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How We Choose Classes For Road To California

It is almost time to announce our Road to California 2015 classes. Because we are often asked how we come up with our slate of offerings, we wanted to share the planning process that goes in to our class selection. 

The first step is to secure our teachers. Selecting the faculty for Road to California actually begins more than two years prior to an upcoming conference. Carolyn, Matt and Stevii Graves (Road’s consultant and talent scout), search for the newest, upcoming talent (as well as seasoned veterans in the teaching world) that would be a good fit for Road. They look for teachers at trade shows, in trade publications (Stevii does book reviews for IQA) and in blogs on the internet. Searching for teachers is a full time job!teachers_classrooms__i4c6216Choosing the classes can best be summed up as one giant jigsaw puzzle with pieces that don’t fit together! To be certain that we are offering classes that meet the needs and desires of our attendees, we have several methods set in place to ensure that we have a diverse cross section of classes that represent quilters today. We want to make sure that our classes range from Appliqué to Zentangle! teachers_classrooms__i4c6372

We have 22 classrooms with certain rooms better utilized for certain techniques. For example, this year we have Kim Eichler-Messmer teaching a two day class on Fabric Dyeing for quilts. Her classroom must not only be near water, but also be covered with plastic on the floor so that the fabric dye does not damage the carpeting. 

We have received some complaints that Road is primarily catering to the long arm quilter and is not meeting the needs of all quilters. Rather than simply deny this, we would like to provide you with some numbers:

              Three of the 22 rooms are utilized with Longarm Machines (Gammill, Handi Quilters & Innova)  

Two of the 22 rooms are utilized with sit-down, Longarm Machines (Gammill Charm & Handi Quilters Sweet 16). The techniques used in these classes are directly applicable to domestic machines. 

Seven of the 22 rooms have sewing machines provided for attendees (Brother, BabyLock, Bernina, Janome, PFAFF, Viking). These rooms are used for Machine Quilting, Machine Piecing, Machine Applique and many other techniques & projects. teachers_classrooms__i4c6375

Ten of the 22 rooms are utilized for other classes including Hand Work, Fabric Dying, Painting, Bring Your Own Machine classes, etc.teachers_classrooms__i4c6209

Classes for Road 2015 will be posted on our website no later than July 1st and registration begins on-line July 13th.   

We invite you to join us for THE BEST Road to California yet, our 20th Anniversary Conference & Showcase. 


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2 Responses to “How We Choose Classes For Road To California”

  1. Bonnie Lippincott says:

    It’s amazing the wide range of teachers/classes that you find. The coordination is definitely hard, just being involved with a guild will let one have a small taste of hiring teachers and keeping the lineup fresh and entertaining. You can’t please everyone.
    I think you are doing a good job of offering a wide range of classes and I think long arm classes, whether standing or sitting, fit right in with the quilters of today. I am no “spring chicken” by a long shot and think offering new and innovative classes will draw in the younger crowd and keep us older ones on our toes.
    Thanks for making Road to California what it is. It has a permanent place on my calendar!

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