Author Archives: Caryn Payzant

About Caryn Payzant

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

Comic-Con Meets Road to California

Do you know Comic-Con?

Comic-Con International-San Diego is the premier convention dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art-forms. It celebrates the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. Comic-Con began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans banded together to put on the first comic book convention—a one day affair in San Diego, California. Today, Comic-Con has grown to a four-day extravaganza, attracting over 140,000 visitors!!!

Photo Credit: Comic-Con

What does Comic-Con and Road to California have in common?

Creative artists interested in furthering their passion.

Four Comic-Con employees spent a day at Road 2017 getting inspiration. Leslie, Pam, Robin, and Mary are all sewists and met through their work with Comic-Con.

Comic-Con Friends (L to R) Mary, Robin, Pam, and Leslie.

They also share an interest in beading and making ball-jointed dolls.  

Robin who is Vice-President in Comic-Con’s Events Division, and herself a master level costumer, was attending a gem fair in San Diego in 2016 when a vendor there (who knew Robin sewed), suggested Robin would enjoy going to Road to California. Robin contacted Pam, Leslie and Mary and the four co-workers drove up from San Diego to spend the day at Road to California.

What did they think about Road 2017? “It’s been awesome,” said Robin. They all enjoyed looking at and purchasing sewing machines, sewing tables, fabric and notions.

The four women all commented how they liked the variety of vendors, especially those with their own fabric lines. Mary commented how she liked how there were “different styles in different booths.”

Pam shared her experience of the show: “I wasn’t sure what to expect.” She was most impressed with vendors selling “art, not simply retail.”

Many of Comic-Con’s visitors create their own costumes of their favorite comic book character ans wear them to the conventions.

Photo Credit: NASA

The women remarked how much their visitors would benefit from coming to Road to get ideas and supplies to make future costumes. They plan on spreading the word that comic book fans and quilt fans indeed have a lot in common.

 

Charity Quilt Hand-Off

At Road 2017, Road to California sponsored its first Roadies Give Back charity quilt project to benefit cancer patients at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center at Pomona Valley Hospital .

Before the show, Anita Grossman Solomon created a quilt block pattern just for this project and made it available for quilters around the country to sew the blocks that were going to be used for the project.

Anita is pictured along with Matt Reese and Matt’s mom, Shellee Reese, an administrator at the Cancer Care Center.

Then, on Saturday night of the show, quilters, some class teachers, and even a few vendors, got together in the Ontario Convention Center to sew the blocks together into lap size quilts as well as begin quilting the quilts.After the show, unfinished quilts were given to the Nite Owl Quilt Guild  to finish the quilting. In the end, 41 quilts  were completed.

On June 29, 2017, Road to California owner, Matt Reese, along with his wife Jennifer, presented to the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center the Roadies Give Back quilts which will be given to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at the center.

Each unique quilt was folded into a Road to California reusable bag, accompanied with a card explaining the significance of the quilt and its care instructions.

While they were there, Matt personally distributed quilts to five patients including:

Joseph Derowen has been a patient at the center since December, 2016. He said that he “really appreciated” the gesture because 99.9% of the time, he is cold when he receives his treatment. He was looking forward to trading his “funky jacket” for the quilt to keep him warm. Joseph’s wife, Elaine, thought receiving the quilt was “very thoughtful” and was grateful that now her husband will be “wrapped in love.”  

Joyce is battling Breast Cancer. She knew that the quilts were “a lot of work” and remarked how beautiful hers was. Joyce commented that it was “very generous for the quilters to donate their time and materials.”

Petra de Leon has been battling Lymphoma since April. Petra replied in Spanish, “I am very happy to get this quilt. It is very pretty.”

Ray Hardy told Matt, “No one has ever given me a quilt before. This is cool.”

Road to California wishes to thank everyone who participated in this special project. They look forward to offering Roadies Give Back again in the future.

We Have Just The Class For You

Classes for Road to California 2018 have recently been released. Priority Registration opens July 1st at 8:00 AM with public registration starting July 8th also at 8:00 AM, all Pacific time.

For 2018, we are offering over a hundred classes taught by a distinguished faculty that are geared to all levels of quilters. Our classes offer assistance with traditional to modern techniques, hand and machine quilting skills and the latest in surface-embellishment using paint, thread and embroidery. With so many choices, how do you know which class is right for you?

Skill Level

Based on teacher recommendations, we assign the following skill levels for our classes:

Beginner: New to sewing or it’s been awhile since you last sewn. A knowledge of basic sewing skills with some rotary cutting skills and a working knowledge of using a sewing machine is useful.

Beginner-Intermediate: Some basic sewing experience with confidence to move past beginner.

Intermediate: Knowledge and experience from sewing over time.

Advanced: Experienced quilters looking for a challenge.

All Levels: Assumes a knowledge of basic sewing skills, basic rotary cutting skills and basic quilting skills, either appliqué or piecing.

Expand your horizons

Take advantage of our varied classes and patient, expert faculty to explore new techniques that you’ve always wanted to try. Or enroll in a class that is not even machine sewing related. We offer several handwork classes like beading, watercolor on fabric, silk ribbon embroidery, and hand quilting, to name a few.

3063C Celtic Dance Bracelet Amy Loh-Kupser http://www.i-bead.com/

Equipment

Are you looking to purchase a new sewing machine? While many of our classes require you to bring your own sewing machine, there are others that have sewing machines provided, allowing you to “try before you buy.”

Have you always wanted to try longarm quilting but don’t have access to a longarm machine? We offer several classes that provide longarm machines for your use.

Do you want to try a sit-down longarm machine? There are several classes that include sit-down longarms like the Handi Quilter Sweet 16 and the Bernina Q20.  Students can learn the same skills as a quilter who uses a domestic machine; the machine is stationary and the quilter moves the quilt through the machine.

Perfect your techniques

Have you just begun to learn a new technique and need some practice? Utilize our classes to perfect your skills.

Learn from the best

Our 2018 faculty is top-notch. Many have taught not only throughout the U.S. but internationally as well. And several are published authors too. We bring the experts to you.

Don’t forget the Swag

All class attendees receive a badge for admission to classes, exhibits and vendors. In addition, they also get a show program plus entrance to Preview Night. Registrations prior to January 9th will also receive a special gift: a Road pin and/or year bar.

One last bonus item that all class participants receive is a tote bag. Last year we gave out small foldable grocery bags. Although many students enjoyed the bag due to California’s strict new single use plastic bag ban, many were not satisfied with our choice of bag. We sincerely apologize for 2017 class attendee bag.

When selecting our 2018 bag, last year’s comments and desires were taken into account. The 2018 tote bag is a canvas tote large enough to hold shopping goodies without getting too heavy. There will also be a very special surprise included with each bag which will be revealed later this year.

Road hopes you’ve found your reason to sign up for one of our many classes. To encourage early sign-ups, we will be giving away 5 Priority Registrations. To enter, comment below with the name of the class(es) you are interested in taking before midnight Pacific time on Thursday, June 29th.  Using Random Number Generator, 5 winners will be chosen and notified June 30th, in time for Priority Registration on July 1st. Remember, Priority Registration is non-transferable.

Good luck to all the entrants. We can’t wait to see the class registrations start coming in.

White Glove Treatment

Hundreds of quilts are on display each year at Road to California. Some are viewed in special exhibits but many are the winning entries for Road’s quilt contest. Because Road has over 39,000 guests come to the show each year, special care needs to be taken to insure the safety and integrity of all the fabric art masterpieces. To help provide proper care and security for the quilts on display, Road enlists the help of individuals affectionately referred to as White Glove volunteers.

The role of White Glove volunteers is to greet visitors at the quilt displays, answer questions about the quilt(s) they are assigned to and show the backs of quilts, ensuring that visitors do not touch the quilts. White Glove volunteers are the only ones allowed to get up close and handle the quilts.

How do you know someone is a White Glove volunteer?  By the white gloves they wear, of course. White Glove volunteers are also asked to wear a black skirt or pants and a white blouse.

Linda has been a White Glove volunteer for six years. A member of the African American Quilters of Los Angeles quilt guild (“the best guild ever,” says Linda), she likes seeing the quilts up close and talking to the people. “The stories I hear are so interesting,” remarked Linda.

Aysheh and Valerie belong to the Inland Empire Quilt Guild and live in Riverside, California. They regularly sign up to work together as White Glove volunteers. They enjoy talking to the people, seeing the quilts up close, and the free show registration they receive for volunteering. Diane lives in San Pedro and participates with the South Bay Quilters. She has been a White Glove volunteer for 8 years. “I have a good experience every time,” says Diane. She always tries to find out about the people who made the quilts she is assigned to and what the quilts symbolize. “The first quilt I white gloved for was a Sharon Schamber’s quilt. After that show, I took a class from her.”

White Glove volunteers serve a minimum shift of 2 hours. If they work six or more hours during a show, they qualify for priority class registration for the following year. Hours available to work for Road 2018 are Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – 7 PM – 9 PM, Thursday – Saturday, January 18 – 20, 2018 – 8 AM – – 6:15 PM and Sunday, January 21, 2018 – 10 AM – 3:45 PM.

If you are interested in serving as a White Glove volunteer, please visit our website for further information on how to register.

2018 Bag Challenge: How Do You Use Your DIY Bags?

Making bags is a very popular sewing trend. How do you use the bags, totes, purses, and caddies you’ve made?

One great way to use your DIY bags is on a Road to California 2018 bus trip. Organized and led by The Traveling Quilters, Road is once again offering two unique, all-day bus trips to add to your Road to California experience. Bringing along your specially designed DIY bag is the perfect way to hold souvenirs, personal items and of course, fabric, picked up along the way on one of these excursions.

The Traveling Quilters’ experienced guides, Pam Overton and Lynn Crawford, have been in business for 27 years and have conducted over 200 quilt related tours. Experienced quilters since the 1980’s, Pam and Lynn have been familiar with Road to California every year since it started. Pam and Lynn handpick the locations they visit which include historical sites, delicious restaurants, and of course, quilt related shopping.

The bus trip on Wednesday, January 17th will include a stop at the headquarters of Robert Kaufman Fabrics where travelers will have the opportunity to hear firsthand about how Kaufman’s beautiful fabrics are conceived and manufactured. Robert Kaufman Fabrics offers an extensive supply of cotton prints, novelty fabrics, yarn-dyes and solids, covering a full assortment of woven fabric offerings such as poplin, twill, denim, corduroy, linen, canvas, crepe, voile, lawn, satin, georgette, flannel, organza, chenille, stretch woven’s, plaids, stripes, etc. Lunch will be on your own at the world-famous Original Farmer’s Market followed by stops at the Quilt Loft quilt store and at historic Graber Olive House, both located in Upland.

Then on Monday, January 22nd, the bus tour will be headed south of the Ontario Convention Center to Orange County and Hoffman California Fabrics. Guests will learn about the latest designing and distribution of Hoffman’s famous batiks and other lines of fabric as well as get a complete tour of their facility. This opportunity is especially significant as Hoffman does not allow individuals to come on their own to their site.

Following the Hoffman tour, the bus will continue on to the Mission San Juan Capistrano for a tour and lunch in town. Before heading back to the Convention Center, the bus will make one more stop at Quilter’s Cocoon in Riverside.

Registration for the bus tours begins with the regular Road 2018 class registration in early July.

Whether you’ve used your old DIY bags, totes, purses, and caddies you’ve made on tours, around town, or on a trip, we really hope your planning on making a new bag to enter in our 2018 Road to California Bag Challenge sponsored by Road to California and ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable®.

“On The Road Again” is intended to enlarge the circle of Road’s traditional quilt competition, offering a total of $1,200 in cash and merchandise prizes to the top winners. For complete rules and instructions, please visit our website.

Men At Road Is A Great Fit

Quilting is a popular interest for women — and men –of all ages.

Donn and Allan liked seeing all the quilt designs and types of fabrics during their first visit to Road to California.  From Morro Bay, California, Allan grew up around sewing and quilting his whole life. It was Allan’s sister who taught Donn how to sew. Donn has been quilting for 4-5 years and considers himself a modern quilter. He quit a full time corporate job to work in a quilt store in Morro Bay, The Cotton Ball, and helps customers use the longarm machine at the store. “There’s so much to see” at Road, said Donn. “The quilts are beautiful and there is a wide variety of vendors.”

John likes to come to Road and meet up with this three friends that he affectionately calls, the “Triplets of Bellville.“ The four met in Paris in 2008 in a study abroad, Art History class sponsored by the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California.  John was a team teacher with two other professors and took on the role of “bodyguard” for the three women during their one month stay in Paris. Since then, for the past seven years, the four have chosen Road to California as their annual meet up place since John resides in Southern California and Dashe, Carole, and Michelle live in Northern California. John says that Road is a “fun place to hang out with the triplets.” He also said he enjoys “the quilt competition the most.” He likes seeing the “creativity and detailed work with the quilting medium.”

Bill lives in Westlake Village, California and has been to Road four times. “Once you attend, you get an email to remind you when the next show is being held.” His wife is a quilter but Bill says he comes to take pictures. “I view (the quilts) as art. Being at Road is like being at an art museum.” What was Bill’s favorite quilt at Road 2017? “Director’s Choice. It was head and shoulders above everything else; so life like.”

 

Meet Road Vendor: Pineapple Fabrics

A family owned business, Pineapple Fabrics is an e-commerce company that offers pre-packaged, pre-cut fabrics that can be used in over 60 different projects designed by the company.

Rick Kimelman and his wife, Dot, are the driving force behind Pineapple Fabrics. It was Rick’s grandfather who, over 80 years ago, started the fabric swatching business, Swatchcraft. Over the years Swatchcraft has evolved into a full-service business offering graphics, imaging, printing, fabric sampling and shipping needs for their clients, other business owners. Realizing that there are “only so many companies to swatch with,” Rick wanted to reinvent the company with a focus on “making sewing fun.”

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Their first attempt at retail marketing was in 2012, putting together and selling pre-cut fabrics – jelly rolls, fat quarters, and layer cakes — from designers like Windham Fabrics, Andover, RJR Fabrics, Dear Stella, Michael Miller and others. Their first show was in March, 2015 at the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, Chicago. The feedback they got from customers was that they loved the idea of having packaged pre-cuts but they kept on asking, “What do you do with them?” So, after that show, the company began work on 3-4 pattern designs to complement the pre-cuts.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

In 2016, Pineapple Fabrics began organizing their fabric packs by girl’s names in an alpha order. First was Alice, then Bella, Carla, Diana, Ellie and their latest, Fran. Each Pineapple Pack has different sized fabric cuts in different amounts unique to that particular name. When a customer buys a pack, they then choose one of 10 patterns designed to use with it.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Says Dot, “We do all the work of cutting and coordinating fabrics so all the customer has to do is sew. The Pineapple Packs are packaged so that if you can’t get to it right away, the pieces won’t be scattered.”

In addition to the Pineapple Packs, Pineapple Quilts also offers Quilt Backs (precut backings that match quilt top fabrics) and their trademark, Bonus Quarter—21” X 21” squares that are found in every pack. In the future, they hope to offer swatching for their projects—bringing it back full circle to where the business originally started.

Making sure their customers have a “happy, positive experience” is Pineapple Fabrics’ goal. That is why this internet based company comes out to trade shows like Road to California so that they can hear firsthand what customers are looking for and then implement their feedback, offering a wide range of colors and patterns. Road 2017 was Pineapple Fabrics second time at Road to California. They commented on how nice the show is and how everyone they meet are nice as well.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Another way Pineapple Fabrics connects with its customer base is offering an “outlet sale” every two months at their warehouse in North Carolina. The sales last three days and are “a lot of fun,” with special pricing, demos, and food trucks.

To learn more about Pineapple Fabrics and to order their Pineapple Packs and other products, please visit their website.

 

Family Fun At Road

Road to California is the perfect place for a family outing!!

(l-r) Rebecca, Nicholas, Pearl, Cameron and Daniel

The Medina family from Moreno Valley, California says quilting and coming to Road is “a family affair.” Young Nicholas is a big fan of Eleanor Burns. He’s been watching her on TV since he was 5 years old. His grandma Pearl shops at Eleanor’s store in San Diego county. One time, she brought Nicholas with her when there was a sale going on. Nicholas marched right up to Eleanor and asked her if she had any cowboy fabric. They struck up a friendship and for the past 3 years, Nicholas and his family have come to Road to meet up with Eleanor and her son, Orion.  It was about that same time that Nicholas began sewing on his great-grandma’s machine. He says he prefers to sketch out his own patterns.

Grandma Pearl has been coming to Road for 10 years. She has sewn since she was a little girl and has been quilting for the past 15-20 years. She is sharing her knowledge with her daughter, Rebecca, who started sewing twenty-one years ago when she was 7. Rebecca has joined her mom at Road for the past four years and says, “coming with my mom to Road is something we share together.”

After attending Road for the past 2 years, Daniel Ganczak, Pearl’s son-in-law, became interested in quilting and bought his own sewing machine. He says he is “practicing for now,” getting ideas and fabric and relaxing during the show. In 2017, Daniel brought his son, Cameron, who said that he was so inspired by Road and his family, he wants to start quilting and join his cousin with the family hobby.

Cousins Cameron and Nicholas

Another family from Moreno Valley came to share a day together at Road. Meet Grandma Lydia, Grandpa Larry, Dad Jay, and his daughters, Lulu (age 9) and Scarlet (age 7). Jay says his mom has always sewed and has been a quilter for the past 20 years. Jay starting sewing as a young boy. He is an artist and says that sewing is “another way to express myself.” He is teaching the girls how to sew. Lulu and Jay have made a wall-hanging quilt together.

Back row: Larry, Jay, Lydia. Front row: Scarlet and Lulu

It was the first time coming to Road for Larry, Jay and the girls. Larry “didn’t realize how involved quilting was” and was “amazed” at seeing how detailed the quilts on display were. Jay couldn’t believe “how many different ways there are to quilt.” Scarlet was hoping to get some ideas to start her first quilt and Lulu was enjoying all the “free stuff’ that the vendors were handing out. A veteran of four Road to California’s, Lydia is another Eleanor Burns fan and “loves the whole show.”

These two families show that the family that quilts together, stays together.

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Outstanding Modern Quilt

Z is for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt at Road to California 2017. Sponsor Riley Blake Designs awarded $5,000 to maker, Mary Kerr and quilter, Karen McTavish.

Family and quilting goes hand in hand for Mary Kerr. She grew up in a family of quilters and her latest winning quilt, Z is for Zoey, was made for her granddaughter, Zoey Rose, Mary’s “very own mini-me.”

A Road 2016 faculty member and curator of the special exhibit, Quilt As Desired, Mary has a special affection for vintage designs. She wanted this piece to reflect the convergence of the past….her love of vintage with the excitement of the future….Zoey’s place in the modern world.

Z is for Zoey was inspired by a a single long strip from the 1930s. Tongues of fabric had been hand appliquéd with black thread on both sides of a muslin strip. It was never incorporated into a quilt and at one point someone even cut out one of the fabrics to reuse. The quilt married Mary’s “love of vintage textiles with the freshness of the Modern quilt aesthetic.”

Mary thought long and hard about the design. Once she decided how to create the “Z,” the top came together in just a couple of days. Then, according to Mary, Karen McTavish “added the perfect background with her distinctive lace quilting.”

While both Karen and Mary were “very pleased” that Z for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt, Mary says, “My Zoey takes full credit for the win!”

For the near future, Mary plans to continue to teach, write books and hopefully inspire others to work with vintage fabrics.

You can learn more about Mary on her website.

Meet The Simi Valley Quilt Guild

The Simi Valley Quilt Guild was started over 30 years ago. With approximately 150 members, they meet the 2nd Wednesday of every month at the Simi Valley Senior Center.

The guild’s main philanthropy group is called, “Quilts in Force.” It is always ‘in-force’ sewing for others. Originally, the group made quilts for the Simi Valley Police Department to use in incidents where children were involved.  The goal now is to provide warmth and comfort to anyone in need whether it be from illness, fire, lack of resources, loss of a loved one, or other cause.

On their website, they post a poem dedicated to their members who have passed away but who are not forgotten:

Our family is like a patchwork quilt,
With kindness gently sewn.
Each piece is an original
With beauty all its own.
With threads of warmth and happiness,
It’s lightly stitched together,
To last in love throughout the years,
Our Family is forever.

(author unknown)

Walking in the atrium on Friday of Road 2017, no one could miss Simi Valley Quilt Guild’s Opportunity Quilt on display. Member Beth Bastian said they “wanted something bright” and that was certainly what they created.

All members in the guild had a chance to work on the quilt, receiving packets to work on various blocks. When completed, it was sent to a non-member gentleman to quilt. The drawing for the quilt was held at their regular meeting on February 8th. Proceeds benefited Pets for Vets and the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley, a homeless support center.

Road to California appreciates their partnership in supporting local quilt guilds like the Simi Valley Quilt Guild.