Get To Know The Valley Of The Mist Quilt Guild

Does your quilt guild have their quilt show outdoors?

That’s what the Valley of the Mist Quilt Guild has been doing for 19 years!! Their display quilts are exhibited on rustic buildings throughout Old Town Temecula, California for a two week “Quilt Walk.” After, the The Quilt Show culminates with a featured quilter, vendors, and two live quilt auctions.

This year’s opportunity quilt, “Sweet Treats,” which was on display at Road 2017, will also be awarded to a lucky winner at their quilt show.

Picture by Brian Roberts Photography

Formed in  September,1990, Valley of the Mist Quilt Guild is located in the Temecula Valley and promotes the knowledge and appreciation for all aspects of quilting and fiber arts.  The guild has a strong philanthropy heritage, sewing quilts, pillowcases, Christmas stockings, and baby blankets to donate to their community. This past year, they have also collected donations each month to put together kits that will be donated to veterans at nearby March Air Force Base.

A fun guild activity that they started this year was “The Charming Strip Exchange.”  Guild members brought strips they had cut from three different fabrics that followed a particular theme and exchange them with each other.

For more information about their quilt show or the guild, please visit their website.

Another Double Winner at Road 2017

Joanne Baeth won two, prestigious $1,000 awards at Road to California 2017:

Sponsored by Brother International Corporation, Joanne received 1st Place: Art Naturescape for Country Roads 

and, Sponsored by Robert Kaufman Co., Inc, 1st Place: Art Pictorial for Summer Lake Sandhills

Joanne Baeth finds lots of inspiration to create her winning quilts from where she lives in South Eastern Oregon. “I am constantly inspired by the wildlife and landscapes surrounding me,” says Joanne.

A quilter since the 1980’s making mostly “traditional quilts,” when Joanne retired from teaching 14 years ago, she rediscovered her love for quilting and art quilting became her passion.

Joanne did extensive research and worked on both of her winning quilts over a one and half year period. Joanne got interested in tractors, the subject of Country Roads, when she and her husband attended a Country Fair in Arizona a few years ago. They were intrigued by a display of antique tractors. Then, for the next several years after that experience, they started taking lots of pictures of old tractors they came across along back country roads. Joanne said that they “even jumped a few fences to get a closer view.” At the same time, Joanne’s neighbor, Hank, got her on a tractor chat line where she was able to learn all kinds of interesting information about tractors.

The construction for Country Roads incorporated overpainted fabric for the different parts of the tractors.  The barn and house, which were inspired from old pictures of Joanne’s husband’s grandmother’s house in North Dakota, were assembled one board at a time.  Joanne’s “very detailed” design also includes fences with cotton cording barbed wire, thread painted bushes and grasses, and silk snippets for the leaves of the trees not to mention “extensive” machine quilting.

A wetland refuge called Summer Lake near where Joanne lives, was the inspiration for Summer Lake Sandhills. It has a ridge which rises to over 7000 feet called Winter Rim where hundreds of Sandhill Cranes migrate to early each spring. Joanne and her husband took many pictures of this area for the basis of her quilt.

Again, Joanne used unique techniques in creating Summer Lake Sandhills. The Winter Rim in the quilt was painted with acrylic paints and puff paints were heat distressed to add texture.  The feathers of the Sandhills were individually cut out, highlighted with inks, and fused one feather at a time.  Thread painted bushes and reflections were added prior to the extensive machine quilting.

Road to California is always a stopping place for Joanne and her husband as they travel all over the West. She says that she enjoys reconnecting with other quilters, viewing all of the beautiful quilts on display, and, “if I’m lucky enough, win a prize.” She also likes to purchase all kinds of products that she “absolutely needs” at the many vendors that are available.

You can learn more about Joanne and her fiber arts on her website.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Meet Road 2018 Vendor And Teacher Lora Kennedy

“Life has a way of turning you upside down”

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

Lora and her mother, Virginia

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

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

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

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

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

Friday: 5065C   Drunkards Path

and on Saturday: 6063C   Storm at Sea

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

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

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

Meet Road 2018 Teacher Kristin Vierra

Kristin Vierra will be teaching two classes utilizing Gammill stand-up longarm machines on a stationary frame. These classes are on Monday 1014R   Fun Feathers that Fit Anywhere

and Tuesday: 2014R  Easy Background Fillers for Longarm Quilters

Kristin will also be teaching a class on Wednesday where Brother machines will be provided for each student’s use: 3016C  Easy English Paper Piecing by Machine 

Then, on Wednesday evening, Kristin will be teaching a design class (no machine necessary) 3068C  So I got it pieced, now what? 

A Lincoln, Nebraska native and former University of New Mexico nursing teacher, Kristin Vierra has also lived in California, Arizona, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, D.C., Tennessee, and Louisiana before returning back to her roots in Lincoln about 10 years ago.

Kristin’s great-grandma taught her mom how to quilt and in turn, Kristin’s mom taught Kristin how to sew. As Kristin says, she has always sewn in one form or another, and even made an occasional baby blanket.  Kristin tried hand quilting but thought hers “never looked right; instead of nice even stitching, I had Morse code. You know, dot, dot, dash, dash, dash.”  She also felt that she never seemed “coordinated enough to quilt on a domestic.”  Plus, it always made her shoulders ache on big projects. When Kristin moved back to Lincoln, she “was lucky enough to find a used Gammill Longarm. That was when I really actually started quilting. My longarm and I just clicked and the rest as they say is history.”

Kristin finds inspiration for her quilting literally “everywhere.”   It drives her husband and kids nuts because she has been known to come out of a bathroom and ask for the camera because there was a particularly cool tile that she wanted to use as inspiration for a quilt.  Architecture, carpets, nature, designs on people’s clothes— all are fair game to Kristin when it comes to quilting. 

While she uses many quilting tools, Kristin’s favorite is her design board.  She had it custom made out of clear plexiglass with registration marks to help her divide up blocks.  Kristin places it on top of a quilt and draws on it with dry erase markers.  It makes it really easy to audition designs, without having to mark the quilt or even worse rip out stitches. She’ll be demonstrating this tool in her “So I got it pieced, now what?” class.

Her best quilting tip is “don’t be afraid to try.”  Kristin admits that “some of my coolest creations have come from my biggest mistakes.”

Kristin’s favorite aspect of teaching is “that moment when you can see the ‘light bulb’ go on in someone’s head.” All of a sudden, “some concept or technique they have been struggling with becomes clear and they get so excited.” For Kristin, that’s the absolute best feeling to be a part of.

What does Kristin hope her student get out of her classes? “I want them to go away inspired and excited about whatever project they are going to work on next.  It doesn’t matter if you are making cuddle quilts or the next BOS winner.  All that matters is that you are enjoying yourself and having fun.”

To learn more about Kristin, please visit her website.

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Excellence in Longarm Quilting

Bethanne Nemesh won $1,500.00 at Road to California 2017 from sponsor American Professional Quilting Systems for Into the Western Sun.

When Bethanne Nemesh began quilting, she “could not tolerate” the fabric choices being sold in stores which she described as “grandma” style calicos.” Then, in college, she met a well-known fiber artist who specialized in dying and using printmaking techniques to create her own fabric. This experience and the “batik revolution” opened Bethanne’s eyes to all the different fabric possibilities—and she was hooked.

Into the Western Sun, remembers Bethanne, was inspired by two things: First, a trip she took to the American Southwest and second, a family story. Bethanne says that she was deeply touched by the color and shape of the desert, and in awe of the many plants and animals that manage to live there despite the harsh environment.

The family story was of Bethanne’s “many times great grandmother, Cora, who immigrated in a Conestoga wagon from Tennessee to Kansas to homestead a farm.”  Her story made Bethanne think of the entire westward expansion and the many settlers who were unsuccessful in their efforts, perishing on the journey.  Perhaps, considered Bethanne, “If they had been more knowledgeable or respectful of the landscape they had hoped to cross or tame, they would have fared better.”  It was also Bethanne’s hope to make an environmental statement; to encourage people to live within their environment and not try to control or tame it.

It took approximately 700 hours to complete Into the Western Sun. Bethanne does a lot of environmental research on her quilts. She enjoyed learning many new things about the desert.  And, as always, she also learned a few new quilt construction pros and cons for her next quilt.

Winning Excellence in Longarm Quilting was a “deep honor” for Bethanne. She intends to use her prize money for a family vacation.

Where does Bethanne go from here? Besides having several new quilts in the works, she intends to continue to grow as an artist and as a teacher. Bethanne enjoys meeting and learning from her students as much as they learn from her.

 

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.