Category Archives: Road 2017

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.

Couples Have Double The Fun At Road

Road to California is a great destination for some fun couple time.

Road 2017 was the first time visiting the show for Mike and Joan. Joan heard about Road from some of her “Sit and Sew” friends. Joan is new to quilting. She started a year and a half ago making traditional quilts. Joan says she likes the idea of “creating something unique to you.” She was really interested to see what Road had to offer and found it to be “mindboggling.” Mike brought Joan to the show. He shared that he had no idea about all the award exhibits and that he found the quilts to be very “intricate.”

Paul and Kim came from Carlsbad, California. It was their third time at the show. Paul is an amateur photographer and enjoys taking pictures at the show with Kim in them. Kim has been a sewer “forever” and a quilter for “a couple years.” She is glad that they don’t live too far away so they can see up close all that Road has to offer. Besides taking pictures, Paul enjoys seeing the art quilts and other “unusual things.”

Both Pam and Tom are involved in quilting. Pam has been quilting since the early 1980’s while Tom has been doing longarm quilting since 2005. They have been long time fans of Road to California. Pam started coming Road’s very first year when it was in the hotel across the street from what is now the Ontario Convention Center, 22 years ago!! Tom has been accompanying Pam for the last 15 years. Pam won the Tin Lizzy contest a few years back. She likes coming back each year to “have a good time” and see “lots of innovations.” Besides his longarm work, Tom is also an artist who enjoys painting on fabric. In 2016, he had two of his quilts entered in the show!!    

Friends And Quilting Are A Great Combination

Road to California is the perfect place for friends to meet up and share their love of quilting.

These four friends live in the Chicago area and belong to the Needles and Threads Quilt Guild. They were easy to spot with their matching quilt guild accessories.

Together, they have been quilting over 30 years. They were thrilled to leave the Midwest weather and “hang together” to see what was new in the quilting world and all the “gorgeous” quilts.

Karen and Dee are locals; they live up the street from the Ontario Convention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. Karen has been attending Road for the past 10 years. This was Dee’s first time at Road. She had heard about how fun the show was from her local quilt shop, The Quilt Loft, and from Karen. Karen said she had warned Dee beforehand by telling her to be “prepared to be overwhelmed.” They enjoyed seeing the quilts and the variety of vendors. Dee can’t wait to take classes next year.

L to R: Karen and Dee

Marquita is from Simi Valley, California and Kathy is from Delaware. They have been friends for over 60 years, growing up across the street from each other in Sepulveda, California. For the past 15 years, coming to Road to California has been their annual get together. It’s how they stay in touch. They come to the show for 5 days, bringing their sewing machines and stay up sewing each night until after midnight. They also bring lots of food— and wine!! Both have been quilting since 1989. Marquita prefers traditional quilting and Kathy loves machine embroidery.

L to R: Marquita and Kathy

These friends worked together at Kaiser Permanente for 30 years. At that time, neither Delcina or Maria were quilters. When they retired, they were looking for something to de-stress so they took a furniture upholstery class. That teacher suggested they go to a quilting class and they have been hooked ever since. The class is held every Saturday in Baldwin Park, California.  Road 2017 was their 5th time to come to the show. When they first started coming, they focused on looking at all the quilts, walking the whole show one row at a time. Now they’ve added also taking classes.  “There is lots of inspiration here,” said Delcina.

L to R: Delcina and Maria

 

Which friend will you be meeting up with at Road 2018?

 

So You Want to Make a Winning Quilt-  Outstanding Innovative Quilt

REBORN was the 2017 Road to California Outstanding Innovative Quilt winner.   Made and quilted by Molly Y Hamilton-McNally, Molly received $5,000 from sponsor, SewBatik.

Molly Y Hamilton-McNally is a familiar winner at Road to California. In 2012, she won Best of Show for Everlasting Bouquet, a quilt she made and that was quilted by Cindy Seitz-Krug.

Fear, loneliness and deep depression brought Molly to quilting in 2000 when she was diagnosed with cancer and later her mother and husband passed away. Molly realized that she had to find some way to bring her back to the light. An acquaintance encouraged Molly to take a class in basic quilting. Unexpectedly, she found herself developing a passion for this art form.

Now remarried, life is bright again for Molly. Reborn depicts the rising of the ancient phoenix and represents Molly’s rebirth as well. 

It took Molly roughly 1-½ years (the equivalent of 1600 hours) to make Reborn. Molly enjoyed the opportunity to continue to improve her abilities using her favorite technique, needle-turn reverse applique.

What was Mollie’s reaction when she heard she had won Outstanding Innovative Quilt? She says she was appreciative and happy. Also, she was pleased to have been honored by Road to California and gratified that her hard work had paid off. She plans to use part of her prize money to help pay off her longarm machine.

What does Molly’s quilting future hold for her? Molly wants to continue designing large, award winning quilts as well as small quilts which she will use to teach others her techniques.  To learn more about Molly, please visit her website.

Machine Quilting On A Featherweight

They are small. They are light. They stitch a perfect straight stitch. And they can be used to machine quilt!!

The Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine Model 221 was first introduced in 1934 at the Chicago World’s Fair. At the fair, the featherweight was considered a revolutionary machine due to its aluminum construction, small size, and a weight of only 11 pounds. The Featherweight machine was manufactured from 1933 – 1968 in just three basic colors: black, beige and white. Featherweight machines have stood the test time, built in an era that things were meant to last forever. Today, the machine has made a resurgence as a reliable sewing machine and as a collector’s item.
featherweight photo: View 8 MW150006.jpg

At Road 2017, Jennifer O’Brien from Sew Craft taught a $5.00 Lecture Class, Machine Quilting on your Featherweight. The first thing that the students learned was, yes, you can machine quilt using the small but mighty Featherweight. In fact, the principles are similar to any machine quilting project.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

In order to do free-motion machine quilting, there has to be free movement. Because the feed dogs on a Featherweight cannot be lowered, they need to be covered up so the fabric can move smoothly for quilting. Jennifer suggested using a Teflon pressing sheet cut the size of the arm of the Featherweight and secured to the machine using either masking tape or 404 adhesive spray. She also advised to cut a small triangle hole in the area where the needle goes in and out to avoid having the needle rub against the Teflon.

Another adjustment to the Featherweight for machine quilting is trading out the pressure foot for a machine quilting pressure foot. She recommends a “big foot” because it has an oversize, clear foot.

To start quilting on a Featherweight, start from the center of the project. With the pressure foot raised, put the material under the pressure foot then lower the needle down and up one time so that the bobbin thread just pops up. Pull the bobbin thread up to the top to prevent it from bunching up underneath the fabric. Once the thread has been secured on top, lower the pressure foot and begin gliding the material to free motion quilt the material.

Jennifer made a video to demonstrate these starting tips:

Because the sewing area of a Featherweight is limited, Jennifer cautioned that handling the fabric can be tedious. She recommended putting a table to the side of the sewing area to handle the weight of the fabric.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

As with all quilting, Jennifer said that Featherweight machine quilting takes practice, especially moving the fabric under the machine. She mentioned that quilting curves is easier than “stitch in a ditch” with a Featherweight. Jennifer suggested that the best way to practice is to make loops, L’s and C’s and even writing your name. Her final advice was to start small to encourage completing projects, pace yourself and don’t hurry.

 

Meet Road’s Display Manager Debby Bennett

Road 2017 began a new era for displaying quilts accepted in to Road’s annual quilt contest.

Continuing the tradition of a family owned and operated  quilt show, Debby Bennett, mother-in-law to Road’s Show Manager Matt Reese, was hired to freshen up the displays located throughout the main Exhibit Hall.

Work began in mid-December, 2016, to plan out the exhibits. Debby reported that her goal for the displays was to organize the quilts by category. Within each category, Debby worked with size, colors and themes to highlight each quilt.

At that time, all Debby had to work with were the pictures and dimensions of all the quilts accepted for the contest. It took Debby and her daughter, Jennifer (Matt’s wife), approximately 30 hours to organize and map out the 255 contest quilts. This was all just preliminary work until the winning quilts were chosen (the day before Preview Night) and adjustments would have to be made to the original plans.

During the judging, Debby was present so that she could have access to each winner’s information. When the judging was completed on Tuesday, Debby re-mapped the winners’ booths and fine-tuned the rest of the booths.  

Because maps of the display areas were prepared earlier, Debby felt the hanging process went by more quickly and efficiently than in the past. It took Debby and her team of 15 volunteers approximately 10 hours to hang all the quilts.  

When her job was done, Debby became a regular guest at the show, shopping and enjoying the quilts. She also was able to have a fun evening with her family at Party Time.

What did Debby think about her first experience as display manager? “I had so much fun.” Debby was able to use her organizational skills as well as her creativity to create quilt displays that she was “very proud of.” Debby added, “The group of volunteers that hung the quilts were so welcoming to the ‘newcomer’ and receptive to my new ways. I couldn’t have done it without their quilt hanging expertise. It was truly a team effort.”

Debby is looking forward to continuing her position at Road 2018. However, she is going to make sure that she has her own tool box next time around, something she wished she had had last January!!

What was your favorite winning quilt on display?

 

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