2018 Registration Information

A few different posts have been written on our blog about how to register online. If you want a comprehensive step by step guide, I recommend you read this post for the walkthrough on registering for classes.. Our software has largely remained the same since that post was written.

The purpose of this post is to give you some helpful hints and tips to work around some of the limitations of our system, as well as discuss some common problems our attendees encounter.

Registering a Friend?

The most common problem we see is when an attendee is attempting to register for a class for more than one person. Our system will only allow one Registration Fee per account. All classes (numbers starting from 1-7) require the registration fee. Even if you want a Wednesday class, and your friend wants a Thursday class, you must register under separate accounts as each individual who signs up for a class must pay the Registration fee. There is no way around this – you must register each individual under a separate account.

You may, however, purchase lecture or event seats in multiples. Class numbers starting in 8 and 9, do not require registration. When you drag the event into your schedule, click on 1 and select the number of seats you would like to purchase. Please note: if you want to include the registration fee with your lectures and events, you must register each person under their own account.

Class Full?

We routinely get questions about what to do if the class you really want is sold out. First, we highly recommend the waiting lists. We only charge you if you get into the class, which makes the waiting list is free.

We get asked what the fill rate is off the waiting list. This question is a misnomer. The waiting list is used when either (1) someone cancels, or (2) we move classrooms to give a teacher more space.

We have also left a few spaces open in the schedule to repeat classes which have a long waiting list. If this is the case, you will be contacted about the new session prior to us opening the class to the public.

Please note: we do not permit an individual to be enrolled in a class and on a waiting list for a class occurring on the same day.

Problems During Registration

Although it is rare, sometimes problems do come up during online registration. Here are a few helpful hints to get you through the process:

  1. If you log on and do not get an error message, refresh your browser and start again. If you do not know how to refresh your browser, it is simple – for windows it is command – R and on Mac OS it is Command – R.
  2. If you clicked register and nothing happened, look to see whether you received a pop-up error message. We require your address with phone number and country (even if you’re in the USA). You may have to scroll up to see the error message.
  3. We will have someone monitoring the system and checking emails on Saturday morning between 8 AM and 10 AM. If you get into a jam – email is the best way to contact us. Just shoot an email to info@roadtocalifornia.com and someone will get back to you. We will not be monitoring the phones.
  4. Please do not use an iPad, iPhone, tablet or smart phone to register. Our system was not designed to the use of touch devices and may not work.
  5. Test your account login by going to https://online.roadtocalifornia.com to make sure your login works before registration starts.

In summary – we are so excited for our class line up this year. We hope you are too! As always if you have any questions, please send us an email.

 

Photos by Brian Roberts.

White Glove Treatment

Hundreds of quilts are on display each year at Road to California. Some are viewed in special exhibits but many are the winning entries for Road’s quilt contest. Because Road has over 39,000 guests come to the show each year, special care needs to be taken to insure the safety and integrity of all the fabric art masterpieces. To help provide proper care and security for the quilts on display, Road enlists the help of individuals affectionately referred to as White Glove volunteers.

The role of White Glove volunteers is to greet visitors at the quilt displays, answer questions about the quilt(s) they are assigned to and show the backs of quilts, ensuring that visitors do not touch the quilts. White Glove volunteers are the only ones allowed to get up close and handle the quilts.

How do you know someone is a White Glove volunteer?  By the white gloves they wear, of course. White Glove volunteers are also asked to wear a black skirt or pants and a white blouse.

Linda has been a White Glove volunteer for six years. A member of the African American Quilters of Los Angeles quilt guild (“the best guild ever,” says Linda), she likes seeing the quilts up close and talking to the people. “The stories I hear are so interesting,” remarked Linda.

Aysheh and Valerie belong to the Inland Empire Quilt Guild and live in Riverside, California. They regularly sign up to work together as White Glove volunteers. They enjoy talking to the people, seeing the quilts up close, and the free show registration they receive for volunteering. Diane lives in San Pedro and participates with the South Bay Quilters. She has been a White Glove volunteer for 8 years. “I have a good experience every time,” says Diane. She always tries to find out about the people who made the quilts she is assigned to and what the quilts symbolize. “The first quilt I white gloved for was a Sharon Schamber’s quilt. After that show, I took a class from her.”

White Glove volunteers serve a minimum shift of 2 hours. If they work six or more hours during a show, they qualify for priority class registration for the following year. Hours available to work for Road 2018 are Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – 7 PM – 9 PM, Thursday – Saturday, January 18 – 20, 2018 – 8 AM – – 6:15 PM and Sunday, January 21, 2018 – 10 AM – 3:45 PM.

If you are interested in serving as a White Glove volunteer, please visit our website for further information on how to register.

2018 Bag Challenge: How Do You Use Your DIY Bags?

Making bags is a very popular sewing trend. How do you use the bags, totes, purses, and caddies you’ve made?

One great way to use your DIY bags is on a Road to California 2018 bus trip. Organized and led by The Traveling Quilters, Road is once again offering two unique, all-day bus trips to add to your Road to California experience. Bringing along your specially designed DIY bag is the perfect way to hold souvenirs, personal items and of course, fabric, picked up along the way on one of these excursions.

The Traveling Quilters’ experienced guides, Pam Overton and Lynn Crawford, have been in business for 27 years and have conducted over 200 quilt related tours. Experienced quilters since the 1980’s, Pam and Lynn have been familiar with Road to California every year since it started. Pam and Lynn handpick the locations they visit which include historical sites, delicious restaurants, and of course, quilt related shopping.

The bus trip on Wednesday, January 17th will include a stop at the headquarters of Robert Kaufman Fabrics where travelers will have the opportunity to hear firsthand about how Kaufman’s beautiful fabrics are conceived and manufactured. Robert Kaufman Fabrics offers an extensive supply of cotton prints, novelty fabrics, yarn-dyes and solids, covering a full assortment of woven fabric offerings such as poplin, twill, denim, corduroy, linen, canvas, crepe, voile, lawn, satin, georgette, flannel, organza, chenille, stretch woven’s, plaids, stripes, etc. Lunch will be on your own at the world-famous Original Farmer’s Market followed by stops at the Quilt Loft quilt store and at historic Graber Olive House, both located in Upland.

Then on Monday, January 22nd, the bus tour will be headed south of the Ontario Convention Center to Orange County and Hoffman California Fabrics. Guests will learn about the latest designing and distribution of Hoffman’s famous batiks and other lines of fabric as well as get a complete tour of their facility. This opportunity is especially significant as Hoffman does not allow individuals to come on their own to their site.

Following the Hoffman tour, the bus will continue on to the Mission San Juan Capistrano for a tour and lunch in town. Before heading back to the Convention Center, the bus will make one more stop at Quilter’s Cocoon in Riverside.

Registration for the bus tours begins with the regular Road 2018 class registration in early July.

Whether you’ve used your old DIY bags, totes, purses, and caddies you’ve made on tours, around town, or on a trip, we really hope your planning on making a new bag to enter in our 2018 Road to California Bag Challenge sponsored by Road to California and ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable®.

“On The Road Again” is intended to enlarge the circle of Road’s traditional quilt competition, offering a total of $1,200 in cash and merchandise prizes to the top winners. For complete rules and instructions, please visit our website.

Men At Road Is A Great Fit

Quilting is a popular interest for women — and men –of all ages.

Donn and Allan liked seeing all the quilt designs and types of fabrics during their first visit to Road to California.  From Morro Bay, California, Allan grew up around sewing and quilting his whole life. It was Allan’s sister who taught Donn how to sew. Donn has been quilting for 4-5 years and considers himself a modern quilter. He quit a full time corporate job to work in a quilt store in Morro Bay, The Cotton Ball, and helps customers use the longarm machine at the store. “There’s so much to see” at Road, said Donn. “The quilts are beautiful and there is a wide variety of vendors.”

John likes to come to Road and meet up with this three friends that he affectionately calls, the “Triplets of Bellville.“ The four met in Paris in 2008 in a study abroad, Art History class sponsored by the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California.  John was a team teacher with two other professors and took on the role of “bodyguard” for the three women during their one month stay in Paris. Since then, for the past seven years, the four have chosen Road to California as their annual meet up place since John resides in Southern California and Dashe, Carole, and Michelle live in Northern California. John says that Road is a “fun place to hang out with the triplets.” He also said he enjoys “the quilt competition the most.” He likes seeing the “creativity and detailed work with the quilting medium.”

Bill lives in Westlake Village, California and has been to Road four times. “Once you attend, you get an email to remind you when the next show is being held.” His wife is a quilter but Bill says he comes to take pictures. “I view (the quilts) as art. Being at Road is like being at an art museum.” What was Bill’s favorite quilt at Road 2017? “Director’s Choice. It was head and shoulders above everything else; so life like.”

 

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.

 

Family Fun At Road

Road to California is the perfect place for a family outing!!

(l-r) Rebecca, Nicholas, Pearl, Cameron and Daniel

The Medina family from Moreno Valley, California says quilting and coming to Road is “a family affair.” Young Nicholas is a big fan of Eleanor Burns. He’s been watching her on TV since he was 5 years old. His grandma Pearl shops at Eleanor’s store in San Diego county. One time, she brought Nicholas with her when there was a sale going on. Nicholas marched right up to Eleanor and asked her if she had any cowboy fabric. They struck up a friendship and for the past 3 years, Nicholas and his family have come to Road to meet up with Eleanor and her son, Orion.  It was about that same time that Nicholas began sewing on his great-grandma’s machine. He says he prefers to sketch out his own patterns.

Grandma Pearl has been coming to Road for 10 years. She has sewn since she was a little girl and has been quilting for the past 15-20 years. She is sharing her knowledge with her daughter, Rebecca, who started sewing twenty-one years ago when she was 7. Rebecca has joined her mom at Road for the past four years and says, “coming with my mom to Road is something we share together.”

After attending Road for the past 2 years, Daniel Ganczak, Pearl’s son-in-law, became interested in quilting and bought his own sewing machine. He says he is “practicing for now,” getting ideas and fabric and relaxing during the show. In 2017, Daniel brought his son, Cameron, who said that he was so inspired by Road and his family, he wants to start quilting and join his cousin with the family hobby.

Cousins Cameron and Nicholas

Another family from Moreno Valley came to share a day together at Road. Meet Grandma Lydia, Grandpa Larry, Dad Jay, and his daughters, Lulu (age 9) and Scarlet (age 7). Jay says his mom has always sewed and has been a quilter for the past 20 years. Jay starting sewing as a young boy. He is an artist and says that sewing is “another way to express myself.” He is teaching the girls how to sew. Lulu and Jay have made a wall-hanging quilt together.

Back row: Larry, Jay, Lydia. Front row: Scarlet and Lulu

It was the first time coming to Road for Larry, Jay and the girls. Larry “didn’t realize how involved quilting was” and was “amazed” at seeing how detailed the quilts on display were. Jay couldn’t believe “how many different ways there are to quilt.” Scarlet was hoping to get some ideas to start her first quilt and Lulu was enjoying all the “free stuff’ that the vendors were handing out. A veteran of four Road to California’s, Lydia is another Eleanor Burns fan and “loves the whole show.”

These two families show that the family that quilts together, stays together.

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Outstanding Modern Quilt

Z is for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt at Road to California 2017. Sponsor Riley Blake Designs awarded $5,000 to maker, Mary Kerr and quilter, Karen McTavish.

Family and quilting goes hand in hand for Mary Kerr. She grew up in a family of quilters and her latest winning quilt, Z is for Zoey, was made for her granddaughter, Zoey Rose, Mary’s “very own mini-me.”

A Road 2016 faculty member and curator of the special exhibit, Quilt As Desired, Mary has a special affection for vintage designs. She wanted this piece to reflect the convergence of the past….her love of vintage with the excitement of the future….Zoey’s place in the modern world.

Z is for Zoey was inspired by a a single long strip from the 1930s. Tongues of fabric had been hand appliquéd with black thread on both sides of a muslin strip. It was never incorporated into a quilt and at one point someone even cut out one of the fabrics to reuse. The quilt married Mary’s “love of vintage textiles with the freshness of the Modern quilt aesthetic.”

Mary thought long and hard about the design. Once she decided how to create the “Z,” the top came together in just a couple of days. Then, according to Mary, Karen McTavish “added the perfect background with her distinctive lace quilting.”

While both Karen and Mary were “very pleased” that Z for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt, Mary says, “My Zoey takes full credit for the win!”

For the near future, Mary plans to continue to teach, write books and hopefully inspire others to work with vintage fabrics.

You can learn more about Mary on her website.

Meet The Simi Valley Quilt Guild

The Simi Valley Quilt Guild was started over 30 years ago. With approximately 150 members, they meet the 2nd Wednesday of every month at the Simi Valley Senior Center.

The guild’s main philanthropy group is called, “Quilts in Force.” It is always ‘in-force’ sewing for others. Originally, the group made quilts for the Simi Valley Police Department to use in incidents where children were involved.  The goal now is to provide warmth and comfort to anyone in need whether it be from illness, fire, lack of resources, loss of a loved one, or other cause.

On their website, they post a poem dedicated to their members who have passed away but who are not forgotten:

Our family is like a patchwork quilt,
With kindness gently sewn.
Each piece is an original
With beauty all its own.
With threads of warmth and happiness,
It’s lightly stitched together,
To last in love throughout the years,
Our Family is forever.

(author unknown)

Walking in the atrium on Friday of Road 2017, no one could miss Simi Valley Quilt Guild’s Opportunity Quilt on display. Member Beth Bastian said they “wanted something bright” and that was certainly what they created.

All members in the guild had a chance to work on the quilt, receiving packets to work on various blocks. When completed, it was sent to a non-member gentleman to quilt. The drawing for the quilt was held at their regular meeting on February 8th. Proceeds benefited Pets for Vets and the Samaritan Center of Simi Valley, a homeless support center.

Road to California appreciates their partnership in supporting local quilt guilds like the Simi Valley Quilt Guild.

Couples Have Double The Fun At Road

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

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

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

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

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.