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Tutorial on Row Quilts

Posted by teresa_nc7 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 2, 12 at 14:10

Earlier this year K8orlando asked if I would do the occasional tutorial on various aspects of quilting. Here is the first, on making row or bar quilts. This is NOT about quilting row by row as you sew your quilt together.

"Each row uses simple blocks that will increase your piecing skill but won't bore you by stitching dozens of the same block. Each row is like a mini quilt and each row urges you on to the next row. If you stitch one row per evening by the end of the week you have a quilt top! For the advanced quilter these quilts are easily put together from your fabric stash and the "instant" gratification is fabulous! Use any theme fabric and try the fusible interfacing method to personalize the quilt top for that special someone. I have also included a block index for designing your own row quilt.

General information on row (bar) quilts:

~ This type of quilt can be adjusted depending on what size quilt you want to end up with and the amount of fabric you have available. You can make it wider by adding more blocks or you can make it longer by adding more rows.
~ Each row is a small quilt within itself. Using one theme fabric for each row showcases the fabric without requiring lots of yardage.
~ Row quilts can stitch up quickly! By doing one row each day, at the end of the week you will have a quilt top.
~ Row quilts offer you the chance to try new piecing techniques and new blocks and you can practice your hand or machine applique.
~ You will not get bored making dozens of blocks! Each row is something new and different.
~ Row quilts are very forgiving! Doesn't matter if the seams match from one row to the next. If a row is short, just add some spacers.
~ Row quilts are great for the serious fabric collector and are very fat quarter friendly.
~ Row quilts can be easily sized for a crib quilt, lap quilt, wall quilt or any other size you need - especially those narrow or awkward spaces."
From Row by Row, by Terry Martin

Teresa's additional info:
~ For most projects I recommend using smaller blocks; 10" or 12" blocks may be too big and look out of place.
~ Sidewalks and roads can be made with a solid strip of fabric or a checkerboard of 4-patches.
~ Conversational prints can add color, movement and interest when used just by themselves in a long row between pieced/appliqued rows.
~ Row quilts can be constructed with vertical rows if that is your preference.
~ It is probably a good idea not to join the rows together until all the rows are completed. It's fun to play around with the order of your rows. Some rows will look great together, others may need small pieced rows or narrow sashing rows to separate them.

For my own projects, you will notice I like sidewalks and picket fences toward the bottom of my quilts and the stars/sky/sun/flying geese up at the top. I tend to think logically. ;o) I also like to build a row quilt around a theme or a person's favorite things. The blue and yellow kitchen quilt was made (years ago) for the time when my kitchen would be newly painted in blue and yellow. You can choose your fabric colors according to your own preferences, rust, gold, and brown for fall; pastel yellow, pink and periwinkle for spring; rich green, red, blue, purple, and orange for summer; icy blue, silver, and white for winter, or colors suitable for the area where your row project will hang.

blue and yellow kitchen wall quilt

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My Cottage Garden quilt done with our round robin qroup

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quilt for Brittany who lives on a farm

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I will try to add some more images as I find them. The link below has lots of good ideas for row quilts.

If you have any questions, I'll be glad to try to answer them for you.


Here is a link that might be useful: Google search for row quilts

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

Good inf. Thanks for the tutorial. I have done only one, I see it picture in your search, The 12 Days of Christmas.
My sister likes it so much that she has it hanging all year around. lol

RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

Goodness, there's no end to the possibilities of individual creativeness!

Thanks for sharing your info and link.


RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

Great ideas, Teresa. I have saved a pic of your blue and yellow quilt from several years ago. The round robin quilt is very lovely.

RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

Thanks for the info, and I love your quilts. You are so creative.


RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

Thank you Thank you Thank you!! I have seen posts on row quilts and never really knew how to make them or even what they were. Now I know!! And I have another project to put on my "to quilt" list. I can only hope mine will look as good as yours!
Thank you again for taking the time to post this great information.

RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

Teresa, you have made lovely row quilts.
Thank you for the information and for taking the time and effort to share with us.
I have never done a row quilt but it looks like an interesting project.
You have some great ideas posted.


RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

I wondered what a row quilt was as well. Thanks for the tutorial. Maybe this will be my March project.

RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

To me, part of the fun in making a row quilt is deciding what the rows are to be, i.e. pieced blocks, paper pieced blocks, applique, a strip of plain fabric sashing or a strip of a novelty or conversational print. I've worked on a sunflower quilt, an Alaskan themed quilt, "time for tea" quilt, and others. When doing our round robin, the quilt owner first did a row, then explained her theme for the quilt and then each robin member did a row. The owner of the quilt sewed them together in the order of her choice and added (or not) additional rows.

When I made the row for the sunflower quilt, I made it using the landscape quilt technique and included sunflowers, corn stalks, and a scarecrow. It turned out really nice and I still remember the fun I had making that row!


RE: Tutorial on Row Quilts

Thank you for this, Teresa! Love seeing your different themes in each of the row quilts. My list keeps getting longer...


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