Category Archives: Road to California 2018

Meet Road 2018 New Vendor: Traditional Primitives

A Midwest business, Traditional Primitives is looking forward to coming to beautiful Southern California in January to share their products with the guests at Road to California.

Owner Missy Carpenter alternated between two hobbies in the 80’s: quilting and English smocking. In the mid-90’s, she became totally devoted to her quilting, enjoying small stitching groups in the towns she has lived in across the Midwest.

Traditional Primitives began when, out of necessity, Missy created an original tote for carrying sewing supplies. Her family’s pup, Ginger, loved to find sewing goodies in her basket and chew on them; everything from leather thimbles to spools of thread and even some of the fabric she was sewing with.  Thanks to Ginger, the Sewing Bee Binder, a zip up tote for sewing supplies, was created.  When Missy took the binder to sewing groups and quilt shops, people began asking her for the pattern.  Those requests started a “very tiny business” which grew to her larger business today. Traditional Primitives offers not only original patterns for quilting, punchneedle and wool appliqué’, but also some original notions that make English Paper Piecing “so much more precise and quick.” 

What does Missy like most about her business? Sharing her technique for basting English Paper Piecing (and applique’) with starch and the notions that make it work so great.  Missy says she “loves sharing this technique with anyone who WANTS to enjoy EPP, but STRUGGLES with the basting.  It’s FUN to see them enjoy EPP due to this technique and the notions I’ve created for this purpose.”

What will Road 2018 guests be able to find at the Traditional Primitives booth?  “Lots of eye candy for those who love traditional quilts with a touch of primitive style.” Traditional Primitives works with both reproduction and traditional fabrics along with wools, adding the primitive touch. They also will be offering original punchneedle designs, wool appliqué and lots of English Paper Pieced designs along with their notions.  Items such as The Starch Brush, Fingertip Stiletto, Premium Freezer Paper and Hexie Shaped Pressing Mats.  Demonstrations will be offered throughout the show. 

To learn more about Traditional Primitive, please visit their website.

 

 

 

Meet Road 2018 Teacher Lee Chappell Monroe

Because color and value are a huge part of making a successful quilt, Lee Chappell Monroe incorporates these principles in to every class she teaches. Says Lee, “I try to intersperse color, piecing and quilting tips throughout my classes. It’s not just about learning how to make that one project, but expanding their quilting skills.”  All of Lee’s classes are very hands on. She wants all her students to have an enjoyable day and leave her class with lots of new knowledge, as well as a project they’re excited to finish.

Lee Chappell Monroe will be teaching four classes at Road 2018:

On Wednesday, 3019C  Understanding the Rainbow

Thursday, 4017C  Lulee’s Garden Quilt Pattern 

Friday, 5016C  Precision Piecing All Squared Up 

And on Saturday, 6014C  Blooming Dresdens   

Quilts are a big part of Lee’s life in Winston Salem, North Carolina. She lives in a “cute little 1929 cottage” that she loves spending time renovating and filling with quilts. Her “main partner in crime” is her pup, Mack the Chihuahua. He’s a frequent user of Lee’s quilts, taking daily naps on giant piles of quilts that Lee calls “Mount Mack.” And every year, Lee makes a quilt for her one and only “awesome” older brother.

Lee’s mother taught Lee to sew at a young age. A master garment maker and of all things, Lee refers to her mom as “The Guru.”  Lee says her mother felt sewing was an important life skill that everyone needs to master. Before quilting, Lee only sewed if she needed something. When she was moving into her first apartment, Lee wanted a patchwork quilt. She asked her mom to make it but she wasn’t interested so that was how Lee ended up making her first quilt, using her mother’s stash!!

Where does Lee find inspiration for her quilts? “Everywhere! From a walk through the neighborhood to a cool tile floor, I find inspiration all over the place. I’m never without a sketchbook.”

A lifelong learner, Lee says she loves to “take classes that are out of my comfort zone.” Once, she took a map improv class with Timna Tarr. It definitely was totally out of her comfort zone, but she loved it. She learns something new in every class she has ever taken.

On her blog, Lee has a series called Terrific Tip Tuesdays where she passes along things she has learned that makes sewing and quilting easier. One of Lee’s best tips is to label your batting scraps right after you cut one. Lee says, “You’re way more likely to use them if you just have to look at the label and grab it! It’s so simple, but makes a huge difference.”

What does Lee like most about teaching? “Seeing all the different interpretations of my patterns. I love to see how different the projects look with different fabrics. Plus, I get to meet so many amazing quilters! Teaching is my favorite part of my job!!”

To learn more about Lee, please visit her website.

 

Learning To Sew With Cuddle Fabric

Cuddle fabric (sometimes referred to as Minky ) is a special type of plush fabric that is often used to make baby blankets, baby clothing and baby accessories. The high quality of Cuddle fabric prevents its colors from fading and its warmth from decreasing over time. Produced by Shannon Fabrics, Cuddle fabrics have become their signature collection.

While Cuddle fabric is a super soft and plush fabric, it can be very tricky to sew with until you are familiar with it. Road 2018 is offering three classes by a Cuddle expert, Sheila McKay, to help take the mystery of sewing with this type of fabric.

Along with her two daughters. Sheila owns McKay Manor Musers, a place for all things crafty. Their tagline is ‘Inspiration is everywhere … unleash your inner artisan’

The three classes Sheila will be teaching are:

Thursday Night 4063C  Fun With Painters Tape

Friday Night 5066C  Diagonal Sew and Flip

A quick and easy way to build a quilt right on the batting, and on

Sunday 7008C   Mixing Gauze, Knit and Cuddle

Tips and tricks to sewing with these notoriously difficult fabrics

Why does Sheila like to teach? Because she loves watching “the light bulbs come on.” Sheila shares that most people really don’t enjoy sewing with Cuddle fabric or with gauze and even knits. She is looking forward to giving enough tips and tricks so that most people can walk away with lots of new ways to make sewing on Cuddle and these other fabrics so much easier.

What is Sheila’s favorite sewing tool? “By far, it is the needle threader on my sewing machine!! I am lost when it doesn’t work. Apparently, I need to admit that I need glasses.”

Her favorite sewing tip is one she picked up from an instructor that taught a class at the Houston Quilt Festival. She showed her how to make a perfect mitered corner when you are doing binding by just using a sticky note folded in half to make a triangle.

In addition to teaching her classes, Sheila and McKay Manor Musers will have a vendor booth. Look for them to be selling all of their full-size patterns and template packs.  Sheila and her daughters have designed almost everything in their booth.  The template packs are appliques that can be put on the top of the quilts or anything else like purses, pillows or backpacks.  They also offer kits for many of the patterns so customers don’t have to go out and find their own fabrics.  Most of all, Sheila adds, “We offer a smile – stop by and see us.”

 

 

 

Twice The Fun Bernina Machine Quilting At Road 2018

Looking to begin or enhance your machine quilting skills?

Not sure if you want to use a domestic or longarm machine for your quilting?

Curious about the Bernina brand?

Road to California 2018 is offering three machine quilting classes taught by Sue NIckels where students get to experiment with both a Bernina domestic sewing machine and the Bernina Q-20, a sit down longarm machine.

Monday: 1011C     Machine Quilting Essentials 

Tuesday: 2011C   Freemotion Focus on Fillers  Wednesday: 3080C Masterclass on Feathers 

Sue Nickels will be traveling to Road to California from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has taught quilting on quilting cruise to Norway (which included a stop in the Arctic Circle!) and on a cruise that had stops in South Korea, China and Japan.  She has also taught classes for Quilts Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as well as in New Zealand and Australia. Sue and her sister, Pat Holly, are in their 4th year leading the annual Hollygirls Quilt Retreat each fall. They took over for Gwen Marston’s Beaver Island Quilt Retreats when she retired in 2013. Sue loves the history of quilts and quilting and is “very inspired” by antique quilts- especially the appliqué quilts of the 1800’s. She is also inspired by her international travels and textiles from around the world.

Of course, Sue’s favorite quilting tool is her Bernina sewing machine. She says, “Having a sewing machine that allows me to do the machine appliqué and machine quilting I love is essential. Her other favorite quilting tool is curved tip snips to clip threads. Why? “The curved tip snips make it easy to clip threads when machine quilting. Without them it would take much longer to do machine quilting.”

What does Sue like best about teaching? Sharing her enthusiasm for machine techniques and encouraging students to become relaxed and enjoy machine techniques. She also loves quilters and enjoys being with her students. Sue hopes every student in her Road classes, at the end of the day, will learn new skills, improve on skills they already have and most of all, enjoy the process of machine techniques.

You can learn more about Sue on her website.

 

John Deer’s Adorable Ideas And The Art of Digitizing Embroidery

In order to get to know and fully appreciate Road 2018 vendor John Deer’s Adorable Ideas, you first need to know a little about the history of embroidery.

Did you know that embroidery began over 3000 years ago?

Hand embroidery began with the Ancient Egyptians. It became more prolific in the Middle Ages, and expanded to tapestries, laces, curtains, and bed covers during the Renaissance Period. The invention of the embroidery machine (replacing the work done by hand), came about in the 1800’s.

One of the best known of these embroidery machines was a Schiffli, created in 1873 by Isaac Groebli of Switzerland. This machine was based on the principals introduced by the newly invented sewing machine. Groebli’s machine utilized the combination of a continuously threaded needle and shuttle containing a bobbin of thread. The shuttle itself looked similar to the hull of a sailboat. “Schiffli” in the Swiss dialect of the German language, means “little boat”.

John Deer’s Adorable Ideas grew out of his grandparent’s commercial Schiffli loom embroidery factory started in the 1950’s. John tells the story of the history of his family and how embroidery machines eventually became digitized in this video:

John also adds, “To the best of my knowledge I’m one of two living Schiffli master digitizers who learned how to digitize before computers entered the embroidery industry. I attribute this as the main reason why I’ve been the most awarded digitizer in the world for over two decades now.”

What does John like best about his business? “Alongside the artistic merit involved & passing along the age-old theory to advance the beautiful art of digitizing, the fact that my eldest son is now within the family business. Working together and seeing him play and integral part in propelling our company forward has made the business exciting once again. No greater satisfaction is that of building a legacy which will continue for generations to come.”

At Road 2018, John Deer’s Adorable Ideas will highlight both sides of his business: Ultimate Stash.com, a treasure trove of award-winning embroidery designs and Digitizing Made Easy, a site dedicated to Embroidery Digitizing Education. The booth is featuring three unique products:

  1. The Ultimate Ladybug Club: Adorable Ideas has amassed a very large catalog of designs throughout the years, over 25000 to choose from and new releases every week. What differs is our “Netflix” model at our Ultimate Stash site, which gives our Club members incredible value and quality that can’t be matched.
  2. Hatch Software: As an official Wilcom Hatch reseller, we offer the world’s best embroidery software for every level of embroiderer. Providing both affordable pricing and educational resources to get the user quickly past the learn curve.
  3. Interactive Digitizing Lessons: Our Digitizing Made Easy site provides Interactive Streaming Education for 10 of the industry’s leading brands of Digitizing Software.

A native of Toronto, Canada and John and his wife Jennifer currently reside in Costa Rica. They have “three beautiful kids and a recent addition to the family our first grandchild. Other than being involve with a mission driven church here in Costa Rica, my business is my hobby which makes me a very blessed man.”

Road 2018 will be John’s first time at the show. About coming to Road to California, John says, “given the incredible reputation ‘Road’ has developed, I’m just looking forward to being part of one of the biggest and best shows in the industry!”

The embroidery industry has made huge developments in the past 3000 years and John Deer’s Adorable Ideas has played a major role in advancing this art with 21st century technology.

 

Patriotism Runs Deep With This Road 2018 Teacher and Vendor

Deb Granger is all about patriotism and giving back.

She and her husband, Duane, own Freedom Star United, a quilt supply company featuring military and patriotic quilt fabric, kits, and patterns. They started their company in 2008 after she had lost her job. She knew she wanted her next venture to be something that “would make a difference.”

Why a military and patriotic theme? Because two of the Granger’s sons and one daughter-in-law have served in the Marines. In fact, Deb made her first quilt for one of her sons during his first deployment. Says Deb, “Our hearts are with the military.”

Michigan residents for the past 25 years, the Grangers are on the road most of the time, attending 30-35 quilt shows a year. “Road to California is our favorite,” said Deb. “The people are great.” Wherever they go, Deb and Duane are on the lookout for a veteran to give a patriotic quilt to. When they attended Road to California 2016, they resented a quilt to then 88-year-old Morrie Hegg from Apple Valley, California. The Grangers learned that Mr. Hegg was a World War II veteran, having served in the 11th Air Force Army Air Corp in Alaska. He came to Road 2016 with his wife and daughter who are both quilters.

Besides having a vendor booth, Deb will also be teaching a class on Monday:

1006C   Sewing Tool Caddy

One of Road 2018’s “non-quilting” classes.

Sewing machines for the class will be provided by Bernina.

Deb says she enjoys teaching and the “one on one time I spend with each of my students.” She believes her students will gain “confidence” if “they are willing to try.” Her word of sewing advice to her students? “Take your time.”

When Deb isn’t teaching or working in her vendor booth, she likes to spend time with her grandkids, bake, and run in half marathons. We hope our guests will run right over to Freedom Star United’s booth for an added boost of patriotism during Road 2018.

To learn more about Deb and Freedom Star United, please visit their website.

 

 

 

Artwork Classes That Enhance Your Quilting Skills

No sewing machines are required for these intermediate to advanced level artwork classes that will be taught by Esterita Austin at Road to California 2018:

Wednesday: 3001C  Luminous Painted Irises

Thursday (2 day class): 4501C Luminous Painted Illusions

Saturday (2 day class):  6701C  Animal Portraits

A resident of Port Jefferson New York, Esterita Austin has lived there for 40 years. Esterita has many master sewers in her family. Her grandfather was a master pattern maker in the garment industry of New York where today he would have been considered a designer. Esterita’s grandmother was a master seamstress and her aunt made all of her clothes and her family’s clothes and is the one who taught Esterita how to sew.

In 1980, Esterita began quilting by doing traditional bed quilts for her children. She discovered art quilting in the 1990’s and as she says, “it took over like a fever.” Lately, Esterita has been painting on parchment paper and transferring the image onto organza and then painting—the same technique she will be sharing in her classes.

When Esterita isn’t quilting, she is traveling. It is with her travels that she finds inspiration for her quilts, taking photographs of what interests her. Currently, she has a thing for old, rusted out cars. The furthest Esterita has traveled that is quilt related is Australia and New Zealand.

One of the things Esterita likes best about teaching is meeting other teachers on the road and sharing experiences. When she is in the classroom, Esterita loves seeing the lightbulb go off above her students’ heads. She has found that “people who say they can’t paint always seem delighted when they learn that they can.” One of the most satisfying things for Esterita to teach is value and value is used in all of her classes. She hopes her students learn how to use value successfully and that they gain confidence in their abilities.

Artwork by student, Sue Bianchi

What is Esterita’s her best quilting tip? “Take a dry, Mr. Clean sponge, apply Dritz iron-off to it and then rub on a hot iron to clean the soleplate. Always use in a well-ventilated area as this procedure will cause some smoke.”

To learn more about Esterita, please visit her website.

 

Meet Road 2018 Vendor Orange Dot Quilts

 

Be Fearless

That’s the motto that drives and inspires Dora Cary, owner and creator of Orange Dot Quilts.

Dora was born in Romania and studied to become first, an engineer and then a graphic designer. She moved to the United States in 2001 and discovered quilts and quilting in 2006. In 2008, Dora became an American citizen and finished her first quilt. She wrote her first pattern and opened her Orange Dot Quilts Etsy shop in 2013. Three years later, she decided to make quilting her life and her living. Today, Dora lives on the Central Coast of California, in Paso Robles, with her husband and daughter, two dogs, three cats, and four sewing machines. Aside from quilting, Dora loves to travel, dance, read, and learn new languages. Since quilting has become a full-time business, Dora has taken up guitar as her new hobby.

Dora created a No Baste method for quilting fearlessly and free on a domestic sewing machine.   She started writing quilt patterns because she wanted to bring her own creative ideas to life. Being both an engineer and a designer prepared Dora well for both aspects of pattern design: the technical part and the art part. In her first year as a pattern designer, she created eight new patterns and placed them in her Etsy shop but Dora says her “real start in business happened when I participated in the 2016 Spring Quilt Market as a helper. Preparing for my presence at Market, I designed a beautiful brochure featuring my first eight patterns and, fearlessly, I approached all the distributors with the brochure in hand. Now my patterns are carried by all the main distributors in United States and one distributor in Canada. In addition, I decided to also represent my patterns at other quilt shows and festivals and also teach my quilting techniques and lecture.”

What does Dora like most about running her own business? “I like being my own boss, traveling, and meeting new people but what I LOVE the most about this business is creating new designs. I have several notebooks chock full of different quilt designs and new bag and garment concepts. I just need more time to bring them all to life.”

What can guests expect to find in the Orange Dot Quilts booth? Dora says that the booth will feature her patterns for quilts, bags and easy sewing garments. There will also be quilt and bag kits; quilting fabric precuts; medium weight cotton-linen blend Japanese fabric cuts in fun designs; her favorite fabric notions such as the African porcupine quills and The Strip Stick; Auriful thread in all shades of orange; hand knitted lace shawls; books; pincushion patterns, and more.

Road to California 2018 will be Dora’s first time at the show. She is looking forward to reaching a new audience, being inspired and also inspiring others. She said she has heard that “Road to California is a unique experience and I am looking forward to being a part of it.”

To learn more about Dora and Orange Dot Quilts, visit her Etsy Shop.

 

 

Meet Road 2018 Teacher/Vendor and Hurricane Harvey Survivor: Cynthia England

Cynthia England is an international fiber artist, pattern designer and author who is known for many things in the quilting industry:

She has won Best of Show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston 3 times. Her latest award-winning quilt was this past Spring for her work, Reflections of Cape Town

Her quilt, Piece and Quiet was distinguished as one of “The Twentieth Century’s Best Quilts.”

She owns England Design Studios, where she promotes a technique she has developed called Picture Piecing

And as of August 25, 2017, Cynthia England is survivor of Hurricane Harvey, the catastrophic storm that sent record breaking rainfall to southeastern Texas.

Cynthia has lived in Houston, Texas her whole life. She currently lives in Dickinson, Texas; halfway between Galveston and Houston. When Hurricane Harvey hit, Cynthia and her family were at home. She remembers, “We have a two-story house. My studio and our garages are on the lower floor and all of our living space is up above. We had 7 neighbors who had one story houses come and stay with us. We watched the storm from our deck up above; very scary. I live on a creek, but our house is built up high. We still got a foot of water in the downstairs area. At one point, there were minnows in my laundry room; very freaky.”

There was lots of discussion with Cynthia and her family whether or not to leave when the mandatory evacuation was called. In the end, they felt safe because they were up high. Her neighbor had a canoe tied to their post so they could get out if they had to. Two of the neighbors staying with them were elderly; one in her eighties; one ninety. They also had an engineer and a nurse with them. So, they felt that it would be best to ride it out. They never lost power and their water was fine.

Because she is “always a quilter,” (Cynthia has been quilting since she was 13), as she and her neighbors were waiting out the storm, Cynthia taught two of the ladies that were stuck at her house how to piece a lap quilt!! Cynthia related, “They are making a Texas charm quilt and were excited about it. It took their mind off of things. We all got to know each other better and I feel like I have made some fast friends. Nobody ever bitched, moaned or cried. They took the canoe to their houses and brought back food. We even had turtle cheesecake one night. They were awesome!”

How did Hurricane Harvey affect her quilts and her business? “All of my Horn sewing furniture is toast; sewing tables, cutting tables. I had 13 book cases that were ruined; file cabinets, computer desks. A lot of my booth supplies for quilt shows are ruined. I had time to move my fabric up, so I didn’t loose any bolts. Two were damp and I have washed them. About 20 yards of my personal stash got wet, but my friend helped me wash it and I am good there. I did have business files fall into water. All my sewing machines were taken upstairs and all my quilts are fine.”

Of her Hurricane Harvey experience, Cynthia says, “All in all, we feel extremely fortunate. Because we didn’t leave we were able to start cleaning up immediately. The water went down overnight. This has been an amazing experience. Not one I want to repeat, but this too shall pass.”

England Design Studios will have a booth at Road 2018 and Cynthia will also be teaching 2003C Sandy Shore on Tuesday at Road 2018.

Cynthia hopes her students realize “how much easier her technique, Picture Piecing, is than paper piecing. There is no paper to pick out.  You work on the right side of the fabric. If you don’t sew perfect, you remove the freezer paper and re-iron. Lots of cheating!”

We wish Cindy well as she continues her Hurricane Harvey recovery and look forward to seeing her at Road to California next January.

 

 

 

Meet Road 2018 Vendor And Teacher Lora Kennedy

“Life has a way of turning you upside down”

At least that ‘s what Lora Kennedy has experienced. At one point in her life, she found herself a single mom living 200 miles away from any family during a time that her father also passed away.  As time healed these wounds, Lora married again and her new husband brought her back home to Smithboro, Illinois, five miles from the home she grew up in and where her mom still lives.

Lora and her mother, Virginia

Lora had previously worked with her mom, Virginia, in her mother’s custom drapery business. When Lora returned to Illinois, her mother had opportunities come her way that led her to buy a Nolting long arm quilting machine and open a small fabric shop on her farm. Lora fell in love with long arm quilting and has been doing it since 2005.  After a couple of years, they outgrew the shed and moved their business, Farmland Quilting & Embroidery, to town.  It was there, during a class they were teaching, that their featured product, Stable Piecing™ was born.

That was 10 years ago.  Since that time,  Stable Piecing™ has grown “tremendously.”   Designing, making samples, writing patterns, doing shows & teaching has taken Lora and Virginia around another corner that has included moving the retail location and their work back to the farm.

The newest Stable Piecing™ release is due at the time of Road to California 2018 so their booth will be featuring this new product at the show.

In addition to working in her Farmland Quilting and Embroidery vendor booth, Lora is also scheduled to teach four evening classes at Road 2018:

Wednesday: 3062C  Twisted Log CabinThursday: 4062C   Pineapples Galore

Friday: 5065C   Drunkards Path

and on Saturday: 6063C   Storm at Sea

Lora loves to teach because she gets “to see the students get to that moment where they all of a sudden get the idea and then the creative ideas start rolling.  I want my students to learn a new skill, or revisit an old one in a new way and then be able to use that in whatever they want, however they want.”

What is Lora’s best quilting tip? “To take time to do something for yourself.  Take time to just play and not expect any sort of outcome.  Just be creative and see where it leads you.”

To learn more about Lora and her company, Farmland Quilting & Embroidery, visit their webiste and Facebook Page.