Row by Row: Suburban Virginia

Did you know that there are groups on Facebook for swapping patterns and rows? One is Rowed Warriors Swap Shop 2016; another is Quilter’s 2016 Row Kit-Swap; there are others. I searched for “row by row swap”. Be careful, it is way too easy to get swept away in the frenzy of wanting every row you see. I restrained myself and only ordered two row kits so far. A couple of people will be swapping some patterns with me.

Saturday was Jinny Beyer Club meeting day so I figured I might as well leave early and visit a few shops before club. Patty doesn’t belong to club but decided she wanted to go with me.

Our first stop was the Hollin Hall Variety Shop in Alexandria, VA. This store was new to us and it is their first year in Row by Row. This is like the dime stores of my youth or a general store, they have a little bit of everything. Someone who works there must be a quilter because that’s the only way I can figure that they even knew about the Row by Row Experience. Their row features George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon.



I got a kit for me and a kit and free pattern to swap as well as a squeegee for the shower. As I said, a little bit of everything. Patty found a fabric she liked but decided not to get it. Of course, after we left she regretted not buying it.

Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria is another store that is sort-of new to us. We’d never been to the store but we’ve seen their booth at a local quilt show. If you want Australian prints or Indonesian batik prints, this is the place to go. You might find a few elsewhere but not the selection here. I should have taken a picture of their hand-made batik pieces – I wish I could remember where they’re made. They have quite a large selection. This is also the place to go if you’re into the artsy-fartsy side of quilting with fabric painting, stamping, embellishing, and other exotic techniques. This is the kind of place I would go if I had a specific project that I needed supplies for. Our friend, Linda, would be so excited we might have to call 911 or she might have to rob a bank to pay for her purchases. Good thing she wasn’t with us.


The quilt below shows all the color ways of their 2015 row, using some of the batik pieces I was talking about. Because last year’s theme was water, they chose fish.



I only got the free pattern. I didn’t care for the colors of the fabrics they used in the kits.

We headed to Fairfax, Va for lunch at First Watch which is a few doors down from The Quilters Studio. With the new maps for my GPS, She Who Must Be Obeyed had a different idea of which route was the easy route than I did. Maybe there is something new in the settings that I need to change.

Quilters Studio is the place to go if you want “modern” fabric (don’t get me started on that term). They’ve also got small selections of repros and a good selection of batiks; lots of novelties; a wall of Kaffe Fassett collective.


Their row is appealing but they wanted $29.99 for the kit. Yikes! If the pieces were already cut, it might be worth it but they aren’t. I asked one of the workers why it was so expensive but, either she didn’t hear the question or was ignoring it.


I refused the kit but found a nice book print. The colorful things on the right go around a spool of thread to keep the thread from unwinding. I wanted to try them. I think they’ll be great if they don’t get stretched out after being used on a fat spool.

Our next stop was Jinny Beyer Studio in Great Falls, VA for the club meeting. Jinny is an Olympian in the quilting world. I love all things Jinny and have been her student since 1997. Unfortunately, Jinny was on the west coast so wasn’t there for club this month.


Jinny’s design incorporates the bald eagle and the Pentagon. If I remember correctly, the batik fabric inside the pentagons is one Jinny designed for our local shop hop a couple of years ago. It contains images of various landmarks in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia). She has had it printed in other colors for her shop since the shop hop exclusive ended.


I picked up a kit and license plate for me and one to share and a free pattern to trade. If piecing could bring peace, what a wonderful world it would be.

From here I expected our next stop to be Patty’s house but as we approached the 270-Beltway split, she asked if we could go to Capital Quilts. Although I’d given her their pattern, she’d decided she wanted a kit, probably for the little quilt blocks on the fence. I wrote about the Capital Quilts row here.


I picked up some of the Row by Row license plate print for this year. Also had a chat with Annie about my experience so far with my new Janome 9400.

I have done some sewing in between road trips but don’t have pictures to show.

Yesterday was Mimi’s Grad School class at Bear’s Paw Fabrics in Towson, MD.


Their row is the vertical row on the left. For the quilt on the right, they added a branch and did the row horizontally.


Their kit as everything die cut and ready to fuse. I’ve collected quite a few license plates over the last couple of years so I was happy to see this pattern. They also have another similar pattern from the same company. I need to find my other patterns that use license plates and put them all together.

No road trip this week – just recuperating and sewing.



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