store in Cobourg (The Stitch witch) is sold out as well - so that one is also on my list for bartering.
My last stop and I wasn't sure I was going to get there was in Renfrew. Valley Needleworx. Yes - this was a LONG ways north, but by the time I was in Almonte - I wasn't that far from Renfrew. They had plates and I had a good chat with the owner. BUT - this store has an amazing row. Valley Needleworx row is the Octopus Garden - bottom row. We R Quilts in Prescott (Tracy is the coordinator for Row by Row in Canada) - their row is the Seahorse Shuffle (second from top).
All four rows were designed by Joni Newman of Quirks and Quilts. So how this works - you get the free pattern for Octopus Garden from Valley Needleworx in Renfrew (or buy the kit). You also get the free pattern for the Seashorse Shuffle from We R Quilts in Prescott (or buy the kit). Then at EITHER store, you can purchase the pattern for the remaining two rows. Or you can wait until after November 1 when you will be able to purchase the entire pattern. And could it be possible there is another row in the works???? I just love Joni's work. She designs patterns for Northcott and I bought a kit to make a quilt for my office - that's how I blew my budget at the first stop!
Now wasn't that exciting and well worth the drive to Renfrew!!!!!!
And by the way - I just checked the list of license plates and there are THREE more stores on the list. CRAP - one of them is in Trenton where I just was!!!!!!!! But I wouldn't have been able to get there because of my timing. Shoot!!!!!! Perhaps I need ONE more day out that way as there is a new one in Oshawa as well. The other one is in Red Lake and no way I'm going all the way up there. Anyone, other than Liz crazy enough to drive all that way???????
I left that ninth store at 3:15 PM. Now how is that for timing!!!!! Then the long FIVE hour drive back home which was broken up by a bathroom break, ice cream and the stupid GPS playing games! But all in all it was a FABULOUS day. I think I will plan ONE more day depending on how many of those remaining stores still have license plates. At least - I don't have to drive to Quebec this time - it will be much shorter - Kingston at the most!!!! By the way - that was about 900 KM!
I wonder if yesterday counts as a work day since I was doing research for Northcott??? Probably not! But the good news is that I have NOTHING on the schedule today. NOTHING. Not sure how that happened, but it did and I am slowly working through the mess down stairs. Oh yes - and trying to sew three quilt tops together today. More on that later.
Don't forget that last post of 50 ways to keep a quilter happy while on vacation. Check out the last shop - they have some amazing ideas and I posted the pictures.
On that note - have a great day!!!!!