Shop registration for Row by Row 2019 has begun and we are finding there are many new shops opening! This is great news for rowers! How do new quilt shops get started? It seems that each one has a unique story.

I decided to share a few of the stories about opening a new shop. This week we will learn about 2 stores that recently opened.

The Quilt Asylum, Van Alstyne, Texas
An employee takes over!

Karen Riley was a quilter and a shopper at The Quilt Asylum in McKinney, Texas before she became an employee of the store. Open since 2000, the original owner had created a vibrant storefront with a busy online store. A couple years ago, she decided to close the physical store to focus on the online business.

Karen felt the pull of the retail world, purchased the business and moved it down the road, about 15 minutes away to Van Alstyne. As the new owner she made the decision to keep the name, the style and the mascot (Tilly). The Quilt Asylum opened in it’s new location on December 4th to the delight of the area’s quilters. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to their participation in Row by Row.

With a name like The Quilt Asylum we expect it to be “crazy” beautiful! Look at all of that color!

Villa Rosa Designs, Grass Valley, California
From pattern designer and vendor to retailer!

When Pat Fryer brainstormed the quilt pattern card concept, little did she know Villa Rosa would bloom into something that would delay her retirement. Pat owned shops for decades, and taught simple patterns every week at the shop and at the local college. She thought the simple designs might just fit on a postcard, and so they did. She had already renamed her business Villa Rosa Designs, and with the pattern cards, she figured she could name each pattern after a rose variety. So far, the rose names haven’t run out, and with her other designers on board, Villa Rosa has almost 300 patterns to collect.

Pat has never given up working with fabric. She receives a lot of sample fabric to work with from many companies. And she continues to buy and sell fabric online and at shows. The sample making and fabric outgrew the space at home, so Pat went looking and found the perfect place.

And now the work begins! Upstairs will be quilting machines, a large work area, photo room and sample room. Downstairs will be fabric, kit prep, shipping, and a boutique featuring local talent. How fun to have the experience to know just how you want it to be!

The Villa Rosa store is coming along nicely. Here are a few in-progress pics:

Stay tuned for next week when we learn about more new stores… including a former gas station turned quilt shop!

Do you know of a new shop in your area? Drop us a line at We would love to tell everyone!

Janet Lutz is the owner of Row by Row Experience and Calico Gals quilt shop in Syracuse, New York. She is passionate about creative business, entrepreneurship and making stuff!