Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Row By Row

Tomorrow - June 21 - is the opening day for the 2016 Row By Row Experience.  For those of you unfamiliar with the program, you can find more information here. Basically, it's a shop hop where each participating store gives you a free pattern just for visiting their quilt shop, and offers a generous prize package to some very lucky quilters.  There's only one rule: you have to visit the shop to get the free pattern (none of this photocopying and sharing business is allowed!). Kits containing the pattern and fabric may be purchased mail-order from the shop WHEN THE PROGRAM ENDS (Oct 31) if you are unable to visit.
The theme for this year's program is "Home Sweet Home", where shops present what home means to them.  To Beth at Mrs Pugsley's Emporium, home base is the downtown clock tower building, synonymous with Amherst, Nova Scotia. It's got to be our country's most unique quilt shop! She asked me to create the clock tower in fabric for her row. As a pattern-maker, it did present a few challenges;  look at all those peaks...and windows!!

So many angles...
As always when patterning, my rule is "simplify, simplify, simplify." There is absolutely no point in creating a design too difficult for another to follow. I started with this photograph. (To further complicate things, Mrs P wanted the building shown from the angle most folks see it when coming down Victoria Street, or turning from Church Street, rather than straight on from the front.) The row could be either vertical or horizontal, and I chose the former so that the building would dominate the space. The size presented another challenge, as the row needed to finish to an awkward 9" wide x 36" high.  
I traced the edges of the building and then began paring down to the bare elements. (or as Michelangelo said about his famous sculpture, "It's simple;  I just remove everything that doesn't look like David.")
Here's the result - a building with simple lines, yet immediately recognizable as the clock tower building. To make it look quilty, chequerboard patchwork defines blue sky and clouds, and 3-D mini quilts hang freely on the green space in front of the building.  The piece is finished top and bottom with a piano keyboard border. As there is a time element involved in the awarding of prizes, the construction of the quilt is kept very simple - fusible appliqué and strip-piecing for the patchwork.
A small flag flies from the spike on the tower, bearing the words "Mrs Pugsley's Emporium". This ribbon is included in the kits which are available for purchase.
 Here`s the quilt photographed against the stone on the back of the building.
You can check out Mrs Pugsley's blog here, or find her on Facebook
Good luck to all the "rowers"!


  1. I loved your row when I first saw it, but it's so cool to see how it evolved, and understand why you chose the motifs you did, Karen.

  2. Wow Karen, what an awesome job you did on the row for Mrs. P's. Well done! Love it! I'm sure it will be popular with all the Row by Row participants.

  3. What a lovely design. So nice to have an explanation of the design process and having historic buildings created in modern stitching is wonderful.

  4. It is wonderful Karen. Can anyone buy a kit by mail? Or do we have to wait for the end date?

  5. Oh, I love it Karen. That's a lot of design work. I'm going to try to get out of town to collect a few rows this summer. I'll definitely get to Mrs. Pugsley's sometime.