Row by Row: Southern Maryland, I-95 Virginia

Last Wednesday was a beautiful day for a drive here in the mid-Atlantic. Patty and I took a trip through southern Maryland and up the I-95 corridor in Virginia. Out of seven shops, we’d only been to two of them. The rest were new to us.

Our first stop was Calvert Quilt Shop in Prince Frederick, MD. We planned to get there when the shop opened. We actually beat the owner by a couple of minutes. The GPS in my car took us a little bit longer way than Google said to go but that was a good thing because I-95 was a parking lot. We had no traffic back-ups to deal with the way we went.

The shop is packed with fabric. To the left of the entrance is a model train shop – must be the husband’s shop. It’s possible there were other models, I only noticed the trains. Past that was more quilt shop: the classroom, thread, etc. I think we’d stop again if we were in the neighborhood but not make a special trip.

When we checked out, the owner put our purchases in these tote bags and told us to fill them up on our trip. I had no intention of doing so but it happened anyway.


Shall we see what treasures I found along the way? I foolishly told people at guild that everything I bought was with a specific intention. I might have inadvertently lied.

Calvert Quilt Shop’s Row by Row display:

The houses in their row have barn quilts on each one. They included twice as many as needed so the maker can choose which ones they want.

I got their kit and license plate, a couple of patriotic prints, a patriotic panel and a print with barns with quilts. I’ve had a design of sorts in my head for many years for a patriotic quilt so any patriotic fabric can be acquired with the intention of using it in that quilt. My paternal grandparents had a farm and I’ve got a vague plan for a memory quilt of the farm so any print relating to the farm is allowed, right?

Our second stop took us to Hughesville, MD to Michelle’s Quilts. This shop is quite large with lots of great fabric but there’s junk everywhere. I needed to lay out one piece of fabric to figure out how much I needed but there wasn’t anywhere to put it. The cutting table was behind a sort of pony wall that separated the customers from the checkout area. There was no customer access to the cutting table and, besides, it was covered with crap. Michelle barely had any room to cut fabric for customers.

Michelle’s row was really nice. Maryland flag with crabs.


The hexagon beachy looking fabric is all Patty’s fault! I’m going to use it for a small cheater cloth top. On the top left is a pretty oriental style blender print (stash enhancement, sigh). The cat border print stripe is going to be an experiment. I think it might make an interesting one fabric quilt using this technique. I picked up her kit and the license plates for 2015 and 2016.

Twenty minutes or so later we were in La Plata, MD for lunch at the Apple Spice Deli and Material Girls Quilt Boutique. Material Girls is a shop we’ve been to many times. I had my Bernina fixed here a few years back when the feed dogs quit working. Their row and license plate:


I picked up their kit and last year’s license plate. I couldn’t remember if we’d been there last year for Row by Row. If I already have the plate, I can probably trade it with someone. I didn’t get this year’s license plate because I’m no longer a Bernina girl since I got my new Janome 9400 last week!


We had an hour and change to drive to the next shop in Fredericksburg, VA. The road took us over the Harry Nice bridge. Last time we went this way the Nice bridge wasn’t so nice. There was a vehicle on fire or something at the top of the bridge and we sat in traffic for a couple of hours while that was dealt with. This time we sailed over with no delays. Fredericksburg had two shops on the same road, one new to us and one familiar shop.

The Quilt and Sewing Center was small but cute. It was hard to find. It’s behind some strip malls in an industrial park area, all the way at the end. You’d never just happen onto this shop unless you were very, very lost. This shop had two rows to choose from: a bird nesting on a branch and a door. Their license plates hadn’t arrived yet.


I picked up the kit for this years row and for the 2014 row. We got the door pattern as our free pattern.

I’m really glad I don’t live near The Crazy Cousin because I would get in so much trouble here. The shop has doubled in size since we were there in November! It is a wonderful shop! Their Row by Row display included the rows from 2014 and 2015 as well as this year’s row.



I got the kits for this year’s row and last year’s row as well as this year’s license plate. The butterfly fabric is also Patty’s fault! She loves butterflies. I think I’ll use this to inspire my color palette for Bonnie Hunter’s mystery this year, assuming she offers one this year. The butterfly print will probably serve as the border for the mystery quilt.

From here we headed north on I-95 to Bonny’s Sewing and Fabric in Stafford, VA. This is a small shop. The fabric bolts are neatly displayed, horizontally in racks that make it easy to remove a selected bolt. Not much to attract me here. Their row is uninspired.


What was inspiring was this raffle quilt made by the Stafford guild.



Wouldn’t it be great if I win it?


I got the license plate and  a print of maracas on black background. I couldn’t remember the name of the instrument. How did we survive before Google and Wikipedia? Remember I said earlier that everything I bought was with an intent? Several years ago Patty made a great quilt with print prints on black background and bright colors. I’m collecting to make one like it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Back on I-95, heading north to Occoquan, VA to Attic Treasures and Sew Easy Sewing. Occoquan is a great place to spend a day, lots of interesting little shops and eateries. Be prepared for a lot of walking. We were lucky enough to find parking in the small lot in front of the shop. They have two versions of their row. Unfortunately, the afternoon sun was shining in the window so my pictures are terrible.

The row is pictures of antique sewing machines cut from panels. There were two different panels, so two versions of the kit.


I’m currently working on a quilt for my friend, Becky and her husband. The back will reflect their interests: his is civil war and hers is books. I picked up a couple of civil war prints for that. The one in the middle is a map of the 3 days of battle at Gettysburg. The elegant eagle print on the right is for the patriotic quilt I mentioned earlier.


I couldn’t decided which machine panel I wanted so got both but only one of the embroidered words. Patty picked up this fun black and white print so I had to get a fat quarter for my collection.


They had these Row by Row charms reflecting the theme for each year as well as the car charm holder. The car reminds me of my old PT Cruiser. There were charms for many previous years before the Row by Row expanded across the country. I only got the charms for the last three years when I participated. I’ll probably pin this onto a row quilt when I’m not shop hopping. Of course, I have to make one first.


How did I get a Roswell, New Mexico license plate at a shop in Virginia, you ask? The owner’s daughter lives in Roswell and she or they have a shop there as well as the one in Virginia. I wanted one of these license plates so bad last year but never got around to ordering it. I REALLY wanted the version with the alien on it but they’d sold out of them at the Virginia shop. I settled for this one but I don’t rule out a future order for the alien if it’s still available.

At this point it was around 4:15 or so which means we were headed home during DC area rush hour. Ugh. My GPS had some issues with Occoquan. I should have gone back to the highway the way we came but instead I followed the instructions from She Who Must Be Obeyed. We ended up at a dead-end facing a locked gate at a private marina. She wanted us to turn left in a quarter of a mile. That would have landed us in the drink because there was no road there.

After we turned around, she decided we should go a different way which was smart. Unfortunately, that required us to make a left turn onto the divided highway. The problem with that was that side of the road was bumper to bumper in all lanes. People around here don’t like to let people get in front of them. We turned the opposite way, intending to find somewhere to turn around and join the fray but she told us to keep going straight. Until she told us to turn right into what was now a dead end. We turned around again and she sent us back onto the road she just told us to leave. This time she sent us over to I-66 and then up to the Capital Beltway. We figured “what the heck”, at least we were moving and it might be better than I-95 and would cut off part of the beltway. To make a long story shorter, it was a very long trip home. We finally landed around 6:30 p.m. Wouldn’t you know, the new map DVD for my GPS arrived in the mailbox while we were shop hopping.

Patty showed up at guild the next morning with her completed row from the last shop. She mixed the two kits to make her row. That was her second row so far. Last year she won the prize from our local quilt shop. She’s hoping to be a winner again this year. I don’t aspire to that.




2 Responses to “Row by Row: Southern Maryland, I-95 Virginia”

  1. Linda Schiffer Says:

    Even vicarious tripping with you two is fun! 🙂.


  2. stitchinggrandma Says:

    Thanks for sharing your “road trip”! I live in Delaware and some of these shops I have not heard of. Too bad you did not have a good experience at Michelle’s Quilts. The reviews you gave were very informative. Looks like a fun trip overall.

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