“I learned to sew on a sewing machine and I made this!” That’s what hundreds of quilt shops across America and Canada hope to hear from kids age 6-14 in their communities this summer.
The Quilter's Garden on North Main in Trenton will join quilt shops around the country in welcoming kids June 21 through October 31 to participate in Row by Row Junior. Row by Row Junior is the kid version of the wildly popular Row by Row Experience, a summertime travel event for quilters. Just like in Row by Row, kids visit shops in person and collect a free sewing pattern designed just for them. They’ll also find encouragement and be inspired by the colorful, creative world of sewing right in their own hometown.
“We want to introduce kids to the intrinsic benefits of learning how to sew,” says Janet Lutz, creator of Row by Row Experience. “Making things on today’s modern sewing machines incorporates all the elements of STEM education in an artful way that builds self-esteem and perseverance.”
When offered for the first time in 2017, Row by Row Junior was the largest initiative of its kind ever attempted in the sewing industry. This year, six new patterns and project ideas designed around the theme “Sew Musical” will appeal to kids and their families.
The Quilter's Garden, run by Dade's own Liz Riddle, has participated in Row by Row for several years and says it has put Trenton on the quilting tourism map. It has brought European visitors to her shop and taken her quilt row patterns across the Atlantic. Displayed below is one of those, Liz's "On The Go" quilting tribute to Dade, which she designed with some help from local artist Larry Dodson. Her shop offers quilting lessons and materials and is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. It may be reached at (423) 504-2422.
At home, families can find free tutorial support and activities online by visiting www.rowbyrowexperience.com.