Tag Archives: Matt Reese

What’s New For Road 2018

We have lots of new and exciting things for our guests at Road to California 2018

Already announced is the change in company leadership with Matt Reese as the new Show Owner.

Also previously announced is our new App– QuiltSpace. Guests are encouraged to upload the App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store before coming to the show so they can become familiar with it and bring any questions to the QuiltSpace Booth at the show.

Security has always been a high priority for Road.  As in past years, there will be a special security detail to protect vendors from shoplifters and other other undesirable activity.  A private ambulance service is hired by the Convention Center to assist guests with any medical needs they might have during the four days of the show. They are located at four stations in the Convention Center: under the stairs in the south lobby; in the pavilion tent; in the main hallway and in the north lobby. For 2018, due in part to the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, the Ontario Convention Center will be instituting new security protocol that includes each guest going through a metal detector and having their bags checked. 

Also, no outside food or drink (except water) will be allowed inside the Convention Center.

Road to California hosts a booth inside the main Exhibit Hall, stocked with all kinds of show merchandise.  These items are moderately priced for our guests and they make terrific souvenirs to take home to guild friends or fellow quilters.

Gray Sweatshirts and Lanyards  

Denim ShirtsCanvas Bags

For 2018, the bags are ready for guests to personalize and make them their own.

5X7 Rotary Cutting MatsGlass Nail Files

They carry the Road to California logo

and come in 5 colors.

Be sure to stop by the Road to California Booth to pick up these and other unique items.

Holiday Baking: A Reese And Road Tradition

What better way to step away from the hustle and bustle of Road to California 2018 planning than to do some holiday baking.holiday baking molasses cookies

Holiday baking is a Reese tradition. In the past, we have shared Carolyn Reese’s beloved peanut brittle and toffee recipes. In true Reese fashion, Jen Reese, wife of Road to California’s new owner Matt Reese, is spending some of her holiday time baking for family and friends as well.

Jen and Matt have known each other since high school.  They both played in the award winning Eitwanda High School Marching Eagle Regiment and were very good friends.  After high school, they kept in touch but didn’t actually start dating until after college.  They dated 11 months when Matt asked Jen to marry him on the show floor at Road.  They were engaged for a year and a half and have been married for three and a half years.

What was the first thing Jen baked for Matt? She has made so many treats for Matt over the years but two that stand out are Peanut Butter Brownie Cheesecake and Chocolate Fun Cake. Matt “loves everything” Jen makes but he really likes rice crispy treats made with Cheerios and peanut butter.

Holiday baking has been a tradition in Jen’s family for generations. Many of the recipes she uses today have been handed down through the years.  Making and creating cookie trays is Jen’s favorite holiday activity and is a true family affair. Everyone helps in the kitchen when she’s baking, even baby Braden. He got involved this year by “loving to watch all the mixing.”

The recipe Jen wanted to share is for Molasses Cookies, a recipe from her Great-Great Grandma.

While the recipe is pretty simple, Jen and her family have made some changes along the way. For one, instead of using oleo, they use butter. (Shortening also makes the cookies “extra tasty”).

Another important step is to mix-mix-and mix some more. After the dough is mixed thoroughly, Jen wraps it in plastic and sets it in the fridge until its firm.  This makes rolling it into balls so much easier and less messy.

To insure the balls are the same size and that they will cook evenly, Jen uses a cookie scoop. After the balls are made, she rolls them in sugar and puts them on a cookie tray, not too close together so they have room to spread out.

Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a cooling rack and watch them disappear.

Are you a holiday baker too? What is your family’s favorite holiday treat?

A New Generation For Road To California

One of the features that sets Road to California apart is that for the past 22 years, it has been a family owned and operated show. Purchased by Carolyn Reese in 1996, it began with just a few classes and through Carolyn’s vision, has become what it is known for today: a week long premiere quilt show hosting over 39,000 visitors from all over the world who come to see the hundreds of quilts on display, take classes taught by experts in the quilt and fiber art world, and visit over 225 nationally and internationally known vendors.

This past year saw Carolyn retire from Road and the show acquire new Reese leadership. Road’s new owner is Matt Reese, Carolyn’s grandson and someone very familiar with what makes Road to California the special venue that it is.

Through the years, Matt has held many different positions at Road.  He started out doing “go-for-it” work: moving teacher equipment from the storage rooms to the classrooms and back as well as handling other functions during the week of the show. In February 2008, Matt was hired to help with the logistical planning of the show which gave him the opportunity to get his hands in just about everything. After he graduated from California State University- Long Beach, Matt was promoted to show manager and worked full time at Road while attending and graduating from the University of LaVerne Law School.

Why did this young husband and father decide to purchase a quilt show? Explains Matt, “I am a fourth-generation small business owner. It’s in my blood to be in business. I was facing a decision of stability for the future of my family as to whether I was going to continue at Road, or leave to join the legal profession. I knew my grandmother was getting older and whatever uncertainty may occur if something were to happen to her, left me in a position where I would not be able to offer stability to my family. Therefore, my wife and I decided the easiest solution– and the one that I preferred the most — was to purchase Road.”

Of course, continuing to produce a top-quality quilt show is Matt’s highest priority. He is currently working on a couple of new and exciting ideas that will ensure that Road’s attendees continue to have the best possible experience. Additionally, Matt hopes these changes will have a positive influence throughout the quilting industry.

During Road 2018, Matt will be directing his staff, ensuring a smooth operation without micromanaging. Guests will be able to see him at a couple of the larger events like Party Time and the Trunk Show with Jenny Doan. Matt says he will know right away if he’s done a good job planning for this year’s show: the office will be quiet but the floor will be buzzing with activity.

Matt wants to assure Road’s guests that the familiar Reese faces will still be actively helping at the show. A cousin is still coming to be the night manager. His uncle Darrell will still be managing the daunting task of all the equipment and his Dad, Mike, will be up in the office. The Road booth will still be staffed by Matt’s mom and aunt and other cousins still living local will be involved and working the show. Guests will even see Matt’s wife Jen. She handles the contest quilt unpacking and shipping program. The only Reese not with a job currently is four-month-old Braden but Matt is confident they will find one for him as time goes on!!

After being in the business for so many years, Matt says he genuinely “loves all quilts” and feels that “they all have an important place in quilting.” He has quite the collection of Egyptian Tentmaker quilts and is starting to amass a collection of artistic miniatures. Matt has also started to think about collecting some antique quilts as well.

Through the years, he has had some wonderful gifted quilts given to him. One that stands out is from the ladies of Sew Kind of Wonderful. They presented Matt with a small, modern wall hanging last year which has become one of his favorites because “the quilting is fantastic and the color scheme perfectly matches my house.”

While Road 2018 is just a month away, Matt is already looking forward to 2019 and beyond.  As Matt explains, “It takes between 18-24 months to fully plan and prepare for an event. We pride ourselves on covering details that some other shows aren’t able to cover. A lot of our special touch comes from the lessons I learned from Carolyn’s travel as a vendor oh so long ago.”

Join us in welcoming Matt Reese, Road’s new owner, who is bringing a new generation of leadership to the world class event that has become Road to California.

Returning Quilts Safe and Sound

Why do our guests come to our show?

Some come for the vendors. Some come for the classes. Some come to see friends. But everyone comes for the quilts.

Show quilts accepted for our annual contest and for special exhibits begin arriving at our office in December. The quilts are meticulously logged in and stored until the Sunday before the show when they are moved to the Ontario Convention Center for judging and displaying.

When the show closes on Sunday at 3:30 PM, dismantling the many quilt displays begins immediately. Each quilt is removed by white-gloved volunteers and carefully stored until the next day, when the process for packaging and shipping begins.

Other large shows can take up to a month to return their show quilts to the makers. At Road to California, we pride ourselves in developing a process where over 1,000 quilts are readied for pick-up by FedEx by Monday afternoon following the show.

Show Director, Matt Reese, personally oversees the packing and shipping of the quilts. “This is the only part of the show that I am 100% directly responsible for,” commented Matt. “I do not delegate this responsibility to anyone. I have retained full oversight even when I was in law school and even when I was sick.”

Matt has spent the past three years perfecting Road’s packing and shipping method. His goal is to have the job done as quickly as possible without compromise. Matt says using computers, having multiple packing stations, and hand-picked volunteers make the difference.

Because of bad weather, Matt received extra volunteer help this year from Road 2017 Vendor Maria Tamaoka of Pinwheels,  Road 2017 Vendor and Teacher Pat Yamin of Come Quilt With Me 

and Road 2017 teacher Patt Blair

They were a great help.

Each quilt has a return instruction sheet completed by its owner that accompanies it throughout the 5-step Shipping and Packaging Process:

Step 1- Expediting

One person verifies the return instruction sheet along with the quilt’s assigned tracking number and a volunteer matches it to the quilt.

Step 2- Packaging

A volunteer folds the quilt as it was originally received, per the owner’s direction, and puts it in a plastic bag to protect it against any possible insect or water damage in shipping.

The quilt is then placed in a brand-new box that matches the dimensions requested by the owner.

Occasionally, when a quilt is received, the owner asks to have it returned in the box they provided. In those cases, Road holds on to the boxes until final shipment. And sometimes two quilts are returned to the same owner in the same box.

Our shipping boxes are put together on site. This year, all boxes were assembled by volunteer Randy Graves, quilter Stevii Graves’ husband. An engineer by profession, we knew the boxes would be well constructed!!


All boxes are then filled with acid-free packing paper to avoid movement in shipping.

Step 4-Weighing

All boxes are weighed on a scale and the weight is recorded on the return instruction sheet.

Step 4-Computer Station

This is the final check point for the quilt. It’s number and box contents are verified and a packing label is printed.

Step 5-Sealing and Mailing

The boxes are sealed and the mailing label is affixed. Also, the number of the quilt is written on the side of the box. All sealed boxes are stacked, ready and waiting for the FedEx truck to arrive. The FedEx driver loads the boxes, verifies the order and takes all the boxes to their main hub at Ontario International Airport for shipping.

This year, the packing and shipping was done in record time. Anxious owners should be receiving their quilts safe and sound by the end of the week.



A Birthday Wish

Road to California is all about family. It is a family run business under the direction of owner Carolyn Reese, managed by grandson Matt Reese, a business dedicated to promoting a feeling of  family for all who attends.   And while you’ll see various members of the Reese family participating in putting on the show, there is one member of their family who can’t join in but who is always close in thought. 

Glenda Kaye White is Carolyn’s sister.  Born November 23, 1944, Glenda suffered a birth injury which left her with the mental capacity of a seven year old. When Glenda was younger, Carolyn’s mother took care of all of her needs and made sure that Glenda was provided opportunities to experience the world around her. Today, Glenda is happy and doesn’t have a care in the world. She lives in a special facility in Upland, California. Glenda’s favorites include country music, “I Love Lucy” re-runs, the color red, and the song, “You are my Sunshine.” But more than anything else, Glenda LOVES GETTING MAIL.  Birthday cards, postcards, holiday cards, short notes — anything that the postman delivers just for her brings true joy and excitement in to Glenda’s life. She collects each and every letter and safe keeps them in her special RED purse to read over and over again.

So, in honor of Glenda’s birthday and the holiday season that is fast approaching, the Reese family would like to ask a favor of you, our Road extended family….Would you mind sending a card to Glenda? A belated birthday wish, a holiday message — any kind of card would do. Our hope is that Glenda will receive lots and lots of mail, beginning today, through Thanksgiving, and on to the entire month of December. Can you imagine what a thrill it would be for her? Here is her address: 


Glenda Kaye White

1289 North 3rd

Upland, California 91786


You can be sure that this small act of kindness will make a world of difference to one woman’s life.  A real birthday wish come true!!!