Tag Archives: Anita Grossman Solomon

Charity Quilt Hand-Off

At Road 2017, Road to California sponsored its first Roadies Give Back charity quilt project to benefit cancer patients at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center at Pomona Valley Hospital .

Before the show, Anita Grossman Solomon created a quilt block pattern just for this project and made it available for quilters around the country to sew the blocks that were going to be used for the project.

Anita is pictured along with Matt Reese and Matt’s mom, Shellee Reese, an administrator at the Cancer Care Center.

Then, on Saturday night of the show, quilters, some class teachers, and even a few vendors, got together in the Ontario Convention Center to sew the blocks together into lap size quilts as well as begin quilting the quilts.After the show, unfinished quilts were given to the Nite Owl Quilt Guild  to finish the quilting. In the end, 41 quilts  were completed.

On June 29, 2017, Road to California owner, Matt Reese, along with his wife Jennifer, presented to the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center the Roadies Give Back quilts which will be given to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at the center.

Each unique quilt was folded into a Road to California reusable bag, accompanied with a card explaining the significance of the quilt and its care instructions.

While they were there, Matt personally distributed quilts to five patients including:

Joseph Derowen has been a patient at the center since December, 2016. He said that he “really appreciated” the gesture because 99.9% of the time, he is cold when he receives his treatment. He was looking forward to trading his “funky jacket” for the quilt to keep him warm. Joseph’s wife, Elaine, thought receiving the quilt was “very thoughtful” and was grateful that now her husband will be “wrapped in love.”  

Joyce is battling Breast Cancer. She knew that the quilts were “a lot of work” and remarked how beautiful hers was. Joyce commented that it was “very generous for the quilters to donate their time and materials.”

Petra de Leon has been battling Lymphoma since April. Petra replied in Spanish, “I am very happy to get this quilt. It is very pretty.”

Ray Hardy told Matt, “No one has ever given me a quilt before. This is cool.”

Road to California wishes to thank everyone who participated in this special project. They look forward to offering Roadies Give Back again in the future.

Giving Back With Love And Stitches

On Saturday, January 21st, more than 40 quilt enthusiasts gathered at the Ontario Convention Center for the first ever, Roadies Give Back, a quilt-a-thon benefitting cancer patients at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center at Pomona Valley Hospital in Pomona, California.

The event was planned by Road to California Director, Matt Reese, as a way for show attendees to get involved in the local community. In the past, Road offered speakers on Saturday night but in recent years, the attendance had been waning. Matt had hoped that by offering Roadies Give Back, that it would draw in lots of quilters who wanted to be a part of a worthwhile activity. And it did!!

A “whole lot of planning” went in to Roadies Give Back. Last October, a request went out for blocks that would be made into the quilts for the event. Road 2017 teacher, award winning quilter and author, Anita Grossman Solomon, designed the pattern for the blocks—her variation of Jacob’s Ladder. By the time of the event, Road had received hundreds of blocks from people all over the country.

Two rooms in the convention center were designated for the activity – a sewing room and a quilting room – where volunteers did their work. In the sewing room, Moore’s  donated the Baby Lock sewing machines that were used and Baby Lock donated the thread. Stitchers efficiently sewed the quilt blocks together to make the quilt tops.

After, the tops were made, they were passed on to the quilters in the quilting room for finishing. Batting was supplied by Mountain Mist, fabric for the quilt backs was donated from various fabric vendors at the show, and the Bernina sit-down longarm machines were donated from Mel’s Sewing & Fabric Center. Some of the quilters had never used a longarm before, so it was a great opportunity not only to quilt for charity but also to experiment with high-quality Bernina machines. Even Matt tried it out.

Four quilting buddies–Barbara, Lynn, Debbie, and Kathy — came ready to sew in their “cancer jammie pants.” Barbara is from Los Olivos, CA; Lynn and Debbie came from Solvang, CA; and Kathy came all the way from Utah. All women have members of their family or friends who have died from cancer or who are suffering through it currently. Together, they brought 81 blocks for the event (Kathy’s Utah friends contributed 55 of those blocks!!) Said Lynn, “Our charity quilts in our guilds make a difference where we live. We knew helping with Roadies Give Back will make a difference in Ontario too.”   Joe, a quilter for over 20 years, came to the event as a way to support his mother who just went through breast cancer surgery last July. While he was helping his mom, he found out that his sister had the same surgery two weeks before his mom.  Joe made 15 blocks to bring to the event.

Anita Grossman Solomon stopped by to see all the blocks and watched them come together in the various quilt tops. She commented that she was “in awe that Road, on top of everything else, got it all together to present this event.” Anita was admiring the work of Carol Payne from Texas who said, “I love to sew and I especially love to sew with a group. This is better than laying in my room watching TV.”

Throughout the night, Road gave away raffle tickets and had drawings to encourage the sewers. Prizes included swag bags from several of the Road vendors and tickets to Party Time at Road 2018.

In the quilting room, Wonderfil Specialty Threads vendor, Joanne from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who is also a retired nurse, wanted to help out because she had a good friend pass away from cancer in June, 2016. About the event, Joanne said, “It is fun whenever quilters get together.”

Mother and daughter, Gerry and Feliz, wanted to help out as a way to honor their husband and father who passed away from cancer. Feliz said they wanted to participate as a way to give back. Gerry brought 50 blocks that she had made before the show and commented, “This is wonderful. I would do it again.”

Shellee Reese, Matt’s mom and the Administration Director at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Center, said that the quilts will be given to chemotherapy patients because they “get really cold during their treatment.” After watching the volunteers hard at work, Shellee remarked, “Cancer has touched most people and the quilters are so generous. It touches my heart to see what is going on here tonight.”

By the end of the night, many, many quilts were completed—but not all. Road to California is going to give the remaining blocks and quilt tops to local guilds to finish before the quilts are presented to the cancer center.

To sum up this first ever Roadies Give Back, Matt Reese said it was definitely worth doing. “I have been amazed at how charitable the quilters were to give of their time and their resources. These quilts will give hope to the patients who receive them.”

 

Meet Road 2017 Faculty Anita Grossman Solomon

Anita Grossman Solomon will be teaching six classes, Wednesday through Sunday, at Road to California 2017:

Wednesday 3005C and Sunday 7004C:  Self-Mitered Log CabinSelf-Mitered Log Cabin Top (detail) Straight Furrows

Thursday: 4004C  Two-Color Pineapple solomon-two-color-pineapple

Friday: 5004C Big Bang Starsags-big-bang-stars

Saturday (Half-day Morning Class):  6004C  BeJeweled solomon-anita-grossman-jewel-quilt-top

Saturday (Half-day Afternoon Class): 6012C Double Wrench

Double Wrench Quilt

Double Wrench Quilt

New York native, Anita Grossman Solomon, grew up in Niagara Falls, New York.  She learned to sew garments at the Singer Sewing Center on Falls Street where she “aced” her first dart on a treadle sewing machine!! After graduating from college as an art major, Anita immediately moved to Manhattan where she lives today. Her office and sewing room/studio are both within her apartment. Anita says when she needs to venture outside, she turns “on the Today show to see what the bystanders are wearing” to know how to dress for the day,anita-grossman-solomon-bio-photo-courtesy-craftsy

The idea to start her company, Make It Simpler, began in the summer of 2001. Anita was attending a C&T Publishing retreat in northern California and showed their acquisitions editor Polaroid pictures of her work.  The editor took notice of Anita’s workaround methods and said, “I know what you do, you make it simpler.” A week later, Anita registered the domain name for Make It Simpler.

Quilt blocks are what inspire Anita and define her work. “Just place one in front of my eyes and I’m fascinated.” Her first  block design for Make It Simpler was a paper piecing pattern for an unusual quilt block based on a block found on the cover of a book by Terri Zegart. “The block engaged and soothed me when I needed a distraction from the real world, ” recalled Anita. “As I closed my eyes to sleep, a radical new way to paper piece came to mind.” That began Anita’s relationship with C&T Publishing and her innovative paper piecing books.

What is Anita’s favorite sewing tip?  “To thine own self be true. Make what you like and enjoy. Do what comes naturally. Trust your color and design instincts.”

In her Road classes, Anita hopes her students “get satisfaction from my techniques and leave with inspired additions to their quilt-making repertoire. A lucky someone in each of my classes will win a fat quarter bundle of Make It Simpler KONA cottons courtesy of Robert Kaufman Fabrics. As for me, I always win when someone tells me ‘That tip was  worth the price of admission’.”

Road to California appreciates Anita’s contribution to their charity quilt event at Road 2017 on Saturday evening, Roadies Give Back Anita specially designed the block that is being used for the quilts, deconstructing and making simpler her favorite block, Jacob’s Ladder. Of the event benefiting the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center, Anita says. “I’m finding comfort while sewing my blocks for Road. I hope you’ll follow (Road’s) footsteps and assemble a block. You can’t fathom what’s missing from the process until you try it for yourself.”

Anita is really looking forward to being at Road 2017.  She hopes to “run into quilters I’ve previously met, see what they’ve been up to, and look at every quilt in the Show.” She bets that while she is in sunny California, when she turns on the Today show, she’ll see everyone in New York walking around in the snow!!

You can learn more about Anita at her website and on Craftsy.