Row by Row Experience: Blue Crab Quilt Co.


As the summer winds down I am reflecting on my Row by Row Experience, a shop hop with over 1200 quilt shops from the US and Canada participating. The theme was “Sew a Season.” I traveled to eight shops in Virginia.

I was at one of my local quilt shops, Blue Crab Quilt Company, a few days after the shop hop began on July 1 and was purchasing fabric for the pattern, White Labyrinth by Zen Chic. I noticed the shop’s block for the Row by Row Experience:


I bought the kit (the pattern was free), but soon decided I wanted the blue crabs to pop against the background. And, I wasn’t going to make a quilt with this block. I used a solid navy for the crab and a white background to make a block for a tote bag:

BlueCrab block

The photo above shows where I “big stitch” quilted the block. I used fusible fleece on the back of the block. I marked it using Sewline’s fabric pencil. This is the best marking pen I have found.

I adapted the pattern, Mini Bow Tucks by Quilts Illustrated. I made it longer. It’s more of a tote bag than a purse. I also didn’t add a pocket on the outside or inside the bag. I used cording to make the bow tucks on the side:

Bow Tucks

Nautical is very fashionable right now, and I’m loving this finished project:

Blue Crab finished

The shop hop ends September 2, so I still have time to visit at least another shop. I enjoyed all the shops I visited, and I have more projects in the works from each shop.

Mini Charm Challenge

The challenge from Quilting Adventures quilt shop was to take a pack of mini charms and make something. The mini charm pack included only batiks:

I laid out the mini charms, and they had a water/ocean feel. One looked like a fish. I then attached them to some blue fabric in a wavy manner, using my machine’s feather stitch to applique them to three different strips of fabric:

Wavy batiks

After staring at it for awhile, I realized I would never hang this on my wall or use it as a quilt. Plan B emerged. I’d make a small pocketbook. I used instructions from May Chappell blog. I liked the finished pocketbook, and I took it to the Atlantic Ocean, Chincoteague Island, Virginia this past weekend:

Mini Charm bag

(The fish inspiration is located on the left side in the middle.) I like how the mini charms add interest with the piping across the front of the bag:

mini charm bag closeup

I added a small pocket inside the bag. The instructions did not include a strap, but I wanted one. I used the rest of the piping for that. I used embroidery thread to make the zipper pull/tassel.

mini charm bag inside       mini charm bag other side

There were a few snippets of mini charms left and I created a Project Pouch to store my Row by Row Experiences patterns. I’m planning some projects from my recent shop hop excursions. By the way, one of the shops, Quilts by the Sea, was located on Chincoteague Island, and this gave us a good excuse to visit there for a weekend getaway. More later on my Row by Row Experiences.

project pouch

Stitch Fix and Project 333.


Stitch Fix is not a quilting website. It’s a fashion site where a stylist picks clothes for you. For a $20 styling fee, the stylist picks 5 items of clothing and/or accessories and Stitch Fix ships them to you. Before that, you answer some questions and give them your sizes. You also give them your budget range for each type of clothing. You then schedule your fix. When it arrives, keep what you want and send back what you don’t in the postage-paid envelope via U.S. Postal Service. If you keep at least one item, you deduct the $20 styling fee from the total. If you keep all 5 pieces, you get a 25% discount.

When my first fix arrived, I was so excited to see what the stylist had picked for me. I got 5 shirts/sweaters, and I liked them all. I sent 2 of them back because they didn’t fit.

The fix comes with 5 styling cards like this one:

What does this have to do with Project 333?

During this experience, I saw this site, featured on Freshly Pressed: The ExtraOrdinary Simple Life, about simple living which referred to The Project 333. The crux is that you create a clothes capsule of 33 items (clothes, shoes and accessories) and wear that capsule for 3 months. I gave that a try, and I couldn’t do it. After letting go of many things, I had about 45 items not including shoes, accessories and jewelry. The Project 333 does not include workout clothes, underwear, socks or pajamas in the total, but I still couldn’t do it.

I went back to the Stitch Fix cards and counted the items they used to make 10 different outfits.
IMG_2526 IMG_2527 IMG_2528 IMG_2529 IMG_2530
There were 55 items in all. I could create a STITCH FIX 55 SPRING WARDROBE and feel minimalist. 33 or 55 –they were both arbitrary.

Tops: 14
Jeans/Pants/Shorts: 7
Jackets: 3
Shoes: 7
Earrings: 4 pairs
Necklaces: 8
Bracelets: 1
Dresses: 1
Skirts: 2
Scarves: 2
Belts: 2
Pocketbooks: 6
Total: 55

I scheduled a second fix and this is what I kept:

Carissa Striped Fit & Flair Dress

Carissa Striped Fit & Flair Dress

This is so versatile. I love the color.

Blue Chevron Textured Tie-Neck Blouse. This is so versatile. I love the color.

The style card with the Bell Chevron Textured Tie-Neck Blouse.

I sent back the Callafia Short-Sleeve Wrap Dress. I didn’t like how it fit me — too much fabric and low cut:
I also sent back the Harper 3/4 Sleeve Jacket. It was not that fabulous and one of the buttons came off before I even tried it on:
I also sent back this bracelet. I thought it looked cheap for the price of $88:
Even though I sent back 3 out of 5 items, I’m excited about incorporating the dress and the tie-neck blouse into my 55-piece wardrobe (now that it is hot here I won’t be wearing those sweaters, and maybe I don’t need 8 necklaces).

I also created a board on Pinterest for my stylist to view when picking items for me:

If you use my link and place an order, I get a $25 store credit, and if someone uses your link, you get the idea.

Here is mine: My link.

It’s worth a try.