Category Archives: Vendors

Meet Road 2018 Vendor and Special Exhibit Curator Latifah Saafir

While Latifah Saafir Studios LLC is new to Road’s vendor floor, owner Latifah Saafir is not. This innovative Modern Quilter and founder of the Modern Quilt Guild, presented a Lecture and Trunk Show to kick off Road 2017. Her special presentation was held Tuesday evening,  January 17th at the Ontario Museum of History and Art in conjunction with the exhibit being held there, Modern Quilts Redesigning Traditions. 

How did Latifah Saafir Studios LLC begin? After Latifah was laid off from her technology job with a Fortune 500 company, she decided to “try my hand at doing something I truly loved.” Already having a ton of contacts in the modern quilt world, Latifah added the resources received from a Kickstarter campaign two years ago to help her launch her product line. Latifah remembers it was a whole lot of work but she wouldn’t have “given up for anything in the world.”

A Los Angeles resident, Latifah and her husband help take care of her 96 year old grandfather. Latifah spends most days building her quilting business. When she does have some free time, she likes to slip out to her guild meetings and hang out with her guild friends.

What does Latifah like about being a new business owner? Creativity. Latifah loves creating products that help people tap into their own beauty and creativity.

Meeting and seeing people is what Latifah is most looking forward to at Road 2018.

In her booth, new and classic Latifah Saafir Studios patterns will be featured as well as her Hoffman fabric line. Latifah will also be demonstrating her “Clammy templates,” showing guests how easy it is to cut and sew all kinds of curved shapes.

Latifah is also curating the Special Exhibit, Expanding Tradition, which will be located at 713/717 during Road 2018. As Latifah commented, being “surrounded by quilts and quilters for a whole weekend—what could be better than that?!”

To learn more about Latifah Saafir Studios LLC, please visit the website.

 

Welcome Road 2018 Vendor:  International Magazine, QUILTMANIA

From its beginning, the objective of QUILTMANIA Magazine has been to show the diversity and talent of quilters from all over the world, serving as a reference to inspire all passionate quilters.

A “high quality magazine”, the bi-monthly publication debuted in France in 1997 and included high quality photos as well as articles on the best of exhibitions, museums and artists; special features like “Quilts & Enchanting Homes;” and exquisite quilt projects for readers to create.

As the reputation of the magazine quickly grew, the publishers began receiving more and more requests from readers to print an English version of QUILTMANIA. So, in 2005, the company added their English subscription. A third language the magazine is printed in is Dutch.

Today, besides OUILTMANIA, the company has expanded to offering two additional publications.  Simply Vintage is a quarterly magazine printed in French and English, that launched in 2011. It is full of Vintage – Folk Art inspirations featuring different techniques like punch needle, hook rugs, and embroidery.

Their most recent addition, Simply Moderne, is all about modern quilts, bringing a fresh and more contemporary view of the quilting world. Another quarterly magazine, it first came out in 2015 and is also available in French and English.

Due to the success of their publications overseas, QUILTMANIA opened a United States office in 2017 and are now printing their English version magazines in Wisconsin. This move enables readers and quilt shops in the United States to get their magazines sooner. It also lowers the shipping costs on QUILTMANIA’s books, magazines and other products as they are now sending them domestically, saving their loyal customers time and money.

Road 2018 will be the first time for QUILTMANIA to be attending Road to California. They are looking forward to “attending one of the important quilt shows in the United States and Canada,” meeting their “readers and artists in person so as to continue building a warm friendship” with everyone.

Please welcome QUILTMANIA to Road to California as they celebrate their 10th Anniversary.

Author, Vendor, Teacher: Meet Jodi Barrows

Did you know Jodi Barrows has authored three quilt-themed novels and 26 quilt pattern books?

Her novels take place during the 1856-time period and is based on her own family. Since she enjoys the 1800’s, she likes to look at fabrics, clothing, museums, antiques, homes – just about everything that comes from that time period. She also spends a considerable amount of her professional time giving lectures on women and quilting.

In addition to being an author, Jodi’s quilts have appeared in numerous publications and she has been a guest on several television programs.

Did you know Jodi Barrows started her company Square in a Square® over 25 years ago as a way to promote her own quilt technique and tools?

Jodi says “that one tool does all triangle units and all of them can be done in any size.”

During Jodi’s early days of quilting, she felt that “cutting out templates one at a time and putting them back together always seemed like a big waste of time.  My grandmother always did multiple projects at the same time similar to today’s modern strip piecing techniques.  So it was natural for me to realize that there has to be a better way to produce triangle units without all of the hassle.  Doing, quilt biology, I was able to dissect the units in my head and it started my way of thinking that lead to the Square in a Square piecing technique.”

In her booth at Road 2018, Jodi will be featuring  Square in a Square® books, rulers, patterns, fabric, fabric kits and education.  In addition to everything Square in a Square® , she will also have her newest novel, Threads of Courage, to go along with her two others.  Plus, being a fabric designer, she will feature her latest fabric collection complete with quilts made from the new designs.

Did you know Jodi Barrows has been teaching quilting classes for over 24 years?

Jodi has a family history of quilting. She “really got in to piecing” at her local church attending an outreach class that combined bible study with quilting.

Jodi will be teaching 2 classes at Road 2018:

On Monday, 1001C  Square in a Square (Concentrating on Square)

and on Tuesday, 2001C  Square in a Square (Concentrating on Diamond)

What does Jodi enjoy most about teaching? The “thrill” of seeing “the student when that lightbulb moment” happens; when they first see “the unlimited possibilities” of her teaching.  Jodi says that she likes to inspire her students to realize that they can achieve projects that they never thought possible.

In her classes, Jodi likes to “teach knowledge” — something that the student can still have long after the class is over. Instead of taking home an unfinished project (UFO), Jodi refers that her students take home information and knowledge which provide motivation for the student to keep sewing and working on projects.

Did you know Jodi Barrow’s best quilting tip has to do with a sewing machine?

“When doing any sewing, including quilting, always keep a “runner” in your sewing machine.  Our sewing machines are happier when they have fabric in them, so always put your “runner” in before you clip off or take your project off of the machine.  I teach this in every class and it doesn’t take long to convince the student of its value.  Give it a try.”

To learn more about Jodi and her books, her company, and her teaching,  please visit her website.

 

 

 

 

 

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 Missie 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, Missie 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 Missie 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 Missie 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.  Missie 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.

 

 

 

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.”

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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 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.

Meet Road Vendor: Pineapple Fabrics

A family owned business, Pineapple Fabrics is an e-commerce company that offers pre-packaged, pre-cut fabrics that can be used in over 60 different projects designed by the company.

Rick Kimelman and his wife, Dot, are the driving force behind Pineapple Fabrics. It was Rick’s grandfather who, over 80 years ago, started the fabric swatching business, Swatchcraft. Over the years Swatchcraft has evolved into a full-service business offering graphics, imaging, printing, fabric sampling and shipping needs for their clients, other business owners. Realizing that there are “only so many companies to swatch with,” Rick wanted to reinvent the company with a focus on “making sewing fun.”

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Their first attempt at retail marketing was in 2012, putting together and selling pre-cut fabrics – jelly rolls, fat quarters, and layer cakes — from designers like Windham Fabrics, Andover, RJR Fabrics, Dear Stella, Michael Miller and others. Their first show was in March, 2015 at the International Quilt Festival in Rosemont, Chicago. The feedback they got from customers was that they loved the idea of having packaged pre-cuts but they kept on asking, “What do you do with them?” So, after that show, the company began work on 3-4 pattern designs to complement the pre-cuts.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

In 2016, Pineapple Fabrics began organizing their fabric packs by girl’s names in an alpha order. First was Alice, then Bella, Carla, Diana, Ellie and their latest, Fran. Each Pineapple Pack has different sized fabric cuts in different amounts unique to that particular name. When a customer buys a pack, they then choose one of 10 patterns designed to use with it.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Says Dot, “We do all the work of cutting and coordinating fabrics so all the customer has to do is sew. The Pineapple Packs are packaged so that if you can’t get to it right away, the pieces won’t be scattered.”

In addition to the Pineapple Packs, Pineapple Quilts also offers Quilt Backs (precut backings that match quilt top fabrics) and their trademark, Bonus Quarter—21” X 21” squares that are found in every pack. In the future, they hope to offer swatching for their projects—bringing it back full circle to where the business originally started.

Making sure their customers have a “happy, positive experience” is Pineapple Fabrics’ goal. That is why this internet based company comes out to trade shows like Road to California so that they can hear firsthand what customers are looking for and then implement their feedback, offering a wide range of colors and patterns. Road 2017 was Pineapple Fabrics second time at Road to California. They commented on how nice the show is and how everyone they meet are nice as well.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Another way Pineapple Fabrics connects with its customer base is offering an “outlet sale” every two months at their warehouse in North Carolina. The sales last three days and are “a lot of fun,” with special pricing, demos, and food trucks.

To learn more about Pineapple Fabrics and to order their Pineapple Packs and other products, please visit their website.