Tag Archives: Roadies Give Back

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.”

 

Road 2017 Special Exhibit: Mountain Mist Historical Quilt Mid-Century Quilts Made New

Where would a quilter be without batting?

Cotton batting by the Stearns & Foster Company has been a staple of quilt making since the 1800’s. Long trusted by quilt makers for its strength and cleanliness, the batting needed a sales boost as the quilt revival of the 1920’s and 30’s took hold. Sales manager, Fritz Hooker, launched an ingenious marketing campaign to make Mountain Mist batting more attractive to quilt makers. His plan was to revamp the batting wrapper by adding colorful quilt designs that he developed in to the Mountain Mist pattern series. Fritz worked with professional artists as well as seasoned quilt makers to vet his choices.   After a pattern had been tested for design and work-ability, a model quilt was made. By 1950, there were about 100 Mountain Mist patterns and a model quilt for each design.mountain-mist-logo

Through the years, the company has shared these model quilts in various ways. They were loaned to state and  county fairs, fashion shows, and quilt events. On the 150th anniversary of Stearns & Foster, the complete set of quilts was displayed at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 1996.

In 2012, the Mountain Mist sample quilts were acquired by Quilt House at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln along with other materials from the company.

fanquadfinal

This Fan Quadrille quilt pattern was first made available by Mountain Mist in 1942. The original is on the left, and an update (which requires no curved piecing) by Linda Pumphrey is on the right

 

The Special Exhibit, Mountain Mist Historical Quilt Mid-Century Quilts Made New, is curated by Linda Pumphrey. She authored the newly released book with the same title. mountain-mist-book

The book contains variations of 14 original quilts designed and released by Mountain Mist in the 1930’s and 1940’s on the back of the Mountain Mist batting wrappers, Some of the quilt designs were updated and simplified and some remained the same as the pattern using current fabric lines. The various designs speak to quilters of today just as they inspired quilters of the mid 1900’s.

This is the second time that quilts made from the Mountain Mist pattern collection have been shown at Road to California.   In 2009, quilts from the collection were shown to over-whelming response. This “new” exhibit is being shown for the very first time at Road to California 2017.zigzag1

In addition to sponsoring this Special Exhibit, Fibrix, LLC, the parent company of Mountain Mist, will be donating 800 batts to support the  Roadies Give Back Event on Saturday evening, January 21st as well another 200 batts for another Road initiative. Road to California is appreciative for all Mountain Mist is doing to support quilting at Road 2017.

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.

 

An Afternoon of Celebration

 

For the past four years, Road to California has been supporting the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center located at Pomona Valley Hospital by purchasing a table for their annual fund raising fashion show and luncheon at the Sheraton Fairplex.img_0001

Because cancer has struck the Reese family in the past, both Matt and Carolyn Reese feel that it is an important cause to support. In addition, Matt’s mom and Carolyn’s daughter-in-law, Shellee Reese, has worked as the Administrative Director for the cancer center for the past 15 years.

Carolyn’s guests included members of her extended family

Back row (l-r) Jen Reese, Matt Reese, Shellee Reese. Front row (l-r) Lee Ann Akers, Debby Bennett

Back row (l-r) Jen Reese, Matt Reese, Shellee Reese. Front row (l-r) Lee Ann Akers, Debby Bennett

As well as two friends who are both cancer survivors. Elainne Edwards is a 15 year thyroid cancer survivor who enjoys  making charity quilts. Lavella Fitzgerald, also a quilter, is a 15 year breast cancer survivor.

Elainne, LaVella, and Carolyn

Elainne, LaVella, and Carolyn

Being at the luncheon brought back emotions for Lavella. ” It is wonderful to be with so many survivors today and to know that everyone is working for a cure.”

The day included a delicious Asian theme luncheon followed by a fashion show where the models were each cancer survivors in their own right. Men and women modeled three outfits: casual, business, and formal. They were joined on the runway during the business section with the health professionals who they credited with helping them overcome their cancer. Then, for the last segment, each model chose a family member who was especially supportive during their cancer journey to walk with them down the runway. Each model’s story of courage in their trials was very inspiring for all in attendance.

At the end of the event, Elainne remarked, “It encourages me to see the support of this community and know that you are not alone.”

Road’s support for this important community center will continue at Road to California 2017 when they will hold their first Roadies Give Back evening of service on Saturday, January 21st beginning at 7:00 p.m. roadies-give-back2

The goal for the evening is to make and quilt as many charity quilts as possible to donate to the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Center. Sewing machines will be set up in several rooms and guests can choose to participate by helping to put together quilt tops, quilting the quilts, or finishing the quilts.saturday-january-21-7-00-pm

The Roadies Give Back quilt block design was specially created by Road 2017 faculty member, Anita Grossman Solomon.  In order to speed things along that evening, Road is asking for the quilt blocks to be made ahead of the show and delivered to their office starting December 5th. Whether or not you plan on attending Road 17, anyone can participate by making as many quilt blocks as they would like, following the approved design.

Road to California is honored to give back to the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center, where there is found “A passion for healing. A love of giving.”

For more information regarding Roadies Give Back, please visit our website.

 

 

 

 

Giving Back At Road 2017

“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.     Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Road to California has teamed up with the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center in Pomona, California and Anita Grossman Solomon, one of our Road 2017 Faculty, to make as many quilts as possible on the Saturday night of Road 2017. All quilts produced that night will be given to cancer patients at the center on behalf of everyone participating with this wonderful cause.roadies-give-back2

The Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center was chosen as the recipient of Road’s night of service because Show Director Matt Reese’s mom, Shellee Reese, has been a long time employee at the center. Roadies have supported the center in the past, casting votes for the award winning video that won valuable donation dollars to the center in 2014.

Linda Rasmussen is overseeing the project and the Sew-A-Thon that will take place Saturday, January 21st beginning at 7:00 PM. Linda has been a volunteer at Road in the judging room for 17 years.  She joined Road to California’s staff last year, first as Ribbon Clerk in the judging room and now the Coordinator for Roadies Give Back.

Linda says the goal for Roadies Give Back is to supply lap size quilts to the patients of the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center.  The quilts will be made from a block designed by Anita Grossman Solomon especially for Road to California.  Road to California fans and attendees throughout the United States and overseas are invited to make the blocks prior to the show.  Then, on January 21st, all of the blocks received will be assembled into quilt tops, quilted and prepared for donation to the Cancer Care Center. During the evening there will be door prizes and raffle prizes along with yummy treats.

How can you be a part of this worthwhile event?saturday-january-21-7-00-pm

  • Tell a friend.

Share this blog post in an email, with your social media or with your guild. Linda has already started to visit guilds in the area. She says the response “has been enthusiastic.”

  • Make a square (or two or more!!)

There is no limit to the amount of blocks you can contribute. A raffle ticket will be given for each square donated. We will start accepting squares at Road’s office beginning December 5, 2016. Mail them in, roper them off, or bring them to the show.

  • Register for the event.

Go to our website and sign up to assist with either piecing (class 9600C), domestic quilting (class 9601C), longarm quilting (class 9602C) or finishing (class 9603C).

A nominal $10 fee will be collected at the time of registration. Half the fee will go to directly to the Cancer Center and the other half will be applied to deferring costs for supplies for the evening.

  • Join in the fun.

Stay at the show after the classes have finished and the vendors have closed. Machines will be provided for the night. Guests are encouraged to bring thread, snips, pins and any other items that makes sewing more productive for them.teachers_classrooms__i4c5741

We hope you will want to be a part of this very special event. As Linda says, “It is a great opportunity to show support to people who need to know that we are all working toward making their challenge of facing cancer just a bit less intimidating.  Something to keep you warm, made with love, showing support, is a visible way to make a difference in someone’s day.”

To learn more about Roadies Give Back including getting the pattern for the squares and where to send them when you are done, please visit our website.