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Making a Pattern Your Own


Artistic Artifacts and the Row By Row Experience: Congratulations Jana Franklin!

This summer Artistic Artifacts has been participating in the Row by Row Experience, a shop hop event, and it has been a lot of fun to design our unique row, select fabrics for the kits we are selling, and most of all, meeting both old and new friends as they embark on their shopping expeditions.

Jana Franklin holding her prize-winning quiltEach participating shop agreed to make a prize of 25 fat quarters of fabric available to the first person who turned in a completed (quilted, bound, and labeled) quilt using at least 8 different 2014 row patterns. Yesterday (Tuesday, August 5) we were delighted to welcome Jana Franklin to the shop and award her our prize, with a bonus gift certificate prize for using our row in her quilt!

Jana collected eight different row patterns from eight shops, all in the Northern Virginia area. A member of the Burke Chapter of Quilter’s Unlimited (that’s my chapter too!), Jana put these disparate rows together beautifully, creating an wonderful springtime quilt. And she has very kindly allowed us to keep it on loan for display, so please stop by the shop to see it — the photographs we have here are not doing it justice! Click the photo below to see a larger view.

Jana Franklin's prize-winning Row by Row Experience quilt

One of the things we appreciate about Jana’s quilt is how she made the patterns her own. While there is of course nothing wrong with following directions and kits to the letter, from my own standpoint as a shop owner and a teacher, it is important to encourage artists (and yes, you all ARE artists) to put their own spin on a project or technique.

Her row patterns are from the following shops:

Top row: The Quilt Patch in Fairfax, “The Book Shelf.” How she made it her own:
Jana added spine titles that reference local areas and topics of interest.

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

2nd Row, The Quilters Studio in Fairfax, “Spring Cardinal Row.” How she made it her own: She used large round beads, instead of buttons, to create her berries, and gave her cardinal a strong button eye.

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

3rd Row: Our own “Springtime Flora and Fauna.” How she made it her own: Jana selected the butterfly wooden printing block, which I had combined with orange fabric, and chose to work instead with our purple fabric kit (which I had designed with birds). Jana didn’t use the Thermofax screens but instead computer transferred springtime poetry and text onto the provided white muslin, then block printed her butterflies in a variety of pretty pastels. So springtime!

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

4th Row:Old Town Needlecraftsin Manassas, “Summer Hummers.” The shop created three versions of their pattern: one pieced, one for machine embroiderers and one fussy-cut using Benartex Fabrics Glorious Hummingbirds, which is what Jana used.

5th Row: Suzzie’s Quilt Shop in Manassas, “Spring is Here!!!” How she made it her own: She switched the dimensional flower style the kit offered, and also added her own appliqué cardinal sitting on the branch, to tie in with the Virginia state bird and the other portions of her quilt.

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

6th Row: Circle Sewing Studios in Woodbridge, “Dancing Pineapples.”

Left border: Bonnie’s Sewing & Fabric in Alexandria “Amber Waves of Grain.” How she made it her own: Jana used red and cream fabric to match the rest of her quilt, and made extra blocks to elongate the row to serve as a vertical border.

Right border: Aurora Quilts in Manassas, “X-mas Block.” How she made it her own: Elongating the row to serve as a vertical border, and we suspect that she chose her own fabrics for this row, as the cardinal fabric in it is the same as the fabric used in the Circle Sewing Studios’ “Dancing Pineapples.”

Detail, Jana Franklin Row by Row quilt

(By the way, Jana’s piecing and craftmanship is straight and true throughout…our photos can make some seams and joins look a bit off because her quilt was so large we had to hang it to get a full size photo, and there’s a bit of bowing from the hang).

As you know from previous postings, I was inspired by Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts: a Stress-Free Journey to Original Design by Rayna Gillman to piece our row. The thermofax screens “art” and “stitch” that I used are just two of the amazing designs created by the talented women of PG Fiber2Art, Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson. We’ve enjoyed explaining how to use the screens to Row by Row shoppers, and some have selected other designs to use…that “make the pattern your own” thing again! (But if you prefer to learn in a class environment, (plus have the opportunity to print with a huge selection of their designs) then join us on Saturday, September 27.)

Here’s Susan’s take on our pattern (this is a portion only, so you can see it better):

Detail, Susan Price's Artistic Artifacts row

Visit her blog and click on the photo she has of her row to enjoy a complete, and larger view!

And here’s Elizabeth’s:

Detail, Elizabeth Gibson's Artistic Artifacts row

Click the photo for a full view of her row! She used the PG Fiber2Art “craft” screen, graphic rectangles screen and overprinted with the fish wooden printing block. Her colorful batiks are from India (and her stash).

Elizabeth also made an additional piece of fabric for her mother Barbara to use when making her version of our row. Elizabeth first used a green spray paint on a yellow background, then screened her “craft” definition and a butterfly screen the PG Fiber2Art team recently made.

Elizabeth Gibson's screened fabric

Isn’t is amazing how different the pattern can look…and how beautiful ALL of the surface design variations are?

We have been asking all our Row by Row customers to send us photos of their row, their quilt, their designs. Please do email us … we can’t wait to see —and share!

Plus, even though we have awarded the official Row by Row prize, I have a surprise for you. Anyone who brings their Artistic Artifacts row into the shop to show us, whether in a full quilt or finished as a table runner or wall hanging (or even just sewn together!) will get a small prize from me for playing along. As per the official Row by Row rules, you have until October 31, 2014 to bring in your handiwork from our pattern!

Jana Franklin with her prize of 25 fat quarters and a gift certificate from Artistic Artifacts

Jana Franklin holding her Row by Row Experience prize of 25 fat quarters and a gift certificate from Artistic Artifacts

More than 1,250 quilt shops are involved in Row by Row Experience this year, each creating their own unique pattern for a row so that you can create your own Sew a Season quilt. Each shop chose one of the four seasons to represent in their row. Visit a participating store from now until September 2 to ask for your free pattern. The Row by Row website has completes lists and addresses of participating shops in 34 US states and Ontario, so you can map out your summer trips to visit as many participating quilt shops as possible.

There are still shops out there who haven’t awarded their prize yet, so all of you keep on quilting! Use any pattern to layout your rows: Stack them, arrange around a center medallion, make them horizontal, vertical (like Jana did), upside down, on the front, on the back, whatever! You are the designer….be creative and have fun!

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