Category Archives: Road to California

Getting To Know The South Bay Quilters Guild

The South Bay Quilters Guild is very active in the Southern California area. Founded in 1979, their goal is to “further quilting excellence in the South Santa Monica Bay area of Southern California through educational meetings, travel, and friendship, and, at least once each year, to promote quilting in a philanthropic endeavor.” Based out of Torrance, California, with over 125 members, they meet the third Tuesday of the month.  

At Road to California 2017, the guild had on display their opportunity quilt that they gave away at their 2017 Quilt Show, “World of Color.”

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

In 2013, the South Bay Quilters provided the quilts for the atrium of the Ontario Convention Center during Road to California.

Active in the community, the South Bay Quilters Association participates with many philanthropy projects. They have donated over 1,000 lap quilts to local nursing homes and hospitals. The guild began a “Read Me A Quilt” program with CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates. This group provides volunteers who advocate for children in foster care. The guild became aware of CASA from one of its members. For over 10 years, the guild has been providing quilts and books to toddlers through teenagers in the foster care system.

The South Bay Quilters Association is also active in the Wounded Warrior Project. One of their members had connections with field hospitals in Afghanistan which led to the guild’s participation. Their donated quilts are made to fit the size of a gurney and are mailed directly to the field hospitals. The quilts are given to soldiers and remain with the recipients throughout their hospital stay and their journeys home. The guild has been involved with this worthwhile endeavor for 10 years.

Past Presidents of the guild include Pam Overton and Lynn Crawford, founders of The Traveling Quilters. Lynn and Pam lead the bus trips that are offered during Road to California. At Road 2018, their trips will be going to “Robert Kaufman, the Farmer’s Market and then some!” on Wednesday, January 17th, and on Monday, January 22nd, they will take guests to Hoffman International and more in Orange County, California.

The guild is already preparing for its next quilt show to be held February 17-18, 2018 at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center where they will have over 150 quilts on display and featured quilter, Sue Glass, an extraordinary applique quilt artist.

 

Generations Of Quilters And Quilters To Be

Families of all ages and sizes find their way to Road to California to share their joint love of quilting.

Ben grew up watching his mom, Mary, make quilt for his bed and wall. He wanted to join his mom at Road 2017 to see what others were doing in the “quilting universe.” As Mary related, it is so “different” to see all the art quilts “in real life” than in a picture. A quilter for over 30 years, Mary had been to Road six previous times, always to be inspired. Ben was “blown away at the detail work and creativity” he found during his first visit to the show.

Kevin, Brenda, and Ashley (age 7) are from Simi Valley, California. Ashley had just received her first sewing machine the Christmas before Road 2017, a Bernina 330. She got interested in sewing from watching her mom sew. Ashley’s first project was going to be a quilt, of course, picking out the fabric and pattern with her mom. It was Ashley and Kevin’s first time to the show. Kevin found there were “lots of options for my girls.” Brenda has been quilting for two years and is self-taught. She had bought an embroidery machine because she wanted to make pillowcases. She quickly learned that in order to make the pillowcases, she had to sew in a straight line. Quilting has helped her to sew straight lines!!  Brenda’s first project was a king size quilt made of six-inch squares.

Jenna came to Road 2017 to model for her girls, Emma and Abby, how to “have fun and explore” new ideas to “make stuff.” The all loved looking at the quilts, fabrics, and different projects. Jenna has been sewing for five years. Her first quilt attempt was a baby blanket for Emma when she was born.

Married 41 years, Barry and Brenda McCutcheon have attended Road to California 10 times together and Party Time eight of those ten years. They come down from Northern California for “lots of beautiful quilts, cool ideas, and lots of fun.”

Will your family be joining you for lots of inspiration, creativity, and fun at Road 2018?

 

 

International Quilter A Big Winner

Hiroko Miyama creates beautiful, award winning quilts from her home in Tokyo, Japan.

She says that she was a “born handicraft maker.” When her younger son entered elementary school, Hiroko thought it was a good time to start something new. At that time, hand quilting was just getting popular in Japan and she thought, this was it! After she began hand quilting, she stopped doing her other handicrafts like knitting, dress making and embroidering.

Hiroko confesses that she has been “addicted to machine quilting for 8 years.” Most of Hiroko’s designs are her interpretations of beautiful scenery around Nagano, Japan, and of flowers and fairy tales. Recently, her husband Mosanobu Miyama, has collaborated on some of her designs.

At Road 2017, Hiroko won first place in the Art Human Image category for her quilt, Lily. Hiroko received $1,000 from sponsor, Maywood Studio/EE Schenck Company for her winning entry.

For this piece, Hiroko wanted to depict her granddaughter Natsumi as an elegant lady when she came to visit her cottage. Hiroko remarked that the resulting snow tanned face on Natsumi was not her original intention but that it didn’t hinder the results.

It took 4 months (or about 800 hours) for Hiroko to make and quilt Lily. This project challenged Hiroko to harmonize the quilt with her original machine embroidery. She designs, “punches,” (creates the embroidery data) and then does the actual embroidery. Hiroko reported that “300 hours were required for embroidery only.”

When she heard she had won, “I and my husband celebrated by drinking a couple of mug of beer.” They travelled from Japan to see the quilt at Road 2017. “I really enjoyed the show.”

What did Hiroko do with her prize money? “I bought fabrics and threads, of course!”

For the near future, Hiroko plans on having Lily displayed at AQS Quiltweek in Grand Rapid and then on to Fall Paducah.

Congratulations, Hiroko, on another winning design.

 

The Perfect Getaway Destination

Looking for time away from family, work; a place to go crazy, or just to “let it all hang out?” Then Road to California is the place for you!!!

Cathy and Lynn are sisters. Cathy lives in Oxnard, California and Lynn lives in Texas. They choose Road for the perfect sister retreat and to get away from family. Road 2017 was their 4th time to meet up at the show. Cathy has been quilting for five years; Lynn since the 1980’s. Going to Party Time is always on their schedule. They enjoy playing the games, “getting and winning stuff.”

Edith is a member of African American Quilters of Los Angeles. She and her friend Barbara (also a member of the guild and a tad camera shy) spent the night so they didn’t have to fight the LA traffic for two days. A quilter for 15 years, Barbara invited Edith to “her first quilt show ever.” Edith has been sewing clothes for years but has only been quilting for two years. A friend had invited her to a quilt guild meeting and she was “hooked” from there.   

These three friends, Amy, Laureen, and Judy originally met through quilting, going to retreats, in Palo Alto, California. Between them, they have 76 years of quilting experience!!  Judy now lives in the San Diego area and got the women to meet up at Road. They stay Wednesday through Saturday as “there is so much to see and visit.”  Meet Jeanie, Kendra (Jeanie’s daughter in law), Joyce (Kendra’s aunt from Iowa), and Mickie, a member of their quilting group. Joyce knew she wanted to come see her niece and she purposely planned her visit to coincide with Road. Jeanie has been hosting ten “quilting ladies” each month in her home. They look forward to taking their “field trip” each year to Road, seeing the vendors and the “beautiful” quilts.

(l-r) Kendra, Jeanie, Joyce, and Mickie

This group of friends are members of the “Quilters Gone Wild” Friendship Group of the El Camino Quilt Guild in North Orange County-San Diego area. Going to Party Time is a must. At Road 2017, they thought it would be fun to be “wild looking.”

Road to California is the perfect get away destination.

 

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt- Excellence in Hand Quilting

Linda Roy won $1,500 for Aztec Sunset from Sponsor, World of Quilt Travel

Linda Roy’s quilting journey began in 1988 when her husband had a job transfer from Southern California to Conway, Arkansas.  Shortly after moving, Linda saw a program on television on vintage and newer quilts that introduced her to quilting. Then, a little while later, Linda met one of her new neighbors, Irma Gail Hatcher, who just happened to be an award-winning quilter. Irma invited Linda to join a small group that met monthly at her home and then to the Arkansas Quilt Guild. Linda said, “It was a pleasure to spend time with woman of all ages coming together for the pleasure of creating something beautiful.”

Linda made her first quilt when her youngest son was three. She found that she could keep an eye on her son while he played and do her hand work at the same time.  She was hooked on hand quilting with that first original quilt and now hand quilting is her passion.

The design and color for Aztec Sunset was inspired by Mayan Ruins. Linda designed her quilt using graph paper. Since Linda made this quilt for herself, she felt that she had total freedom to make it “outside the box.”

Two of her favorite large tomato red scraps were utilized in the quilt along with other fabrics in her stash creating a four-block design with a spiraling border.  Each quadrant has different but similar fabrics. The tea dyed muslin and stripes are the unifying fabrics. 

All the triangles are hand appliqued along with the bias bars.  Linda feels that the additional hand embroidery on the quilt gives a little more importance to the hand appliqued triangle shapes.

Aztec Sunset took approximately one year to complete. A hoop was used for the hand quilting, working on one piece at a time.  Linda remarked that after deciding on the design and color, “hand quilting is my favorite part of the quilt… (it is) very relaxing.”

Learning about her award, Linda said she “truly couldn’t believe I had won such a prestigious award.  Stunned would be a good word to describe how I felt and still feel.” She plans on using her prize money to replenish her fabric, thread, batting and various quilting needs not to mention that the “worn out chair I sit in to sew could use being replaced too!”

Linda’s thoughts on her experience in creating a winning quilt is motivational for other quilters as well: “This award encourages me to follow my heart without fear of the quilting police.  Sometimes it can work out!”

Quilting Time Can Be Quality Couple Time

Road to California is a great place to plan a couple outing – especially when both partners share an interest for quilting.

Marianne has been a quilter for 9 years, specializing in as she says, “usable quilts.” She is a traditional quilter making the “big stuff”—king size quilts. She has even made king size charity quilts for a West Coast Casualty Insurance event that was held at Disneyland. Marianne and her husband, Ed, are from Downey, California. They have gone to Road to California three times together, focusing on the new technology that the vendors offer. Marianne commented, “My grandma would have used the technology (for her quilts) if she had it.

Married for 47 years, Les and Linda know the key to a happy marriage: they support each other with their hobbies. For Les, it is Classic Car Shows and Linda goes with him to Cruise Nights. For Linda, a quilter for over 40 years, it’s all about going together to quilt shows like Road to California. “Fair is fair,” remarked Les. While Linda has attended Road for the past 18 years, Les has only accompanied her for the last 10. They’ve even gone to a quilt show together when they were vacationing in Sydney, Australia (Linda said she knew nothing about it but Les swears “she planned it on me.”) Why does Linda enjoy coming to Road to California? To get inspired.  She says, “You see things that you never would have thought of. It gets you out of your box to try new things.”   And Les has learned another valuable marriage lesson: “I never ask her how much she spends on her stash and she never asks me what I spend on my car collection.”

Even a wheelchair bound Stacie couldn’t keep her and husband Ed from Road 2017. Both Ed and Stacie are quilters from Indio, California. They began their quilt journey together over 5 years ago by taking a quilt class. At first, Ed went to the class to just spend time with Stacie but he ended up liking it and has stayed with it ever since. Says Stacie, “He does it more than I do. I never finish my quilts and Ed keeps on me.”   They bought their tickets for Road before Stacie fell playing with their dogs, putting her in the wheelchair. They didn’t want to miss out “looking at quilts and gadgets and finding new ideas to try.”

A brand-new quilter, Sophia appreciates how her husband, Erik, helps her with design and color. Sophia is also a knitter and crocheter and felt quilting was a natural progression for her fiber arts interest. She is self-taught, having never sewed before until she started quilting. Her first project was a baby quilt that “turned out great.” Erik helped Sophia design a wedding quilt that now goes on their bed.  Road 2017 was their first time at the show. Sophia said she was “quite moved by the exhibits. They were amazing.” Erik thought he was just going to be seeing a lot of vendors (which he did) but he was also surprised by all the interesting exhibits.

 

 

The Doctor Is In For Thread Advice

One of Road’s most popular $5.00 Lectures is the session with Bob Purcell, President of Superior Threads, where he talks about Thread Therapy. Bob has proclaimed himself a Self-Certified Threadologist, qualified to make diagnoses, give advice, and solve problems regarding thread issues.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Superior Threads began in 1998 as an at-home business by Bob and his wife, Heather, in their garage. Bob says that he needed to start the thread company in order to support Heather’s quilting addiction. Today, the business spans over a 25,000 sq./ft. facility in the red rocks of St. George, Utah.

Photo Courtesy of Superior Threads

The first product Superior Threads produced and carried was their Superior Metallic. They currently produce and sell over 40 different thread lines with more on the way. Superior Threads prides itself on seeking out the highest-quality raw materials and using the latest technology in processing to create threads for all types of sewing.

The most important warning that Dr. Bob gives is “don’t expect stores to know about thread and needles.” A quilter needs to become familiar with all the different thread and needle types in order to create the best projects.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Bob has found that most traditional quilters prefer using cotton thread but he stressed that there are so many other alternatives out there and he encouraged the audience to try new threads with their work.

Metallic thread is very popular but it also can give the “biggest headache.” warned Bob. He shared a way on how to see if a particular metallic thread is good or bad: Cut off a piece about 3 feet long and let it hang down. If it twists, it is a bad thread. Good metallic thread will hang smoothly without tangling.

Needles, Bob said, are the least appreciated and often ignored part of a sewing project. It is counterproductive to spend a lot of money on a sewing machine, fabric, and specialty threads and then use an old, worn, damaged or wrong needle. Bob suggested whenever beginning a new project, start with a new needle. Topstitch needles work best because it has a larger eye and a deeper groove.

Needles have a two-number system: the higher number relates to a European metric system measuring the size of the needle shaft diameter in hundredths of a millimeter. The lower number is a U.S. designation that is an arbitrary number used to indicate relative needle shaft diameter. Either way, the lower the number on a needle, the finer the thread should be used:

#70/10 for finest threads

#80/12 for 50 wt. threads

#90/14 for medium weight threads

#100/16 for heavier threads

Final tips Bob offered when using specialty threads:

  • Use a high-quality thread on both the top and bottom
  • Make sure the machine is threaded correctly
  • Make sure there are no obstructions along the thread path
  • Properly adjust tensions for the desired application
  • Use the correct size and type of needle. Make sure it is inserted correctly
  • Make sure the bobbin case is in good working condition
  • Adjust sewing speed to compensate for other limitations

    Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

     

At Superior Threads, the doctor is always in. Visit their website for helpful video tutorials and other valuable information.

 

 

 

Meet The Big Bear Lake Quilters Guild

Do you know the community of Big Bear Lake? It is a unique mountain resort community located 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. About 21,000 residents make their home here full-time.

Best known for its recreational opportunities like fishing, water sports, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, tours and winter sports, it also a haven for quilting. Big Bear Lake has two quilt guilds and two quilt shops in this small community!! It is also a popular destination for quilt retreats.

The Big Bear Lake Quilters Guild has around 50 members. They meet monthly the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Patchworks Quilt Shop. ”Patches of Love” is the name they give to their philanthropy work. Their members make quilts that are given to children who are picked up in police cars or fire trucks after a traumatic event. They also support military families with quilts. When a family has a new baby and their father is deployed, they present the new baby with a quilt.

Their annual quilt show is being held this year August 4th and 5th at The Lodge at Big Bear Lake. They have invited vendors as well as showcasing quilts from the area. At Road 2017, the guild had their show’s opportunity quilt on display. What makes this quilt original is that there is a hidden bear in the design of the quilt. The guild enjoys asking contributors for this fund raiser to see if they can find the bear. It gives people the chance to see the quilt up close and is “lots of fun.”  Can you find the bear? Road to California loves supporting local quit guilds and their endeavors. Opportunities are given on a first come basis to showcase opportunity quilts.

Participating guilds must provide 20 hours of white glove service to Road for each day your quilt is displayed. For more information, please visit our website.

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.

 

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.