For centuries the handmade quilt has been a staple of American culture. From the basic patchwork and crazy quilt designs to intricate scenes and patterns, quilts have grown from a simple bed covering made from scraps of material to a worldwide, collectible form of art. Since colonial times quilting has fostered social groups through collective quilting bees and circles.

  Today the craze continues and spreads through several social media platforms. Among the most popular quilter platforms online Row By Row Experience is bringing quilters and shops together to share patterns, lessons and the latest quilter’s news.

   Since 2011 thousands of quilters have joined the fun of collecting free row patterns, visiting participating shops and then creating a themed quilt project using the rows they collect. With worldwide participation, the quilts are as different as the quilters that create them. From the United States to Europe and Canada aspiring seamstresses are adding their ideas and talents to this ever growing homage to the timeless quilt.

   Several shops in Mountain Valley Living territory participate and Tammy Zenda from Sew Smart Supplies in Los Molinos and Laura Roberts of Country Pines Quilt Shop in Susanville were both kind enough to share their pictured row with us for your enjoyment.

The latest Row By Row Experience project dubbed Sew Musical began June 21st and ends September 4th.  Interested parties go shop hopping to collect row patterns and create your own music themed work of quilt art.

Three other programs are available through Row By Row Experience and participating shops. These include the summertime youth program Row By Row Junior for children six to fourteen.

   Row By Row Junior is designed to introduce interested youngsters to the quilting world through classes at their local quilt shop where they make patterns designed especially for them. Each junior is rewarded with an “I Made This” ribbon and the joy of sharing their work begins. The 2018 program began June 21st and ends on October 31st. Check online at www.rowbyrowexperience.com/rxr-junior-2/ or call your local shop from the list below to  get your junior quilter involved.

Little feels better than giving back to the community while practicing your art, which is why the Row By Row Experience program The 9th Row came to life. Special rows for this program are usually sold as kits by participating Row By Row shops. Proceeds from every one of these kits are donated to a charity of choice. Past recipients include the Make A Wish Foundation, the SPCA, Helena Veterans Hospital, several local food pantries and more than we can list here. The latest 9th Row program also began June 21st and ends on October 31st, so ask about it while visiting the shop with your junior quilter.

   Last but not least, the Wooly Block Adventure (WBA) program is sure to keep you quilting through the winter. WBA is a contest and this is how it works. Quilters that visit  WBA stores will receive one, free, eight inch, wool appliqué block pattern for their project from each store visited. Each week, Spotlight Shop Patterns to download in PDF form will also be featured on rowbyrowexperience.com. Patterns and kits can also be purchased online or through mail order during the WBA collecting period from October 16th to December 15th. Each project must include eight WBA patterns from eight different shops. Since nine blocks are needed to create a 3x3 block sampler a bonus 9th block will be available at several stores and can be used to complete your project. The first to take their creation to a participating shop wins a $25 gift certificate and a free wool fat quarter. Prizes will be awarded between December 16th and February 15th, 2019.

   Whether you are a seasoned quilter or just starting out, visit your local shop from the list below and the Row By Row Experience website to learn how you can become part of the latest “in” crowd in the growing world of quilting.