The last three years North Carolina quilt shops have participated in an event called Row By Row. During the summer months (between June 21 and the end of August), wherever you're traveling you stop at a participating quilt shop and get a free pattern that is 9"x36". Many quilt shops sell kits to go along with the pattern (from just the fabric to laser cuts pieces to accessories like buttons). Most shops have a fabric "license plate" with their store name and saying or name on it. Once you collect 8 patterns, you make a quilt using those patterns (it must be quilted, bound, and labeled) and return to one of the stores that you picked out a pattern from. If you're the first one to bring your quilt in to that store, you'll receive a fabric prize.
The last two years we've actually planned our vacation route around quilt shops so I could hit up certain stores for the pattern. I've completed some of the rows, but never enough of them to actually complete the quilt. So this year I said I was NOT going to participate. I need to tackle the projects I already have going. And then last month all these pictures of store's rows in NC started showing up on my Facebook feed. Let's just say that NC stores have a LOT of row patterns that I like. So yesterday I stopped and got two (actually four as both of these stores have 2 different patterns, but only one from each store will count in the row tally). Thursday we'll stop at the Clayton store on the way back from Marilyn's funeral to get another one. I've plotted the store patterns on a NC map that I like, so we may take a short road trip in the next few days. I was planning to do 3-4 in a day and spread it out over the summer, but I think Bobby would rather do it all in one trip. He gets to see more back roads and small towns that way.
Maybe this year will be the year that I actually finish the quilt before the year is out. Maybe. Life has a way of interrupting hobbies.