It’s that time of year again! Row by Row begins next week on June 21st, and we are ready! If you aren’t familiar with Row by Row, here is the scoop: participating quilt shops around the US (and some countries around the world) offer a quilt row pattern for free that they have created for every person that comes through the door. Each pattern is created by the shops, so that no two should be alike. If you have a competitive nature, you can put together eight different rows, and if you are the first one to bring in a finished quilt (pieced, quilted, bound and labeled) you have the chance to win a prize of 25 fat quarters! Such fun!
We have teamed up again with Caitlin from Salty Oat, who has designed our row this year, and we are so excited! We thought we would take this opportunity to get to know a little bit more about Caitlin and her design process and have her tell us all about the row this year!
Can you tell us a bit about Salty Oat?
Salty Oat is a one-woman quilt business, which I run from my home studio in Framingham, MA. I sell both readymade and custom patchwork quilts, pillows, and a small line of hand embroidery patterns. I also teach both sewing and embroidery classes in the area.
How long have you been quilting?
I’ve sewn since childhood, but I began quilting in 2009. One of my first quilts was made from the fabric bunting we used as a decoration at our wedding.
What was your inspiration for this year’s row by row design?
When I was brainstorming ideas for the row based on the theme of “On the Go,” I kept coming back to the idea of tires and the infinite number of rim designs I see every time I’m driving on the highway. I thought it would be fun to create a somewhat abstract design based on tires by creating circles within circles, each of which is unique. I opted to use an improvisational framework for the construction of the blocks–each circle is cut by hand, hand-sewn, and placed at random in each block–so no two blocks are the same and no two rows will be the same. I also love how the random placement of the tires suggests movement across the row–perfect for this theme!
What drove your fabric choice?
Maggie has such a gorgeous selection of Liberty of London Tana Lawns in the shop, and I thought it would be fun to incorporate such special prints into the row. I love mixing different substrates into my work, and lawn is also a great fabric for hand sewing.
You chose hand appliqué for this year’s block, why?
Since this year’s theme is “On the Go,” I loved the idea of creating a row that you could sew while you’re actually on the go. Hand appliqué is super portable, and I love the idea of people working on this row throughout the summer, taking blocks with them to the beach or the pool, or while traveling in cars or planes.
Do you have any tips or advice for putting together this block?
Enjoy it and take your time! The construction of this block will require you to slow down a bit, as is the nature of hand sewing. Also, embrace the imperfections of hand sewing and be patient with yourself. I guarantee you’ll see your skills improve as you work your way down the row!
Thanks, Caitlin! We are super excited about this year’s row and we can’t wait to share it with you!
Photo of Caitlin by Linsey Hite