Row by Row

My Row by Row quilt is DONE!!!

36965833_10214639756962158_6385389692132524032_nIs it wrong to view something as popular as the Row by Row program as a blessing and a curse? That’s where my head is, and I make no apologies for that view.

Two years ago, my daughters and I travelled to Alberta for a very good friend’s wedding in the Rockies. Never one to miss an opportunity, I spent an afternoon in Calgary visiting quilt stores, and purchased my first row by row kit. It’s the one that says, “Oh Canada, My Canada”. I asked for the free pattern, but the lovely lady pointed out that the kit was laser cut, so of course I bought the kit. Anything to make life easier, no? NO. On that trip, I found a three more stores, each blessed with row by row kits, before I headed off to Ottawa for my aunt’s 100th birthday party.

36970988_10214639755602124_8633106233164824576_nWell, I almost missed the party. See that row with the moose and the bear? I drove 100km to get that, but there was road construction, and I got a little lost, so… I didn’t have time to get back to my hotel on the other side of the city. I stopped at Walmart on the way back to find something decent to put on. After all, the party wasn’t about me, was it? And my aunt’s vision and mind weren’t as sharp as they used to be, so as long as I was there, it was OK. Should I add that I also visited Orleans, and Kanata, and Stittsville, and Almonte…

I was so pleased with the results of my quest that when I got home, I rushed to the sewing room to start putting them together. Well, they took forever. The second one I did was the beauty from Canmore with the mountains and cabin and trees and… anything else the designer could think of to torture the assembler. To make matters worse, I was trying a new applique method where one paints the fabric with modgepodge instead of iron on heat and bond. The result was a much tidier edge, but it was definitely more labour intensive.

36850626_10214639756002134_2738349445736300544_nOver the winter I finished a half dozen of the kits and swore never to buy another. The next summer I went to Ontario, and lo and behold, succumbed to the temptation of another couple kits. And then a local quilt store produced an irresistible view of the Narrows, the harbour of my home city. It’s the one with the row boat. So I ended up with even more unfinished kits. And I don’t like using kits. I hardly even enjoy using a pattern properly, let alone having my fabric choices made for me.

36850301_10214639756162138_2046227822606811136_nThat pile of half done and undone rows taunted me every time I went into my sewing room. I put it on two UFO lists, in the hope I might deal with the nuisances. Between that, and the sewing room flood that made new projects with multiple fabrics difficult, I buckled down, finished the rows I could find, and assembled a quilt top. Somehow, the motley collection of bits came together in reasonable style. I then rounded up my unused Canada 150 fabric, another ill considered purchase, and made a back for it. And quilted it, in a very basic fashion, and attached the binding by machine, and called it done. Can you just feel the love? 36878478_10214639755402119_4478102549722824704_n (1)The sad truth is that, after all the resentment and ill will I had towards the quilt, I actually like it. It has a story to tell.

Enjoy your summer, but beware the row by rows.

Linking up to  Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts 

and Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation

22 thoughts on “Row by Row

  1. Hahaha! Fabulous story Ann!
    I’ll never look at a row by row kit the same….and that’s a good thing as I’ve successfully resisted the temptation thus far!

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  2. I loved your quilt — the Mountie is charming!! And, as always, you made me laugh! I have from time to time considered a Row by Row, but have never succumbed. I don’t like kits either!

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  3. Hi Ann,
    Your tale sounds very similar to ours. Those row by rows – they call and beckon us, and then challenge us to finish them. We have only fallen for one kit . . . that remains unfinished because I sent it off to my niece in Oklahoma. It was campers and she collects them – so that was a good call. Otherwise, it would be amongst our UFOs, laughing at me. Happy Monday! ~smile~ Roseanne

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