Author Archives: Caryn Payzant

About Caryn Payzant

Mid Life Guru who loves to bring the world together through social media.

Meet Road Vendor: SewBatik

Nestled in the front, northeast corner of the exhibit hall, SewBatik has become a regular vendor at our show.

Started in 2004 by co-founders Diane and Bruce Magidson, the idea for SewBatik actually began the year before. In 2003, Diane was a management consultant and Bruce was the merchandiser for Blank Textiles. They had “the burn“ to make career changes, work together and “scratch an entrepreneurial itch.” Initially, they intended to become the “Tupperware of the textile industry;” creating and selling fabrics in a home-party environment. After their initial product lines were created, they decided to do a couple of shows to earn some revenue while they learned more about home party sales. But after working at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, they caught “a terminal case of quilt show fever” and have kept at it ever since.  Through the years, both Diane and Bruce have come to enjoy the independence and creative freedom that comes with owning their own business.  

SewBatik designs, sources and distributes exquisite batik and hand dyed fabrics.  Meant to be used in a variety of applications, SewBatik fabrics are made using the ancient Indonesian mastery of batik which are vivid and rich in color. SewBatik has the largest assortment of 108” wide stamped batik backings and hand dyed fabrics. In 2011, SewBatik introduced their exclusive collection of 106″ wide flannel batik, “the softest flannel you will ever feel!” The company also boasts offering the largest selection of coordinating fabrics in the industry.

SewBatik fabrics can only be found on their website, at local, regional and national quilt shows, and through their ever-growing relationships with professional longarm/machine quilters around the world. The office is based in North Dakota where Diane and Bruce live on a farm in Hillsboro.  Their house was the homestead of Diane’s great grandfather, Lars Bakkum, and was built in the 1860’s. Like other small business owners, most of Diane and Bruce’s time is spent on the road or in the SewBatik office. It’s a 24/7 endeavor. When time permits, Diane and Bruce will visit with Diane’s parents who live just four miles away. Diane is an avid sewer.  Bruce loves reading and listening to his beloved New York Yankees play baseball as often as possible. During the summer, Bruce and Diane can be found on their respective tractors, cutting the grass and caring for their yard.

Diane and Bruce love sharing their passion for SewBatik products with their customers and have fun explaining why the products are so special. Bruce relates that being at Road to California “really tests his organizational skills and is a great indicator about how SewBatik stacks up against other vendors who offer similar products.”

Their booth had everything from 110” SewWide batik backing, 100% Rayon Batik fabrics for apparel sewing, Nuance Gradation Batik, Coordinating 45” stamped batik, Pre-cut and pre-fused shapes along with hand-dyed fabrics, Project kits, 2.5” Strips, and fabric bundles. It was a busy corner during Road 2017.

It sure was a good move that SewBatik didn’t turn out to be a home-party endeavor!!

Meet Linda Pumphrey: Author, Quilt Designer, International Quilting Association President

For her first visit to Road to California, Linda Pumphrey kept very busy at Road 2017. If she wasn’t in her Mountain Mist vendor booth helping guests with their batting needs,

she was arranging for her mom to meet her childhood friend that she hadn’t seen in 75 years,

(l-r) Mary Pumphrey and Marion Clute

finding new members for the International Quilt Association,

or talking about her books, Mountain Mist Historical Quilts

and her upcoming publication, Red and White.

Linda was first introduced to Mountain Mist in 1989 when she did a marketing project for the company while getting her MBA. She went to Cincinnati and gave her presentation to the company leaders on using a unique cleaning product to wash and preserve quilts. They liked her presentation so much, they hired her!! Linda worked for Mountain Mist for the next 20 years, through three ownerships, and retired from the company in 2014. She recently returned to work for the company as their Senior Retail Account Executive and “loves working for Mountain Mist.” She particularly appreciates the company’s “layers of history.” After all, they have had a product line since 1846!!

Linda says she “fell into” authoring the book, Mountain Mist Historical Quilts. She appreciated the opportunity to tell the history of 132 original Mountain Mist patterns that have “endured the test of time” and show them using today’s contemporary fabrics.

Linda’s service with the International Quilt Association (IQA) came about from her desire to “give back.” IQA is the non-profit side of Quilt Market that is held the end of October in Houston each year.

They oversee three events prior to Quilt Market: Judging the quilt contest, hosting the Winner’s Circle and hosting the Winners Luncheon. IQA also offers a grant program that aids quilters with their efforts in promoting quilting and keeping quilting alive. Linda was elected president of the organization for 2016-2017 – following the term of Road’s director of judging, Stevii Graves. In this capacity, Linda gets to choose the jurors and judges for the Quilt Market contest, emcee the Winner’s Circle where the prizes are awarded, and choose the upcoming nominating committee.

Linda enjoyed the “vibe” of Road 2017 and loved being a part of the “market booths” providing education on the company side of Mountain Mist. Her favorite winning quilt was Director’s Choice.   

What does the future hold for Linda? She is looking forward to the release of her book, Red and White, in the fall of 2017. The book will feature 40 blocks of red and white patterns taken from quilts at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Instructions for the blocks will be included in the book as well as for 14 projects that each utilize 3 versions of different block combinations.

Eventually, Linda would love to move to Bali. She has been there 10 times and just loves “the spirit of the people. That is definitely on my bucket list!!”

 

 

Outstanding Art Quilt – Road 2017

Emma in the Looking Glass was made and quilted by Lenore Crawford who won $5,000 from sponsor, Handi Quilter.Winning Quilt by Lenore Crawford

Lenore Crawford is no stranger to Road to California. She has been a member of the teaching faculty in the past and in 2014, she won in the same category, Outstanding Art Quilt, for her work, Capturing Brittany.

Lenore started quilting in the late 1990’s using 2” fabric squares as her art medium in the watercolor quilting style.  She created impressionistic art quilts with the squares.  Up until that time, she hadn’t done any quilting; just lots of other things with different mediums.

What inspired Lenore to create Emma in the Looking Glass? Lenore along with her friend, her friend’s daughter and granddaughter were visiting Lenore’s mother’s gardens where there is a beautiful lily pond that Lenore’s step-father had built.  Emma, the granddaughter, was playing around the pond when Lenore took her picture.  It was a beautiful sunny day in mid-summer and Lenore was “really inspired by the whole scene.”

Lenore spent several months in the winter of 2016 creating Emma in the Looking Glass.  It was one of the very first quilts Lenore had done of a person using her fusing technique.  The most difficult part was finding the perfect flesh tone fabrics which in the shadows and water were very purple.  Lenore ended up using her fabric paints and painting the colors and values of fabrics that she needed for them.

When Lenore found out she had won, she thought that it was “very exciting to win a prize like this!  I like to have my art quilts in large shows so others can see what can be done with fabric.  If I win a prize that is the icing on the cake!” She is planning to use her prize money toward the purchase of a new car where she can “enjoy it every day!”

What does the future hold for Lenore? She has already finished a large piece this past winter that she plans to enter either in 2018 or 2019 at Road to California.  She loves to have a large piece in the works.  For Lenore, the larger the piece the more detail she can add to it which “makes it all the more fun!”

We can’t wait to see what Lenore has created next!!

To learn more about Lenore, please visit her website.

 

Welcoming Important Pets To Road 2017

Did you know that National Pet Day was celebrated earlier this week on April 11th?

The Reese family is partial to having dogs for their family pets. Show owner Carolyn Reese and her sons have dogs. And Road’s Show Director, Matt Reese and his wife Jennifer, have a basset hound named Lizzy.   

At Road 2017, several guests brought their very important pet dogs to help them enjoy the show:

Road 2017 was the first-time Gem and her Pomeranian, Kitty, had come to the show. Kitty “loves people” so she had a really good time. Gem and Kitty are from the state of Washington. They planned a visit to San Diego to visit friends during the week of the show. Gem and Kitty attended six lecture classes and two quilting classes. They also enjoyed seeing all the vendors. A quilter for over 30 years, when Gem sews, Kitty likes to sit on the floor and watch.   

Bentley, a Border Terrier-mix service dog, brought her owner, Natasha. While Natasha’s mom comes every year to Road, this was the first-time Natasha and Bentley came along. Natasha was able to find some “great patterns for jackets” at the show while her mom looked for bag patterns. When they are home, Natasha reported that Bentley likes to sit on the quilts she is working on and that Bentley “keeps them warm.”   

Lina and Scott from Beaumont, California, brought along their poodle, Annie. This was their fourth visit to Road. Lina has been quilting since she was seven years old. She does all kind of quilting “except modern” and likes to take classes at Road. “Road has everything you want to see,” remarked Lina. Scott, a Vietnam war veteran, says he comes to Road to “follow my wife and carry her bags.” When they are at home, Annie likes to lay on Lina’s quilts – finished or unfinished.

Boston Terrier Chloe, came with her owner Jennifer. Jennifer reported that Chloe is a great help when she sews as Chloe will pick up things that Jennifer needs. Chloe also likes to lay down on Jennifer’s quilts and keep warm.  

These quilt-loving dogs are wonderful companions for their owners and should be celebrated –not just on National Pet Day – but every day!!

Grandmothers, Granddaughters, and Quilting

We noticed a lot of grandmothers walking up and down the aisles of Road 2017 with their granddaughters, sharing a love for quilting, sewing, and creating.

Levonne and her 10 year old granddaughter, Angela, have both been to Road several times. While Levonne has been 5 times, Road 2017 was Angela’s second visit. Levonne has been quilting for 15 years. Both her mother and sister were quilters. When her mother passed away, Levonne’s daughter asked, “Who is going to make quilts for us?” so Lenore decided to take over. Her first quilt was for a grandson. She enjoys traditional, piece quilting and has recently gotten in to machine embroidery.

Levonne signed up Angela for sewing classes and Angela thought they were “really fun.” In her classes, Angela has made a purse, pin cushion, neck pillows, and a skirt. Angela grew up watching her grandmother quilting. Since she was three, she would sit on Levonne’s lap and watch. Angela started quilting on her own 2 years ago. Her first quilt was queen size!! She has her own Brother machine and will inherit her grandmother’s Brother embroidery machine one day. Angela is currently interested in longarm quilting and has been practicing. Her dream is to own a Gammill machine one day. When Gammill, Road’s Platinum Sponsor, heard this, they invited Angela to spend some time with their machines in their booth. They promised to work with Levonne and Angela to have Angela’s dream come true!!Grandmothers, Granddaughters, and Quilting

Rachel lives in Orange County, California. She brought her 9 year old granddaughter, Siri, who lives in Montana. Rachel’s grandmother was a quilter and when she passed away, Rachel “took up quilting in earnest.” That was 38 years ago. Rachel’s daughters all sew and now she hopes to pass on her love of quilting to Siri. As Rachel says, “Traditions are important.” Siri is just learning to sew from her mother. She has made pillowcases and has donated them to the Beach Cities Quilters Guild. Siri’s favorite quilt on display at the show featured a cat. Faith, age 8, is the great-granddaughter of Annie who has been quilting since 2005 when a co-worker invited her to take a quilting class with the Downey Adult School. Annie now takes classes every Friday at Pico Rivera’s Rio Hondo Park.  Annie quilts “any pattern I can put together,” and particularly enjoys Quilt in a Day by Eleanor Burns. After watching her “Nanny” make a quilt, Faith asked her if she could make one. Annie cut out 5 inch squares and Faith sewed them together, making her first quilt for her baby sister. Faith hopes to make quilts and sell them because “quilting is fun.”Grandmothers, Granddaughters, and Quilting

Meet Road 2017 Vendor: Pauline’s Quilters World

Australian Pauline Rogers has been teaching free motion quilting on a domestic machine all over Australia for over 30 years.

While she taught her classes, she also listened to her students. She would frequently hear the same common problems: “I can’t quilt a big quilt,” “I can’t free motion,” and “I can’t put on borders.” Pauline noted, “If I hear more than 50 people a year complaining of the same problem, I have a need to fix it.”

One way Pauline has set out to solve these problems is with writing her book, The Quilt As You Go Handbook.

The book is filled with color photos and instructions for learning Pauline’s Quilt As You Go techniques as well as share her tips on free motion quilting. She even spent two pages just focusing on tension which she calls the “Bible of her book.” Sized so that it can fit on a sewing table next to your machine, the book’s pages have plenty of space to take notes as you sew along. Her book has become so popular that she is currently writing a second edition.

Quilters often ask Pauline how she has been able to do so much free motion quilting without getting stressed or developing back and shoulder issues. She explains it is because of a system she has developed: sewing full speed with the machine pedal on the left side of the needle and propping up the machine with door wedges so the machine it tilted toward her.

Pauline has traveled all over Australia (she did 38 shows in 2016!!) and has just recently taken her vision to the United States. In her booth at Road 2017, Pauline worked along side her staff Gerry and Peggy.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Among the many products offered in the booth, they all demonstrated one of Pauline’s popular and innovative tools, her “Sasher Collection.”  Because she had “burned the heck out of my fingers” making sashing through the years, Pauline developed these tools to take care of all sashing needs, from small bias strips used for applique stems and decorating to larger width sashing. Made to be used by both left and right handed quilters, the tools all use the same technique of folding and running fabric through the tool for quick and perfect sashing every time.

Because she has an interest “to keep the quilting industry strong and healthy,” Pauline will continue to travel and teach, helping quilters of all levels perfect their craft. Currently, she and her husband of 45 years don’t plan to return home to Australia until December, 2017.  And while on the road, in between her classes and shows, Pauline intends to continue designing more tools to help the free motion quilter, applique quilters, and even garment sewers. “I am loving every minute,” says Pauline and it certainly shows!!!

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

To learn more about Pauline, her quilting methods, and her products, please visit her website.

 

 

 

Announcing The 2018 Road to California Bag Challenge

With the popularity of bags, totes, purses, and caddies, Road to California and ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable® have teamed up to offer a bag challenge intended to enlarge the circle of Road’s traditional quilt competition.

The theme for the bag challenge is “On The Road.”On the Road Bag Challenge

Entries will be juried and the winners, along with a few additional selected entries, will be displayed at Road to California’s 2018 show. A total of $1,200 in cash and merchandise prizes will be given out to the top winners:

Best of Show: $400 Cash Price from Road to California

Best Interpretation of the Theme: $200 Gift Certificate from ByAnnie.com

Best Use of Materials: $200 Fabric Prize from Windham Fabrics

Best Use of Embellishments: $200 Gift Certificate from Superior Threads

Best Use of Specialty Technique: $200 Gift Certificate from StudioKat Designs

What qualifies as a bag for this challenge? A container made of flexible material, which can be carried and includes both an opening and a method of securing the contents. The bag may be any size or style, uniquely designed or made from a pattern, and can include any material, embellishments, hardware, or stabilizers.2018 Bag Challenge

The challenge will open June 15, 2017. That is when the official rules, regulations, and conditions along with the entry form will be available online at Road to California and ByAnnie.com’s websites. While there is no limit to the number of entries a person may submit, there is a fee per entry: $10 for an online entry and $15 if the entry is mailed in. All entry packets must be received by October 1, 2017. Winning entries and additional entries selected for display will be notified by December 1, 2017.

During the call for entries period, a Blog Hop featuring industry leaders in bag design and construction will be published, sharing information and inspiration for this challenge. Artists include Annie Unrein of By Annie.com, Sara Lawson of SewSweetness, Kathy Southern of StudioKat Designs,  Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, Janelle McKay of Emmaline Bags, and Edith Minne of Renaissance Ribbons. There will be a chance to win some fun bag-making supplies at each blog stop, so be sure to look for the links to these articles on Road to California’s Facebook Page every other week through September.

We are looking forward to seeing all the enthusiasm and creativity for the 2018 Bag Challenge. Good luck to all the participants!!!

Meet the African-American Quilters of Los Angeles

The African-American Quilters of Los Angeles (AAQLA) began in 1986 with just a handful of members after an exhibition of African-American quilts was held in the California Afro-American Museum in Exposition Park of Los Angeles. Today, the guild has grown to over 125 multi-ethnic members of all ages. The mission of the AAQLA is to bring awareness of the historical value of African-American quilts, as well as to celebrate and continue the tradition of quilting.

The guild meets the third Sunday of each month from 1:00 – 5:00 PM. They began meeting at a new location starting this month (March, 2017) at the Veterans Memorial Center in Culver City.

Caring Hearts is the name of their philanthropy committee. The committee organizes the creation and donation of hundreds of quilts and other quilted items annually to hospitals, foster homes, and senior citizen homes. Most recently, they donated over 30 quilts to Junior Blind of America.

At Road 2017, AAQLA displayed their opportunity quilt which will be given away at their semi-annual quilt show, It Takes A Village, to be held November 4, 2017 at the Carson Community Center in Carson.  

The quilt was designed by guild member Pam Johnson and was quilted by Claudette Bettis, another guild member. All of the stars on the quilt were made by various members of the guild.  Proceeds from the quilt will go to support Caring Hearts.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Olga, the guild’s opportunity quilt coordinator, has been with the guild since 1999. She loves the “fellowship and creativity of the very talented members and teachers. It’s a fun place to be on Sunday.”

Set your calendar for November 4th to enjoy a truly cultural celebration.

To learn more about the African-American Quilters of Los Angeles, please visit their website.

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Director’s Choice

Yuja received the Director’s Choice Award at Road 2017. It was made and quilted by Linda C. Anderson. Linda received $5,000 from sponsor, Moore’s Sewing Center.Winning Art Quilt

Linda C. Anderson has two passions: sewing and drawing. She began sewing clothes at age 12 and has a Master of Fine Arts in drawing. She had no idea that she could combine both of these skills until 2009 when she saw her first art quilt.  It was then that she immediately knew that she had found what she was going to do for the rest of her life.  She went home and taught herself to do just that.  Quilt after quilt has been an ongoing learning experience for Linda, taking her to where she is today.

The idea for Yuja came from a PBS article that Linda found on Yuja Wang, a fascinating and very contemporary personality in the world of classical piano.  She knew after reading the article that she wanted to tell her story.  Telling unique stories of different people is what Linda says she is drawn to do.

Linda’s art pieces usually take between 2-3 months to complete, depending on size and complexity of detail. She will typically work on a piece 6 days a week, 8 hours or more a day until it is finished. Beginning in 2015, Linda reported that Yuja took 2 solid months to create.  She has learned not to shortchange the outcome and just do the tedious work the stitching details require. Linda loves detail stitching. It isn’t until she gets in to the actual stitching that she realizes there is always more details than what she originally considered.   So, as Linda says, “I just plow on, because the final result is worth my time.”

When Linda found out that Yuja had won Director’s Choice, she was “incredulous, and thrilled, to say the least.  I know there are hundreds of juried entries, and the quality is always so high.  I go each year to learn from what I see and keep improving.  That my piece was selected as Director’s Choice (was) a huge honor.”

What did Linda do with her prize money from Moore’s Sewing center? She reported that she is “a big saver in general,” but that she does have her “eye open for a new loveseat for our kitchen area.”

Where will Linda’s art quilting take her next? She went to China last year and took a lot of photographs.  Linda says, “It’s a spectacular country, rich in history and beauty.  I am currently creating art quilts for a series entitled, Dreams of China, that I will be continually adding more pieces to this year and the next.  There are a lot of stories of people there to tell.”

You can learn more about Linda and see some of her art quilts on her website.

***Editor’s Note: The Director’s Choice Award is personally chosen by Road to California’s Show Director, Matt Reese. Since Matt has a bachelor’s degree in music, there’s a pretty good chance that any music themed quilt entry will be considered for this prestigious award. (Wink. Wink.).

Reunited After 75 Years

We hear all the time how Road to California is a great event for friends from near and far to meet up. But at Road 2017, it was the first time that we heard how two friends chose Road as a place to reunite after not seeing each other for over 75 years!!

(l-r) Mary Pumphrey and Marion Clute

Mary Pumphrey of Arkansas  and Marion Clute of San Marcos in San Diego county, both 86 years young, last saw each other in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1941. From 1938 until 1941, when Mary and Marion were 7-11 years old, they lived one house apart. In just 3 years, the girls became the best of friends.  As Marion said, “Mary was my first real friend.” The girls were even baptized together on the same day, March 24, 1940.

Mary and Marion pictured with Marion’s younger sister, Nadine

In 1941, Marion’s  family moved to Colorado then to California while Mary’s family remained in Nebraska. Both women later married and had children; Mary had four and Marion had two. They stayed in touch through the years by writing letters and sending Christmas and birthday cards. There were no phone calls between them because it was “too expensive.”

Over the years, Mary and Marion both got involved in quilting. Mary self-taught herself to make a bedspread for her mother in 1980. It wasn’t until 1982 that she began taking classes.  She is still an active quilter, doing machine piecing and hand quilting. Currently, she is working on putting together a 1900-era quilt given to her from a friend.

Marion started quilting in the 1970’s. She found a pattern for one of her first quilts on the back of a McCalls magazine: a drawing of Sun Bonnet SueIt brought back memories of a quilt she had as a child with the same pattern.

She got the fabric for her project from her children’s old shirts and dresses. She made 30 blocks, then put it aside, preferring to work on hand piecing work for other quilts . In the 1980’s, she found the blocks and decided to put them together but she “hated” how it turned out, so she put the quilt aside again. Then, in the late 1990’s, she attempted to work on it once more but only got as far as taking the blocks apart. Finally, in 2008, she decided to revisit the quilt. She made the blocks smaller before reassembling and began quilting it. Currently, it still needs “some quilting” before it can be completed. Marion hopes “that I get it done before I die!”

How did these lifelong friends end up meeting 75 years later at Road 2017? Mary wrote Marion in her annual Christmas letter that she was going to Road to California with her daughter, Linda Pumphrey, a quilt designer and author, former President of the International Quilt Association and vendor with Mountain Mist batting. Marion sent Mary a reply that since Mary was “going to be so close, we have to meet.” They exchanged phone numbers and final arrangements were made over the phone. Seeing each other was “fantastic,” said Mary. “A special, special time,” remarked Marion.

Their reunion also held a fun surprise that brought back a special memory involving their mothers. Both Mary and Marion’s mothers were sewers. One year, Marion and Mary both got a Dy-Dee Doll — the first doll that wet its pants. Marion said “it was the best Christmas ever” when she got that doll. The mothers made complete sets of doll clothes for their daughters’ dolls. However, when they were sewing them, each mother told their daughter that the clothes were for the other girl’s doll!! Mary and Marion were thrilled when they found out that they got to keep the doll clothes their own mother had made!! Those dolls were so important to the young Marion and Mary that they have kept those doll clothes all these years. Little did they know that unbeknownst to the other, each woman had brought along her original doll clothes to share during their meetup at Road!!

Besides their reunion, both women were also able to enjoy the show. What did they think about Road to California?  It was Mary’s first time at Road. She had been to Paducah several times and found Road to California to be “so much bigger than I expected.” Marion thought Road was just “jaw-dropping.”

Road to California is a great place for old and new friends to meet up. We just hope that it doesn’t take any other guests 75 years to reunite!!

Do you have a lifelong, quilting friend too?