Finally Completing My 2015 Row by Row Quilt

by Judy Gula

Finally Completing My 2015 Row by Row Quilt

by Judy Gula

When the H20 theme of the 2015 Row by Row Experience was announced, we at Artistic Artifacts immediately thought of fish, specifically the quirky fish from the batik panels hand drawn by Jaka, one of Indonesia’s most well known batik artists.

Our 2015 row design was created using Wonky Log Cabin blocks...see our blog postings here and here for instructions and helpful tips on sewing a wonky log cabin) to frame the center sea creatures. (Now that the event has concluded, you may also download our 2015 row pattern for your personal use.*)

Gold 2015 Row by Row Experience fabric kit from Artistic ArtifactsWe created our kits with four animal squares in five different colors: blue, green, gold (pictured here), white and purple. The color designation is from the background color of the panel. We also used our Batik Tambal Exclusive Batik as well as Australian Aborigine designed fabric strips in contrasting and coordinating colors for the log cabin strips.

The fish proved so popular that we quickly ran out of our first shipment...and then the second too! We added sea turtles as an option, and they quickly flew (swam?) out the door too. Because all of our batik panels are hand-drawn, getting new stock in was no quick matter — we’re very appreciative of the many people who patiently awaited receiving their kit. We put our 2015 Row by Row Experience fabric kits — your choice of five colors for both the fish or sea turtles — up for purchase through our online shop in late 2015.

Here’s a photo of our in-store display last summer.

Artistic Artifacts' 2015 Row by Row Experience in-store display

I was pretty proud of myself because I created a quilt with our rows in it for display, ready for day 1 of the 2015 Row by Row Experience! While it hadn’t been bound yet, it was backed and had been free motion quilted. There was really only one problem: I had created this with four rows in the original colors of the kits we offered (from the top): white, green, blue and gold.

Shortly after Row by Row began, we had decided to also offer the purple kit. So now with the winter weather (and blizzard) giving me some indoor creative time, how hard could it be to add a purple row to my quilt and finish the binding?

Artistic Artifacts' 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt designed and quilted by Judy Gula

Click on the photo for a larger view.

Okay. VERY hard, as it turns out! I can think of it as a comedy of errors now, but as I was going through the processes, it wasn’t nearly as funny.

Adding an additional row to the 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt by Judy Gula

I won’t even attempt to walk you through this as a tutorial! Open the bottom edge, add additional batting, extend the backing fabric (twice, as you see, because I STILL managed to cut it too short)...hand-sewing, machine sewing...there was a lot going on! The sweat, tears and curses were worth it in the end though, as I love my finished quilt.

Detail, 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt by Judy Gula

I “outlined” each of the fish in thread with free-motion quilting. Shown above is one of the originally completed blue fish blocks, which has the wonky log cabin block strips quilted. Below is one of the newly completed purple fish blocks without. Which do you like better?

Detail, 2015 Row by Row Experience quilt by Judy Gula

The Row by Row Experience shop hop focuses on each quilting business creating a full “row” that finishes to 9" x 36"; the idea, of course, is that a customer seams together the rows into a larger quilt. (To be eligible for a prize, quilters must use at least 8 different rows from 8 different participating shops.)

But what happens if I really like one pattern? Can I think beyond the row? Can you think beyond the row? Did any of you create a full quilt off of one row pattern, like this one?

Do you still have collected Row by Row kits left, wondering how to use them? Our friends at PG Fiber2Art, Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson (who always create Thermofax screens as an alternative to our row design) turned their row into a table runner. We’ve seen pillows, and wall hangings. Let us know what you did with your 2015 rows!

We also have some of our 2015 fabric license plates, Creative Minds, still available. We know that there are a lot of clever projects using these plates out there too, so if you have one, please share!

2015 Row by Row Artistic Artifacts fabric license plate: Creative Minds

Stay tuned for updates about our participation in the 2016 event: the theme is Home Sweet Home and it will be here before we know it! It opens on Tuesday, June 21 amd will run through September 6 (your time to travel and collect rows. Participants have until October 31 to turn in a completed quilt for the prize. (Know though that most shops give away their prize fairly early in the summer: there are some speedy quilters out there!)

2016 Row by Row Experience logo: Home Sweet Home

* 2015 Row by Row pattern copyright Artistic Artifacts, all rights reserved; it is not permitted to copy or transfer the pattern in any format. You may also mail a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Artistic Artifacts | 4750 Eisenhower Avenue | Alexandria, VA 22304 to receive a copy in return.

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