Saturday, July 16, 2016

Oklahoma Row by Row Experience - Day One

I decided to pick up some of the patterns from this year's Row by Row Experience. All of the United States plus Canada has quilt shops participating. The patterns are free and the shops sell kits if you want to make their block in the same fabric. This year's theme is "Home Sweet Home" which resonates with me. I love the comfort of home. You can find all the Oklahoma shops, blocks and license plates on Facebook at Oklahoma Row by Row.

My husband decided to drive me on my adventure on his days off. Wahoo!! I love a good drive in the country and since we are rural - there was plenty of country to cover before we got to towns or cities to collect patterns. The first day we covered 215 miles, visiting 4 lovely quilt shops.

Bernina Center - Lawton, OK

Our first stop was at the Bernina Center in Lawton, OK. It's a small shop in a strip of stores. They seem to be geared for embroidery. I walked in and immediately was in thread Heaven. As a garment or quilt stitcher, I tend to be boring with my threads. I piece in dark or light. Done. The Bernina Center has more red thread hues than I ever knew was possible. The blues? I swooned!

Quilt N Bee - Cache, OK
And their block is one of my favorites showing local highlights. It has Mt Scott - the highest point in Oklahoma. A soldier saluting - a nod to Ft. Sill Army base. A teepee. Plus 2 Bison from the Wichita Wildlife Preserve. Love it! I decided to buy the kit to be able to have the proper camo and such for the block.

Our next stop was the Quilt N Bee in Cache, OK. I admit I had never been to this tiny town, much less knew it was there. The highway skirts it. I am so glad the Row by Row sent me here. Quilt N Bee is a bright, colorful shop with more lovely quilts than I could count. I was so lost in color and pattern that when the friendly clerk greeted me I was confused - I was in colorful, quilty world.

Quilt N Bee's block is vertical with a quaint house, flowers and a picket fence with a quilt flapping in the breeze. I didn't buy the kit as it was almost $20 but they had went so far as to cut out the flower shapes - I should have bought it to save myself time. Sighssss ...

We headed south and back east to the sister Bernina Center in Duncan, OK. More fabulous threads. I really love the plethora of thread colors. I may have to expand my horizons. This block is also tied to their small city. A pair of oil field pump jacks, a couple of longhorn cows from being on the main cattle drive route and a prairie schooner for the settlers from the Land Run. I'm loving the Bernina Center's creativity and local ties.

Bernina Center - Duncan, OK

Our loop took us back north on rural highways to Beth's Quilting Quarters and Fabric Shoppe in Blanchard, OK. Beth's quilted my younger daughters quilt, so I know their shop. They have excellent cottons, so many great quilt samples plus a large classroom. They have multiple quilt guilds that hold meetings at their store which seems so right to me. I love the hometown feeling in Beth's.

Beth's Quilting Quarters - Blanchard, OK
Their patriotic block is right up my alley. A background of patriotic words under a red and white bunting swag with a perfect half circle of blue fabric with white stars. I have close to a dozen t shirts that feature flags and eagles - I am a serious Patriot. I bought this kit too for the special fabrics.

We could have stopped in at the closest 2 quilt shops to our place but time was against us. We weren't able to start out until after chores and lunch, so closing time forced us to stop. I will visit them when I next grocery shop.

I haven't started any of the blocks yet, however I do NOT want this to be a bag of UFO's. Though technically they aren't just unfinished, they are un-started. I ordered some double sided fusible webbing online to make the applique easier. In the past I have basted or glued applique and I really want to try the fancy way I see used by so many quilters.

Have you explored the Row by Row in your state?

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