Is The Row By Row Experience Shortsighted?

Row By Row ExperienceI think the Row By Row Experience project is short-sighted. Why, because they started this project, four years ago, and the last two years it seems to have been it’s largest turn out. Yet, when you go to find the patterns to purchase or perhaps even download after the November 01 deadline, it is extremely difficult to find any that are available.

Many of these shops have an online presence, yet they don’t put their rows up for people to download or purchase.

Of the over 1000+ shops that participated, less than fifty of the over 200 that I’ve visited so far even have their row patterns online to sell, less than ten offer them as free downloads. To even find 2014 patterns online is next to impossible. I’m not saying they aren’t out their, but it’s not an easy task.

I have to say, I’m really disappointed that their is no ability for those of us online who can’t get out, or live in the USA be able to share in the experience after it’s over. Such a shame to use online sources to get the advertising needed, but then forget about the online community when the event is over. 

As a brick and mortar shop, if your not online, then you are losing out on business you could gain by having an online presence. This holds true for the Row By Row project, if they weren’t online to advertise and get this around, the project would most likely flop. You’d have to advertise in magazines and shops to get the word out. By being online, they open themselves up to all the people who are online and spreading the word.

However, they are short-sighted in the fact that they offer no solutions for what happens after November 1, when shops are free to finally sell the kits and patterns online. It’s not as if they couldn’t setup a shop to direct sales to an email address for shops who have no online presence. Imagine all the other kits and patterns they could continue to sell by having an online presence after November 1.

As someone who is from the United States, living overseas, it’s sad to see that a project as large as this that is helping to promote quilt shop sales, would be so shortsighted as as to not find a way to help offline shops, and even online stores who just have a web presence but no shop with the ability to continue to sell those kits, and offer the patterns.

Of the patterns that I did order today, I was flabbergasted at the cost of shipping on these items. Many shops only offer USPS priority mail, at a cost of 5.95 to 7.95 and in many cases, the cost of shipping is more than the cost of the pattern. I’d rather pay the 93 cents it costs to ship, or even first class mail at 2.00.. call me cheap, but I don’t see why I need to pay 6.00 to have a pattern shipped to me.

If their were any rows I loved the most, it was the rows in Arizona from the various shops who participated. I really want them, yet I could only order one of them online.

Many shops want you to call and reserve your copy, I don’t want to call, I am online, what’s wrong with putting your product online to sell, even if you use a source like etsy, or payhip, or craftsy even to sell your products. I’m sure there are other sources I’m not even aware of.

Imagine, if your an online shop, why not offer a newsletter, and when people signup for it, they get the pattern for free, or like you on Facebook or Google, thus you can advertise your kits in the newsletter.

I know, it seems I’m on a negative track these days, but this experience has really taught me that according to quilt shops I’m a negative for them, but I could be a positive, a potential future customer because I have to order everything I need for quilting online. 

So come on, get it together, Row By Row, give those shops who participate, who are looking for that additional business a way to sell online after Nov 1. Offer a pdf creation service so patterns are downloadable. Imagine the money shops would make if you took a small percentage, and they got the rest, even at 3.00 to 5.00 per pattern, even 10.00 those shops would still make money. It’s worth it to find a way for them to sell those patterns.

I could share with you the few that I ordered, but I’ll save that list for another day.. I’m thinking it might be worth it to give a more accurate list of what’s online to sell, because the Row by Row site also doesn’t have that.. they have the list of sites and supposedly the icons show the shops with kits online, but it’s not accurate.

I know, those of you who were in the states enjoyed this experience, and if I’d been in the states I to would have really enjoyed it, but I’ve waited months to grab up the patterns I liked only to be disappointed by the fact that they are not online and I am truly disappointed.

So, with that said, these are the free patterns I found before I gave up today, I haven’t given up, I’m just tired and need to do some other things tonight before I hit the hay.

Thank you to the Stitchin Post in Oregon, Tranquility Quilts, Cloth and Quilts (who also offers their 2014 pattern), and Stitch Online who all are offering downloads of their row patterns. When I find more I’ll post about them so you to can download them. I like them all.. I’ll be back. πŸ™‚

To the Cary Row Company who is also offering their pattern for free, but you have to pay for shipping and it’s cheap.. πŸ™‚ To ship their pattern is as low as a mere 93 cents (they have many options for shipping, I just chose the cheapest way to get to me) I like you.. I’ll be back. πŸ™‚

All links moved here.

Please take the time to thank these shops, I really appreciate that they thought of us still after this event was over.

Marian

I am in no way affiliated with the Row By Row Experience. I’m just a fan of this event as I love the idea that we get to support our local shops. Logos were obtained from the Row By Row Experience website for use in this post strictly to link to their site.

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45 Responses to Is The Row By Row Experience Shortsighted?

  1. AvatarSherr Forslund says:

    The Quilters Garden in Fenton , Michigan offers full kits of their rows in the shop and online

  2. AvatarDenise A says:

    I know I’m late to the RBR 2015 party, but I just started doing the RBR 2016 and I am feeling exactly the way you are. I don’t mind pre-ordering if there is no way I’ll ever get to that shop but it is very frustrating to find that quilt shop online only to find it’s down for construction or no way to order. Come on….it’s not a prized possession at this point. Sell the crazy things!! πŸ™‚ I was also disappointed at one shop that I have frequented in the past…their block was nothing ~ only a row of the house fabric with borders all around – no kit to buy – it was already done for you. They wouldn’t sell you the row fabric that you could do your own and sold their finished product for an outrageous $18.95 – For what? A strip of fabric with simple borders around it. I ended up finding it at another store, purchased and if I want to do their strip and am able to now. The free pattern they gave you was 3 drawn houses and no directions. After the first of Nov they should have an online RBR for the patterns.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      I believe if they are using their row fabric in the kit, they aren’t likely to sell the fabric on its own as some of the fabrics are probably more difficult to get now since fabrics become out of print faster than a book does. πŸ™‚

      I think shops that think we as quilters don’t know a good row from a bad row, are hurting themselves. It’s quite easy for any quilter who’s beyond the beginning quilter stage to figure out how to piece a block without even having the need for a book. So to give us pieced rows or a long row depicting houses that are not even pieced but one long piece of fabric is a crock of bull imho… Row by Row shouldn’t be just about getting quilters to the stores, the store itself will see future business because they are inevitably being found by new customers. If the row is not that impressive for the average quilter, my guess is that the shop won’t see the kind of business that a shop with a really great row will have. Shops that take the time to either hire out a designer for a row, or create a really unique and creative row will see far more business than a shop that is just doing it because they think it will bring them some business. At the same time, I have to admit, I’m shocked at how many quilt shop owners there are that have no clue on how to even create a pattern itself. I love the professional looking patterns I have seen and you can tell that it’s a shop that cares about giving their customer the absolute best quality even when the pattern is free. That impresses me.

      While you can’t force a quilt shop to have an online presence, if they have a website at all, it’s easy enough to add a paypal link to pay for a product without even having a cart. My thoughts for 2016 are a bit different from what I saw in my first year of the RBR experience last year in 2015, and we’ll see what comes to pass when November hits. πŸ™‚ In the meantime, I’m taking notes, watching Facebook, and participating by buying some kits from people willing to pick up kits for others. So this year I’ll have a much better perspective on the whole thing as an online user only. I still can’t go to shops, even tho RBR came to Europe, I’m still out in the cold because no quilt shops in Italy participated. Even if they did, I’d have to cross the ocean to go to them. LOL

      • AvatarNancybgault says:

        I couldn’t agree more. I wonder if the block with house fabric and borders was made to help the people who want to win the contest in 24 hours? Such an easy “block” to make……

  3. AvatarJennifer says:

    Hi Marian, I didn’t seek out any rows after the event last year, so won’t comment specifically, but I do have a couple of general observations: One is that older people tend to be uncomfortable with computers and especially e-commerce. It’s been my experience that a lot of shops are owned and staffed by older women, so maybe it isn’t so easy to do the online part, as attractive as it may be to many of us. Also, I’ve read that the average age of quilters is somewhere north of 50, so they might not think they have enough customers to justify the effort.

    All the online promotion also gave me the impression that patterns would be easily available at a click of the mouse from anywhere in the country. I do wish someone would step in and pick up the slack. Row By Row organizers, are you game?

    My only complaint is that is hard to find rows without using Facebook, which I am trying to stay away from. I wish the organizers could aggregate the rows and feature them on their own site for one-stop browsing. But like another commenter indicated, the program is in its infancy and seems to have become wildly popular all at once. It’s really fun, and it must be doing wonders for the industry. Let’s hope for some future improvements.

    (BTW, good to hear Budding Star Quilts was so accommodating. They are one of my local shops and it’s a great place with really pretty rows both in 2015 and 2016!)

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Considering that the shops each pay 100.00 to participate in the RBR experience, and over 3000 shops participated this year, that’s 300,000.00 they earned by hosting this event. Yes, ‘I’m sure there are some general expenses, but I think they could also hire a programmer to build a cart for these shops who are offline, online, whatever to place their rows on as they start participating in the event and then open the cart Nov 1.

      Many shops are closing because online sales are booming, this is probably the #1 reason a shop closes, other than retirement for some of the owners.

      A shop that doesn’t have an online presence, needs a really good customer base today to stay open. They also need to be in an area where sewing is popular so that people can find out about them.

      I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook either, but Facebook is a good outlet because it offers several really great things to be able to showcase the rows well, first the state pages where the galleries show the rows. Second stores can be found easily because even if a store doesn’t have a website, they may have a Facebook page and you can even now purchase items thru Facebook, so this gives shop owners an opportunity to sell kits and patterns thru Facebook instead of depending on opening a cart on a website. It also offers the ability to use groups to talk about new things your store offers, classes, etc.. There are groups that trade, swap and sell License plates and pins for rbr also, including people who so willingly give of their time to get kits for others (myself included) so that I can enjoy the experience event tho I can’t visit the shops.

      The sad fact is that without using facebook, you have to hope that the shop that the Row By Row people list in there state pages has an online website to show off their row, and this year I was very surprised how few rows showed up on websites, so that means you have no choice but to go to facebook, but you shouldn’t have to make an account to view those pages, because those pages should be open to the public without having to have a FB account.

      My problem with having to call a shop to even pre-order a pattern comes from the fact that many banks now lock a debit card if let’s say I call a shop in California, and then turn around and call a shop in Washington state to order patterns or kits for pre-order. To banks, this is suspicious behavior so they will lock your card until you call to explain. In two years, my own cc has been replaced three times because of this behavior and online fraud along with phone calls to shops to order items. If I pay thru paypal or etsy, ebay, amazon, etc, this doesn’t happen, because these are known sources of online shopping, so it’s much easier to not have your card locked. If you went to a quilt show and bought something from vendor after vendor, who is lets say some are in state and some are out of state, you may run into the same problem. This is why I appreciate online sales far more than I do dealing with a phone call. πŸ™‚

  4. AvatarSue says:

    As a shop owner, I’d like to respond to some of the comments…I have 2 brick & mortar stores & don’t sell online for 2 main reasons: 1.I want to be here when someone needs my store & if I sell online, it’s not necessary to have a retail place of business. (If consumers continue to buy everything online, our local stores will go out of business.) 2.I simply don’t have the time or staff to run an online business…I’m busy taking care of my customers in my store 6 days a week!
    I was surprised at the price of the ‘Row By Row’ Plates when I ordered them to sell, & found out that the labor to cut & package them & the way they were printed is why we have to pay so much more for them than we do regular printed cotton. (Kind of like the cost of running printer fabric through our printers.) ‘Hope this helps!

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Hi Sue, Thank you for commenting. I don’t think any shop needs to have a total online presence at all. I get that you want to be where your customers actually are, and I have said I would support my local shops if I were living back in the states. However, my husband works overseas for the US military, so I am here, while it’s all happening over there. However, this rbr is promoted heavily online, it relies heavily on Facebook of all places to mainly do its advertising for the rows that will be coming out. It has a huge website, letting people know where they can visit and shop for the patterns, kits, and license plates, and then when it’s all done and over with, someone like myself has to go thru all the shops to find the patterns they want, try to find contact information, and then either call, or send an email when a shop doesn’t have even a slight hint of a presence on the web. It is not difficult to set up an Etsy shop just for the patterns and kits or even the license plates. They do all the work literally for you. It takes perhaps 20 minutes to fill out the cart form for each product. You could use payhip also, but they don’t take addresses when you purchase from them, so that would be more difficult. However, you’d get that info with Paypal, but that’s why even somewhere like eTsy just makes more sense. Even the rbr creators, could make it easier themselves by offering a cart service for shops that are not online. If Facebook wasn’t there for the rbr experience to promote itself with, I doubt very much the rbr experience would have become as large as it has.

      I’m not mad at the shops, I’m upset with the process. Even if I lived in the states, and I wanted a row from a state that’s 3000 miles away, it’s still quite the experience to have to try and get that row.

      By limiting yourself to offline revenues only, sadly it makes it easier for people to pirate the patterns, share with friends, and make deals with others to trade the patterns. Lets not forget about those making money of other shops patterns and kits on eBay. By at least offering some form of service to people who would want your pattern, your row, your license plate or pins, you then not only earn some additional revenue, you keep me happy, and all the people who wouldn’t share or trade to make deals. I learned my lesson long ago about sharing, it’s very hard for me to resist asking friends to go to shops for me, but I haven’t done it, and I won’t do it. I want to buy the patterns. I just want it to be a little bit easier to do so. I think it’s crappy to depend on online users to visit shops who are offline, but not offer any type of service to those of us who can’t get to every shop.

      Thank you for explaining about the license plates. They are still too expensive. πŸ™‚

    • AvatarHeather says:

      I do understand your point, but like Marian, we are also stationed overseas. There are many companies that offer pdf downloads of their pattern and Row by Row should have a platform for this as well, in my opinion. A place where shops can pay a small additional fee and offer rows after Nov 1 as a $3 download OR get a percentage of sales. But you as a shop could also offer online pattern downloads and take almost no time away from your customers, save the occasional email.

      You also do leave out the younger generation that most quilt stores seem to be mystified about reaching…the way to do that is online. As someone who moves frequently and doesn’t like clutter I store most of my patterns online. I scan them in and they are available on my devices to print or view – I then usually toss the hard copy. If I want a paper copy I print it, use it, and probably shred it again. That sounds wasteful, but unless it’s a pattern I use often, it will probably just be used once and sit in my pattern archive. It actually isn’t wasteful when you consider I usually do just view them on my devices. Paper weighs a lot, takes up space, and I don’t want to pay postage to scan something in and delete it after waiting 2+ weeks for its arrival.

      I also don’t want to call a store. I get hammered on international calling. Addresses and payment information can be taken incorrectly. The post office can lose the pattern. By the time I called a store and ordered a pattern and had it shipped it would surely equate the cost for a kit between calling time, my time, and shipping expense. Stores in America don’t even understand the money they could be making on international pattern sales if they just had a pdf Etsy download store.

      I buy a lot of fabric, but you’ll never see a penny from me no matter how great your store is because my nearest fabric store is across an international border and it’s not quilting cotton. To my knowledge, quilting cotton can’t be found on my continent, and while I frequent LQSs in the US when I can, there aren’t any to be had overseas and I frequently hear the same complaints from other quilters across the globe – they want pdf downloads. They don’t mind waiting for the mail, except it takes WEEKS to arrive where we are, not a reasonable less than a week – shipping is also very high.

      I also don’t like to frequent stores that simply refuse to have an online presence because it’s where I’ve been required to operate for years now. If you weren’t interested in reaching me while I’m overseas, I’m not interested in spending my gas and time to come see you. Businesses have to offer what customers want or they go out of business. I prefer to go in stores – it’s one of my biggest gripes about living overseas. But if it’s not an option or it’s several states away it’s unreasonable for you to expect your row to be that incredible that people will travel only for your row or that they’ll go through the painstaking process of ordering it via phone and then paying shipping too.

      One of my favorite stores is Wish Upon a Quilt in Raleigh, NC. They were my LQS for a while and even though I moved away their online presence KEEPS them my LQS. Their online presence ensures that they won’t just “go out of business.”

  5. AvatarRhonda says:

    I agree with you. I knew about Row by Row last year, but was excited this year when I found a 2016 license plate at Missouri Star, well before the June 21st date. I randomly took the first week of June off. I thought most shops would sell their license plate and decided to call them. Out of 37, 3 were rude, several refuse to sell before the 21st, and about 24 had them. I was able to buy a Michigan shop license plate 2016, on Ebay today. I wish every shop would do the same. I think the shops should sell the plates when they get them. Then they complain that they have them left over. I understand about the rows on June 21s, but they should be more available, like online. Thanks for the links. I will use them.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      It’s my impression that they can start selling the license plates before June 21st. I could be wrong on that, but I’m fairly sure they can. My guess is that if they are limiting their sales to June 21st and beyond, it’s more likely that they are wanting to insure supply and demand, since the license plates seem to be quite popular. You won’t find me paying 7.00+ for a tiny piece of fabric like that as I think it encourages more fabric sales at that kind of pricing for such a small size. I personally find the license plates to be outrageously priced, especially since and I shouldn’t say this, but I can take a picture of any license plate and run it thru my printer, and print it on fabric for far less than what it would cost to buy 1 plate. In fact, I could probably print at least 3 license plates on 1 sheet of printable cotton fabric. While printable fabric is expensive, I’d more than pay for it by printing my own plates. I love the idea of the plates, but not at the price they sell them for.

      • AvatarRhonda says:

        I looked at one of the quilt shops site,and they wanted the general 5.99 for the license plate, and $6.95 to ship it!!!!! C;mon! Plus, these places don’t have a great online presence. Some of them have a huge online presence but never answer their phones and don’t have hours anywhere. some of them ask you to email them but never answer email. It’s almost been nightmarish just to figure it out. It’s actually been difficult due to no online presence. And I agree, I could print the license plate, but I’m not sure the print would work if it was washed. My license plate purchasing rules were, they had to have a website with hours and phone. Then they had to be cordial on the phone.One of the top quilt shops aren’t cordial at all. Surprising they run this business.

        • AvatarMarian says:

          That’s probably because of how the cart is setup. Most carts don’t use a normal postage stamp, so it’s worth it to write the shop and ask if they will just send it via a normal postage stamp instead of the 6.95. Most shops even return shipping costs that go over the actual cost of shipping. Now bigger shops, or even chain type stores, no I wouldn’t expect them to return my shipping costs, but their carts are sophisticated enough also to charge the proper costs for shipping or come close to it, and they also use the excuse of handling fees to thwart giving you your money back.

          You can’t really expect the rbr experience people to control “rude” shops tho. Quilt shop politeness runs both ways, I’ve walked into shops where I felt inadequate, because they might look down on anyone who doesn’t look like them. I’m not the kind of gal who gets dressed up to go shopping, nor do I wear my best wearables, because in the past, quilt shopping for me has meant a drive of at least 90 minutes or longer, so I’m not going to sit in a car in clothing I’m not comfortable in to go into a shop to try and impress a bunch of women. If I’m going to dress up, it’s because I’m trying to impress my man, or because I work somewhere that requires me to do so. I don’t really care about quilt shop rudeness, I’ve been their, experienced it, and I learned to ignore it, I go in, do my business and leave.

          On the other side of the coin, I’ve met people who own shops who are so friendly I didn’t know what to do. I like it tho, being friendly makes me feel comfortable, I spend more time, and I probably spend more money, and I am more likely to go back to that shop.

          I don’t run into to many shops that ignore email, most wrote me back within a few days, yes, you might expect them to be immediate, but more aren’t that way, and you can tell by the type of online presence they have, the bigger they are, the slower they are, the smaller they are, the faster they are.. that’s my rule of thumb for email answering. It does also work just the opposite way, but a big shop is not as likely to answer your questions immediately because they are probably answering other questions immediately also. If they have their license plates on sale right now, I’d expect them to deliver right now. Those who are waiting for the deadline, should note that shipping won’t happen until a certain date.

          As to printing on fabric, have you done it before? I have, and they do hold up in the wash quite well. You have to use the proper inks tho, your printer needs to accept pigma type inks in order to be sure it sticks, and doesn’t bleed. You can then iron to heat set in place.Their is more to it, and their are types of printers that work well.. Inkjet and Bubblejet I think, it’s been awhile and both my printers print fabric, so until I need to replace a printer I won’t look the info up again, but I know Inkjet is one of them for sure. If you use pretreated fabric to print on, you will do better also, and use a good quality, such as Electric Quilts, they are reasonably priced compared to some, and it’s good stuff.

  6. AvatarMona says:

    QuiltsInMontana.com at Quilter’s Corner Etc offer their kits and patterns online and did from the September deadline and shipped out after November 1st. 2015 was the first year of participating and it was great! And the feedback we received was positive.
    We even turned our “row” into a wall hanging kit for one pattern and a quilt kit for our second pattern by adding borders, blocks and bindings see them here….. (http://www.quiltsinmontana.com/row-by-row)
    Ready to start 2016….just received our first fabric from Clothworks!!

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Mona, I definitely appreciate the shops that have an online presence after that Nov 1 deadline. I don’t appreciate shops that sell the kit only tho. I just want the pattern by itself. I don’t want a kit, I buy fabric, and I think I’m pretty good at matching colors up, so for me, it’s the pattern only. Other quilters don’t feel the same way, and many will buy a kit, but I would not be happy if I walked into a shop and they wanted to force me to buy a kit either and many people experienced that problem. I definitely appreciate that you offered many options for your row, you kept the pricing for the pattern reasonable and within my reach. Your row is really awesome, for 2015 and I look forward to what you do in 2016.

  7. AvatarRobin says:

    As a quilter, I purchased many kits. Some had adequate amounts of fabric, some were short. It’s frustrating when you are supposed to cut a ten inch square and the fabric provided is 9 and 6/8. I love the Row by Row experience, but plan to scale back for 2016. On the kits, please put in a tad extra fabric and charge a dollar or more extra.

  8. AvatarRenee says:

    I wish all the states would have done what Michigan did when this started they had a downloadable pdf of all the store info and pictures of there blocks I was planing on during a little road trip and hit several stores but I had the hardest time finding what their row looked like.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Renee, Arizona did one, they even showed their rows. I forget where I downloaded mine, I think it was on Odegaards site, but they were planning to fix the link today as I’d written them asking if they were going to sell or giveaway their pattern, so I’m not sure the row page is their any longer.

  9. AvatarJulianne says:

    I just want to offer a shop owner’s perspective. First off, Row by Row has been a wonderful thing to happen to quilting. The program has exploded more than anyone could have predicted. All along, they have said that their role is to coordinate the event, not directly assist shops in selling their items. It was conceived as an idea to get quilters INTO shops, and only this year, has the “allowing sales later” component been figured in. So in short, the program is still in its infancy and is like a running toddler – hard to keep up with!

    For many shops, it’s not as easy as “just put the pattern online”. As you mentioned, many shops don’t have an online presence.

    Even if a shop does, they may be limited in what, how, or when they can add things to their website, based on budget, website limitations, parent companies (like Bernina stores) or personnel / webmasters available to help.

    Last year, our shop paid a designer for our row. In our contract with her, we were specifically not allowed to sell it at all, and our time period to give it away ended after Labor Day, so if we had used her this year, we would be contractually unable to share the pattern now. This is why you won’t find our 2014 pattern available.

    This year, I designed our row, and honestly, I don’t want to put it “out there” as a pdf. I’d still like to maintain the feeling of control, so we are offering to mail our patterns out at $0.93 each (and yes, you can order those online). Honestly, after the costs of printing patterns, purchasing envelopes and postage, and staff time spent, we are probably losing money on them. We already have a quilt pattern created from the row, so eventually, we will pull it from the “free” category. This is harder to do if it’s “out there”.

    I didn’t write to promote my own shop, so I’ll stop short of mentioning it, but I do think that there are many many factors that go into how our shops do business. While customer service is a big one for me, there are always limitations to consider.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Hi Julianne,

      Thank you for your wonderful perspective. I am aware of some of these issues, because as a previous developer, I know as any blogger even does how difficult it really is to maintain and keep a website active. I also get that many shops probably can’t afford developers unless they happen to have an employee who can help them to maintain it already. If I were in the states, I’d probably do it just for the fabric I could earn.. LOL

      I have also learned about some shops commissioning out the patterns to be created and I totally get that to, because you then have copyright involved and the designer would probably want to sell the pattern on her own later.

      I do think that Row By Row developers could make the process of going online easier tho for all the shops, especially those without an online presence, and do own the copyright to their patterns.

      I really don’t expect any free rows, I am fully prepared to buy and have been buying patterns I like, so it’s not so much about the freebies for me, but more about wanting each shop to gain further sales by having the rows be available to everyone. I have always been more of a pattern buyer than a book buyer. The only type of book I buy is a “technique” book, where the technique is the focus of the book versus a bunch of patterns in a book.

      I get why they try to sell kits, which helps with the cost of handing out a free pattern, but a kit also shouldn’t be forced down someone’s throat like some shops do. I’ve already been that route with a pattern I liked, but she would only sell me the kit only because she used specialized fabrics, but I don’t really care about that side of it, I’m a if I like it, I might use it, but I don’t trust a kit to give me enough fabric, what if I goof and make a cutting error, or I mess up the applique, so many things can go wrong and without additional fabric to compensate, the kit then becomes no good.

      If I went to a shop tho to get a free pattern, I most likely wouldn’t leave tho without buying something, it’s just in my nature to want to look around a shop, especially a new one.

      As to a “brand” shop, almost all of them have websites, and can sell anything on their shops that isn’t that “brand” related. Such as Bernina, you can show the fact your a Bernina dealer, the machines, etc, but you can’t actually sell them or any Bernina parts, books, etc .. but if you have Aurifil thread, their is no reason why you can’t sell Aurifil thread on that same site via a cart, so the Brand part of it wouldn’t come into play directly.

      I support quilt shops, and if I were also back in the states, while I might buy some online, I’d still be a shop goer, because I love the feel of the fabric, I love seeing what the actual fabric looks like, buying fabric online is not 100% full proof like it is at a shop, because if the seller knows nothing about photography and getting good images, then it’s hard to continue to sell fabrics if a customer buys it and then isn’t happy when it turns out the color is completely off what they are expecting. So I’d be more of a shop buyer than a online buyer. With books, I can flip thru the books, have an actual look at them, that’s another thing you don’t get to see with online book sales. I don’t buy to many books online for that reason alone.

      I truly appreciate that you offered your pattern for free, but even if you’d charged me for it even just to cover your own expenses, their is every chance I would have purchased it. The thing here to do tho is rather to create it in pdf, scan your good copy of the pattern and offer a download with that route if you go online since you’d have no worries with shipping a pdf file, and the costs of printing are sent to the customer instead.

      I’m really not unsympathetic to a shops plight and getting their patterns online, I get that it’s difficult, but my post wasn’t really aimed at shops in particular, it was aimed more at Row By Row, because I really believe if they offered a pdf creation service, or the ability to put the patterns and kits online to sell, it could be done quite easily, all orders going directly to the shop for shipping and bam, they are done. There are good services already in place that can help with that kind of thing, so implementing it wouldn’t be that difficult.

      Either or, I really appreciate that you took the time to vist my blog and comment. I am sorry your comment ended up waiting for me to approve it, because the spam filter couldn’t decide if it was spam or not.

  10. AvatarJ. says:

    Sewinspiredquilts.com in CT(click special events, go to bottom), fabricdepot.com in OR (search row by row, 3 free patterns). Bestsewingdeals.com for Sew Easy Sewing in NM(click online store, go to lower left click on what’s new, click on words row by row pattern, then after appliquΓ© images.

  11. AvatarSally says:

    Marian, you’re a sweetheart! Found all the patterns except the AZ odegaars one (the link just downloaded the 4 page pdf of the AZ ones) I’m in AZ and it was difficult to get to all I wanted (actually picked up ones in NV and CA too. I was able to buy one from Sew Much for Quilting (Goodyear, AZ) before they went out of business. I really like the 35th Ave Sew and Vac but pattern is expensive, as are most of the ones in AZ that you can buy…oh well.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Odegaards was the AZ shops, it wasn’t their row pattern, so I removed the link. Hopefully they will fix it, I did write them.

      I ordered the 35th Sew n Vac pattern, didn’t care that it was 10.00 I LOVED it. πŸ™‚

  12. AvatarColette says:

    Great points the row by row is fun, and it gets a lot of traffic for many shops. I agree I think that they would offer the row via PDF. I know there are some shops out there that pay designers to create their rows, so a charge is appropriate.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      I love that some of the rows are free, I don’t even mind paying a fee .. I’ve bought 7 rows so far on my journey around the different shops.. so it’s not like I’m not willing to pay for rows. I just don’t want to buy kits. I like doing my own colors. πŸ™‚

  13. AvatarSusan says:

    Excellent points. I hope the Row by Row people take note of them. Thanks for the links. I AM in the states, but no one can get to all the shops they’d like! Arizona did have some awesome rows!

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Well I’d like to hope they will to Susan, I did place a note on the organizers blog along with an email, but haven’t heard whether they’ll try to make it a little more online friendly down the road.

  14. AvatarMaryBeth Little says:

    I know one of the gals behind Row by Row and feel I must speak in her defense. As I understand it, Row by Row is a way for shops to bring more customers and business in. But it is up to the individual shops as to what they do beyond Nov with regards to the patterns/kits. I feel your tirade against Row by Row is really unjust imho.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Your are most welcome to your own opinion, but I still disagree.

      I totally believe that Row By Row was put in place to help brick and mortar shops to improve business… so we are in agreement here.

      I don’t think they encourage growth of sales after the deadline at November 01, when the event needs to have all the entries to win the big prizes over with. If people online only have the month of November to download patterns and order kits, their needs to be a faster way to find those who are selling them versus going thru all 50 states and the provinces of canada, perhaps they could put them all on one page for people to visit easier and faster.

      The Row by Row experience relies heavily on online advertising to promote this project, they not only have partners who help to pay expenses that come along, the companies make patterns and fabrics to go along with the theme of this event. These things are sold online during the entire event, I bought some of the fabric, so I know it’s possible to buy fabric and yet the shops don’t seem to be required to even use some of the fabric that’s been created specifically for the theme of the event. If I were a partner, I’d almost want to see my fabric I spent money to create at least be featured in the rows. They use Facebook to show off all the rows, another online advertising venue.

      They purchased a domain name, need hosting services, probably people who run the website for the development side, all to advertise something that seems closed off to online users, then opened up for a month for online visitors to run around trying to find what they couldn’t get during the first run of the hop.

      With over 1000+ shops particicpating it’s physically not possible to visit each shop to get the patterns either, so they might count on being able to download them or purchase kits when November comes.

      Handicapped people are limited to the either just missing it all together, or perhaps visiting only their local shop which may or may not have participated, so they to have to wait for them to come online.

      It’s not that I expect a 1000 shops to put the patterns online, but when their is less than 90% participation online after Nov 01, one has to come to resent a project that uses the online community for advertising to get the word out, then rejects it when it’s that communities turn to have a chance to get a few of the patterns that were even offered.

      While it may be left up to the shops to still decide what to do, I believe that if they were offered the ability to put the patterns and kits online whether for sale or for free to download, they’d grab it, because it does mean continued sales, even if it is with the forbidden fruit of all us online consumers.

      So if my tirade is unjust to you, that’s cool, I am fine with that, because you are entitled to your opinion, just as I am.. mine.

  15. AvatarElizabeth Johnson says:

    As a person who uses the internet a lot to get supplies I found the same thing. If I couldn’t walk into their shop I could not get the pattern. Which I thought was stupid for revenue. They would allow me to buy the license plate but not their exclusive pattern or kit. Most shops I called told me this even after I told them I was disabled and didn’t drive. Sad

    • AvatarMarian says:

      I don’t mind the fact that it’s geared toward brick and mortars. I think they have a tougher time these days because internet sales are going up and more and more mom and pop type stores are going away. What I do mind is that once it’s all said and done with, their is no support to help continue sales, which they could easily do and setup. I’m sorry your not in a position where you can walk into a shop, I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like, but I do sympathize with you on having to buy everything online. I just don’t get why they don’t encourage growth of sales by bringing the patterns and kits online to sell .. it just boggles my mind.

  16. AvatarWendy says:

    Thank you! I agree 100%. Thanks also for the links to the shops that have their patterns available, I really appreciate that!

  17. AvatarMarsha says:

    Thank you for this posting. I love the Rows but we volunteer with a State Park in the summer so that even though I”m a full-time RVer I can’t get to every state. After the hoopla is over, I see no problem for the design to be offered online. I”m proud to say that I know Lisa at Lisa’ Clover House Design and I’m pleased that she is offering her block. Why aren’t they all? You’ve got a good point!

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Well that has to be fun even volunteering in a state park, I know I wouldn’t mind doing that myself. Thanks for taking the time to comment today.

  18. AvatarSandy Wootten says:

    I certainly agree with you. We can’t go to all the quilt shops. These are not complete quilt patterns. I love going into the shops and getting the patterns and usually buy something else. if these patterns were available for download I would be made aware of these shops if I will be in the area. I also would online window shop and possibly find something else I want.
    Since the Row by Row organization does not provide the list its impossible to see what’s out there. the majority just visit the stores that they shop now. I also would not pay more than a dollar for postage. This would be a lot of work for a shop. So I feel free download is the only way to go. Row by Row should provide the list

    • AvatarMarian says:

      I would to, I wouldn’t buy the kits, because I’m just not a kit, strips, or fat quarter type of customer, I want my fabric by the yard.. I have to really want it and it has to be their last piece to buy a fat quarter. I doubt very much I’d just walk in, ask for the pattern and then walk right back out… I’d want to check out their store, and shop shop shop..

      It’s like the Hoffman Challenge, I don’t have to enter it, I just want the fabric… LOL

      The problem with I think the free download is that many shops don’t know how to scan to pdf, or possibly the pattern won’t fit on the scanner. I bought a pattern yesterday where I actually wrote in the notes on the cart that the 8.00 shipping cost to ship the pattern sucked. She wrote back that she would refund my money and put a lower cost shipping on the page, but that they couldn’t scan to pdf because the pattern is an 11×13 or 15 inch size. I noted that yes, it would be difficult and I get that, but she is probably one of the few where the pattern wouldn’t be easily scanable. If the pattern had been created in EQ, it could be templated to an 8×11 sheet and people could tape there pages together.. I didn’t want to tick her off anymore than I already had about using the word suck to describe shipping costs so I left the part out about using EQ.. πŸ™‚

      I also agree, it’s just simply not possible to get to every single shop. It’s a shame that Row By Row doesn’t encourage shops to get online and provide patterns to those who only found out about them thru online sources.

      Anyway, thank you for providing a comment.. I updated the page with J’s links to other free downloads, and you might want to check those out if you didn’t do a search for them already. πŸ™‚

      • AvatarSusan says:

        Even 11 x 15 is scanable in two sections to tape together. It would take very little time, it’s easy to put up, and then link to a kit for those who want that, or to fabric suggestions. Yep, could be done. I think you’re right, it’s lack of knowledge.

  19. AvatarJ. says:

    I agree, it is so difficult to find patterns free or to buy. Try Leavenworth quilt co., serendipity quilt shop. The silver thimble, Lisa’s clover hill quilts, budding star quilts, and quilting confections for free 2015 row by row patterns.

    • AvatarMarian says:

      Thank you so much J, I visited all those shops, I easily found the patterns, and I’ve posted the links for others to be able to download with.

      I also sent them all a thank you email to let them know I am truly appreciative.

  20. AvatarCarol says:

    I share your frustration. I followed along with the hop on line and saw a quite a few rows that I would love to have but have even forgotten where the are now. On line searches are so time consuming. Even living in the states, it is difficult unless you are on vacation to travel to shops to join the hop. There should be a better way for customers to shop the hop on line.
    xx, Carol

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