Tag Archives: Quilt Blocks

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.

 

Meet Road 2016 Vendor: Southern California Quilts of Valor

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 in Delaware and is an ongoing national service effort whose mission is to “cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.” The quilts serve as tangible reminders of appreciation and gratitude to service members and unequivocally say, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor.”

The Long Beach Chapter of Quilts of Valor is headed by Chairman, Barbara Winkler.

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Barbara tore her tendons and had surgery on her foot before Road. Being in a wheelchair did not hold her back from sharing her group’s message!! Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

They have been a vendor at Road to California since 2007, meeting quilters and piecers, encouraging them to be a part of this great cause.  Of their booth, Barbara commented, “We get great exposure at Road, making connections from all over.”

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Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

The group also receives donations during the show ranging from quilt tops to selling raffle tickets for their opportunity quilt. The drawing for their opportunity quilt is held annually on Veterans Day at the Long Beach VA Hospital.

During the year, Long Beach Quilts of Valor goes to various veteran events around Southern California, telling their story and presenting quilts. In 2015, they gave away 417 quilts to service members and veterans. At the time of Road 2016, they had already given away 134 quilts with 78 more being donated January 26th to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers affiliated with the West Los Angeles Veteran Hospital.

Not every recipient requests a patriotic themed quilt; it can be a painful reminder of what they went through, especially with POW’s. For those instances, Quilts of Valor volunteers make quilts in a range of colors and themes such as animals or sports. “You never know what a veteran will request. Whatever type of quilt we make, it always finds its rightful owner,” remarked Barbara. No matter what the quilt looks like, all quilts given by Quilts of Valor are numbered.

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Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Each year the Southern California Quilts of Valor in Long Beach sponsors a Sew Day at Lakewood High School. This year it will be held on Saturday, February 20th, from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM in the school cafeteria. Between 50 and 100 students and parents are expected to participate in sewing quilts as a means to give back to the community.  Quilters from the community are welcomed to come assist the young sewers.

Since the 10 years the Long Beach Quilts of Valor has been organized, they have given away over 3,480 quilts. In 2015, the chapter presented a quilt to one of the last survivors (at the time of the gift, there were only 9 alive at the time) of the USS Arizona that was sunk in Pearl Harbor. For Barbara, one of the most touching donations was to a veteran from the Korean War. “He told me he had waited 62 years for someone to say thank you.”

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Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Are you interested in helping with Quilts of Valor? Until December 31, 2016, they are sponsoring “BE A STAR – FOR OUR TROOPS” Participants are asked to contribute two star themed quilt blocks every two months. The only requirements are the blocks need to be 12.5” X 12.5” (12” finished), one block must have the focus color/print as the star with white as the background and the other block must have the color/print as the background and white as the star. The remaining two month periods and their themes are:

March thru April: Blue                                    May thru June: Patriotic

July thru August: Gold                                   September thru October: Service Branch Specific

November thru December: Maker’s Choice

Long Beach Quilts of Valor will assemble the quilts, make bindings, and supply the backings.

For information about this project, Sew Day at Lakewood High School, or Long Beach Quilts of Valor, contact Barbara Winkler at 562-925-7673 or email socalqov@aol.com