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Thread: Less Shops in the Row by Row?

  1. #1
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    Less Shops in the Row by Row?

    I just downloaded the picture list from the RxR website for my State and was surprised at how few shops seem to be participating. Tomorrow I will be driving north for business and really wanted to stop at some shops along the way, as I have no time frame in my trip. At least three shops on my route that participated last year don't even have their names on the list. What a shame. Anyone else notice this? Do you think I should stop at the stores anyway and ask them?
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  2. #2
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    One of my local shops is not participating this year. They found the 'Sew Musical' theme to be too challenging to create an original design. I have to admit that I am not too sure about the theme this year either.

    I would stop in the shops, let them know in person that you are disappointed, but perhaps there will be something else in the store that will catch your eye.

    I would also write to the Row by Row organizers and let them know you are sad that shops that have participated in the past are not this year.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  3. #3
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    I just checked my state, and there are a lot less than last year. In fact, only 13 in the entire state. Only half have a block posted, and I don't care for any of them. Mostly applique or embroidery. But I do agree that this theme is a hard one to work with.

    I was toying with the idea, but at this point I'd have to drive over 600 miles to collect 8 rows. So probably will not.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  4. #4
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    I think it's a tough theme - both for stores and for me. The ones I've seen are applique, which I don't enjoy doing. A nice change for folks who like applique, though?

  5. #5
    Junior Member Lena1952's Avatar
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    Shops stopped doing the RBR for many reasons. It takes a lot of time and effort to design and print patterns and make kits. It came during the busiest season for our local shop and they stopped participating the year people from out of state came with lists of how many kits they wanted. They purchased the 25 kits, never left the counter and left! The reason for the RBR was to get people into your shop. The shop didn't even have a finished quilt turned in! They had many calls during the day asking for kits or patterns to be mailed. Many callers got nasty when told we were not mailing. Again, they were not coming into the shop. It just didn't seem worth all the effort that was being put into the program. I am sure other shops have other reasons.

  6. #6
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    Definitely less shops. I have been waiting for it to begin and want to collect 13 more license plates to complete a quilt for myself. I think the theme is too hard for most. Either you are into music or you are not. Plus the multi sizes this year of the rows or squares. I go to the older shops also, often they have the license plates from the past years.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ibex94's Avatar
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    One of my local shops is participating, the other is not. The one that is not participating told me that the quantity of folks coming through for the kit has steadily decreased. The time and effort to make kits wasn't worth it anymore. I suspect that most quilters are looking for pieced kits, not applique type patterns. I know I am not particularly excited about applique or that fusible laser cut stuff. I want a quilt to wrap myself up in, not hang on the wall. Of course, I have more kits and patterns than I can ever put together in the time I have right now. I do like to buy something from the shops I go into. So Row by Row got new money from this customer.

  8. #8
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    So sorry to hear this down turn … I have loved this "shop hop" … I tend to stop at any store near my travels and keep a row by row list in my purse at all times. I always look around to see what each shop has as each one has different fabric lines and even a different take on the same patterns … quilters are so creative. I can't believe no one made a quilt to claim those fat quarters! Shop owners need to keep in mind to make their kits a reasonable price … I stopped at one store and their kit was $40.00 … it was a great row but after a day of shop hopping and "shopping" I was out of $. I hope we don't lose this adventure.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lena1952 View Post
    Shops stopped doing the RBR for many reasons. It takes a lot of time and effort to design and print patterns and make kits. It came during the busiest season for our local shop and they stopped participating the year people from out of state came with lists of how many kits they wanted. They purchased the 25 kits, never left the counter and left! The reason for the RBR was to get people into your shop. The shop didn't even have a finished quilt turned in! They had many calls during the day asking for kits or patterns to be mailed. Many callers got nasty when told we were not mailing. Again, they were not coming into the shop. It just didn't seem worth all the effort that was being put into the program. I am sure other shops have other reasons.
    I am one who loves to spend at least 30 minutes browsing before I even ask about the RxR. If I am asked if I need help, I let them know I am there for the RxR, but want to look around first. I generally buy something in addition to the kit (yes I get the kits). I budget about twice the cost o the kits to spend in each shop. But that is an average, one year I bought an incredibly expensive applique pattern in one shop. The shop owner commented that she had been worried it would not sell as it was so $$$. But I loved it and it will be a quilt for me and a 30th anniversary RV quilt for friends who love camping. I am not in it to make the quilt and win a prize.

    I like the option of squares, and vertical or horizontal rectangles. It gives more variety, or for me more options on how to use the kit. The square ones make a great cushion, the vertical ones a nice narrow wall hanging, the horizontal ones are the start of a table runner.

    I cannot imagine people buying kits in bulk. I would think it would be within the shops' rights to limit it to 1-2 kits/patterns per customer.

    I am sad to hear people got nasty with the staff. Quilting is supposed to be fun and quilters friendly. I did consider asking one shop, that was in a community evacuated during a forest fire, if they could mail a kit. But that was more to support the shop as not only could out of towners not get there, the whole town was evacuated for weeks. In the end I didn't call, as I knew it was against the rules.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  10. #10
    Super Member Kassaundra's Avatar
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    My local quilt shop is participating, they are doing a square mostly pieced w/ a little applique. I have never participated I don't do a lot of traveling (work full time have chickens to take care of) and most all shops have applique rows, and I'm not that much into applique.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    THe customer participation has decreased due to too many of their kits never sewn up. Shops put a ton of effort into R x R and for someone to run in for the free pattern and then run back out is disheartening. As for the bulk kit buyers, that can wipe out a stack of kits when really only ONE shopper picked up the kits vs many shoppers actually setting foot in the shop. This event is to get customers in the door. Kits are not moneymakers. I would allow only one kit purchase per person if I owned a shop. Between shop hops, events, retreats etc. a shop owner must discern where her efforts to make a profit are best spent. R x R is likely not on the top of the list.
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  12. #12
    Junior Member Lena1952's Avatar
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    The first year the shop did limit kits to one per person, and what grief that caused! The RBR rules do not set the limit on kits and were told if they are buying, then sell them. The first year rules were set and lots of shops did not follow them, making it hard for shops that were following the rules. The second year the shop ran out of kits (400) and OMG you would think the world was coming to an end! Third year 600 kits made and they still have some left. Not big fans of appliqué the shop made pieced rows and very cute ones too. While most quilters are nice, it seemed lots of those running from shop to shop left their manners at home. One evening the shop stayed open late because a customer was tied up in traffic and called ahead. When she arrived 20 minutes later, all the shop owner got for her troubles was grief about why she closed at 5pm and did not stay open later. She only picked up the free pattern! I worked for over 40 years serving the public and am sensitive to how people treat those behind the counter/desk/phone. You might be surprised at the lack of manners from customers shown to those serving them. Even quilters.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Lena1952's Avatar
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    For those RBR folks that also shopped, thank you! That was the intended plan when the RBR was created. Quilt shops are closing at rapid rates for several reasons. If you like your local quilt shop, then frequent them as often as possible. If they don't carry notions, fabrics or classes that you would like, ask them if they would consider them. If shop owners are not aware of what you want they may not bring them into their shop. But also keep in mind that if another shop within driving distance carries a type of fabric, example Asian lines, your shop may not feel a need to duplicate that type of fabrics. One shop can not carry everything.

  14. #14
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lena1952 View Post
    The first year the shop did limit kits to one per person, and what grief that caused! The RBR rules do not set the limit on kits and were told if they are buying, then sell them. The first year rules were set and lots of shops did not follow them, making it hard for shops that were following the rules. The second year the shop ran out of kits (400) and OMG you would think the world was coming to an end! Third year 600 kits made and they still have some left. Not big fans of appliqué the shop made pieced rows and very cute ones too. While most quilters are nice, it seemed lots of those running from shop to shop left their manners at home. One evening the shop stayed open late because a customer was tied up in traffic and called ahead. When she arrived 20 minutes later, all the shop owner got for her troubles was grief about why she closed at 5pm and did not stay open later. She only picked up the free pattern! I worked for over 40 years serving the public and am sensitive to how people treat those behind the counter/desk/phone. You might be surprised at the lack of manners from customers shown to those serving them. Even quilters.
    Not surprised at all! The Public can be very rude.
    sandy
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  15. #15
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lena1952 View Post
    For those RBR folks that also shopped, thank you! That was the intended plan when the RBR was created. Quilt shops are closing at rapid rates for several reasons. If you like your local quilt shop, then frequent them as often as possible. If they don't carry notions, fabrics or classes that you would like, ask them if they would consider them. If shop owners are not aware of what you want they may not bring them into their shop. But also keep in mind that if another shop within driving distance carries a type of fabric, example Asian lines, your shop may not feel a need to duplicate that type of fabrics. One shop can not carry everything.
    This Board gets lots of "where can I buy this" posts. Hello..visit a Quilt Shop and ask them...if they do not carry the item, they are happy to special order it for you! My fav shops keep a log for special order requests. Do not get impatient and hit the online....defeats the purpose of working with a B & M quilt shop.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 06-23-2018 at 06:19 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps
    Sandygirl

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  16. #16
    Super Member thrums's Avatar
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    I was excited when I heard the theme was going to be music, but found very patterns I liked in my state. This year the creativity in many of my favorite shops was lacking. I think shops are simplifying patterns to reduce labor costs.

    The new interactive map makes it easy to view patterns online. I've found really interesting jazz patterns around New Orleans. I plan to peruse the entire US map to see if I can find enough for my own quilt.

    With the variety of block sizes some local shops are getting together to plan their blocks. This may be the best way to go. You can see what a finished RXR quilt could become rather than just collecting random rows.

    I hope shop owners continue to ship kits after the project ends. I added an Alaskan quilt shop (found via a RXR 2015 Facebook post) to my favorite quilt shops list. I frequently order online from it.

    We do need to let the RXR people know our thoughts and suggestions. With our input we can help improve the project.

  17. #17
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    Yes, I have noticed that there are not many shops doing the R x R. Just got an e-mail from my cousin in New Mexico and she mentioned that she had not seen as many quilt shops participating too.

  18. #18
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lena1952 View Post
    The first year the shop did limit kits to one per person, and what grief that caused! The RBR rules do not set the limit on kits and were told if they are buying, then sell them. The first year rules were set and lots of shops did not follow them, making it hard for shops that were following the rules. The second year the shop ran out of kits (400) and OMG you would think the world was coming to an end! Third year 600 kits made and they still have some left. Not big fans of appliqué the shop made pieced rows and very cute ones too. While most quilters are nice, it seemed lots of those running from shop to shop left their manners at home. One evening the shop stayed open late because a customer was tied up in traffic and called ahead. When she arrived 20 minutes later, all the shop owner got for her troubles was grief about why she closed at 5pm and did not stay open later. She only picked up the free pattern! I worked for over 40 years serving the public and am sensitive to how people treat those behind the counter/desk/phone. You might be surprised at the lack of manners from customers shown to those serving them. Even quilters.
    Shame on her! I try to always be polite to employees doing service work. I spent too many years serving the public to not be conscious of the workers. I can't even go into a convenience store and use the bathroom without at least buying a bottle of water or I feel guilty. My golden rule for this is "Don't expect others to do things for you that you would be unhappy doing for others" Be considerate! Service employees have feelings, too, ya know.
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  19. #19
    Super Member thrums's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrums View Post
    I was excited when I heard the theme was going to be music, but found very patterns I liked in my state. This year the creativity in many of my favorite shops was lacking. I think shops are simplifying patterns to reduce labor costs.

    The new interactive map makes it easy to view patterns online. I've found really interesting jazz patterns around New Orleans. I plan to peruse the entire US map to see if I can find enough for my own quilt.

    With the variety of block sizes some local shops are getting together to plan their blocks. This may be the best way to go. You can see what a finished RXR quilt could become rather than just collecting random rows.

    I hope shop owners continue to ship kits after the project ends. I added an Alaskan quilt shop (found via a RXR 2015 Facebook post) to my favorite quilt shops list. I frequently order online from it.

    We do need to let the RXR people know our thoughts and suggestions. With our input we can help improve the project.
    -----------------------------------

    Here's a cutie: https://www.facebook.com/94960405511...09960339080104

  20. #20
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    I may be taking a trip down into Nebraska in a few weeks, and that will give me a good excuse to collect rows without making a special trip to do so.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  21. #21
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    I like the theme this year and have seen many cute rows online. I also like the idea of different sizes and shapes of the blocks. Several years ago, I kept track of the rows I particularly liked and ordered them online after the row ended. I also got the license plates. My family has had a number of personalized license plates, so I photographed them, printed on fabric and added them to my quilt.
    Name:  IMG_1455.jpg
Views: 126
Size:  136.6 KBMost of the plates are family owned. I'm so happy I found the pattern of the quilters in a car. It depicts my daughter and me in her 1965 Mustang. The PONY plate on the car is her actual license plate. I really personalized this quilt for us.
    Last edited by gramajo; 06-24-2018 at 03:22 PM. Reason: more info

  22. #22
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I made a RxR quilt two years ago and won the prize for first turned in. It's hanging on the wall in my sewing room upstairs. I love it, touch it alot, and marvel at the beautiful rows, but really have no desire to make another one. I did buy a local row kit Saturday while I was at a shop for a class, but I only plan to make it into a wall hanging... just the one row with a border.

    Seems like a lot of shops either don't put the effort into design, or don't have an employee with the skills to make a good design. I've seen a lot of rows I would not make. More of those than ones I would make.
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  23. #23
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    Gramajo, your quilt is wonderful. I have wondered what people were doing with the licence plates, your use is perfect.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

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