Sew Together Tuesday at Pins and Needles (OH)

After eight weeks off the road, we had our first stop at Pins and Needles in Middleburg Heights, Ohio and boy was it a good one! More than 100 folks showed up for the livestreaming of Sew Together Tuesday. They were as excited to be there as I was and were just the cheerleaders I needed to get this season off on the right foot.

As you can tell, the store is huge! Owner Jan Brotek bought the building and converted half of the huge space in to a sewing machine and fabric store, while the other half became a classroom. It was amazing to get so many people in there, and they have it all wired up with microphone, speakers and a projection system so that everyone can take part. Ideal!

Located southwest of Cleveland, Pins and Needles sells new and used machines, including sewing , embroidery and long-arm quilting machines, as well as fabric, notions, patterns, tools, thread and much more. It was impressive!

Over the two days, I taught the Sweet Sixteen Pillow workshop, Self Binding Blanket workshop and the Sew Simple Blanket workshop to 50+ folks from all over the area. There were ladies who’d driven in from southern Ohio, as well as western Pennsylvania. What a fun crowd and some lovely finishes.

We managed to corral about half the class near the end to show off some of their projects outside the store (luckily it had stopped raining earlier!) .

Thank you so much to Pins and Needles for hosting Sew Together Tuesday and workshops with me. I had a great time with everyone and it was nice to see another part of Ohio! If you missed the show, you can watch via YouTube:

This week we’re live at Creative Passions Quilt Shop and Retreat Centers in Chesaning, MI. You can catch that one live Tuesday at 10amPST on the Shannon Fabrics YouTube and Facebook.

Happy sewing!

Sew Together Tuesday hits the road again

Here we are, back at it again with another cross-country trip. In the spring and early summer we made our way across the southern states and all the way up to New Hampshire for classes. This time we are starting in Ohio and heading across the Midwest and over to the West coast for the winter, stopping at a new quilt shop every week to film an episode of Sew Together Tuesday.

If you’re near any of the shops along the way, I’d love to see you! Our Lives are open for anyone to come (though you’ll need to sign up through the store first) and watch behind the scenes as we broadcast my sewing endeavors on Facebook and YouTube. If you’re at home, you can watch it, too, of course!

Join me for a Sew Together Tuesday LIVE or a workshop (or three) at these shops. Reach out to the store directly to sign up:

08/30 Pins and Needles (Middleburg Heights, OH)
09/06 Creative Passions (Chesaning, MI)
09/13 Always in Stitches (Noblesville, IN)
09/20 Linda Z’s (Arlington Heights, IL)
9/27 Patched Works (Elm Grove, WI)
10/04 Sew Trendy MN (Eagan, MN)
10/11 Calico Hutch Quilt Shop (Hayward, MN)
10/15 Red Roxy Quilt Co (Decorah, IA) guest appearance
10/18 Inspired to Sew (Cedar Rapids, IA)
10/22 KC Maker Studio & Fabrics (Mission, KS) workshop only
10/25 Quilt Cabin (Colby, KS)
11/1 & 11/4 International Quilt Festival (Houston, TX)
11/8 Quilting Mayhem (Snohomish, WA)
11/15 Hunter’s Design Studio (online only)
11/16 Montavilla Sewing Center (Lake Oswego, OR) open sewing
11/29 Green’s Sew & Vac (Medford, OR)
12/06 Tater Patch (Merrill, OR)
12/13 Cali Quilt Co (Rancho Cordova, CA)

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Let’s Hit the Road [and all the fabric/quilt shops]!

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.

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Willard Springs Lodge, somewhere in Wyoming

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.

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Desert Days

Living in the middle of Los Angles during this coronavirus pandemic has been, for lack of a better word: interesting. We are surrounded by millions of other people, yet our apartment faces a cement wall that abuts the Interstate 5 freeway. Through fences and gates, I can see another road, but it hasn’t been busy in months. Two months ago, hardly anyone crossed in front of our space, but now it’s become a walkway to the climbing gym next door. It’s been lonely, then weirdly busy.

It’s quieter than it was last year at this time, but with the freeway right there and a train yard within throwing distance, there’s always noise. Always. I hadn’t realized how much it was wearing on me until my partner Hawke and I took off for a desert weekend.

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Filming for The Quilt Show

One thing I never expected to happen in my life:

  • film an episode of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.

But that’s exactly what I did on Saturday afternoon.

The craziness began at Quilt Market in the spring when Alex came by the Shannon Fabrics booth, excited to share the Wyatt Wolf quilt with her audience. I’d made it with a bunch of Luxe Cuddle, Cuddle Suede and Kona Cotton –which is kinda crazy in and of itself– and used a paper piecing pattern from Violet Craft to do it.  She invited me to come on the show and I did.

We talked about the Wolf Abstractions quilt, as well as the Ascension quilt I’d made with Hawke, a denim quilt I’ve been working on as a commission and the Freewheelin’ Single Girl quilt I made for myself.  All include fabrics/materials that are atypical in quilting: plush fabrics, denim, knits, used clothing, silver lame and more.

I have watched a dozen or so episodes of the show and have always enjoyed it, but I wasn’t expecting the level of production or kindness that I got.  Ricky is incredibly talented and his quilts left my mouth gaping. Alex is a pro at making people comfortable. Everyone behind the scenes was happy to answer questions, fetch waters, help carry samples and be there when I needed them.

The best part, though, was that my daughter was able to join me and play personal assistant/cheerleader. It made the entire weekend so much better to have her there, supporting my work and calming my nerves.

The show will air sometime later this year or early 2019.

Christmas in SoCal

Finished exterior bottome of the bag

This was a weird Christmas for us: the first when our trio wasn’t together and our first as a duo in Southern California. So we did something new and different.

I’m lucky enough to have my sister live just down the street, so on Christmas Eve, we went to her (bigger and nicer) home and made goodies together. I used my trusty old Good Housekeeping cookbook for the ginger snaps and the recipe Grandma Coates used every Christmas to make butterhorns. 20131227-194426.jpg

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Getting to Cali Day #1

With three days to make it from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles, California, I decided to take the long route. All the guys, friend and family alike, thought I should take I-5 all the way to L.A., but the girls all agreed: take the pretty route.


The daughter and I headed west from my parents’ house, driving along until we hit Lincoln City. We had to stock up on some sweets for the ride, including  a bit of taffy (but not the butter flavor–ew!) and sea foam, my very favorite.



The clouds rolled in even more once we headed south toward Newport and stayed with us for the rest of the day. 20130630-121410.jpg


I love road trips and always want to stop and take pictures, but usually I’m not the one in control. This time I was in the driver’s seat, literally, and stopped whenever it suited me. See a funky old building? Pull over. 20130630-121430.jpg


Amazed at the heavy fog? Take a picture. Catch s20130630-121442.jpg


Catch sight of a dinosaur peeking out from the fog?! Stop and take a slew of pics! (This was seriously the coolest thing we saw along the way and you, too, can visit if you head down U.S. 101: Oregon Prehistoric Gardens near Gold Beach, Oregon.)20130630-121457.jpg


We didn’t make it much further that night. The fog was heavy, the windows were making it hard to see and my contacts were bugging my eyes. With a quick search through Yelp, we found a hotel in Brookings and crashed for the night…just the two of us on an adventure.


Free to Be

Sometimes you just need a day where you are free to be and do whatever makes you happy.

With the daughter out of town (in Hawai’i, to be specific), I had a child-free weekend, a rarity indeed, and I wanted to make the most of it. I’d planned to spend Friday night and all day Sunday sewing, then a day-trip with my friend on Saturday. Well, as usual, plans went awry and both sewing days had to be cancelled (thank you, crappy little car o’ mine).

Despite me giving him the freedom to bail on poor little me, plans with my buddy Prado were kept and not only was he willing to take me out of the city, he also made sure the day was spent without the slightest worry about food, gas or entertainment. He is pretty stellar like that.

With an early start, he asked which way I wanted to go and, like my pioneer ancestors, I said “Westward, please.”

After a slight diversion onto I-5, we headed out on Hwy. 26 toward the Oregon coast, stopping near the top of the Coast range to admire the amazing view.  And the snow!
Snow on the Cascade Range
I stomped around in the snow for a bit and smiled for the first time in days. Blue skies, snow, podcasts and a good friend made everything seem alright again.
Teresa Coates_happy and cold
We drove onward and he gave me the choice: Tillamook or Cannon Beach. As much as I love pretty much anything the company Tillamook makes (cheese! yogurt! ice cream!), I’ve been to their hometown plenty of times. And somehow, despite having lived in Oregon for 36 years now, I don’t remember ever having been to Cannon Beach.

Now I understand why people ooh and ahh over the place. The beach is flat; the rock formations are awesome and, though I’m sure it’s not the norm, the skies were blue and the wind wasn’t gusting. It was astonishingly beautiful and I lost it briefly as I stood taking it all in. {wipes happy tears away}
Cannon Beach in Oregon

We walked around and I admired the beach debris. I have no idea why I like it because honestly it always stinks. But I do.
beach debris at Oregon coast
After basking in the sun and Prado taking lots of sand/water/rocks/logs pics, we headed north  along 101 toward Astoria.

Along the way, I noticed a sign for Fort Stevens and was adamant that we go. It had been Ft. Stevens that I’d spent a week camping with my best friend in middle school, biking the trails for hours. I have fond memories of the place and I really (really) wanted Prado to see the crazy bunkers and the shipwreck. It’s the Peter Iredale, stuck into the sand there more than a hundred years ago. It really is beautiful in its destruction.
Peter Iredale shipwreck at Fort Stevens
We drove on to Battery Russell, built to fight off the Japanese attacks during WWII. It’s incredibly creepy and well worth the visit, but one of these times I will have to go with a guidebook. With no signage it’s just an austere cement shell. Even so, he got some pretty awesome shots of the place and I took pics of him taking pics.
Prado taking photos at Battery Russell

It was mid-afternoon by the time we started heading back toward Portland and dinner time when we arrived. I didn’t want to cook. He didn’t want to cook. So what are we to do? Try out that new restaurant.

So Tabor Tavern isn’t really new, but it’s new to us (and it hasn’t been there that long).  Portlanders, if you haven’t been here yet, it’s high time you gave it a try. Everything was delicious, but the smoked/grilled tofu was out of this world.

Afterward we caught a showing of Skyfall, the newish Bond flick. Despite my aversion to ridiculous displays of testosterone, I actually quite enjoyed it. It kept my mind off my troubles and that was the whole point of the day.

Sometimes that’s all we really need–a good friend and just one day free from worry.

Mother-Daughter Time in Sisters

The quilt show in Sisters, Oregon is one of those events I have long planned on attending, yet never managed to make happen. This year would have likely been another missed opportunity if it hadn’t fallen on my mom’s birthday. I’d promised we would go, but the month’s spending money was already gone. My dad was kind enough to fork over the cost of gas and we were able to carpool with another first-timer in her car. (I’m continually grateful for the generosity of others.)

We had a spontaneous sleepover at my folks’ house, then the three of us headed out at a quarter to seven. Nearly three hours later, we rolled into Sisters and saw this:

The 1300 quilts that had been submitted to the show hung everywhere. Inside. Outside. Off second story railings and from the catwalks below.

I realized how much I love white and bright quilts, yet I never make them. I think it’s time to remedy that. Maybe with a version of this string quilt with scraps?


The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a special exhibit area where we got to meet up with fellow area quilters. I ran into Monica and Elizabeth, then Scott from Gen Q and finally met Emily of Carolina Patchworks.

I saw a version of one of the few quilts that I absolutely must make: Denyse Schmidt’s Single Girl quilt.

All in all, we had a marvelous time, strolling among the quilts for more than five hours. We left just after the thunder and rain started, a first in the show’s history.

If you haven’t had the chance to go, try to make it. I’ll be there next year. Maybe with a quilt to submit.

This year, though, was special. It was all in celebration of my mom’s 63rd birthday.