Tag Archives: Road to California

Our Staff Make The Difference

Road to California is a family owned enterprise. However, the Reese family knows that it takes many dedicated employees to insure the show remains the best quilt show in the West. Most of our staff have been working with the show for many years. They keep coming back because they love sharing their love of quilting with the thousands of people who attend the show through their contributions behind the scenes.    

Cathy Norell was Road’s first employee outside of the Reese Family. She started with the show in 1991 when it was housed at the original Marriott Hotel on Holt Boulevard. At the time, Road to California consisted of only a few classes. By its third year, Cathy remembers, it had grown to a full show offering not only classes but vendors and even a fashion show. Cathy started out helping with registration and has for many years worked with the vendors, personally greeting them every day, making sure they have everything they need for a successful show. She says that she really looks forward to seeing the vendors each year. They have become “like family to me.” A quilter for over 70 years, her favorite quilts are the ones “that can be dragged around and loved.”      

Traditional quilters Patti McCormick and Karen Jones, have become familiar faces to guests in the main hallway as they assist with registration and information.

Patti has worked with Road for 18 years helping with buses, classes, and registration. At Road 2018, she was in charge of checking people in, helping them with their packets, and answering general information. Her favorite part of Road is seeing the show come all together and meeting people from many places with many different quilt interests.

Stationed at the North Registration desk, Karen not only answered questions and gave directions during Road 2018, she helped guests with their entries to the daily giveaways. Seeing the excitement of the guests is one of Karen’s favorite things about the show. In addition, Karen really gets in to the spirit of the show with her quilt jewelry.   

Husband and wife, Rae and Michael, are both quilters and are both part of Road’s staff. Rae is busy before the show even starts, checking in the vendors when they arrive to set up. Michael also helps with setting up the vendor floor. During the show, he is busy offering support for the classrooms.

Rae says that working for Road is “fun” and that she enjoys getting to know the people behind the scenes.

We appreciate these and many more diligent staffers who truly make the difference in helping us present a quality show.

 

 

Road 2018 Was A Huge Success!!

How to describe Road to California 2018?

The sun was shining.

Teachers and their classes were creating.

The vendor floors were busy.

Guests kept coming.

And best of all, the quilts were amazing!!!

Best of Show, “Fractal,” by Claudia Pfeil

Not only was Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Company, a popular teacher…

…her Trunk Show was inspiring.

Road’s Founder, Carolyn Reese, was honored by the Ontario Convention Center’s President and CEO, Michael Krause, for being a loyal business partner to the City of Ontario, the Convention Center, and the Community.

The new App, QuiltSpace, was enjoyed by thousands of users. The winner of the App’s Quilter Choice Award went to “Your Place or Mine” by Marva-lee Otos. She received $500 for receiving the most votes from the App users.

“Your Place or Mine,” by Marva-lee Otos

And Road’s new owner, Matt Reese, still found time to give 5 month old son, Braden, a tour of the show.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making Road 2018  “The Happening Place to Be.” We can’t wait to start planning next year’s show!!

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 Appeal

Did you know that people not only come from around the United States to attend Road to California, but they also come from around the world?

Birgit, Heike and Ute are from West Germany.  These friends have been quilters for over 20 years and belong to the same quilt group.

Birgit, Heike and Ute from Germany

They planned for two years to come for their first visit to Road. Ute owns a quilt shop in North Germany near Hamburg and was on the lookout for some quilting adventure ideas. It was actually Heike who had heard about Road to California and suggested it to the others. They made the most of every opportunity at the show, including taking one of the bus excursions offered by Road. They were excited to see the stops in Southern California as well as visit the quilt shops along the tour.

Road 2017 was also the first visit for these friends from Mexico City.

Silvia, Lourdes, Monica and Maria from Mexico.

Silvia organized the group’s visit which included all of them taking several classes. She owns a quilting studio (“The best in Mexico!!” declared Lourdes) as well as organizes Mexico’s Quilt Festival every September in Mexico City. Silvia has attended other shows in the United States and had been trying for years to come to Road. They are all long-time quilters who were anxious to learn new techniques in their classes, find new gadgets, meet new people, and “have fun.” Silvia remarked, “The people who come are the best part of the show. Quilters are nice people.” In addition to participating in all of the Road activities, the ladies also visited iconic downtown Los Angeles landmarks like the Museum of Modern Art and the Catholic Cathedral. They all hoped that this would be the first of many trips to Road to California.

These three friends traveled from a rural area east of Calgary, Canada to attend Road 2017.

Sue, Heather, and Karen from Canada

Heather was the ringleader for this trip. She learned about Road to California on Facebook. The timing was good to come this year and it didn’t hurt that they would be “getting out of the snow.” They were in Southern California for nine nights, planning their trip well in advance of when registration for Road opened last July. Heather created a spreadsheet of all they wanted to accomplish while they were here!!  Each of the women took classes (7 in all) to further their education “past piecing.” They were also interested in taking longarm classes as both Heather and Karen own longarm machines. They were also sure to include Party Time in their schedule plus time to visit all the vendors because they don’t have much in quilting fabrics and supplies near their home. They were all “thrilled” to attend and said they are definitely coming back!!!

How far did you travel to come to Road 2017?

Everyone Loves A Winner

A popular event at Road to California is the Daily Drawing Giveaway. Guests had until 3:30 each day to fill out an entry blank at the North Registration Deck. Then, at promptly 3:30, members of Road’s App Team from Konnect, rolled the drum and pulled out the ticket of a lucky winner:

Thursday

Marilyn McKitrick from Penticton, BC, Canada won a Babylock Rachel from Moore’s Sewing Center. Giveaway Winner Quilt Show

This was Marilyn’s fifth time at Road to California. She came with a friend from Nevada and they spent four days at the show. Marilyn said that Road is the “highlight of my year.”

A quilter for the past 15 years, Marilyn was in Lea McComas’ Thread Painted Portraits class when the drawing was held. Earlier in the day, her phone had died. She knew she had to put a phone number down on the entry form, so she put her friend’s number down instead — and forgot to tell her. When Road called her friend’s phone and told her the news, she ran from her hotel room to Marilyn’s class to tell her so Marilyn could make it to the registration desk before the 15 minute time limit was up. Marilyn said she was in “shock–absolute shock” when she found out she was a winner.

Friday

Mel’s Sewing donated a Bernina Red sewing machine which was won by Nancy Zimmerman from Placentia, California. Nancy and her “Bunco-Quilting-Jazzercise-Friends” braved the rain to attend Road that day. This was Nancy’s fifth time at Road and she has been quilting for over 20 years.

“Thrilled” was Nancy’s reaction to winning. She said she had been “looking for a smaller machine to take to classes” and this machine would meet her needs. Nancy loves to see all the vendors at Road. “There are new things every time you come.”

Saturday

Cathy Hesler came from Covington, Indiana to attend her second year at Road. She won the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 that was donated by OC Sewing and Vacuum.

She also was in a class when she found out she had won, attending Jacqueline Kunkel’s Vintage Compass. Winning was “a dream come true” for Cathy. “Road is great–I love it!!”

Sunday

Elle Sproal from Orange County, California was the final Daily Giveaway Winner for Road 2017. She won a workstation from Martelli Enterprises.

Thank you to the vendors who contributed the giveaway items and thanks to all who entered.


A New Decade Of Adventure For Carolyn Reese

Road to California is a family owned business.

Bought in 1991 by Carolyn Reese, she added the quilt show four years later. New logo

Carolyn’s three sons and their families have helped out with Road from the very beginning. Oldest son Mike is the financial officer. Middle son Dave provides the technical assistance; he is the one who designed the on-line registering system for the conference. Dave and his wife Susan also photograph all of the winning quilts. Youngest son Darrell is charge of equipment logistics, overseeing the set up and take down for the entire show.

(l-r) Mike, Darrell, and Dave Reese with their mother, Carolyn Reese

(l-r) Mike, Darrell, and Dave Reese with their mother, Carolyn Reese

Reese family members can also be found in the Road vendor booth, at the registration table, and assisting teachers and lecturers with the evening classes.

Carolyn has a Halloween birthday.  For as long as she can remember, she has spent her birthday at Quilt Market in Houston, first as a quilt shop owner of the Fabric Patch in Upland, CA from 1980 until 2006, then as owner of Road to California. But this year, Carolyn will be celebrating her birthday at home with family and friends.

80th Birthday dinner at Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

80th Birthday dinner at Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Why the change?

Because this year marks Carolyn’s 80th birthday and she has decided to retire from managing Road to California.  Carolyn has “turned the management over to my Grandson, Matt who has been working with me for the past six years and he is doing a great job.”Matt and Carolyn

After managing businesses for over 37 years, what will Carolyn be doing with all her free time?

As a quilt shop owner, Carolyn has taught many people how to piece quilts and other aspects of quilting. She also organized the first mystery quilt class in Southern California. Carolyn has always enjoyed helping people with sewing projects so she decided teaching would get her out of the house and working with people with similar interests. Carolyn

Carolyn’s first class was at The Quilt Loft in Upland, CA teaching the POP-UP container.

She has now taught at Sewn Together in Norco, The Busy Bee in Calimesa and Monica’s Quilt and Bead Creations in Palm Springs.  Other projects have been The Sweet Pea Pods, Fold and Stitch Wreath, Fold and Stitch Leaf Topper, Hexagon Star Table Topper – which Carolyn designed – and an Octagon Tablemat.

Her newest class is Perfect Binding Corners for any shape, squares and rectangles, hexagons, octagons and even an inside corner for each shape.  The binding can be any width up to 1” wide width which is great for placemats, table toppers, etc.

With a background in sewing that has covered many aspects of dressmaking, tailoring, upholstery as well as quilting, Carolyn also has lots of tips to share in her classes for easier methods of construction than what is found in a published pattern.

What other classes will Carolyn be teaching in the future? “Who knows,?” says Carolyn. “What ever strikes my fancy!!”

Of course, as his grandmother, you can be sure Carolyn will be keeping “an eye on Matt and what he is planning for Road to California…he has some great future ideas for Road.” Carolyn is looking forward to be able to “just go to the show – SHOP – and visit with the vendors as well as enjoy the beautiful quilts.”Carolyn on Harley

Thank you Carolyn Reese for your leadership and vision in establishing Road to California as “The Best in the West Quilt Show and Conference.”

 

 

 

Meet Road 2017 Featured Artist: Marilyn Badger

Marilyn Badger is not a stranger to Road to California. Recently, the quilt, Red Feathers, where she did the quilting on, won Best of Show in 2013.

Red Feathers - Best of Show Road to California 2013. Made by Claudia Clark Myers. Quilted by Marilyn Badger.

Red Feathers – Best of Show Road to California 2013. Made by Claudia Clark Myers. Quilted by Marilyn Badger.

And at Road 2016, Marilyn won 1st Place for Traditional, Large Pieced for her quilt, Arandano. Arandano by Marilyn Badger

Arandano was a therapy project for Marilyn.  After making quilts for competition for so many years, this was her first quilt she made just for herself. She never intended to enter it in a show.  However, as she approached the end of the project, she decided that maybe Arandano was good enough to enter into competition.  When she made the decision to enter it, Marilyn had to go back and correct a lot of flaws to make it competitive.  It took her 1-1/2 years to complete from piecing to hand beading.  Marilyn says she learned a lot about hand embroidery and beading and she really loved adding those touches to Arandano.

Quilting Treasures sponsored the Traditional, Large, Pieced category and awarded Marilyn $1,000 for her first place win. Of winning this prize, Marilyn remarked, “It is always wonderful to have a quilt you have put so much work on win it’s first time out in the competitive world.  I was thrilled and even more so at Paducah where it won the $20,000 Best of Show award and became a permanent part of the collection of the National Quilt Museum.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!”

What did Marilyn think when she was asked to be the Featured Artist for Road to California 2017? “Totally shocked!  Road to California is one of my favorite shows and I have attended either as a teacher, vendor or student for as many years as I can remember.  To have my quilts on display there will be awesome and I can’t wait to meet and talk with all the quilters who stop by to see my exhibit.”

Exuberance by Marilyn Badger

Exuberance by Marilyn Badger

In her role as featured artist, Marilyn hopes to encourage more quilters to enter competitions, as well as inspire the younger generation of quilters to continue the art form.  “It has been such a passion of mine for over 30 years and I want to see the industry continue to grow, ” shared Marilyn. In her booth near the front of the show floor, Marilyn will have on display as many of her award winning quilts that can fit into the area.  APQS will be furnishing a machine for her use during the show. Marilyn will be quilting some of her own small quilts and demonstrating how she accomplishes her quilting techniques.

Photo by APQS

Photo by APQS

Marilyn lives in St. George, Utah. Besides being Road’s featured artist, what else does she hope to do while she is in California?  “Enjoy the nice weather and perhaps go do a little car racing with my friends.” Be sure to stop by Marilyn’s booth and ask her about that car racing!!

To learn more about Marilyn, please visit her Facebook Page.

 

Two Ways To Show Off Your Quilt for Road 2017

Do you have a quilt that you have been working on that you would like to share with the public?

Road to California 2017 is offering two opportunities for quilters to enter their quilt designs – one that we are known for and a new one for quilts to be part of a special exhibit.

First, there is Road’s annual Quilt Contest. For 2017, quilters have the chance to vie for prize money totaling $90,000. Once again, Gammill is sponsoring the Best of Show category, offering $10,000 for the top prize.

Best of Show Road 2016 - Silk Road Sampler by MelissaSobotka

Best of Show Road 2016 – Silk Road Sampler by MelissaSobotka

Road receives hundreds of entries each year in their annual contest for the fifteen categories.  In order to qualify to enter, quilts have to have been made since January 1, 2015 and could not have been entered in a Road contest previously. The quilts have to been made with three distinct layers and no pre-quilted fabrics can be used.

2016 Outstanding Modern Quilt by Linda M. Thielfoldt

2016 Outstanding Modern Quilt by Linda M. Thielfoldt

Individuals can enter up to 3 quilts in the contest. Entry packets can be obtained on the Road website and must be received at Road’s office (either online or by mail) no later than October 3, 2016. Entrants are notified by November 28, 2016 if their quilt is chosen for the competition.  Quilters then have until December 23, 2016 to ship their quilt to Road’s office.

2016 Director's Choice by Kathy McNeil

2016 Director’s Choice by Kathy McNeil

Judging for the contest will take place on January 17, 2017. Besides the top prizes, judges also consider three winners for each of the categories offered. All winners are notified the evening of the 17th.

2016 Outstanding Traditional Quilt by Bethanne G. Nemesh

2016 Outstanding Traditional Quilt by Bethanne G. Nemesh

For more information on our 2017 Quilt Contest, please visit our website.

If you have a modern design quilt that you are proud of, perhaps you might consider entering it in the Special Exhibit, Modern Quilts – Redesigning Traditions. While no prize money is being offered, accepted quilts earn the prestige of being included in this special display.jpgMQRTLogo_FINAL-300x244

The exhibit will be shown at the Ontario Museum of History and Art in Ontario, California, December 1, 2016 through January 22, 2017 – which includes time during Road 2017.

Modern Quilts: Redesigning Tradition, explores the modern evolution of traditional quilt patterns. Entries must adhere to the exhibit theme: traditional quilt blocks redesigned into a quilted item displaying Modern Quilting aesthetics. The traditional block used as inspiration must be identified by its commonly used name on the entry form.

Not Your Grandmother’s Wedding by Pauline Saltzman

Not Your Grandmother’s Wedding by Pauline Saltzman

Submissions considered for acceptance to the exhibit include quilts, bags, pillows, and table coverings. All entries must consist of three distinct layers: top, middle layer and backing and must be quilted by hand and/or machine. No entry can exceed 96” wide. Due to shipping restrictions, quilted upholstered furniture will not be accepted.

Square in a Square by Christa Watson

Square in a Square by Christa Watson

The deadline to submit entries is August 15, 2016. Accepted pieces will be notified by October 1, 2016. Interested sewists can request detailed information and an entry form from Guest Curator, Geroganna Hawley at ghawley@ontarioca.gov

Road to California is looking forward to all the submissions for both of these events. What quilt will you be entering for Road’s contests?

 

 

Mixing Generations Makes Great Quilt Friends

At Road 2016, we spotted several quilting friendships that spanned generations:020

Valerie Hall and Velma Anderson, age 80,  met two years ago through their quilt guild, the African American Quilt Guild. The guild was having its show and Valerie struck up a conversation with Velma while waiting in line to buy fabric. Velma has been quilting since she was 9 years old. Valerie is just starting out. She says she is “learning the process.”  Velma said that she is “trying to be a good example to Valerie in helping her quilt.”  Road 2016 was Valerie’s first time at the show and she “loved it.” The show was Velma’s 5th time. She enjoyed the show as well but remarked, “I never have enough money.”

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These three friends are each exactly 10 years apart in age. All from the Seattle area, Lois was born in 1949, Teresa was born in 1959, and Michele was born in 1969. They met 12 years ago at a quilt retreat. All three wanted to quilt, but didn’t have any quilting friends, so they signed up for the retreat and have been friends ever since. They came to Road 2016 with their quilt teacher and three other friends. Because of their teacher, Lois, Teresa, and Michele prefer traditional quilting using Civil War fabrics. However, they did say, “We also like to get out of the box.” They stayed the whole week of Road, starting with Preview Night on Wednesday, where they appreciated seeing all the quilts without the crowds. During the show, they had expectations to see high quality quilts and do a lot of shopping. They all agreed that their expectations were met. And what made their trip even more fun was that Teresa was a grand prize winner, having won 2 tickets to Road from a contest Road had sponsored last fall.

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Charlotte, Brittany and Lisa

Lisa and Charlotte are running buddies. Lisa was always talking about her quilting and Charlotte wanted to learn how to quilt, so in 2012, Lisa started teaching her. After Charlotte began quilting, that interested her daughter Brittany to start. Now, Lisa, Charlotte and Brittany all belong to the same quilt guild. Lisa has been coming to Road since it began 21 years ago. She enjoys coming to the show because “it is a wonderful opportunity to meet other quilters.”

No matter your age, sharing a love of quilting can break down any generation gap.

Meet 2016/2017 Vendor:  Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder Quilt Design will be returning to Road to California in 2017

How does someone go from professional dancer to quilter?

That is exactly what Margaret Willingham did. For many years, Margaret taught choreography for a modern dance company specializing in classical ballet and modern dance.  When Margaret developed major back problems (she had 5 surgeries in 2 years), she realized that teaching dance was no longer an option. Newly divorced, Margaret had to find something she could do to make a living. So she turned to her passions to find the answer.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Margaret loved being creative, artistic, and quilting. For Margaret, fabric was “fun to play with.” She “followed the doors God had given” her and started Eye of the Beholder Quilt Design. She has been in business going on 6 years. Instead of choreographing dances, she is choreographing quilts.

Eye of the Beholder Quilt Design specializes in original applique patterns inspired by the world around us. Margaret has developed a reverse applique process that is “a no brainer.” Just Trace-Baste-Snip-Stitch. Margaret shared that she’s even had 10 year olds master her technique. “People are amazed at how easy and simple of a process it is.” Eye of the Beholder Quilt Designs can also be done as machine reverse applique because Margaret has found that some people don’t like to do hand work.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

From August, 2015 to January, 2016, Margaret put 11,000 miles on her new van traveling to various shows. She spends most of the time in her booth demonstrating her applique steps with her customers. She has also put up tutorials on her website, has a booklet that explains her technique, and writes a blog sharing applique tips and experiences.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Road 2016 was Margaret’s first time at the show. She had never really been to Southern California before and was excited to be at Road as she had “heard good things about the show.” She is looking forward to returning to Road 2017.

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

Photo by Brian Roberts Photography

You can learn more about Eye of the Beholder Quilt Designs on their website.