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Archive for the ‘Road 2 CA Blog’ Category

A Winner With A Big Heart

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

At this year’s Road to California, more than 250 contestants competed for over $36,000 in cash awards. We’ve introduced you to the “big” winners and shared with you their thoughts on winning $5,000 for Best of Show, $3,000 for Masterpiece, and $1,500 for the Director’s Award prizes.

Not long after the show, we received a charming thank you note from another winner, Rachel Wetzler, who won two of the other prizes that were offered this year. Rachel received $250 for first place in the Traditional Wall Applique category.10976

She also received  $50 for her third place finish in the Innovative Wall Mixed category. 10943

Wrote Rachel, “I am so pleased these quilts received awards. They were both fun and challenging to make!” Rachel went on to say that she likes to designate a charity to give her prize money to. She reported that she passed on her $300 winnings to the organization, Wheels for the World. This wheelchair recycling program collects, restores, and distributes wheelchairs to disabled people in developing countries. Her contribution will provide two needy people with the gift of mobility– something they would not be able to otherwise afford. How cool is that? Thank you Rachel for sharing your talents and inspiring story with Road to California. Quilting  provides warmth and comfort in so many ways.          ]]>

Seven Photo Tips For Quilters

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Gregory Case was Road’s Official Photographer for 4 years. He often got requests for advice from quilt/textile/fiber artists who were trying to improve their photography of their design work. Gregory offered seven suggestions for photographing quilts: 1) Prepare for your photo shoot. Professional quilt photography is a combination of your quilt hung properly, a good digital camera, appropriate camera settings (including “white balance/color” settings), use of a tripod, even and consistent lighting, and the use of image-editing software. If you are not using all of these techniques, you are not helping your quilt photography succeed. 2) Allow the time necessary to take a great picture. More people will probably see the photograph of your quilt than they will see your quilt in person. Thus, take the same care you do with your photography as you do with your quilt design and choice of quilter. Plan at least an hour (or more realistically, two hours) per quilt for photography/image-editing.stitched paintings

Katie Pasquini Masopust

3) Photograph the “whole” quilt. The top four quilt photography problems are getting the color right, properly lighting your quilt, showing surface texture, and highlighting the details better. Take the time to learn how to be good at all four of these photography techniques.

4) The picture representing your work should be the best picture. More quilts are rejected from juried shows/magazines/books due to poor photography than any other reason! Remember, there is no asterisk (*) on your pattern, or on the juried show application, or the book proposal, for photo explanations like: “If it weren’t so sunny…,” If the wind wasn’t blowing so hard…,” “Please ignore my fingers and feet in the photo….,” “If only I had more time to take a better photo…,” or  “If I could just get the color right… ,” etc. The buying public, the quilt judges, and the magazine and book editors all assume that the quilt image you present to them is an accurate portrait of your quilt, shown in its best light. Your quilt image is being compared to other’s images who have taken the time to make their image perfect. Make sure that your image lives up to their expectations!Red Feathers

Best of Show 2013

5) Use available tools to edit your work. If you shoot with a digital camera, you really need to learn image-editing software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, and Lightroom). Some problems can only be solved with your digital camera and lighting, and some problems can only be solved with image-editing software—you need to employ both strategies.

6) Practice. Practice. Practice. So, how do you get to be a better quilt photographer? Practice—a lot. Don’t wait until a deadline to start improving your quilt photography. Start practicing today and then again tomorrow and so on. I’ve been photographing quilts, textiles, and fiber art for 11 years and I work daily on improving my photography and image-editing skills. Take a quilt photography class, perhaps on the upcoming Road to California Quilt Cruise Around The Panama Canal. I will be teaching quilt photography and Photoshop Elements!fandersonwhispering

7) If all else fails, use a professional. If you don’t have the interest, equipment, or time to photograph your own work, hire a photographer who has experience with photographing quilts/textiles/fiber art. As you would not ask a seamstress to quilt your quilt, don’t ask the portrait photographer down at the shopping mall to photograph your quilt. Yes, the seamstress has a sewing machine. And yes, the portrait photographer has a camera. But neither have the needed experience. Which tip did you find most useful?]]>

So You Want To make A Winning Quilt? Thoughts From Our 2013 Best of Quilt Winners

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The best way to set out to win a quilt contest might be to learn from quilters who have done just that.  We’d like to introduce you to this past year’s big winners as they share their thoughts on what they did to achieve their high honors. Starting off with our Best of Show winners, meet maker Claudia Clark Myers from Duluth, Minnesota and quilter Marilyn Badger of St. George, Utah who teamed up to win $5,000 from Moore’s Sewing Center, for their quilt, Red Feathers.    Claudia first got interested in quilting in 1991 when she attended the Minnesota Quilter’s annual show. She was amazed at the quilts she saw there and so she went out and purchased a rotary cutter, mat and Trudie Hughes’ book. Marilyn began quilting in the late ‘70’s when there was no such thing as a rotary cutter and mat. She marked, cut and pieced everything by hand. The designer of Red Feathers was Claudia. She decided to use traditional patterns in a non-traditional way. Claudia commented, “I couldn’t see why a Mariner’s Compass couldn’t have feathered points, so I decided to draft it that way.”

The quilt was pieced and appliqued by Claudia in 2-1/2 months after which it was sent to Marilyn to quilt. That process took about five months to complete because Marilyn and her husband were building a house at the same time. When the quilting was finished, Claudia got the quilt back and spent another 3 weeks painting it.Red Feathers

What was their reaction when they won? They were both floored. They had been competing together on their quilts since 2002 and had never won this kind of prize before. According to Marilyn, “Best of Shows don’t come around very often and a Best of Show at Road to California is just the best of the best.” When asked what they did with their prize money, both women spent it on things for their homes. Claudia said she and her husband are moving and wanted to change their decorating style from Victorian to Mid-Century Modern, so she used her share of the award to purchase new furniture.  Marilyn bought window coverings so she could “relate where the money came from.”   Attaining “best of the best” is a hard act to follow. Where do they go from here?  For Marilyn, she needed to take the past six months off from quilting so that she could take care of her husband, who recently passed away. She hopes to get her enthusiasm back and spend lots of time in her sewing room again. As for Claudia, she will continue to paint her quilts which will be puzzles of some kind. She “loves to create quilts that bring a smile to people’s faces.”      What was your reaction to Red Feathers? ]]>

Meet Carolyn Reese: Former Owner and Chief Ghoul at Road to California

Friday, October 27th, 2017

hundreds of quilts on display, awards over $92,000 in cash prizes, classes taught by experts in the quilt and fiber art world, and over 225 nationally and internationally known vendors. Born on Halloween, Carolyn felt there were no tricks when it came to overseeing Road to California but there certainly were plenty of treats. A love for family, friends, and quilting, combined with a keen business sense, all came together for Carolyn one  special week in January each year.  

What do you know about Carolyn Reese?

Carolyn Head shot Personal: Born on Halloween on her grandparents’ homestead in Oklahoma, Carolyn and her parents moved back and forth between Oklahoma and California twice before finally settling in Southern California in 1953. Carolyn’s Halloween memories revolve around trick or treating with her children when they were growing up. Since becoming involved in the quilting world, she has spent many Halloweens at trade shows. How does Carolyn know she’s getting a call on her cell phone? It rings a haunted house melody.Halloween witch When did you learn to sew? I learned to sew on my Grandma Anderson’s treadle machine. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was making my own clothes. I worked in the yardage department of the May Company store in Lakewood when in college. We used machines to measure the fabric and then tore it off the bolt. Several years later, I sewed Barbie clothes and sold them at a local department store to make money for Christmas. How did you get in to quilting? Raising a family of three sons and a daughter, I found myself a displaced homemaker after 27 years of marriage. My mother and I decided to open a fabric store, The Fabric Patch. We soon found that we were the last two women in the area still making their own clothes. I decided to take a quilting class taught by Blanche Young in 1981 and soon after, we changed the emphasis of the store to quilting. (I finally put the binding on that first quilt to finish it in 2011).

How did The Fabric Patch become a trendsetter in the quilting world in southern California? We were one of the first quilt shops to be a vendor at guild quilt shows, one of the first in the country to offer “Mystery Weekends,” and the first to offer fiction books about quilting. I was instrumental in the forming of the Southern California Association of Quilt Shop Owners and started the Quilters Run in Southern California. I sold the store ten years ago.newrdlogo

When did you get involved in Road? I purchased the Road to California brand when it was just a few classes, nothing more. I had a vision to turn it into something more: classes and a quilt show. Road was first held in Anaheim and as it grew, I moved it to Ontario, California, first in the Marriott Hotel. When I was able to add the quilt show, the Marriott could no longer accommodate us, so we moved to the Hilton hotel. The show was located in the atrium of the hotel. We continued to grow in scope and attendance and moved to our current location at the Ontario Convention Center where we are their largest client.  2018 will mark Road to California’s 23rd year. What did you value most about Road? Seeing all the people walk around with a smile on their face, forgetting their problems and having a good time.         Even though Carolyn retired last year from Road to California and her grandson Matt Reese is now the owner of the show, her heart is still with the show. Don’t be surprised if you see her at Road 2018 tooting along on her sit-down scooter, waving hello and encouraging a new generation of quilters.     ]]>

Happy Haunted Birthday Carolyn Reese

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Our favorite Road to California ghoul is celebrating another Halloween birthday!!Carolyn

Carolyn Reese was born on her grandparents’ homestead in Oklahoma on Halloween.  Her family settled in California in 1953. She worked in the yardage department of the May Company store in Lakewood while going to college. In the 1970’s, Carolyn and her mother opened a fabric store, The Fabric Patch, which quickly became a trend-setting quilt store in Southern California. Carolyn purchased the Road to California brand when it was just a few classes, nothing more. Her vision has turned it in to a premier quilt show with classes and vendors. 2015 will mark the 20th Anniversary Show and promises to be a very special event with many surprises throughout the five days. 

What makes Road to California so special for Carolyn is that her family gathers each year to help support her with the show._i4c4160pg

Carolyn’s favorite Halloween memories revolved around her children trick or treating when they were growing up. These days, her Halloween birthday usually finds her at trade shows. Carolyn is reminded daily of her Halloween birthday every time her cell phone rings with its haunted house melody. 

Join us in wishing Carolyn Reese a very Happy Halloween Birthday!!


Road 2015 Faculty Spotlight: Meet Kimberly Einmo

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Kimberly Einmo will be teaching 3015C Lone Starburst on Wednesday; 4015C Bermuda Triangles on Thursday5014C Spinning Stars on Friday; and 6014C Variable Pinwheel Star on SaturdayKSEinmo Studio 1a

Personal: Kimberly Einmo is a modern quilter who has been surrounded by men her whole life. She grew up in the small town of Canal Fulton, Ohio with two older brothers. Today, she is married to her husband, Kent, and they have two wonderful sons, ages 20 and 15. Kimberley and her family are all certified, PADI scuba divers. They plan their vacations and trips around great diving destinations.

How did you get started in quilting? My mother had grown up in the depression era and hated anything to do with sewing. But she had the wisdom to know I should have some basic sewing skills so she signed me up for some sewing classes when I was seven years old at the local Singer Sewing shop in Massillon, Ohio. I loved sewing from the start and it wasn’t long before I was making many of my own clothes. I joined a 4-H group when I was eight years old called “Buttons and Bows” where I learned even more about garment construction and crafts such as Christmas stockings, tote bags, and holiday décor items.  I would enter my garments in the county fair every summer and I loved winning blue ribbons! For Christmas when I was 10 years old, my parents bought me a sturdy Singer sewing machine that had zig zag and hem stitches which at that time, were quite a big deal! They also surprised me with a cabinet to hold the machine. They were the best Christmas gifts I ever received! I still have that old Singer machine. However, it wasn’t until I walked into that quilt shop in Alexandria in 1991 when I realized you could piece blocks and quilt on a sewing machine.

Where do you find inspiration for your quilting? Everywhere! Nature, architecture, even bathroom floors! (There’s a story there……)

What is the one quilting tool you can’t live without? My sewing machine! Why? Because even though I can piece and quilt by hand, I love sewing on a sewing machine so much more! However, I also can’t live without a rotary cutter. 

What was the latest award you won for your quilting? My quilt Fire and Ice just won the top award for BEST MODERN QUILT at AQS QuiltWeek in Chattanooga, TN. I was pretty thrilled about that!!Fire and Ice with watermark

Where is the farthest you’ve traveled that was quilt related? I have taught classes at many international locations, but probably the farthest locale was the Czech Republic for the Prague Patchwork Meeting. I have taught there several times!

What do you like best about teaching? Getting to know the students personally! It makes me so happy to meet each and every student and find out a little bit about their life and why they like to quilt. I’m always blessed by meeting and sharing with others.KE

What is the funniest or most embarrassing moment that you’ve had while you were teaching? Oh my goodness, there are so many! But I can tell you about one very scary moment while I was teaching a class on a Friday night. The store was actually closed, but the front door was unlocked. A man walked in to the front counter and told the shop owner that he had a gun and had just committed an armed robbery and that he wanted to turn himself in to the police. I overheard this and grabbed all the students and locked them in a tiny bathroom while I called 911 and kept an eye on the shop owner and the man as she talked very calmly to him. The police arrived and took him away, but it was an incredibly tense situation. Afterwards, we all giggled from nervous energy about having crammed so many women in a tiny bathroom!

What do you want your students to get out of your class? I want students to have an open mind and be willing to try new things! I always encourage students to step out of their box and learn something new. It is my personal goal to make every class I teach a “stress-free” zone! I want students to leave my classes knowing they learned a lot, accomplished a lot of actual sewing, and to go home feeling relaxed, happy, and refreshed from a great day in the classroom!KE-Variable Pinwheel Lonestar block with watermark

What is your best quilting tip?  Take your time and be very accurate as you cut and sew. Accuracy is oh-so-important to achieve great results!

You can find Kimberly at her web site and on her blog.



Pink Travels

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

There are pink Cadillacs for women who sell facial products and then there is the pink trailer for a woman who sells quilting products.2014-01-25 09.35.10

Laura Heine owns Destination Quilt Shop in Billings, Montana. According to one of Laura’s customers, Tanya from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “Laura’s shop is a must see stop if you are going through the area.”Head shot

Road 2014 was Laura’s first time as a vendor for the show. Since Laura does not fly, how did she get from Billings to Ontario, California? In her restored, pink 1956 Shasta trailer of course!!

It took Laura most of the summer of 2013 to get her trailer prepped for the journey to Road. She drove out with one of her employees, Nancy. Said Laura, “We ate and talked the whole way!!” their trip took three days. Laura and Nancy stopped in Pocatello, Idaho and St. George, Utah before arriving in Ontario. During her week at Road, Laura’s pink trailer was parked in Road’s host hotel, Doubletree by Hilton, parking lot.  2014-01-25 09.35.28

What did Laura think about her first time at Road? “I was pleasantly surprised at the size of it. I met really fun customers and enjoyed my stay. I can’t wait to come back.”

You won’t want to miss Laura and her Fiberworks booth at Road to California 2015 – 20th Anniversary Show. Just look for her pink trailer and you’ll know she has arrived.2014-01-25 09.35.18

How will you be getting to Road 2015?


Celebrating in Style

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014 found Road to California at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California supporting the 11th Annual Celebrating With Style Fashion Show and Luncheon. This event raises vital resources for the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center Endowment Fund at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. Celebrate in Style  

Carolyn Reese sponsored a table and invited nine guests to attend. Those sitting with Carolyn included several members of her quilt guild, Night Owls, and her son Mike whose wife, Shellee, is the Administrative Director for the Cancer Center. Said Carolyn, “I am pleased to support this great cause that helps bring relief and hope to cancer patients and their families.” Celebrate in Style6

Two of Carolyn’s guests were cancer survivors themselves: Lavella Fitzgerald and Maria McKendry.Celebrate in Style5

The morning started with an opportunity for guests to bid on beautiful gift baskets followed by a delicious lunch and then a fashion show. There were seven models participating in the fashion show – men and women – who were all recent cancer survivors. As they modeled clothes from Banana Republic, Chicos, and Carducci Tuxedos, their individual journeys through cancer were shared by two moderators with the audience. Casual wear was the theme for the first segment as the audience heard about the models’ diagnosis stories. During the second segment, the models wore business wear. Each model had their physician accompany them down the ramp as the moderators told of the treatment each model had received. For the third and final segment, special occasion wear, each model expressed thanks to those caregivers that helped them through their cancer experience, especially their families. It was so inspiring to hear each story and see the “other side” of cancer.

In-between the modeling segments, they showed Pomona Valley Medical Center’s award winning video for the Pink Glove Dance. Thanks to all our Road supporters who voted and helped this upbeat video win the grand prize:

Road to California’s table was really lucky as three of Carolyn’s guests won gift baskets.

Celebrate in Style3Celebrate in Style4Celebrate in Style2

All in all, it was an amazing day supporting a cancer program that offers excellent treatment in a positive and caring environment. 





Quilting Latina Style

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Road to California welcomes quilters from all over the world to attend its conference. Meet these Latina quilters who cross international borders each year to broaden their quilting experience.   _i4c4064_copy

For the past three years, Perla Cabanillas (Mexico), and Carolin Menendez (Puerto Rico) and Susan Labounty (Cypress, California), have chosen Road to California as their destination spot to renew their friendship and support their love of quilting. 

The three originally met through their church. They became friends when Susan taught a quilting class that  Carolin and Perla joined. For six years, they met on Thursdays at Sue’s home to quilt. 

Susan has been quilting for the past 10 years. She first learned to quilt along with her neighbor at a quilt store near their house.  Carolin began quilting 13 years ago. She first learned to sew in school in Austin, Texas. Perla credits Carolin for introducing her to quilting. Carolin had invited Perla to attend Susan’s class and helped Perla buy the fabric for her first project. 

Why do they love meeting up at Road? “Nothing compares to Road,” stated Carolin. “I like how the show combines old traditions with modern approaches.” Added Perla, “I love seeing all the modern quilting.” Maria, Tere, and Antonia

You might be aware that tour buses come from all over the country to bring excited quilters to Road to California. But did you know there is a tour bus that brings quilters from across the border?  Three friends from Tijuana, Mexico, made the journey by tour bus to attend Road for one very full day.    

Maria has been quilting for the past 10 years. She and Tere have made the trip to Road from Tijuana for the past 5 years. In 2014, they invited another quilting friend, Antonia to join them. 

Why come all the way from Tijuana for just one day? Says Maria, “I do hand quilting and Road has good materials for me to use.”  Antonia thought everything at Road was “very beautiful.”    

While only Maria spoke some English, the three did not feel that their language barrier created any problems. After all, a love for making and appreciating magnificent quilts knows no boundaries.   

How far will you travel to attend Road to California’s 20th Anniversary Show January 21-25,2015?  




Road 2015 Faculty Spotlight: Meet Donna Thomas

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Donna will be teaching four classes: 4013C Batik Feathers on Thursday, 5012C Fearless Fabric Play on Friday, 6011C Party Poppers on Saturday, and 7006C Interlocken  on Sunday.Donna Thomas headshot

Personal: Donna Thomas loves her pets so much that she named her company after her cats:  Pre-Furred Qulits! When she is not quilting, Donna likes doing big puzzles. Donna is a devoted fan of the Outlander book series. She has the 8th book waiting for her to finish re-reading the last three books so she can refresh her memory of the details. She is almost done with A Breath of Snow and Ashes. 

How did you get interested in quilting?  My mother loved making clothes and so I sewed all my life from age 3 or 4 in some form or other, but mostly hand needlework and later clothes. In 1975, between my sophomore and junior years of college, I met this awful boy while at my summer landscaping nursery job. He used to tease me horribly. Finally, at the end of the summer, he asked me out on a date. He turned out to be quite a nice guy. That fall, he had a birthday coming and I had no money but I did have a bag of home economic scraps from the late 60’s and early 70’s and a picture of an antique Dresden Plate quilt. So I made this monstrosity from double knits, polyester denim, two extra loft poly batting, and no instruction—I just dove in. I cringe when I think of it. But I loved the colors, all the prints, the puzzle-like aspect of it—- and there were no zippers or buttonholes! Well, yup, I married the guy and we still have it. I take it to local lectures sometimes. It’s too heavy to ship for out of town trips!

Where do you find inspiration for your quilting? I love the old blocks—mixing them, changing them here and there, or designing my own. I’m a puzzle fiend and math geek so I love the geometry and intricacy of piecing.Donna Thomas CandyDots

What is the one quilting tool you can’t live without? My hands!! Why? I couldn’t imagine not being able to sew. I love hand piecing as well as machine piecing so at a minimum as long as I can cut and sew pieces, hold and thread a needle, I can make quilts. Not to say I don’t love my machines and rotary tools. But without my hands I couldn’t do any of it.Donna Thomas 3.jpeg.tif

Where is the farthest you’ve traveled that was quilt related? I had the opportunity to live in Germany and teach at a German quilt shop in Bad Soden for several years. I also taught to American and German guilds around the country while I was there. I happened to be teaching in Berlin the week the wall started to come down. My family was with me and my sons  got to chop off pieces of the wall and get their pictures taken with the Soviet soldiers on the other side. It was quite amazing to see history in the making.

What has been the best class you have taken? Harriet Hargrave’s machine-quilting class. I took it twice and I flunked it twice.  But being a bit stubborn, someday I intend to conquer and master free-motion machine quilting!

What do you like best about teaching? When what I’m teaching ‘clicks’ and you can see it in someone’s face and they’re so excited and proud. There’s nothing better.

What do you want your students to get out of your class? Skills mastery, success, and hopefully some fun too!Donna Thomas 1

What is your best quilting tip?  Learn to master making an accurate quilter’s 1/4” seam allowance. In addition to cutting accurately, there is nothing more important for frustration-free piecing. It’s hard to enjoy the process if your pieces don’t fit.

Visit Donna on her blog, Donnalynnthomas.blogspot.com