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Not Your Average Progress Report

After a teaching career of 33 years, there are some habits that die hard. A few weeks ago I realized that this is the first time that I haven't had to do progress reports. So I am going to make up for that by giving you a progress report on my Row By Row quilt. In a previous blog, I recounted my adventure this summer collecting these Row By Row patterns at various quilt shops in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. I have been excited to get started on making them.

The first step was to choose the pattern with which to start. That was simple -- I picked the easiest one! That pattern was from Quilting Is My Therapy in Liberty, Missouri. I had purchased a kit with the fabrics needed to complete this block and ended up running out of the red fabric. I had to resort to my stash to find fabric for the door of the house and had to add additional pieces to several of the blocks to make them work. Unless you look very close, you really can't tell that I did that. Had I made a list of all the pieces that I needed to cut before I started, I probably would not have run out of the red fabric. I made such a list for the gray fabric and had plenty. Oops!! Lesson learned!

The second block I constructed was the one from Quilter's Station in Lee's Summit, Missouri. I did not purchase a kit of fabrics, so had fun choosing fabrics from my stash to make this block. I had a picture from the Row By Row website, so could use that as a guideline for colors. The pattern for this block included only cutting instructions for the fabric and no indication on how to put the block together. As a result, knowledge of basic block construction and appliqué is necessary. Experience with embroidery stitches such as the stem stitch and the lazy daisy stitch are also needed to complete this block.

The next block on which I worked was from Connie's Quilt Shop in Marion, Iowa. I purchased a kit of fabrics for this block as I wanted to replicate the "brick and mortar" fabrics that they used to construct their Quilter's Retirement Village. I did cut one fabric incorrectly and had to substitute a piece from my fabric stash, but that worked just fine. This was a fun block to put together as it had some very tiny squares -- as small as 1 1/8". Those squares end up being 5/8" when completed.

Finally I worked on the block from Country Traditions in Fremont, Nebraska. This is a neat block because it features an appliqué of the state of Nebraska as well as laser-cut letters and a needle. I purchased a kit for this block so that I would not have to make the appliqué letters myself. It is doable, but was much easier to have them already made. The cool fabrics included in this kit also made it worth the purchase. I did run out of,the red pearl cotton that was included to complete the embroidery stitches on this block, but was able to purchase more at my local fabric shop.

So that makes four completed blocks with four more to go. I have really enjoyed working on these patterns because I can feel a sense of accomplishment with each block that I complete, yet there are still more on which to work. It is the gift that keeps on giving!! Stay tuned for a progress report on the construction of the remaining four blocks.

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