My second year playing in the Row by Row Experience, my first year designing a row for my local quilt shop, Aunt Judy's Attic! If you don't know what Row by Row Experience means, check it out. It's a lot of FUN!
What A BLAST! This year's theme was "Home Sweet Home" - I can do home!
I had come up several ideas for the local quilt shop owner to go over; there was her ranch home, an bird in a tree, or her quilt shop logo (as the quilt shop is considered a 2nd home).
She fell in love with the home ranch life with a windmill and the mountains in the background. I really wanted to have a pieced block in the row so I threw in a quilt on a clothesline. Used the quilt shop owner's favorite quilt block too.
The mountains in the row represent the mountains I grew up with. As I was traveling home one evening, I was captivated by the beautiful mountains before me. I wanted to point out that my home is behind the second row of mountains, between the 2 peaks of the first and second row of mountains from the left.
Now, to get it digital... I hadn't really created much using paint programs, but my bro was able offer a free paint program that would allow me to learn how to make vector images, the images with lines and not just using a paint brush to draw lines. I was able to download it as a free program, GIMP and it had some wonderful tutorials on how to use all the tools. It was perfect. (So easy to transition to using the Electric Quilt software too!)
|This row is not sewn, but I really liked how it looked like there was a shadow behind the mountains..|
For me, I really wanted to make a quilt that was a representation of my home. Also, I really wanted to purchase kits so that I could learn from other designers. I couldn't travel to get the rows I wanted so I set up a trade with my friends, as many of them wanted the kit from my local quilt shop. My sister and Mother were awesome in grabbing kits for me also.
My first row was from The Quilter's Market in Tucson Arizona. While some of the fabrics in the kit were perfect, there were some that were just not realistic enough for me. I loved the way it turned out. I intentionally altered the direction of the row so that it would fit in the perfect spot for my quilt.
There was an owl on the row, but it did not work out. I just did not look right so I opted to leave it out. No regrets!
My second and third rows were from Alaska - Bearly Threaded Quilting and Bearly Threaded Quilting Too. Fresh outta high school, and for six summers, I went to Ekuk, Alaska as a seasonal salmon worker. I jumped at the opportunity when a friend wanted to have a copy of my local quilt shop's kit, and when she said she had a friend that wanted a kit too, I couldn't resist grabbing/trading for two rows from Alaska!
The interesting thing I learned about the second row was the use of the tree fabric. The way they had us apply the trees to the row was mind blowing!! And you'll notice I was able to use the idea and apply it to the rest of my quilt. (Really glad I went with this row first). I also learned that it was not a good thing to use freezer paper as a stabilizer when using a blanket stitch.
Moving onto my third row, I had a fantastic opportunity to change up the row a bit. I used an image I had from the little seasonal village of Ekuk and I was able to add in the boat docks and Clarks Point in the background. The only way we could get to Ekuk was by plane and the Ekuk International Airport - this row sure brought Alaska home.
|Click to see the little fish in the bear's mouth and the ones left on the beach...|
And since I could print onto fusible, why not print onto fabric and use it as my guide to fuse all my tiny owl pieces down. Such a great pattern, well worth every penny!!!
I did quite a bit of free motion applique to stitch every one of those owl pieces down.
Well worth the effort...
When I moved onto my fifth row, from The Squirrel's Nest, Sierra Vista, Arizona, I was quite pleased to find that it was a paper pieced row. How cool is that! I really appreciated the designers effort to include additional techniques in their row other than all applique.
Also, with this row, my sister made her flowers "plastisized" fabric and I thought that was perfect to give my row a little lift. I did a little thread painting to give the row some extra dimension. The glass chili ristra was the cutest! I used synthetic corn husk to tie the glass chili together and attach them to a safety pin.
If ever there was a weird pattern to a complex row - it would be from Ryan's Sew N Vac in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My sixth row I decided to tackle had only one paper, and it was of the row in outline format. There was not a single word printed on it nor was there a photo of what the completed row looked like... If anything, it was the bare minimum needed to make the row. As simple as the directions were, it was the prettiest row I had for this year. It was beautiful, gorgeous and the fabrics from the kit were fabulous!! I found an image online and was able to use that as reference.
The seventh row, from Cactus Quilt Shop in Tucson Arizona, was very very cluttered. It had a lot of flowers across the front and as I was assembling the row, I could see why they did what they did. The row needed something...
I decided to make one of the buildings similar to the row from Sierra Vista, made it 'stuffed' and stand out. I added some cactus and a rock wall which ended up making the row all that much better. I personalized it with a piece of pottery.
The eight row was quite fun. From Quilts Ole, Corrales, New Mexico, the roadrunners seemed quite comical, so I opted to use the roadrunners I designed from another quilting project.
Rather than trying to make a tiny yucca with a HUGE prickly pear cactus around the nest, I decided to leave out the yucca altogether and add in another prickly pear cactus. I used a lot of fabrics from previous rows to make my cactus plates and replaced the rocks with ones I used in the Adobe Row. It helped in tying all the rows together.
I was able to use a lot of the fussy cutting landscape techniques I learned from previous rows and use them in redesigning this row.
I added a second story to the house because my home has two stories, replacing the wood panel on the sides to make it look more like a log cabin.
I added a lot of trees and rocks because my home has nothing but trees and rocks surrounding it. It's such a beautiful place. I made the row a little taller so that I could add in all my additions without making it seemed to cluttered. And to keep with the southwest Native American theme, I replaced the churn dash quilt on the clothesline with an appliqued pottery bowl. **The bowl was later pointed out to me (by the judges at the local county fair) that it was too large and not proportionate to the rest of the quilt. Um, that was the WHOLE point...
I designed some arrows to go as sashing and as borders, you can check them out and make your own over here.
Since I had nine rows, I had quite a bit of empty space in my row. I designed two blocks, The Chili Ristra and the New Mexico Zia, Pottery and Yucca. They are available for purchase if interested.
I knew I wasn't going to have my longarm quilting machine by the time I needed to finish this row, so I had plans to Quilt As You Go by Rows. Candy over at Candied Fabrics has a wonderful tutorial on how to quilt as you go by rows, NO Hand Sewing!!!
I was able to be the first to turn my quilt into my local quilt shop. I was honored that she wanted to hang it there all year long.
I entered it into my local county fair and I won the Sweepstakes Award in addition to a First Place Ribbon.
The State fair was the next weekend, and they required a sleeve sewn onto it before entering it. I spent 4 hours hand sewing on my very first sleeve, staying up late into the late night.
I was very proud of my quilt. But if someone had offered me $2000 for it, I would have sold it in a heartbeat - nothing less! Lots of work and love!
Until Next Year...