We kicked off Season 8 with no live audience and very little hoop-la (the exact opposite of Season 7’s kick-off at Cali Quilt Co!) but it worked out perfectly with the uptick in COVID cases and our RV going belly up on the first day back on the road. Sigh…
In just a few days, we are picking up the Shannon Fabrics RV and hitting the road for our second Sew Together Tuesday: On the Road tour! I can’t believe the time is already here, but here it is.
Earlier this year, we did a more, shall we say erratic, tour and it went so well we got the okay to do it again. But cautioned to chill a little on the race aspect of it (we travelled 9k+ miles in 11 weeks!). This time, we’ll be taking the same 11 weeks to travel about 3k miles as we make our way from the west coast over to nearly-the-east coast with stops in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama along the way.
At each stop, we’ll be doing a Sew Together Tuesday show, live with a studio audience, and then an afternoon workshop. Some shops will be hosting workshops on Wednesday as well. it should be a ton of fun and i’m really excited to share all these shops with everyone.
The Bosom Buddy pattern is a free download from ByAnnie and was designed to help create a comfortable way for the seatbelt to rest. This is a great project to add a little Cuddle® to since it will just make it even softer and more comfortable!
The International Quilt Festival is back after a long hiatus and I’m excited to get the chance to get back out on the road and chat with quilters and sewists in-person again. (I’ll be teaching the Ellie Elephant–join me?) Because the event inside and the coronavirus has done a doozy on Texas over the last couple months, they are instituting a mask mandate. I’ve been using my masks for a while now, so I figured this was just the excuse I needed to make a few new ones.
I came up with this pattern about a year ago, incorporating the different features of other masks that I appreciated. Since I’ll be wearing it lots, I wanted it to fit comfortably over my nose, scooping down below my eyes and fitting snug around the chin. Since it works so well for me, I figured I might as well share it!
It might not need to be said, but after ten weeks on the road, I’m pretty tired. Exhausted in ways that were more than physical, to be honest. Thankfully, I’d seen that coming (because… duh) and clear back in June reserved two full days and three nights at Willard Springs Lodge in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming for the end of the tour. It may have been the best reservation I’ve ever made.
Willard Springs Lodge is owned and operated by Leann and John Moses, a respite for local hunters and adventure-seekers in the Bighorn Mountains. Leann is also a Shannon Fabrics brand ambassador, which is how I knew this place even existed. The idea that the lodge is isolated enough to get both me and Hawke away from phones, Internet, meetings and driving the RV sold it. I knew we’d need the break and Leann provided just that. We left the RV at her place in town and hopped into Hawke’s Jeep. She told us to follow her and off she sped; we were left to follow her clouds of dust for nearly two hours.
After a nice weekend in southern Kansas, we made our way up to Kansas City on Sunday afternoon. I knew it was going to be a special Sew Together Tuesday for a couple of reasons: we were using my friend Sam Hunter’s “Bloomin’ Too” patternand we were visiting a brand new shop: KC Maker Studio & Fabrics.
As we were getting set up and I was making a post on Facebook about the day’s show, Hawke told me I needed to help him get something in the RV, so I started heading that way, still typing away and he started recording…
If you are new to sewing with minky fabrics, I know they can be a bit intimidating. Minky is completely different than quilting cotton, requiring different techniques and tools.
I’ve found that lots of quilters have wanted to use minky, but when they’ve tried it with their quilter techniques, it’s been a frustration. Cuddle® is the Shannon Fabrics brand of minky fabric and I work with it exclusively (obviously, since I’m their National Educator!) and along the way I’ve learned a lot that can help learn to tackle this fabric in a way that makes is successful and not stressful.
For Sew Together Tuesday, we visited Red Roxy Quilt Co. in Decorah, Iowa and filmed this updated version of the 10 Tips:
When I first met Heather Jones, years ago, she was creating quilt patterns and I was enamored by her oversized-quilt-block style. I bought a couple of her patterns, chatted with her at Quilt Market when we’d see each other, and followed along with her career trajectory via Instagram.
Over the past few years, I’ve watched as she made the transition from pattern designer to textile artist, intrigued by both her technique and her path.
I realized we would pass near Heather’s studio in Dayton, Ohio on our travels so I reached out and she was kind enough to let me visit her. She has a fabulous studio where she shares space with Divisible Projects, a joint effort with her husband, Jeffrey Cortland Jones.
I like to think that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Years of solo parenting made me work through some seriously difficult days, but the truth is that sometimes my body says nope. This week was one of those times.
We’ve had an intense month with 3-4 days of teaching and 2-3 days of driving every week for the last four weeks. I knew the teaching days would be exhausting, but I honestly expected that on driving days I could pull out the ol’ laptop and get a bunch of work done.
The truth is that driving the RV is intense. It requires a lot of concentration from Hawke. I have to help with navigation because Google likes to choose the most inane routes. It’s super loud from both road noise and the internal rattle of a household in constant motion. Driving feels like you are on a boat, rocking from side to side and up and down due to road construction, or roads in dire need of repairs, everywhere.
On Thursday I woke up feeling like utter crap. My body decided to give me and my plans the finger and instead of seeing the beautiful quilts and art and architecture of Chicago, I laid in bed and stared into space for hours.
Thankfully I was able to convince Hawke that he didn’t need to stick around and do anything to “take care of me” and he took off for adventures of his own, including seeing the Bisa Butler exhibit.
Three days later, we are chilling out in Ohio and I’m feeling better again. My body and brain just needed a break and so they forced it on me. I’m feeling better and making headway on the to-do list over here. From here on, we are taking it a little easier with less teaching (except for the week I’m at the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo with Sew It Up Bernina), less driving and more time to recharge.
If you’re like me at all, you love a good shop hop. It’s always fun visiting new stores and checking out the displays, the fabric selection, the notion wall… all of it! Starting in less than two weeks, I’ll be embarking what I think will be the ultimate shop hop.
Hawke and I are taking our Sew Together Tuesday on the road and doing our Lives from 10 different shops across America, every Tuesday a different store in a different state. Crazy, right?! Yes, but it’s going to be so great!
You’ll be able to join in, both in-person and online for the Tuesday sessions, but wait… there’s more! HA! I’ll be teaching additional classes in each of those shops, plus a slough of weekend classes as well. I’ve listed them all in my calendar, so keep an eye on those upcoming events listed to the right —–>
Over the twelve weeks I’ll be teaching at 16 different shops: