Category Archives: Quilt Contest

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!!!

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: 1st Place Innovative, Wall, Pieced Road 2016

Beth Markel won 1st Place: Innovative, Wall, Pieced for Spring Storm at Road 2016. She received $1,000 from sponsor, Artistic Creative Products.1st-place-innovative-wall-pieced

Beth Markel’s interest in quilting began when as a little girl, threading needles for her Grandmother Broyles, who lived with her family.  Grandma Broyles was always cutting a quilt, sewing a quilt, and quilting a quilt – 3 quilts in 3 different stages.  Heaven for young Beth was sitting under the quilt frame her father built for her grandmother, practicing her spelling words.

While Beth is a 5th generation quilter, for a while it didn’t look like she would be a part of her family’s tradition.  She got discouraged with sewing when her 7th-grade Home Economics teacher commented to Beth, “Stick to cooking, because you can’t sew worth a darn.”  It wasn’t until Beth was 36 years old that she decided to attempt quilting and made her first 9-patch. She has been hooked ever since.

Beth and Sophie

Beth and Sophie

The inspiration for Beth’s winning design came from an experience she had after graduating from college and starting her first job in Boston. She had to travel often to New York City and one sunny morning when she was at a farmer’s flower market, a spring storm roared through.  Beth recalls, “Literally, one minute there were purple iris and golden daffodils and crocus, and the next there were purple and yellow petals spinning and whirling through the air.” That impression has stayed with her to this day.

Spring Storm is the first in a series of four seasonal quilts Beth is designing. Beth believes “there are seasons in our lives.  Spring happens when we’re young, a little wild, tempestuous, naïve, and turbulent…the beginning of growth.  Evolution.  Storms.  Setbacks.  More growth.  Beauty.  So stand back.  No, literally, stand back!  The only way to see the twister is to stand back a way, then be slowly drawn into the joy that is every single decision, every single choice, and every single piece that together, tell a story.”

It took Beth almost 14 months to make and quilt Spring Storm partly because  the piecing got so tiny (less than ¼” x ¼”) and all the seams were ¼.”  The quilt has a lot of “stitch in the ditch” as well as quilting in individual squares.  All of the threads were tied-off and hidden because she used her regular sewing machine, a Bernina 300, to do the quilting.  Because of the basis of the piece, Beth wanted to give voice to each individual piece of the pattern.  And while her choice was “tedious and wildly time-consuming,” Beth says it was “worth the effort in the end.”

Persistence is what Beth says she learned the most from Spring Storm.  When she decided to start the 4-Seasons series based on her life, she knew she had something specific to say.  Her youth was fairly wild, and she was constantly straining against where others wanted to pigeon-hole her.  Beth has realized that growth begins “when we’re honest with ourselves, regardless of what anybody else thinks about us.”  Spring Storm actually began as a 9-patch and then a 16-patch, hearkening back to her first quilt – with determination to say something new.

When Beth heard she had won first place, she was “speechless surprised.” She used some of her prize money to enroll in a writing class to help her with her blog. The rest of her winnings was spent on more fabric.

Where does Beth go from here? She is currently working on her second piece of her series, a summer themed design, which is up to 5,000 small pieces at this point. She has a “fun & interesting” trunk show which she presents to quilt guilds, as well as teaches 1, 3 and 5-day workshops. Two of her quilts are currently hanging in the National Quilt Museum as part of the book, “Art Quilts of the Midwest” by Linzee McCray.

Thumbs InVinoVeritas by Beth Markel

Thumbs InVinoVeritas by Beth Markel

Another two of her quilts are part of the exhibit, “Circular Abstractions:  Bull’s Eye Quilts” curated by Nancy Crow, which opened in August, 2016  at the Muskegon Museum of Art.  She continues to write on her blog, discussing everything from long-arm quilting to what happens when a quilter passes away with unfinished projects.

Beth’s quilting interests are many, varying from applique, fabric painting, indigo, and fabric dying to thread painting and using Shiva sticks. Whatever she is working on, Beth remains steady with her “persistence in fine-tuning her voice, breaking down walls between groups of artists, and making textiles relevant to people who only see “quilts” as worn-out bedspreads their grandmothers made…grateful & joyfully!”

To learn more about Beth Markel and her work, please visit her website.

 

Two Ways To Show Off Your Quilt for Road 2017

Do you have a quilt that you have been working on that you would like to share with the public?

Road to California 2017 is offering two opportunities for quilters to enter their quilt designs – one that we are known for and a new one for quilts to be part of a special exhibit.

First, there is Road’s annual Quilt Contest. For 2017, quilters have the chance to vie for prize money totaling $90,000. Once again, Gammill is sponsoring the Best of Show category, offering $10,000 for the top prize.

Best of Show Road 2016 - Silk Road Sampler by MelissaSobotka

Best of Show Road 2016 – Silk Road Sampler by MelissaSobotka

Road receives hundreds of entries each year in their annual contest for the fifteen categories.  In order to qualify to enter, quilts have to have been made since January 1, 2015 and could not have been entered in a Road contest previously. The quilts have to been made with three distinct layers and no pre-quilted fabrics can be used.

2016 Outstanding Modern Quilt by Linda M. Thielfoldt

2016 Outstanding Modern Quilt by Linda M. Thielfoldt

Individuals can enter up to 3 quilts in the contest. Entry packets can be obtained on the Road website and must be received at Road’s office (either online or by mail) no later than October 3, 2016. Entrants are notified by November 28, 2016 if their quilt is chosen for the competition.  Quilters then have until December 23, 2016 to ship their quilt to Road’s office.

2016 Director's Choice by Kathy McNeil

2016 Director’s Choice by Kathy McNeil

Judging for the contest will take place on January 17, 2017. Besides the top prizes, judges also consider three winners for each of the categories offered. All winners are notified the evening of the 17th.

2016 Outstanding Traditional Quilt by Bethanne G. Nemesh

2016 Outstanding Traditional Quilt by Bethanne G. Nemesh

For more information on our 2017 Quilt Contest, please visit our website.

If you have a modern design quilt that you are proud of, perhaps you might consider entering it in the Special Exhibit, Modern Quilts – Redesigning Traditions. While no prize money is being offered, accepted quilts earn the prestige of being included in this special display.jpgMQRTLogo_FINAL-300x244

The exhibit will be shown at the Ontario Museum of History and Art in Ontario, California, December 1, 2016 through January 22, 2017 – which includes time during Road 2017.

Modern Quilts: Redesigning Tradition, explores the modern evolution of traditional quilt patterns. Entries must adhere to the exhibit theme: traditional quilt blocks redesigned into a quilted item displaying Modern Quilting aesthetics. The traditional block used as inspiration must be identified by its commonly used name on the entry form.

Not Your Grandmother’s Wedding by Pauline Saltzman

Not Your Grandmother’s Wedding by Pauline Saltzman

Submissions considered for acceptance to the exhibit include quilts, bags, pillows, and table coverings. All entries must consist of three distinct layers: top, middle layer and backing and must be quilted by hand and/or machine. No entry can exceed 96” wide. Due to shipping restrictions, quilted upholstered furniture will not be accepted.

Square in a Square by Christa Watson

Square in a Square by Christa Watson

The deadline to submit entries is August 15, 2016. Accepted pieces will be notified by October 1, 2016. Interested sewists can request detailed information and an entry form from Guest Curator, Geroganna Hawley at ghawley@ontarioca.gov

Road to California is looking forward to all the submissions for both of these events. What quilt will you be entering for Road’s contests?