Tag Archives: Quilt Show

Daily Giveaways Leading Up To Road 2018

All of us at Road to California are busily getting everything ready for Road 2018. We can’t wait to open the doors of the Ontario Convention Center January 18 – 21, 2018 and welcome all our guests to our biggest and best Quilter’s Conference and Showcase yet.

We are excited to be giving away over $90,000 in prize money for the winning quilts in our quilt contest; to be offering over a hundred classes taught by exceptional faculty; and to open our vendor mall with over 225 international and nationally known retailers.

We want all of our dedicated and supportive followers to get just as excited as we are for Road to California 2018. So, as we count down the days to the show’s opening, we’re going to be offering a daily giveaway from January 3rd through January 12th. Daily prizes have been generously donated from some of our wonderful 2018 teachers and vendors and include quilt patterns, DVD’s, books, embroidery design, and kits. The final prize to be offered – THE GRAND PRIZE – will be:

Entering is easy. Simply follow our Road to California Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/road2ca and our Instagram Account @road2ca every day to see what we are offering. Then, simply comment on the Facebook Post and the Instagram Post as directed. All comments entered by midnight each day will be counted and a winner will be chosen using Random Number Generator. Notification of each winner will be given the following day. The GRAND PRIZE winner will be notified January 13th.  Good luck to everyone who enters.

Join the fun and get excited!!!

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.

Meet The Big Bear Lake Quilters Guild

Do you know the community of Big Bear Lake? It is a unique mountain resort community located 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. About 21,000 residents make their home here full-time.

Best known for its recreational opportunities like fishing, water sports, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, tours and winter sports, it also a haven for quilting. Big Bear Lake has two quilt guilds and two quilt shops in this small community!! It is also a popular destination for quilt retreats.

The Big Bear Lake Quilters Guild has around 50 members. They meet monthly the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Patchworks Quilt Shop. ”Patches of Love” is the name they give to their philanthropy work. Their members make quilts that are given to children who are picked up in police cars or fire trucks after a traumatic event. They also support military families with quilts. When a family has a new baby and their father is deployed, they present the new baby with a quilt.

Their annual quilt show is being held this year August 4th and 5th at The Lodge at Big Bear Lake. They have invited vendors as well as showcasing quilts from the area. At Road 2017, the guild had their show’s opportunity quilt on display. What makes this quilt original is that there is a hidden bear in the design of the quilt. The guild enjoys asking contributors for this fund raiser to see if they can find the bear. It gives people the chance to see the quilt up close and is “lots of fun.”  Can you find the bear? Road to California loves supporting local quit guilds and their endeavors. Opportunities are given on a first come basis to showcase opportunity quilts.

Participating guilds must provide 20 hours of white glove service to Road for each day your quilt is displayed. For more information, please visit our 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.

Meet Road’s Display Manager Debby Bennett

Road 2017 began a new era for displaying quilts accepted in to Road’s annual quilt contest.

Continuing the tradition of a family owned and operated  quilt show, Debby Bennett, mother-in-law to Road’s Show Manager Matt Reese, was hired to freshen up the displays located throughout the main Exhibit Hall.

Work began in mid-December, 2016, to plan out the exhibits. Debby reported that her goal for the displays was to organize the quilts by category. Within each category, Debby worked with size, colors and themes to highlight each quilt.

At that time, all Debby had to work with were the pictures and dimensions of all the quilts accepted for the contest. It took Debby and her daughter, Jennifer (Matt’s wife), approximately 30 hours to organize and map out the 255 contest quilts. This was all just preliminary work until the winning quilts were chosen (the day before Preview Night) and adjustments would have to be made to the original plans.

During the judging, Debby was present so that she could have access to each winner’s information. When the judging was completed on Tuesday, Debby re-mapped the winners’ booths and fine-tuned the rest of the booths.  

Because maps of the display areas were prepared earlier, Debby felt the hanging process went by more quickly and efficiently than in the past. It took Debby and her team of 15 volunteers approximately 10 hours to hang all the quilts.  

When her job was done, Debby became a regular guest at the show, shopping and enjoying the quilts. She also was able to have a fun evening with her family at Party Time.

What did Debby think about her first experience as display manager? “I had so much fun.” Debby was able to use her organizational skills as well as her creativity to create quilt displays that she was “very proud of.” Debby added, “The group of volunteers that hung the quilts were so welcoming to the ‘newcomer’ and receptive to my new ways. I couldn’t have done it without their quilt hanging expertise. It was truly a team effort.”

Debby is looking forward to continuing her position at Road 2018. However, she is going to make sure that she has her own tool box next time around, something she wished she had had last January!!

What was your favorite winning quilt on display?


Mothers and Daughters Who Quilt

Spotted at Road 2016 were these mother/daughter quilters:Williams

Charlotte and Brittany Williams are from Riverside, California. Both quilters, Road 2016 was their first time at the show. They heard about it from their quilt guild, Raincross Quilt Guild in Riverside.  Charlotte’s running partner taught her how to quilt in 2012. Brittany has only been quilting for 6 months. Since starting, she has made 7 quilts; six of them in the two months prior to the show.  She has done a lot of hand work in the past (knitting and crocheting) so quilting was a natural addition. Her favorite pattern so far is a nine patch and disappearing nine patch.Marina and Everleigh

It’s never too early to share your love of quilting with your daughter. Marina Caraway brought her 1 year old daughter, Everleigh, to the show.EverleighMarina loves to quilt. Road 2016 was her first time at the show. She bought a kit for a block-of-the-month quilt and thought the displays “were beautiful.” She can’t wait to come back next year.


Grandmother Judy Brink, daughter Lori Vandenburg, and granddaughter Allison Vandenburg (9) like to go to their own quilt retreat twice a year in Palm Springs. It is a great time for them to share, swim, and quilt. Alison’s first time at Road was when she was 6 weeks old. She likes sewing pillowcases and taking the scraps from her mother and grandmother’s quilts and making little handbags. Lori’s first quilt was a baby quilt for Allison that Judy helped her make. Judy has been sewing since she was 6 years old. Judy’s mother taught her how to sew and at age 91, she is still participating in her church’s sewing circle.Yoshimura

The first time Valerie Yoshimura and her daughter, Vivian Shay (13) came to Road it was in 2014, two hours before closing on Sunday afternoon. “Whoops!!!” was their reaction. This past year, they knew better and stayed two nights at a local hotel so that they could take their time enjoying the show.  Vivian designs her own clothes and has taught herself how to draw her own patterns. Valerie sews, embroiders, and hopes to be a quilter someday. She liked seeing what people do with their creativity. Remarked Valerie, “Road is not just for quilters. Anyone involved in fabric arts has a place here. It is worth taking a day off for!!”Germain

Road 2016 was the third time Angie and Georgia Germain have come to the show. Residents of Escondido, California (near San Diego), Georgia, age 14, said she sees new things every time she comes. She has been sewing since she was 10 with her mom’s encouragement.  She says it is a way for her to use her art skills. Georgia has made one quilt by herself and has helped her mom make others. Quilting is a hobby they enjoy doing together — and going to Road!!


A “Couple” Of Quilters

Road to California is even more fun when shared with a spouse.


Meet Jan and Mike Rowe of Perth, Australia. (In case you were wondering, their air flights from Perth to Ontario, California took 18-1/2 hours!!).  Art and quilting are Jan’s passions. Her interest in quilting began 20 years ago when she was visiting her sister in England and ran across a sign advertising a quilt show. She has been quilting ever since, favoring “contemporary” designs. In 2001, she started teaching quilting. Mike and Jan travel all over the world, picking themes for their trips that almost always include a stop at some quilting venue. They came to Road as part of a one month tour around California for their 44th wedding anniversary. Mike is “very supportive of Jan’s quilting interests and turns a blind eye to her shopping.”



Road 2015 was Gary and Laynee Greenberg’s third visit to Road. From Fresno, California, Laynee taught kindergarten for 20 years, retiring in 2011. She started quilting after she retired. They always come to Road together. Gary enjoys supporting Laynee in her quilting hobby. In return, Laynee goes with Gary to his HAM radio events. Both Laynee and Gary appreciate the creativity that goes in to the quilts they see at Road. Gary observed,  “They are incredible.”



Photo by Gregory Case Photography

Photo by Gregory Case Photography

Mel and Chong Ogawa drive up from their home in San Clemente, California to spend a day together at Road. Road 2015 marked their fourth time visiting the show. Mel says he comes along to offer “moral support” — and to manage Chong’s shopping bags. Chong has been quilting for 15 years. She likes to incorporate Hawaiian fabrics in her designs. Both Mel and Chong like viewing the exhibits. Chong likes to get new ideas from other quilters while Mel admires the quilts because they “look just like pictures.”   

Have you considered bringing your spouse to Road?

Meet the Glendale Quilt Guild

The Glendale Quilt Guild’s 36th Annual Quilt Show and Retreat is this weekend, March 13 and 14, 2015 at the Pasadena Convention Center.Glendale Quilt Guild1

The Glendale Quilt Guild meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the first Congregational Church of Glendale. The guild has over 200 members. Tim Spinn has been a member for four years and is the newsletter editor. “I love the guild, says Tim. “There are always great educational opportunities and charity quilts to be made. It is a fun group to belong to.”Glendale Quilt Guild3

Loving Hands is the name of the guild’s committee that makes and donates quilts to worthy causes. They provide hundreds of quilts each year to various organizations including  LAC/USC Hospital, Glendale Adventist Hospitals, Veteran’s  Residential Facility, Alzheimer’s  Disease  Cooperative Study, Family Promise of East San Fernando Valley, Glendale YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter, Kaiser Hospice, MEND and the Foster Care Project at All Saints’ Episcopal Church Pasadena.

Carol Andrews is the “beloved member and founder” of the Glendale Quilt Guild and the Glendale Quilt Guild annual Quilt Show and Retreat.  In 1979, after attending a quilt conference in Palo Alto, California, Carol decided that “We need a quilt show in Glendale.” Carol enlisted the help of her quilt students and organized the First Annual Quilt Show of Glendale in 1980 at the YWCA on Lexington Avenue in Glendale. One of the vendors at that first show was none other than Road’s Carolyn Reese, who owned the Fabric Patch at the time. Carol oversaw the quilt show in Glendale for three years before turning full responsibility for the show over to the guild.  Glendale Quilt Guild2


Glendale Quilt Guild4

Photo- Gregory Case Photography

The theme for this year’s show is Home Is Where The Quilt Is. Their opportunity quilt, which was on display on Saturday at Road to California, has at its focal point, a log cabin house surrounded by log cabin blocks. The main quilt blocks were sewn by members of the guild with fabric donated by guild members.  

Road to California is pleased to announce that the Glendale Quilt Guild  has been selected as the featured Southern California Quilt Guild for Road 2016. The guild will be responsible for providing the quilts for the special atrium exhibit  located in the Arcade of the Ontario Convention Center. Congratulations, Glendale Quilt Guild!!


So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Thoughts From Our 2013 Masterpiece Winner

Denise Havlan of Plainfield, Illinois, was awarded $3,000 from Sew Batik for her winning entry, The Peaceful Ones. This quilt took 2 years to create as Denise balanced her quilting time with her family and grandchildren time. 

How did Denise get started in quilting? Back in 1989, she unknowingly entered a quilt shop and was interested in what she saw. However, she “had no knowledge of sewing, let alone quilting. I took some classes and fell in love and the rest, as they say, is history.”

The Peaceful Ones was inspired by her favorite subject as a painter: Native Americans. When Denise started quilting, she wanted to render their images in fabric. Her work process was a journey that involved stretching her imagination, extending her physical capabilities, and making creative decisions that affected the outcome of her work.10731

What was Denise’s reaction when she won the Masterpiece prize? “It was the ultimate satisfaction when others recognized (my) creative efforts.” Denise feels that if one puts so much effort into a quilt, it needs to be recognized. She says it is thrilling to have other’s see her work in a quilt show and to come home with a ribbon is great.  When asked if she did anything special with her prize money, Denise replied, “The prize money is always spent before I get it…the ribbon is my award that lives on!”

There is no stopping Denise with her quilting endeavors. It is “forward in to the future” for her.


Why I Came To Road…The Three Top Reasons

We know that Road to California is the “Best in the West” Quilter’s Conference and Showcase. And we are grateful that over 20,000 attendees who visited this year’s show felt the same way. What brings our guests to Road? During the past show, we asked around and got all kinds of great responses. Here were the top three:

1) Variety: Alice from Reno, Nevada, was invited by her cousin to attend. She remarked, “I didn’t realize there was so much to see.” From the quilt displays, special exhibits, vendor booths to the classes and lectures, “There’s too much to get it all in a day.”(Most guests attend a minimum of two days) Valerie, a first time guest from Novato, California, observed, “The quality of the quilts is impressive. So many different techniques and styles to see and appreciate.”vendors__i4c5733

2) Fellowship and Friendship: Joyce, has been coming for the past four years from a remote town in Washington. She has to travel by boat, then prop lane, and finally a jet to reach Ontario, California. Coming to Road gives her a chance to meet up with fellow quilters, buy supplies, and be exposed to things that aren’t available at her distant home.



Then there are the four friends, Betty, Karen, Norma and another Karen, each from a different city around the state of Washington State.  They became interested when they saw an advertisement  for Road and thought it would be a good place to stay connected.


Debbi and Golda have been friends for over 58 years. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Debbi now lives in Alaska and Golda lives in Barstow, California. Since 2007, they have met up at Road, take a couple of classes together, then go back to Golda’s house and spend a week or two finishing their projects before Debbi heads back to Alaska.


3) Inspiration: Judy, from Florida, finds Road to be the perfect outlet to” get her out of her comfort zone,” and find new challenges to explore. By watching demonstrations, she finds out about the latest techniques to take back and try at home. She makes the most of her week by signing up for three night time events and a lecture a day. For Linda, from Mission Viejo, California, Road is “my vacation—I love it!!” When you are relaxed and away from it all, you can let the creative juices flow.


Road to California is a great place to be inspired, find friends, and be exposed to all kinds of quilting delight. Mark your calendars now for next year’s show. The dates for Road to California 2014 are January 23-26. Hotel reservations can be made now. Show and Class Registration starts on July 13, 2013. For more information, check our web site: www.road2ca.com.

What brings you to Road?