Category Archives: Vendors

Meet Road Vendor WonderFil Specialty Threads

WonderFil = Thread (and only thread)download

WonderFil Specialty Threads offers products that enhance both the quality and appearance of stitching results, as well as expanding embellishment possibilities. They have a diversity of thread weights, textures, finishes, and materials. A family run business based in Canada, their 17 specialty thread lines are distributed in 8 countries: Canada, USA, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

They carry several different lines, ranging from 8 – 100 weight, that can be used for any project. All of their cotton based threads  are made only from Egyptian Cotton which is lint free so it doesn’t gunk up their customer’s machines.  

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

One of their most popular products lines is InvisaFil, a 100 weight cottonized polyester thread. The number one seller in the United States, Invisafil is available in 60 colors and is a great alternative to fine silk thread. It’s unique texture is a result of combining preshrunk cotton with strong, colorfast polyester. It’s the perfect thread for all kinds of sewing, including free motion quilting.  

WonderFil prides itself in working with teachers, like Vikki Pignatelli, to create color palettes that coordinate with their projects.1-Invisafil3a

 

New in 2017 is Wonderfil’s partnership with Sue SpragoEllana is a wool fabric line combined with 28 weight wool thread that comes in 60 matching colors.

Another line, Efina, is a lighter weight thread designed for hand quilting .  

WonderFil is also committed to helping their customers learn how to use their threads. They call this Threaducation. On their website, they offer how-to videos for all their thread lines as well as share contact information for qualified teachers standing by to assist customers in Canada and the United States. 

Road to California 2017 appreciated Wonderfil’s employee, Joanne from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, supporting their philanthropy project, Roadies Give Back. Joanne is had a good friend pass away from Cancer in June, 2016 and appreciated the opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause. “It’s always fun whenever quilters get together,” remarked Joanne during the event.   

 

Meet Road Vendor: SewBatik

Nestled in the front, northeast corner of the exhibit hall, SewBatik has become a regular vendor at our show.

Started in 2004 by co-founders Diane and Bruce Magidson, the idea for SewBatik actually began the year before. In 2003, Diane was a management consultant and Bruce was the merchandiser for Blank Textiles. They had “the burn“ to make career changes, work together and “scratch an entrepreneurial itch.” Initially, they intended to become the “Tupperware of the textile industry;” creating and selling fabrics in a home-party environment. After their initial product lines were created, they decided to do a couple of shows to earn some revenue while they learned more about home party sales. But after working at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, they caught “a terminal case of quilt show fever” and have kept at it ever since.  Through the years, both Diane and Bruce have come to enjoy the independence and creative freedom that comes with owning their own business.  

SewBatik designs, sources and distributes exquisite batik and hand dyed fabrics.  Meant to be used in a variety of applications, SewBatik fabrics are made using the ancient Indonesian mastery of batik which are vivid and rich in color. SewBatik has the largest assortment of 108” wide stamped batik backings and hand dyed fabrics. In 2011, SewBatik introduced their exclusive collection of 106″ wide flannel batik, “the softest flannel you will ever feel!” The company also boasts offering the largest selection of coordinating fabrics in the industry.

SewBatik fabrics can only be found on their website, at local, regional and national quilt shows, and through their ever-growing relationships with professional longarm/machine quilters around the world. The office is based in North Dakota where Diane and Bruce live on a farm in Hillsboro.  Their house was the homestead of Diane’s great grandfather, Lars Bakkum, and was built in the 1860’s. Like other small business owners, most of Diane and Bruce’s time is spent on the road or in the SewBatik office. It’s a 24/7 endeavor. When time permits, Diane and Bruce will visit with Diane’s parents who live just four miles away. Diane is an avid sewer.  Bruce loves reading and listening to his beloved New York Yankees play baseball as often as possible. During the summer, Bruce and Diane can be found on their respective tractors, cutting the grass and caring for their yard.

Diane and Bruce love sharing their passion for SewBatik products with their customers and have fun explaining why the products are so special. Bruce relates that being at Road to California “really tests his organizational skills and is a great indicator about how SewBatik stacks up against other vendors who offer similar products.”

Their booth had everything from 110” SewWide batik backing, 100% Rayon Batik fabrics for apparel sewing, Nuance Gradation Batik, Coordinating 45” stamped batik, Pre-cut and pre-fused shapes along with hand-dyed fabrics, Project kits, 2.5” Strips, and fabric bundles. It was a busy corner during Road 2017.

It sure was a good move that SewBatik didn’t turn out to be a home-party endeavor!!

Meet Road 2017 Vendor: Pauline’s Quilters World

Australian Pauline Rogers has been teaching free motion quilting on a domestic machine all over Australia for over 30 years.

While she taught her classes, she also listened to her students. She would frequently hear the same common problems: “I can’t quilt a big quilt,” “I can’t free motion,” and “I can’t put on borders.” Pauline noted, “If I hear more than 50 people a year complaining of the same problem, I have a need to fix it.”

One way Pauline has set out to solve these problems is with writing her book, The Quilt As You Go Handbook.

The book is filled with color photos and instructions for learning Pauline’s Quilt As You Go techniques as well as share her tips on free motion quilting. She even spent two pages just focusing on tension which she calls the “Bible of her book.” Sized so that it can fit on a sewing table next to your machine, the book’s pages have plenty of space to take notes as you sew along. Her book has become so popular that she is currently writing a second edition.

Quilters often ask Pauline how she has been able to do so much free motion quilting without getting stressed or developing back and shoulder issues. She explains it is because of a system she has developed: sewing full speed with the machine pedal on the left side of the needle and propping up the machine with door wedges so the machine it tilted toward her.

Pauline has traveled all over Australia (she did 38 shows in 2016!!) and has just recently taken her vision to the United States. In her booth at Road 2017, Pauline worked along side her staff Gerry and Peggy.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Among the many products offered in the booth, they all demonstrated one of Pauline’s popular and innovative tools, her “Sasher Collection.”  Because she had “burned the heck out of my fingers” making sashing through the years, Pauline developed these tools to take care of all sashing needs, from small bias strips used for applique stems and decorating to larger width sashing. Made to be used by both left and right handed quilters, the tools all use the same technique of folding and running fabric through the tool for quick and perfect sashing every time.

Because she has an interest “to keep the quilting industry strong and healthy,” Pauline will continue to travel and teach, helping quilters of all levels perfect their craft. Currently, she and her husband of 45 years don’t plan to return home to Australia until December, 2017.  And while on the road, in between her classes and shows, Pauline intends to continue designing more tools to help the free motion quilter, applique quilters, and even garment sewers. “I am loving every minute,” says Pauline and it certainly shows!!!

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

To learn more about Pauline, her quilting methods, and her products, please visit her website.

 

 

 

Road 2017 Teacher and Vendor: Meet LauraJane White

LauraJane White will be teaching 2 evening classes on the Pleachét technique on Friday 5066C and Saturday 6061C 

Laura White crochets rugs at the Silver Dollar City National Harvest & Cowboy Festival.

Road to California 2017 is offering several “non-quilting” classes and one of those will be LauraJane White’s Pleachét  classes.  Pleachét is a technique used to build heirloom rugs from strips of old or new fabric. The fabric is loaded onto a needle — RugBeeRugNeedle TM and crocheted back off with carpet warp, leaving the material standing on edge to create plush rugs, chair pads and trivets.

The Pleachét process and the needle that is used, were designed by LauraJane’s grandmother, Laura Elizabeth Johnston. Her grandmother used it to carpet the family farmhouse, wall to wall, in Windsor, Missouri around the turn of the 19th Century.

LauraJane’s grandmother, Elizabeth Johnston, at a craft show in the early 30’s/40’s in the midwest

LauraJane remembers her grandmother dying her own wool strips and crocheting rugs, but is was LauraJane’s sister, Shirley Wood, who taught LauraJane the process. Shirley and LauraJane worked side-by-side for many years at the 1880’s themed craft park, “Silver Dollar City,” teaching and making their beautiful rugs.

The Pleachét Booth will be located at 2H in the Exhibit Hall and will feature the many styles of Pleachét from round, rectangle, and oval rugs to chair pads and trivets in both floral and geometric designs. Pleachét  tools will also be available. LauraJane enjoys interacting with her customers, sharing her family legacy and demonstrating a primitive craft that much of the world has never seen. 

In her classes, LauraJane will help her students create their own family heirlooms utilizing the Six Easy Steps of Pleachét:

*Choosing fabric and it’s preparation is key.

*Cutting appropriate width-size determining what your

 project will become.

*Proper loading of the fabric onto the rug needle to insure the

 neatness of your rug.

*Starting with the simplest of crochet stitches a chain stitch

 thus determining the shape of your project.

*Building the art work, one row at a time.

*Learning to finish your edges properly.

LauraJane hopes her students will learn “to embrace the importance of keeping the primitive arts alive in an all too disposable minded society” by discovering a new outlet to express their personal creativity in a one-of-a-kind, work of art.

This will be LauraJane’s first time at Road to California. She said she has heard that Road “is the creme de la creme of fiber art festivals” and that she is “so looking forward to this show.”

To learn more about LauraJane and the Pleachét technique, please visit her web site.

 

Meet Road 2017 Vendor and Teacher: Janna Thomas

A Thanksgiving dinner in 2006 is what got Janna Thomas started with her business, Bloc Loc Rulers. Janna’s mom came with duct tape stuck to a ruler because she was tired of the rocking and slipping. Janna’s husband, Paul, being Mr. Fixit, took the ruler out to the garage and filed a groove in it. At this point the Thomas’ knew that they had to start their business. It took a couple of years to get their seed money to start things up and their company began selling rulers in 2009.

Janna and Paul live and run their business in Loveland, Colorado. Janna says that people might think that when she’s not running the business with Paul, there would be other things that she would like to be doing. But she insists that she “absolutely love(s) quilting and “ and isn’t interested in doing anything else. Janna keeps thinking “that when I’m an old woman I’ll try to take in some knitting and gardening, but honestly, I know there’s no room for that..quilting is too much of an obsession.”

What does Janna like most about her business? “I love seeing the happiness quilters have when they use our rulers because their projects turn out better than the way they’d hoped. The most wonderful thing is, they will come up to us at shows and show me photos and talk about how Bloc Loc has made their quilting an absolute joy.

The Bloc Loc Rulers vendor booth will be featuring a new ruler, the Pineapple Ruler. It gives the quilter two strip width options, any size center for the square in a square, any pineapple block size and rulers can be combined for special effects. The Pineapple Ruler is very easy to operate and making the block is very easy. Another new addition in their booth is Bloc Loc’s Traction Tape, a completely non-slip material that quilters can peel and apply to rulers they already own. The most wonderful aspect to Traction Tape is its ability to stay adhered to a ruler for a very long time and can turn up to 8 layers of fabric without a turning mat.

In addition to working the Bloc Loc Rulers booth, Janna will be teaching three classes that incorporate many of the company’s rulers. Janna will be teaching on Monday, 1010C Millefioiri

Tuesday, 2014C  Blooming Cogwheels

and on Wednesday,  3019C A Tarted Up Pineapple  Janna says that she loves “helping students learn in any way possible. Seeing them get excited about doing things they never thought they could do is extremely rewarding.” Janna feels it is important that her students  realize they can do anything in quilting; there’s always a way to achieve what they want to do and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Janna and Paul can’t wait to come to Road to California 2017.  They consider Road to be “theworld’s biggest and best quilting bee, filled with friendship, learning and magnificent shopping.’ Whether in the classroom or the demoing in their booth, Janna is always ready to teach how to pull off the best techniques at the right time, and how to set her customers up for success in every quilting situation

To learn more about Bloc Loc Rulers, please visit their web site.

 

Meet Road 2017 Faculty And Vendor: Jessica VanDenburgh

Jessica will be teaching on Thursday and Friday evening, 4561C  Stitch Sling Bagsling-bag

and on Saturday night, 6065C  Diva Walletprima-diva-clutch-wallet

This native New Yorker, Jessica VanDenburgh of Sew Many Creations, has always loved to sew and discovered quilting about 10 years ago.  She started making bags around the same time using her quilting fabric and tools.  Her friends and family loved the bags she made so much that she began selling them as a small side business.  Within a few years, the business grew so much that Jessica couldn’t keep up with the demand. She decided to try selling the patterns instead of the finished bags. According to Jessica, “it was a wonderful switch, much more rewarding and less stressful.”  A couple years later, she designed her first quilt pattern and the rest “as they say is history.”jessicavandenburghheadshot

What does Jessica like most about her business, Sew Many Creations? “The fabric!  I just can’t get enough!” Jessica is inspired to design more patterns because of the beautiful fabrics available.  She loves how fabric speaks to her and tells her what to make it into.

Jessica “absolutely” loves to teach. To her, “there’s no better feeling than to see someone accomplish something they didn’t think they could do and know that you helped them do it.”  Bags are Jessica’s favorite because they tend to have a reputation of being difficult but she breaks it down into easy steps. The Stella Sling bag is the perfect purse size with lots of pockets and includes Jessica’s favorite – a recessed zipper.  The Prima Diva wallet also has lots of pockets and a beautiful metal frame closure.

Jessica hopes her students learn that bags are not as hard as they might have thought.  They should be prepared: Jessica likes to have fun and laugh a lot during class.  And she gives lots of tips and tricks.

In addition to teaching her classes, Jessica and Sew Many Creations will have a vendor booth featuring lots of patterns, purse hardware, fat quarters, 1 yard cuts and bag kits.syracuse-2016

What is Jessica looking forward to when attending her first Road to California? “Meeting lots of new people.  That’s always the best part of being at a quilt show.” And to this New Yorker, coming to California in January “sounds pretty good too!”

To learn more about Jessica and Sew Many Creations, follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Tuffets: All The Rage Is Coming To Road 2017

Pagen Lewis will be teaching 1201R  Square Tuffet  on Monday and Tuesdaytuffet

Experiencing trying times in life sometimes end up being a great motivator in trying new things.

That’s exactly what happened with Pagen Lewis. Pagen’s mom and sister had always sewed, but according to Pagen, she “just didn’t get it.” About 17 years ago, when Pagen found herself going through a rough patch and had some extra time on her hands, her sister suggested that Pagen should take a quilting class. At first, Pagen “laughed” at the idea. After a lot of her sister’s pushing, Pagen finally agreed to take that class and fell, “hook, line, (and) sunk.”  About six months after that, Pagen purchased her first long arm and started quilting for charity and customers.

When Pagen learned that her job that she had for 18 years in the computer industry was being moved overseas, she had six months to figure out what she was going to do next for work. As a single mother with 3 young children, she began researching how to start a business and what quilt shops were in her area. Guess what? There weren’t any!!  Within that six months, Pagen opened Quilter’s Cocoon in Riverside, California and started running her own business. That was 15 years ago and Quilter’s Cocoon is still going strong.  448x337_img_1527jpg

How did Pagen get involved in making tuffets? She saw a round tuffet on-line made with Kaffe Fassett prints. She searched everywhere to purchase one. She didn’t end up finding one but she did find a place to take a class that also offered certification to teach.  That was in July, 2015. Pagen actually made two tuffets before she even went to the class for training.

Pagen has taught hundreds of students how to make both round and square tuffets. She started teaching  her round tuffet classes in August, 2015. She wrote the pattern and had the fusible interfacing printed for the square tuffet and began teaching that class in June, 2016.

What can you do with a tuffet? Pagen says they are perfect for “special gifts.”  She says that many tuffets have been taken over by students’ family pets and that grandchildren like using them to play favorite board games.images

Pagen’s favorite tuffet was one she made out of red Kaffe Fassett Colletive fabrics. Once, she made a patriotic one for her father and on the bottom, put photos of him from the Korean War and his and her mother’s wedding photo.

While there is some sewing machine work involved, Pagen’s tuffet class is part of Road 2017’s non-quilting classes that include several beadwork classes.

Pagen and Quilter’s Cocoon will also have a vendor booth at Road 2017.

 

 

Meet Road 2017 Faculty’s Three Sisters

When you sign up for these classes, you get to enjoy the expertise of the three sisters behind Sew Kind of Wonderful and their Quick Curve RulerHelen Robinson, Jenny Pedigo and Sherilyn Mortensen.

Wednesday Evening: 3064C  Mini Kitesmini-kites

Friday Evening:  5070C Mod Pineapplesmod-pineapples

Helen Robinson, Jenny Pedigo, and Sherilyn Mortensen are three of four sisters that share their love of quilting through their business, Sew Kind of Wonderful. Currently, they live in three different states:  Sherilyn in Cedaredge, Colorado; Jenny in Everett, Washington; and Helen in Mesa, Arizona. Between them they have 14 children, 3 grandchildren, and 2 dogs.

(l-r) Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn

(l-r) Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn

How did these three sisters get started in quilting? About 20 years ago, Helen taught herself to quilt from a Fons and Porter book when she had to teach an after school sewing/quilting class to junior high students. She taught Jenny how to quilt soon after that.  At about the same time, Sherilyn was teaching herself because she wanted a big quilt for her bed.

Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn’s quilts mostly have a modern feel. They find inspiration for their designs in everyday objects: patterns in floor tiles, weaving, nature, and also through a desire to challenge themselves to go to a different place than the usual.helen-robinson

Their business, Sew Kind of Wonderful, began with Jenny’s brain child, the Quick Curve Ruler. She wanted it to be a family affair that would give the three of them a chance to see each other more often as none of them (and their other three siblings) live close to each other.quick-curve-ruler

All three sisters are equally involved in the design, piecing, and quilting process.  They have a constant group text running and lots of FaceTime.  Jenny manages the distributor orders.  Helen does the online store and wholesale orders, and Sherilyn does the blogging and trunk shows.

Of course, the Quick Curve Ruler and the QCR Mini Ruler are their favorite quilting tools.  They haven’t sewn a quilt without a curve in five years because their Quick Curve Ruler made quilting fun again!  Each sister also has a longarm — a Gammil Classic – that they love.  It allows them to do the whole creative quilt process from design, fabric selection, piecing and finishing it off with the quilting.

Teaching classes together says Helen “is the cherry on top” because they get to see quilters when they have their ‘lightbulb’ moment; when the methods and processes they use click and their students fall in love with sewing curves. Helen adds that the sisters ‘have a great time being together!  It is the best part of our business.   If you spend any amount of time with us there is way too much conversation about ‘gluten free’ and ‘bathroom issues’….LOL”

What can their students expect to get out of their classes? “Lots of energy, conversation, hands-on help, and uniquely different snacks,” reports Helen. “We want students to enjoy a no stress approach to quilting and piecing curves.  There are not any quilt police that will knock on your door at 11 pm and tell you you did it wrong.  Enjoy the quilting process.”

Besides teaching their classes, you will also find Helen, Jenny, and Sherilyn during the show in their vendor booth for Sew Kind Of Wonderful.  helen-robinson2

To learn more about Sew Kind of Wonderful and the Quick Curve Ruler, visit their website.

 

Meet 2017 Vendor: Circa 15 Fabric Studio

Circa 15 Fabric Studio is a new vendor to Road to California.circa15fabricstudiologo

Owner Kristen Suzuki has been obsessed with fabric for a while.  She started off small by opening a fabric shop on Etsy.  It didn’t take long for her shop to become very successful. She started ordering more and more fabric and before long, Kristen found that fabric was taking over her entire house.  She had to decide what the next step was going to be. Since she had always wanted to have her own business, Kristen decided to take the plunge and open a brick and mortar fabric shop a year and a half ago  in Kirkland, Washington that today is a 2000 sq. feet. circa-15-store

Originally from the bay area in California, Kristen has lived in Washington for the past five years. Kristen and her fiancée  have been engaged for 1 year, but haven’t found the time to plan a wedding because she is so busy with her store.  They hope to get married sometime in 2017.

Kristen loves to bake and cook but doesn’t have much time to bake these days.  She actually went to culinary school for baking and pastry, many years ago. Kristen does love quilting and spends most of her “free” time sewing samples for the shop.

Being a part of the quilting, sewing and crafting community is something Kristen really enjoys. “Every day I get to chat with such creative and generous people.  I love seeing what people make with the fabrics they buy from us.  I love helping someone choose fabric for a quilt or project they are working on.  I love the look on customer’s faces when they walk into the shop for the first time, and see all the beautiful samples and fabrics.”  circa-15-boothb

Circa 15 Fabric Studio is excited to bring their unique style to a whole new group of people. They are very active on Instagram and have a lot of followers from California whom they are looking forward to meeting in person. Kristen and her team are also  excited to meet new people and see what the other vendor booths are selling.  Says Kristen,  “It’s so fun to see what’s going on in the industry.  I’m hoping to meet new friends in the business as well.”circa-15-bootha

One item that Circa 15 Fabric Studio is known for is their selection of unique fabrics from Japan. They also carry a lot of modern fabrics. There will be lots and lots of bundles of fabrics in their booth, putting together cuts from their newest collections. They will also have many quilt kits as well.

To learn more about Circa 15 Fabric Studio, please visit their website.

 

Le Projet Fou or “Crazy Project”

What do you do when your museum has a huge blank wall that sticks out like a sore thumb? Well, if you are Bohin France, you cover it with a gigantic handmade quilt of course!!!Giant Quilt from France Patchwork7

Bohin, France’s last needle maker, has been a popular vendor at Road to California the past few years. President Didier Vrac and Marketing Manager, Jerome Doussard, have become familiar faces to Road’s guests who never tire asking these two gentlemen questions about their needles and scissors, just to hear their French accents.

At the Bohin Factory in Normandy, France, they recently opened a beautiful museum. While the museum is “amazing,” the entrance outside was just a “very big white wall,” noted Catherine Bonte, president of the French quilt guild, Association French Patchwork, an organization with over 12,000 members!! Catherine was very close to the museum project for several years and let it be known that she was not very fond of the huge blank entrance. So, Didier told Catherine to do something to improve it.Giant Quilt from France Patchwork6

Catherine invited all the members of France Patchwork to work on a “nice block with curves,” using the colors of their guild’s logo—white, black and beige — and the color red for Bohin. At the guild’s office in Paris, near the Eifeel Tower, more than 3,500 blocks were sent in!! A team from the guild assembled the blocks to cover the wall. In fact, they could have covered 6 walls with all the blocks they received!!Giant Quilt from France Patchwork3

In addition to the quilt blocks, the group also  pieced together a portrait of Benjamin Bohin and put it in the center of the giant quilt. Benjamin is the founder of the Bohin factory and they wanted to honor him that way.

“Le Projet Fou” was turned over to Didier Vrac on May 21, 2016 and work began immediately to get the quilt up on the wall. People have come from all over France to see it.Giant Quilt from France Patchwork

Catherine and her guild know that the giant quilt will not be there on the factory wall forever. But for the time being, all of the visitors to the museum have “completely” fallen in love with it.Giant Quilt from France Patchwork2