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Amazing Appliques

Each year the Row By Row Experience chooses a theme such as Home Sweet Home in 2016 and On The Go in 2017. I had a lot of fun this summer collecting the 2018 Sew Musical Rows from our travels throughout Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa. Besides the fun musical theme these rows were also designed in sizes other than the previous 9” x 36”. It may be purely coincidental but I noticed other themes as I was making the rows each year. The 2016 Rows were all about tiny pieces. The 2017 Rows included a lot of buttons. And the 2018 rows are filled with appliqué.

The first row that I worked on was from Quilt Stitches in Beatrice. It measures 12” x 27” and is the only one of that size in my collection. I love the musical fabrics that are used in it and even bought yardage of two of the pieces to use when I put the quilt together. The background was quick to stitch but the appliqués gave me problems. I forgot that the designs needed to be traced backwards onto the fusible web so that they finish the right way on the fabric. Most pattern designers will do that step for you but these were not printed backwards. Luckily the shapes were on black fabric and I had plenty of that in my stash. A bit of embroidery in black perle cotton was needed to complete the Row.

The second row was from Inspirations in Fort Morgan, Colorado. It is a fun Row that features Glenn Miller’s trombone and the Rainbow Arch Bridge, two attractions in Fort Morgan. This entire row is appliqued with no piecing required. In my mind this was going to be a very quick row to assemble so I didn’t take as much time as I should have and ended up pressing one piece in the wrong place. As a result I had to scrap the whole thing and start over with fabric from my stash. It turned out OK but I was mad at myself for wasting the fabric in the kit that I had bought.

The next row was purchased in Littleton, Colorado from Fabric Expressions. It features a quilt show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. I did a blanket stitch around all of the appliqué pieces except for the piano as it did not include fusible web on those pieces. That certainly would have been another option. I was only able to use four of the five quilts that were included in the kit as I made the sky and stage too large.

The final row that I completed was from Wagner’s Quilts and Conversation in Arapahoe, Nebraska. It was an easy Row to assemble as I just needed to trace the letters onto the Heat and Bond that came in the kit, cut out, arrange, and press. I had not used that product before but really liked it because the pieces didn’t fray. When using Wonder Under a wet towel is placed over the appliqués when pressing to the background. Then you have to wait for the fabric to dry before you can do anything with the block.

I have four more rows to make before I am ready to construct this quilt. Hopefully the other rows will go together more smoothly than a couple of these did!

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