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Archive for the ‘quilt entries’ 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.          ]]>

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? ]]>

How to Enter Your Quilt Online

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Is your quilt ready to submit for the Road to California 2017  Quilt Contest?

By now, you have read and become familiar with the complete Road to California 2017 Quilt Contest information including rules, quilt categories and definitions at our website. You’ve spent hours and hours working on your quilt design and then having it quilted. You are finally ready to submit it to our office and we are ready and waiting to receive your entry. We want to make sure you are confident on how to complete that last step: submitting your quilt entry.  

The deadline to enter your quilt(s) for Road to California 2017 is Monday, October 3, 2016.

Entries can be mailed in to Road’s office or submitted online. By entering online, you save both time and money. Online entries save $10.00 on their submission.

[caption id="attachment_4055" align="aligncenter" width="336"]Award Winning Quilt Best of Show Road 2016 Best of Show Road 2016 – Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka[/caption]

Matt Reese, Road’s Show Director, has provided these easy step-by-step instructions to help you enter your quilt online:

In order to process an online entry, you need to have an online account and be logged in. If you have any questions about the log-in process, please check out this previous blog post that explains how to log-in. Although the article focuses on how to register for classes, the process to log onto our online system is the same).

Once you are logged on, move your mouse over to ROAD2017 and click Contest Entry.  (Don’t worry about the dates in our examples below. The procedure is still the same). First, on the upper left hand corner, you need to select Quilt under division. Second, you need to choose a Style which will be either Art, Innovative, Miniature, Modern or Traditional.

Photo 1

I selected Art. Next, you need to select a Theme. Since my entry is a quilted photograph of Pug, Max.  I’ll select Art Critter. (For information on themes, check out the information on the rules. If you have any questions about what theme your quilt belongs in your can either email us at info@roadroadtocalifornia.com  or make your best guess and if the jury/judges determine it belongs elsewhere, they will move it).

Next you need to put in the Dimensions of your entry. My quilt is 60 x 60. If your quilt meets the size requirements for the category you choose, a green message saying “Road to California entry category: xxxx” and a green Submit button will appear.

Photo 3

Enter the Title, Maker’s Name and Quilters Name. Please Note: we have had complaints in the past about failing to list the quilters name. We print what you submit, and have no way of knowing if you have not changed the Quilters Name. It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure the entry form is accurate. The Design Basis is a required field. This is where you should list what your design basis for your entry is (Pattern, Book, Photograph and so on.) Photo 4 I started my quilt in 2010 and completed it in 2013. I am a first time entrant. I quilted my quilt with a computer assisted longarm machine. Lastly, I completed my Artist Statement. Once finished click Submit. When you click submit, you should be taken back to your account home page which shows a purple box with Contest Entry information.   Photo 5Next, I need to submit my Photos. Click upload under front to upload a front picture of your quilt. Helpful Hint: make sure your photos are at least 2,000 pixels on the smallest side prior to uploading. Any smaller than 2,000 pixels will be rejected. Photo 6 Once you have uploaded your photos, pay the entry fee by clicking pay bill. Enter your credit card information and you’re all set! Photo 7 If you have any questions about our online entry process, please let us know by email: info@roadtocalifornia.com Blog Header


So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Road 2016 Best of Show

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Melissa Sobotka of Richardson, Texas made and quilted Silk Road Sampler, the 2016 Best of Show winner sponsored by Gammill Quilting Systems. Melissa received $10,000 for her winning entry depicting an ancient Istanbul spice bazaar.

[caption id="attachment_3944" align="aligncenter" width="403"]Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka[/caption] You had to see Road to California’s 2016 Best of Show winner in person to believe that it was truly an art quilt!!! At first glance, some of our guests actually thought that winner, Melissa Sobotka, just stitched over and around a piece of fabric. That’s how intricate and amazing the appliqueing was for Silk Road Samplers. Melissa got in to quilting by accident. “I was making some banners for my church when a friend suggested if I put some batting in the banners and added some stitching, I would have an art quilt. I had never heard of Art Quilts. I did some research and was fascinated by this art form so I got some scraps of fabric and taught myself.”Melissa Sobotkaheadshot It took Melissa 5 months to complete Silk Road Sampler which was inspired by a picture she took in the spice market in Istanbul. She thought the designs on the pillows were something that many appliquers would appreciate and that it would be a busy enough design for her to enjoy working on for many months. About 4 months into the project, Melissa wondered. “What have I got myself into?” The detail on the bottom section nearly put her into “a straight jacket.” But as with all her quilts, Melissa just “faced the challenges head on, a little more each day, until it was finally completed.” Melissa confided that she was in “total shock” when she heard she had won Best of Show. “Road to California was the quilt’s debut show and you never know how a quilt will be received. I feared people would look at it and wonder why anyone would create a quilt of pillows.” What did Melissa do with her prize money? She took a trip to India for the color festival, Holi, searching for an idea for her next quilt. Melissa hopes that her quilting will continue to evolve; that it will build off what she learns from each quilt that she makes and from the innovations and techniques of her fellow quilters.  ]]>

Found at Road 2016: Quilt Winner Margot McDonnell

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

You never know who you will run in to on the viewing floor at Road to California.

Standing by the 3rd Place Art Pictorial was the maker and quilter, Margot McDonnell, having her picture taken by her friend to record the honor.158

What did Margot have to share regarding her winning entry?

A quilter for the past 15 years, Margot said she didn’t normally do quilts like this unless she was “obsessed with the theme.” Moody Beach, Maine, 1957 took 2 years to make. Margot spent the first year just “thinking about it.” “I think a long time before I get going on a project,” said Margot.Moody Beach, Maine She found the picture that inspired her quilt on eBay and bought it. It was just a tiny black and white snapshot. She named her quilt after the information found on the back of the picture. And by the way, Margot has never been to Moody Beach 🙂 The quilt is fused, quilted with a walking foot, and painted. the most challenging part were the reflections and the white surf bubbles which she cut in piece like lace. As Margot worked on the quilt, she thought about the passage of time and how the three little boys must be in the their 60’s by now. Who inspires Margot with her quilting? “Lenore Crawford changed my life.” She taught Margot the technique used on Moody Beach, Maine, 1957. Margot was thrilled to find out she shared the Art Pictorial winning category with her mentor, Lenore Crawford. “I was honored to be named a winner along with Lenore.” Lenore won first place, Art Pictorial, for her quilt, Spanish Arches.  1st Place Art Pictorial Lenore CrawfordWhat winning idea are you thinking about for Road 2017? The packet for entries for our 22nd annual Quilter’s Contest will be available starting around April 1st on our website.]]>

Shannah's Cameo: The Story Behind The Quilt

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Shannah’s Cameo won First Place in the category, Excellence in Longarm Quilting, for maker and quilter Karen Sievert.

Karen received $1,500 from sponsor, American Professional Quilting SystemsExcellance in Longarm

Road to California was a tremendous experience for author, teacher, free motion longarm quilter, Karen Sievert. She taught three of her own classes, substituted for Linda V. Taylor for two of her classes, and found out that she won first place in the quilt contest for Excellence in Longarm Quilting.

Every quilt has a story and Shannah’s Cameo is no different.

Karen Sievert and her husband, Vince, have three adopted children — Wayne, Shannah, and Travis — that were all drug/alcohol babies. Says Karen, “Raising my children, I have learned more from them than they have from me.”

When the kids were younger, they would help out with Karen’s trunk shows and became very familiar with the quilting world. Shannah had asked Karen to write a book and make a quilt named for her. Karen wasn’t interested in writing a third book, but she was interested in making Shannah “just one quilt” especially for her.

 Shannah’s Cameo served two purposes: not only was it a gift for her daughter, it also provided the background for teaching a new type of fills class using whole cloth. “Teaching and quilting on whole cloth doesn’t distract the students like a patterned fabric would,” shared Karen.

The focal point of the quilt is a replica cameo of Shannah’s face. A friend digitized Shannah’s image and Karen used different fills for the hair.Excellance in Longarm CameoKaren credits Stevii Graves for being the cheerleader behind this project.  It was her support that gave Karen the courage to try new techniques for the quilt that she never would have attempted before.

For classes, Karen gives students her drawing  Karen

And they practice their own fills in simulating Shannah’s hair.Student's work

This technique has led Karen to develop more classes for the future, using different image sketches like a hummingbird to promote the same idea.

[caption id="attachment_3785" align="aligncenter" width="515"]Sketch by Karen Sievert Sketch by Karen Sievert[/caption]

What does Shannah think about her quilt?Shannah Sievert

Karen says Shannah “loves it.” Shannah will be able to keep it after Karen is through showing it,


So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? 2015 Excellence In Hand Quilting

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

White Bouquet was made and quilted by Mariko Duenwald of San Francisco, California. She received $1,500 from sponsor World of Quilts TravelExcellance in Hand Quilting

A quilter for almost 25 years, Mariko Duenwald, came to the United States from Japan in 1983. When Mariko was a young girl living in Japan, she found a “rather unique fabric store” in Tokyo that had an American antique quilt on display. At the time, Mariko didn’t know what a quilt was but she fell in love with what she saw and began researching quilts.

After coming to America, Mariko taught herself how to quilt by reading books. Mariko prefers hand quilting. She has said, “With machine quilting, you really have to concentrate. But with hand quilting, you can sit on the couch and watch TV, so I like that. Quilting is the best part of making a quilt, for me.”

White Bouquet was started in 2011 and finished in 2013. It was an original design made by Mariko and her third trapunto quilt. After completing this quilt, Mariko says she now feels more comfortable with this type of quilt.


So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Road 2015 Excellence in Longarm Quilting

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Jocelyn Atkinson , from Waiuku, New Zealand, received $1,500 from sponsor American Professional Quilting Systems for her entry, Matilda.Excellence in Longarm Quilting

Years ago, when Jocelyn’s family moved to a new town, she decided to join a night class for quilting so that she could meet new people. Jocelyn had wanted to make quilts for a very long time and finally the timing was right. After she made her quilt top, and it was time to do the quilting, Jocelyn struggled. She started out doing the quilting with her domestic machine but her back ached too much. She figured there had to be a better way. Jocelyn did a lot of research on the internet and decided to import a Hinterberg longarm machine. She didn’t want to spend too much money on a machine as she didn’t know if she could or would even like doing longarm quilting. That machine ended up being a really good work horse yet the learning curve was huge. Jocelyn self-taught herself “the hard way,” reading from books and watching videos on YouTube. After a few years, she outgrew the Hinterburg. She knew she wanted to continue and take her quilting to a higher level but she also knew that she would need a new machine to take her there. Jocelyn ended up purchasing a Sharon Schamber 1709 Prodigy in 2009 and she’s never looked back. Matilda was inspired by Jocelyn’s admiration for Battenburg lace. After seeing what Cindy Needham was doing with old linen, Jocelyn decided that that was what she wanted to do with a Battenburg lace bedspread she had purchased. Jocelyn also wanted the project to be challenging and take her out of her comfort zone. Made in 2013, Jocelyn estimates that Matilda took 600  hours to complete. She used a shadow trapunto type technique to put fabric behind the lace, trimming the excess off, then marked the feathers and quilted. The quilt barely fit onto her 10 foot longarm frame. With only a 17 inch throat, there was a lot of rolling. Jocelyn says she learned “patience and discipline and how to fudge the quilting to fit the space.” At the time she was doing the quilting, Jocelyn had a full time job. She would come home from work each night and quilt for 2 to 3 hours. On weekends, she went “hard out.” Over the several months it took to complete the project, Jocelyn’s husband, Steve, showed his support by always cooking the evening meal. He did all the housework too!! When she heard that she had won, Jocelyn was “absolutely thrilled to be recognized by my peers for my workmanship.” With her prize money, Jocelyn “indulged in purchasing threads — quilter’s candy!!” Jocelyn intends to make more competition quilts. She admits that she has many suitable tops to choose from, but it may be a few years before she enters. In the meantime, Jocelyn will continue doing quilting for her customers and of course, continue to learn.]]>

So You Want To Make a Winning Quilt? 2015 Outstanding Traditional Quilt

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

My Brunette Whig was made by Gail Stepanek and quilted by Jan Hutchison. They received $5,000.00 from sponsor, ABM International, Inc. / InnovaTraditional Quilt

This winning quilt was a total collaboration between Gail and Jan. So much so, that they answered our questions for this post as a team!!!   How did you get stated in quilting? Gail: I was hooked after making my first quilt in the early 80’s. Jan: I started quilting so that I could finish a quilt that my Grandmother left unfinished. That was 14 years ago and I have yet to finish it.   What inspired your design for My Brunette Whig? Gail: Whig Rose quilts and variations of the pattern. I borrowed some variations and added my own to create a block that most likely isn’t recognized as a Whig Rose. The dark brown background gave it its name. Jan: I wanted to keep the quilting traditional but update it a bit with the use of metallic and contrasting threads. We worked on it up until the very last minute to enter it before the deadline.   How long did it take to make this quilt? Gail: People always ask how long it took to make a quilt. If I told you that I started it in 2011 and finished it in 2014 you would think that it took 3 years. I did start it in 2011 and finished in 11 months (5 of those months were spent trying to find an interesting layout). I then put it aside until 2014 when I sent it to Jan for quilting. Jan: It took about two months to quilt. What was your reaction when you learned you won? Gail: Road to CA was the first show that MBW was entered in and the first time I’ve entered an all applique project. Not sure of my applique skills, this award gave me confidence to try another applique design in the future! I was thrilled with the award and so happy to be at the show. Jan: I was excited to win the award. What plans do you have for your winnings? Gail: More fabric, attending shows, etc. Jan: At least part of my share of the award money went towards more fabric and thread. I learned to be sure to have enough thread I need before I start quilting – I had to make an emergency thread order at the last minute. Where do you go from here? Gail: Jan and I hope to keep the quilts coming. This was our third quilt together and Jan will start quilting our fifth this fall.]]>

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Road 2015 Outstanding Innovative Quilt

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Kathie Beltz and Mara Novak were awarded $5,000 by sponsor SewBatik for their winning entry.Innovative Quilt

Skyfall was the second time maker Kathie Beltz and quilter Mara Novak have collaborated on a quilt project. They began the quilt in 2013 and finished it in 2014. Skyfall was born of the desire to marry Kathie’s love of innovative piecing with Mara’s interest in translating everything she sees into quilting designs. Both ladies are established quilters. Kathie got her start when she was invited to join a group of friends who were quilters and they started her with the basics. Mara began in quilting by taking a class with Deb Tucker. It was Kathie’s idea to create as many different stars as possible in one quilt. Kathie had recently become a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor, and wanted to fully explore the Studio 180 tools. She was inspired to create as many different stars as possible in one quilt.  Kathie pieced fifty-eight unique stars and, instead of a basic block-by-block and row-by-row construction, she set them in a cascade across a deep blue sky.  The stars range in size from 2 inches to 10 inches and vary in brightness, to add to the perspective and depth of the quilt.  Kathie also added three Lemoyne stars in a blue fabric different from the background, which represented stars so far away and faded, they can barely be seen.  The cascade of stars left plenty of room for Mara to add secondary star falls, as well as an elaborate border, made entirely of thread. From design, to shopping for fabric, then to construction and quilting, it took about 9 months for Kathie to make the quilt. This project taught Kathie that she needed to schedule more time for quilt making, because she was always up against a deadline. Mara’s quilting took even longer as she had to learn that it takes very bright thread to show up on dark fabric. When they found out they had won, Mara did a “happy dance” and Kathie was “incredibly excited.” Kathie still isn’t sure what she is going to do with the prize money. Mara has bought a treadmill. Mara and Kathie intend to continue collaborating in the future, as they “keep looking for the perfect balance of piecing and quilting” that will “push our abilities and stretch our imaginations.”]]>