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Quilter did it row by row

Staff writer

Belinda Skiles has participated in the Row-by-Row Experience for three years, but 2017 was the first year she finished a quilt and won a prize.

Her quilt is on display this week at Marion City Library along with two dozen other quilts and wall hangings.

The row-by-row quilting contest is available throughout the U.S., Canada, and England. It requires entrants to visit at least eight participating quilt shops and pick up a pattern at each shop for one row.

Each shop designs a row in keeping with an annual theme, which in 2017 was, “On the Go.” Shops sell kits that provide all the pieces for their row.

Patterns were available from June through Labor Day, and quilts had to be turned in to a participating shop by Oct. 31.

Skiles picked up free patterns during summer travels and while on business visits.

“Wherever I went, I looked for a quilt shop,” she said.

The patterns and kits she collected came from places such as Eureka Springs, Arkansas; Joplin, Missouri; Lawrence, Kansas; and Beatrice, Nebraska.

“I got my first pattern from Beatrice, when we went up there to view the solar eclipse,” she said.

Using some of her own fabric, Skiles applied machine appliqués and embroidery by machine and finished it off by hand-quilting around items.

She turned in the bound and labeled quilt to the shop at Beatrice. Because she was the first one to do so at that shop, she won 25 “fat quarters” of fabric, a $75 value.

“Collecting different patterns makes it fun,” she said. “Now that I’ve finished one row-by-row quilt, I’m energized to do more.”

Last modified April 4, 2018

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