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Welcome to the Road to California Blog

Joyce Teng is a Survivor!!

September 29th, 2021

Joyce Teng, owner of TSC Designs, will be teaching two evening classes during Road to California 2022:

On Wednesday Evening, 3067C – Ocean Odyssey

And on Thursday Evening, 4065C – Not Your Grandmother’s Lace

An Unusual Path to Fabric Art

Before Joyce Teng became known as a Fabric Artist, she was a pharmacist in her native Taiwan. Not only did she teach at a Pharmacy School, but as a chemist, she developed a heart medicine.

Her transition from science to art happened on a trip to the United States while attending the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Viewing the show, Joyce’s eye for color and design came alive, releasing lots of art ideas in her mind. Among those ideas was to start her own art related business – which she did in 1984 – TSC Designs.

This family-run business started out in Joyce’s garage as Teachers Stamp Company.  Joyce Teng manufactured her own line of rubber stamps and other educational arts and crafts products. Joyce later designed and produced brass embossing templates and other accessories for paper crafts and scrapbooking. In 2005, Joyce and her husband retired from the stamping business to focus solely on providing unique and innovative products for quilters & sewers. Since 1990, they have worked with Tsukineko Inc. to provide the highest quality paper and fabric inks to their customers. During this 31-year relationship, they have helped thousands of creative minds develop new ways to “color” their world!

Art Overcomes Tragedies

Joyce Teng has survived two life-threatening events that actually increased her desire to be more creative. The first event happened while she was attending Paducah in April of 2014 when she suffered a massive stroke at the show. Lucky for Joyce, Paducah’s hospital is a major stroke center and was able to give Joyce the best treatment from the best doctors available. She says that after the stroke, “God opened her brain” and ever since she has experienced non-stop creativity. “New things come out every day,” shares Joyce.

Then, in August 2017, Joyce was living in Houston, Texas when Hurricane Harvey hit the area. Joyce’s home was completely flooded and FEMA told them that they had to get rid of everything. With the help of 30 volunteers, any salvable goods were packed up and put in a warehouse. Joyce said she and her family were living basically day by day to get back on their feet. Joyce feels that from this experience, she and her family were blessed by the manpower and community spirit present during those struggling times.        

Teaching and Vending at Road 2022

Despite Hurricane Harvey, Joyce Teng and her husband were at Road to California 2018 just five months later, manning their TSC Designs vendor booth in the new Pavilion shopping area. Joyce also taught several classes at Road 2018, mentoring guests as they developed their artistic creativity.  Joyce and her husband’s enthusiasm for their products and techniques have made them a real crowd pleaser during Road to California shows.   

Joyce’s classes at Road 2022 are handwork classes. Students will learn to use Tsukeniko fabric inks as well as special brushes, markers, stencils, and other innovative supplies to create their own unique fabric art designs.  

To learn more about Joyce Teng and TSC Designs, please visit their website.       

Laura Murray and Paintstik Techniques

September 24th, 2021

Laura Murray will be teaching one Friday evening class during Road to California 2022:

5063C – Paintstik Special Effects

Meet Laura Murray

A resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Laura Murray’s quilting journey began in 1989. She was tired of doing “various needle arts” and decided to make a quilt for her daughter.

When Laura began discovering art quilts, she found “an enchanting portal” through which she ran at top speed. Laura Murray quickly learned techniques required to create original designs. Because she found commercial fabrics to be “somewhat limiting,” Laura learned a variety of surface design techniques, including using Paintstiks.

What is Paintstik?

Paintstik by Markal is a versatile and economic marker that combines the durability of paint in the convenience of a crayon. The real paint formula has superior marking performance on oily, icy, wet, dry or cold surfaces and is weather- and UV-resistant. They come in 13 colors as well as 5 fluorescent shades.

In addition to using Paintstik markers to create unique fabric designs, Laura says her other favorite quilting tools are her Grip n Grip, a cordless iron, and her wool pressing mat.

Teaching at Road to California

Laura Murray has been teaching for 20 years. She has traveled extensively as a student, vendor, and teacher. Laura says that while the Internet has proven to be a “marvelous connector…nothing measures up to in-person experiences.”

What Laura likes most about teaching, is being able to pass on the joy of her own discoveries plus seeing her students’ success and satisfaction with their work. With her class at Road 2022, Laura Murray is looking forward to teaching the joy of creating unique fabric with color and pattern.

In addition to teaching her class, Laura will also be hosting a vendor booth for Laura Murray Designs. In the booth, guests will be able to find stamps, stencils, Paintstiks, and a very special limited edition of overdyed kimono silk panels not found elsewhere.

To learn more about Laura Murray, visit her Facebook Page.

Which Class is Right For You?

September 21st, 2021

Classes for Road to California 2022, were announced in July and registration began in August. Once again, Road to California is offering a plethora of classes taught by a distinguished faculty that are geared to all levels of quilters. Road’s classes offer assistance with traditional to modern techniques, hand and machine quilting skills and the latest in surface-embellishment using paint, thread and embroidery. With so many choices, how do you know which class is right for you?

Skill Level

Based on teacher recommendations, we assign the following skill levels for our classes to make sure each class is right for you:

Beginner: New to sewing or it’s been awhile since you last sewn. A knowledge of basic sewing skills with some rotary cutting skills and a working knowledge of using a sewing machine is useful.

Beginner-Intermediate: Some basic sewing experience with confidence to move past beginner.

Intermediate: Knowledge and experience from sewing over time.  

Advanced: Experienced quilters looking for a challenge.

All Levels: Assumes a knowledge of basic sewing skills, basic rotary cutting skills and basic quilting skills, either appliqué or piecing.

Expand your horizons

Road to California isn’t just about quilt classes. There are a wide variety of other choices including design, beadwork, painting on fabric, rug making, and clothing construction.  It’s a great time to find the class right for you that allows you to explore new techniques or practice others you want to perfect.  

3062C – Duchess Bracelet taught by Amy Loh-Kupser on Wednesday, January 19th 2022
From 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Are you looking to purchase a new sewing machine? While many of our classes require you to bring your own sewing machine, there are others that have sewing machines provided, allowing you to “try before you buy.” 

Perhaps you’ve wanted to try longarm quilting but don’t have access to a longarm machine? We offer several classes that provide both stand-up and sit-down long arm machines for you to choose which class will have the experience you are looking for.

Learn from the best

Our faculty is top-notch. Many have taught not only throughout the U.S. but internationally as well. And several are published authors too. We bring the experts to you.

Road invites you to look over the selection of classes being offered in 2022. We are confident that you’ll find everything you need to choose the class right for you.

Meet Road 22 Teacher Sue Bouchard

September 17th, 2021

Sue Bouchard will be teaching one class during Road to California 2022:

3001C – Moon Dance on Wednesday, January 19th

From Weaver to Quilt Guild President

Everyone Road to California meets has a unique quilting journey and Sue Bouchard is no different. Back in the early 1990’s, Sue was teaching 4 harness weaving to an after-school program at the Rancho Alta Vista Adobe in Vista, California. (Four Harness weaving utilizes a loom with four shafts that hold heddles through which the warp passes). During that time, A friend asked Sue if she would be interested in attending the local quilt guild.  Four months later, Sue was president of El Camino Quilters and says she has never looked back.

Sue believes that quilters are so supportive of each other and share their passion by attending quilting events all over the world virtually and in person. She has a selection of Apple products that she keeps plugged in to the Internet to stay in touch with the quilting community. Her favorite social media platform is Instagram. You can follow her @sbbouchard.

Working and Learning with Eleanor Burns

For over 25 years, Sue had the opportunity to work at Quilt in a Day.  While she was there, Sue learned from “the best,” Eleanor Burns. Eleanor showed Sue how to turn traditional quilt designs into clear, concise instructions. She also taught Sue valuable skills in preparing and teaching techniques. 

In the last ten years, Sue Bochard has pivoted to the many styles of modern quilting such as negative space, asymmetrical design and improvisational piecing. She has become very active in the Modern Quilt Guild on both the local and national level.

Fall time for Sue means making handmade gifts for others and also providing items for local non-profit organizations to raise money for the community.

Teaching at Road to California 2022

Sue has been teaching quilt classes for over 30 years. Her favorite part of teaching is giving confidence to her students so they can successfully complete their project.

Sue is looking forward to teaching in person again. She says, “There is no substitution for being able to work with the students one-on-one and not relying on cameras to see what is happening.  I love the laughter and conversations between everyone as well.”

Sue Bouchard’s goal for her students at Road is that they will “go away with new skills which inspire them to apply the techniques in their own future projects. I want them to be excited to try new things and ask themselves “What can I make next with what I just learned?”

Besides teaching at Road 2022, Sue is looking forward to seeing all the quilts on display in person at the various exhibits. “Photographs are great but it’s not the same.”

To learn more about Sue Bouchard, please visit her website.

Welcome Back David Taylor

September 14th, 2021

David Taylor will be teaching three classes at Road to California 2022.

Two Handwork Classes:

 0002C – Pictoral Hand Appliqué: Little Chickadee on Sunday

And 2017C – Floral Hand Appliqué: Sweet Pea on Tuesday

David Taylor will also be teaching 1018C – Precision Machine Piecing: What A Flake! Sewing Machines from Juki will be provided for this class.

Life Long Love of Fabric

David Taylor was raised in Peterborough, New Hampshire, one of six children: three boys and three girls just “like the Brady Bunch.” His mother “tied” quilts while David was growing up but as a single mom with six kids, she didn’t have much free time to devote to quilting. David first focused on apparel construction. In 1998, a longtime friend who knew of David’s life-long love of fabric, suggested he try quilting. He was reluctant at first as he didn’t want to cut up his “precious fabric collection.” Since then, he has never looked back.

Stitching Past Adversity

In 2016, a gas explosion and subsequent fire destroyed David Taylor’s home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Since the fire gutted the living room and the sewing loft, David was without his tools and supplies for over nine months. Both of his Berninas were melted; his serger was gone; rulers were twisted and turned and his Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen was a major loss. Needless to say, it was a very devastating experience.  David recalled that ever since the fire, for him, life got both “a little easier and a little harder at the same time.” He was able to slow down, take long walks, read, and do jigsaw puzzles to occupy his thoughts while he rebuilt his studio.

A Familiar Face at Road

David Taylor has been a frequent teacher at road, overseeing classes in applique techniques and long arm quilting using the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen sit down longarm machine, which uses the same skills as a regular sewing machine.

In 2019, David was one of three judges for that year’s Quilt Contest. The Best of Show chosen that year was Garden Variety Sampler, made and quilted by Janet Stone.

Because he has never taken a quilting class, David believes that the best way to learn is to practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice and makes a lot of mistakes. In addition, he believes that quilting “should be a team sport,” He recommends joining a guild or a group and getting together with like-minded “fabric fondlers.” And if there isn’t a group where you live, David says, “Start one.” For David, there is no greater satisfaction than “seeing a student’s face light up when they realize they CAN do this!”  He hopes his students will learn that if they create from their heart, the rest will follow.

To learn more about David Taylor, please visit his website.

Dee Brown: Road 2022 Teacher and Vendor

September 10th, 2021

Dee Brown will be teaching two evening Handwork classes during Road to California 2022:

On Thursday Evening, 4061C – Healthcare Angel

And on Friday Evening, 5061O – Road To California

Handwork Designer

A resident of Monroe, Washington (“a smallish city an hour northeast of Seattle”), Dee Brown began her quilting journey in a small quilting group at church for just a few months where she “learned the basics.”

With her sewing background, Dee was accustomed to making her own patterns or modifying existing ones. She quickly found the rigid precision of traditional quilting too stifling. Once, when she made a huge mistake on a Christmas table runner, instead of ripping it out to fix properly, Dee appliquéd a poinsettia over it and discovered the freedom and “cheatability” of appliqué.

Dee Brown admits that “although the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest has inspired a few of my projects, I seem to lean towards tropical settings or the uniqueness of other states” such as with her “States” series.

Because Dee considers herself more of a designer than a quilter, she says that her “most indispensable tool is an eraser. Having no artistic training beyond junior high, drawing for me is draw-erase-edit, over and over. Hence, my work is more whimsical than realistic.” Her other indispensable tool is her “old Pfaff 7570…If it ever dies, I may be done.”

Quilting Friendship

Dee shared that her best quilting friend is actually a knitter. Robin Halliday and Dee have been best friends for 50 years. They travel to quilt shows and work their vendor booth, The Quilted Trillium, together. Although wool is her first love, Robin attends many quilt related activities just because it has become Dee’s passion. Robin has learned to appreciate the art, time and talent of other quilters and totally supports and encourages all of Dee’s designs.

The Quilted Trillium vendor booth has been to Road to California several times. The “cozy, little cabin” is always a fan favorite. Coming up with the idea for their booth has been “life changing” for The Quilted Trillium. The booth is small enough to feel comfortable and is the perfect size for displaying their kits, patterns, fabric and tools. People are always telling The Quilted Trillium that they sought them out specifically to see the cabin and experience the “Art Gallery” feel. Then they stay for the demonstrations.

(As a side note, Dee is currently looking to sell The Quilted Trillium)

Teaching at Road 2022

Dee Brown has been teaching since 2013. Her first teaching experience was with “5 lovely women in Leavenworth, a quaint Bavarian themed town in the Cascade mountains. I was a little wary about spending the night with strangers (in a private home) but she was the town Vet and he was State Patrol so I felt pretty safe. Although she had a wonderful sewing room, it was a little tight for the 6 of us. I was nervous but like to think I’ve become a much better teacher since then.”

Dee’s favorite part of teaching her technique is seeing that light go on when her students “get it.” Dee Brown hopes that her students “will learn my time saving method and find the freedom in raw edge appliqué.”

This will be Dee’s last time teaching at Road to California. She said she will “be 70 and things get heavier, I get slower and the booth takes longer to set up and take down. I love Road to California and just want to enjoy every minute of it. I look forward to being around some dear vendor friends and customers I may never see again.”

Road 2022 Teacher Desiree Habicht

September 7th, 2021

At Road to California 2022, Desiree Habicht of Desiree’s Designs will be teaching two all day classes:

A Painting Class on Monday, 1005O – Color Me Quilts – Sunflowers And Roses

And a Design Class on Tuesday, 2003O – Color Me Quilts – Chameleons

On Friday Evening, Desiree will be teaching a 3 hour class, 5071C – Color Me Quilts – Sunflowers Or Wild Roses

Turning Sadness Into Quilting Design Comfort

A dark time in her family’s lives is what introduced Desiree Habicht to quilting.

A drunk driver had critically injured her third daughter. She spent almost a year in the hospital before Desiree and her husband were able to bring their daughter home. Desiree remembered, “Working as an artist and muralist, I had lost my creative mojo and needed to find something I could do that would bring me some comfort during those first few years. It was a time of reinventing myself so I could care for her and still find a creative path for self expression. It was this journey of discovering a new artistic medium in which I could play. I took a beginning quilting class and learned quickly that points and piecing weren’t my favorite things. I wanted to share my art in fabric form and set out to push every boundary and figure things out. I quickly branched out into applique quilts and art quilts. The freedom to design and paint on fabric fed my soul and gave me a new creative outlet. I used my art quilts to tell my story and my murals transitioned into quilts.”

Desiree’s Designs

The first quilt Desiree Habicht made and designed was a baby quilt for a friend’s first grandbaby. She also painted a mural to match in the baby’s room. Desiree was asked repeatedly if there was a pattern for her design, which started her designing and writing patterns. Starting with just 6 small patterns, Desiree and her husband decided to venture out and do a tradeshow under the name of Desiree’s Designs. They got a ½ booth at Spring Quilt Market and had no idea what they were doing! Desiree said they “learned a lot that year and our quilts were well received.  I was asked to design fabric a few years later and added machine embroidery years after that. It has been a great journey, a journey of discovery and friendship. I always say I needed a friend and gained a community.”

Desiree finds inspiration for new designs in her garden. She says that their business is always growing and changing; “it’s like a living thing, it can’t be stagnant.” Today, they design between 6-8 fabric lines a year and are focused on their online clubs and in the hoop embroidery where they do quilt projects in the hoop.

Fall Traditions

Desiree Habicht was asked what she enjoyed about the upcoming Fall Season. She replied, “I love the Fall as the colors start changing and the sun casts a wonderful peachy glow over everything… I love to paint and start sewing for the holidays. For the past 15 years, Halloween has been spent in Houston (at Quilt Market) but I spend hours making and creating goodies for our grandchildren to be sent before we leave.”

Teaching at Road 2022

A teacher of both art and quilt classes for over 20 years, Desiree likes to teach unconventional quilt classes that allow the participant to create something special. She only teaches classes that combine art and quilting because she recognizes that “there are enough traditional quilt teachers.”  Most of her students have no art training and get so excited seeing what they created unconventionally.  Desiree Habicht has taught “painting on fabric, acrylic inks on fabrics, colored pencils on fabrics along with other techniques.” She says that she loves to move people outside of their comfort box into something different and more exciting. Taking the fear away opens lots of doors of creativity.

Desiree is excited to be teaching “live” at Road 2022. “Just seeing everyone again is exciting. We have been locked away too long. Having that one on one contact and interaction with students is really hard to replicate online. Art is always better live. When teaching I am always walking around checking on my students. Giving them tips, suggestions and support. In person I can also spot a perfectionist or a naturally talented and gifted person in a room. I love to see their eyes light up when they see what they can do!”

To learn more about Desiree Habicht and Desiree’s Designs, please visit her website.

Free Motion and More With Teri Lucas

August 20th, 2021

Terri Lucas will be teaching a variety of classes during Road to California 2022:  

Beginner Free Motion Quilting on Monday (1007C) and on Wednesday (3007C) – Bernina machines provided

On Tuesday, 2005C – Spilt The Complement: Color, Thread And Rulerwork – Bernina machines provided

And a Wednesday evening, 3 hour Design Class, 3063C – Doodle Your Way To Better Quilting

Free Motion Machine Quilting Journey

Teri Lucas began her free motion machine quilting journey working on a project with kids at her Church. That experience led to her making patchwork placemats for her sister and her sister’s fiancé. While working on those projects, Teri’s husband watched how happy Teri was and suggested to Teri that she “needed a hobby.” The patchwork placemats led to quilting. A friend showed Teri how to hand quilt and off she went.

The aspect of quilting that Teri likes most is free motion machine quilting. She enjoys the whole process: “The hum of the machine, the designs in my head forming under the needle, seeing the whole work come together.”

Teri says she is actually “an accidental free motion quilter.” She had been working on a hand quilting project for several years and just wanted to get “that quilt done,” so she dove right in to free motion machine quilting.

Since 2014, Teri has been an Ambassador for Bernina, creating tips, techniques, and projects for Bernina’s WeAllSew blog

A Quilt Teacher

Teri “formally” began teaching quilting in 2009. She likes to help her students realize that with free motion quilting, it’s okay to make mistakes, and then she likes to present to them different solutions to move past the mistakes. She also tells her students that quilting outside the lines is “kinda cool” and that wherever they are in quilting is the right place to be.

A Quilt Book Author

Teri calls herself a Chief Creative Weirdo. Her creativity led her to publishing her first quilt book, Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting: Learn to Stitch with Reckless Abandon in July, 2020.

Teri explained the reason why she focused on thread for her book: “As machine quilters know, thread color can dramatically affect the look and mood of your quilt.”  By using color theory and solid design principles, Teri uses her book to explain how specialty threads in different weights can make motifs stand out the most against the fabric. She shares free motion quilting tips and tricks as well as her “Impractical Color Wheels.” Teri’s intent is to help quilters learn the thread choice rules so they can be broken!!

During Road to California 2022, Teri will have a Special Exhibit where she will be signing copies of her book.  

To learn more about Teri, please visit her website.

Meet Nancy Roelfsema Road 2022 Teacher

August 16th, 2021

Nancy Roelfsema will be teaching four classes during Road to California 2022. All classes will have Husqvarna Viking Machines provided.

On Wednesday, 3012C – Great Quilt Making Basics

On Thursday, 4012C – New York Beauty

On Friday, 5011C – Design and Create A Quilted Tile

And on Saturday, 6011C – Paper Piecing Basics

From Farm Auction to Quilter

Nancy Roelfsema began quilting when she was just 10 years old. Her family had just moved to the country and her mother loved going to farm auctions. At one auction, she purchased an old “rustic” quilting frame. Nancy and her mother put two sheets and some batting together and hand quilted her first quilt. Nancy still has that quilt today!!!

Nancy was one of 10 children and the only way to get a new outfit was to make it. When she was 14, her parents gave Nancy her own sewing machine . She started making clothing for herself and doing alterations and repairs for her family. When she went off to college at Western Michigan University, her “extra” money came from making simple alterations and repairs for her college friends. Shortly after she was married, she began making custom formal dresses, including many wedding dresses and continued to make my own garments.

Today, Nancy Roelfsema is known for her quilting books and teaching quilting to individuals, quilt guilds, and on her YouTube platform, On-Point-TV.com. Nancy has over 50,000 subscribers!!

Experienced Quilt Teacher

Nancy Roelfsema began at a quilt shop about 28 years ago.  The owner needed teachers and Nancy suggested that she could teach a kid’s class. According to Nancy, “It went really good so I just started teaching more and more classes for all ages.”

Nancy says that she especially loves “teaching beginners and seeing them leave my class and start to create using the basics I have taught them.  I believe you need to learn great basics to be the foundation of your quilting – then you can create with confidence.”

She hopes that her students at Road 2022 will gain confidence to design very interesting and creative quilts.

To learn more about Nancy, please visit her website.

Road 2022 Teacher Annie Smith

August 13th, 2021

Annie Smith will be teaching 4 Quilt Classes and 1 Design Class at Road to California 2022:

On Tuesday, 2018C – A Is For Applique (Pfaff machines will be provided)

On Wednesday, 3014C – Build Your Own Color Sense – A Design Class

On Thursday, 4015C – The 1:10 Quilt (Machines provided by Bernina)

On Friday, 5014C – Aurifil Thread Matters (Machines provided by Bernina)

And on Saturday, 6014C – The “A” Word By Machine (Machines provided by Bernina)

From Garment Sewing to Quilting

Annie Smith came at quilting from a garment sewing and design background. She made all of her clothes in high school and had a cottage industry sewing for her friends’ moms in college. In 1980, Annie decided to make a quilt for her first baby which she sewed all by hand.

Annie shares that she has two areas of expertise: Fabric selection and Machine Applique. From teaching and observing her students struggling to find the right fabrics for their quilts, she realized that no one had ever taught them how to choose the fabric. Says Annie, “Everyone thinks that they have a problem with color — and what we really have is a lack of confidence in choosing fabrics from what the manufacturers give us.”

Regarding her knack with machine applique, Annie Smith took a weeklong class with Sue Nickels and was hooked. She just loved the technique that Sue taught. Annie proceeded to take two years off from teaching her own classes to hone her machine applique skills, which led to her designing quilts and coats and eventually writing two books for C&T Publishing.

Creative Space

When Annie Smith moved to Texas from California, she went from sewing spaces of 12 x 20 and 12 x 3 to just one 10 x 12 room with a walk-in closet. She set it up exactly how she thought the layout would work best, and after two years, she realized that it wasn’t working the way she thought; it made her feel claustrophobic.

She set out to reorganize her whole workspace, complete with new storage options. Annie relies a lot on Ikea, the Container Store, and repurposing. Now, she loves her sewing space.

Annie’s favorite quilting tools are her Bernina sewing machine and Serger (she is a Bernina Ambassador), her design wall, and her Clover fork pins. And Annie uses the CORA App to organize her patterns and garment fabrics.

Teaching at Road 2022

Since 1984, Annie Smith has taught at every quilt shop in the San Francisco Bay area when she lived there. She has been a national/international teacher since 2006. Says Annie, “I love to teach.”

Her favorite part of teaching is “the people I meet and the experiences that I have with them that really makes me the most happy. I love to share what I know about quilting to help quilters expand their knowledge, but I love getting to know them by the small conversations we have while they work. Many of my students have become dear friends.”

Annie hopes that her students at Road will experience exactly what they came for: to learn something new so they can grow their skills and think of things in a new way, to feel a part of the class community, and be inspired by what she has to share.

To learn more about Annie Smith, please visit her website.