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Archive for the ‘Road 2013’ 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? ]]>

Sharing a Passion – Helping the World

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Leora Raikin has three passions: embroidery, education, and South Africa. This South African native who now resides in Los Angeles, started African Folklore Embroidery as a means to share and promote her passions.   AFL Logo

Leora learned how to embroider from her mother and she has in turn taught her son. She realized that embroidery has become an endangered art; it isn’t as popular or as well-known as in times past.   Her multi-culture embroidery kits are perfect for quilters, those who love to quilt, embroider, hand applique knit and crochet. She especially enjoys teaching young people — boys and girls alike — through after school programs and her African Folklore Challenge, the basics of embroidery. “When children learn how to embroider at a young age, they are encouraged and teach their parents.”head shot

African Folklore Embroidery has over 40 kits available. Many of the kits are inspired by life in South Africa. Each kit features an African design pre-drawn on black over-locked fabric and several brightly colored threads to complete the project. The kits are creative, fun, and feature African geography and culture. They are made for the beginner embroiderer as well as the sophisticated stitcher and are a great take-along project. All of the kits can be converted into pillows, purses, quilts and wall-hangings. (A great way to get rid of one’s fabric stash!!) The extreme contrasts of brightly colored threads against the black fabric make any completed design both striking and beautiful.African Folklore Embroidery Kit

The threads found in the kits are hand died in South Africa and are environmentally friendly. Production of the threads provide employment and income for women living in that country.   

There is no right or wrong way to stitch a kit.  Individuals choose which threads to use and go on to create their own interpretation of the design. AFE Quilt

The African Folklore Challenge was started as a way to encourage people to finish their projects and earn prize money. Additional proceeds go to the organization, Kidzpositive, a charity devoted to helping HIV-positive children in South African. Participants purchase a kit, complete it and submit it to the challenge. The challenge offers $500 in total prize money: $250 Grand Prize; $150 Second Place Prize; and two-$75 Third Place Prizes. The challenge encourages not only creativity but a love for handiwork as well.

At Road 2013, Leora had a booth on the vendor floor, selling kits and a display showcasing winners from past African Folklore Challenges. For Road 2014, Leora will be teaching two evening classes: 4035 African Folklore Embroidery on Thursday and 6039 Advanced African Safari on Saturday. Taking one of Leora’s classes is like going on a safari without the jet lag!!!  AFL Class

Please visit Leora on the American Folklore Embroidery website: www.aflembroidery.com


Who taught you how to embroidery?  


A Journey of Discovery: Perspectives

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Fantasy and reality came together in the Perspectives Exhibit during Road to California 2013. This exhibit showcased quilts that were inspired by maps, aerial views and topography of actual or imaginary places. Curated by Sheila Frampton-Cooper, twenty one quilters had three months to create their interpretations of the theme.exhibits__i4c5995

Sandra Lauterbach from Los Angeles used traditional and non-traditional pieces for her Map of Shanghai. Inspired by hearing stories of her family who escaped from the city during World War II, Sandra created a linear map using graphics and textiles.  Road to Shanghi

Kathy Velis Turan’s quilt had an illustration/cartoon feel. A perspective of life in the city, it was cute how Kathy incorporated plastic shrinky dinks for miniature cars driving through her make- believe town.

A sentimental favorite was a quilt depicting the Jersey Shore. It was completed days before Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. The area pictured on the quilt no longer exists today because of the damage from hurricane.

One quilter demonstrated a new technique in appliqueing while using recycled blue jeans as the foundation of her quilt. Instead of floating the thread in the background, different shades of the denim were used, creating an image of being “stuck on.”

For some of the participants, the map theme was more than just an exhibit entry. It is inspiration for their regular style of quilting. Take for instance, Valerie S. Goodwin. Her quilts are always inspired by maps and archeology.

In fact, Sheila Frampton-Cooper was first approached by Carolyn Reese to be the curator of Perspectives after Sheila had won 1st place in Houston in 2011 for her quilt, A View From Above. Inspired by her garden, A View From Above is an aerial view from a plane looking down on a Midwest farmland.exhibits__i4c6004

Whether you can imagine yourself in a spacecraft flying over an undiscovered planet or taking a trip along a vast sprawling highway, the exhibit Perspectives proved that any dream can become reality on the top of a quilt.





Mastering The Art of Long Arm Quilting

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Last year when reading student’s class evaluations, many asked for more time on the long arm quilting machines without sharing the machine with other students.  To answer these requests, Road 2014 has scheduled long arm classes that are four hours in length with one student per machine head. These classes will have only 10 students in the class giving everyone more time for individualized training and practice. It’s almost like a private lesson!!  Handi Quilter  is  providing their Sweet 16  machine. Handi Quilter Sweet 16





                                                                                        For the first time at a quilt show, Gammill is providing their Charm model for students to use. This “sit down” machine uses techniques that can be applicable to domestic machines as well.




During Road 2013, acclaimed modern quilter Angela Walters, shared her tips on how to enhance your long arm quilting:

Angela Walter stitching

  1. Use thread that blends with the background. Look at the quilt first and then choose what thread to use. The thread color should lie over the entire top. One of the biggest errors is to use light thread on a dark fabric.
  2. All over quilting adds interest to a quilt. Stitch the biggest components first, and then go to the smaller areas. Highlight what you notice the most. 
  3. Contrast comes in the quilting, not the thread colors. Use quilting to echo the lines. Use favorite designs in the borders.
  4. Stitch from top to bottom on the quilt. Float the quilt top and pull in to the middle.
  5. Keep the bobbin loose and don’t use the stitch regulator.
  6. Remember: quilting is a skill and a skill can be learned. Don’t over think your quilting!

The four hour, long arm quilting classes are being offered throughout Road to California 2014.  There are six sessions scheduled on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, January 20-22; three in the morning and three in the afternoon all days.  Two sessions each will be held on Thursday and Friday nights. There is one evening session on Saturday night and finally, two morning classes on Sunday, January 26th.  The Road to California web site has all the information for exact times, teachers, projects, and machines that will be featured: www.roadtocalifornia.com  Sign up now to take one of these classes that features skilled instructors, quality machines, individualized training and lots of practice to learn or improve your long arm quilting skills.10861

2013 Winner-Excellence in Long Arm Quilting Sponsored by Handi Quilter

Claudia Pfeil  



So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Thoughts From Our 2013 Director's Award Winner

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

This year’s Director’s Award was given to Macon, North Carolina resident, Cathy Wiggins, for her quilt, Carousel Stampede. Cathy received a $1,500 prize from the award’s sponsor, Superior Threads.

Cathy became interested in quilting after she attended her first guild meeting held in Lake Gaston, North Carolina, in 2002. Up to this point, she had never owned a sewing machine. She went out and bought a $99 machine and used it to make several quilts before upgrading a few years later. After attending her first quilt show in 2003, she knew she was born to make quilts. She bought her longarm in 2006 and has never looked back.

Cathy had been collecting carousel horse images for a while and knew that she would one day make a quilt of them. Once she started painting quilts, the time was right to create her stampede of carousel horses. All of Cathy’s show quilts are a game of some kind and this one is no different. She decided to give each horse a name so the viewers could identify their favorite horse. She tried to include a horse that would appeal to everyone.Carousel Stampede

Approximately 600 hours were spent creating Carousel Stampede. Cathy started with white muslin and spent 250 hours painting it, followed by 300 hours of quilting and another 40+ hours adding the crystals.

When Cathy found out she had won the Director’s Award, she was “thrilled.” Said Cathy, “I love seeing people enjoy my quilts while hanging at shows but when they win a large prize such as this one, it just means that many more people will be able to enjoy something I have created through publications, articles, etc.”

What did she do with her prize money? Cathy purchased an iPad Mini to replace her old, original iPad.

Where does Cathy do next after winning such a prestigious prize? She is going to continue painting her quilts, keeping her tradition of making them in to some sort of puzzle. She loves creating quilts that bring a smile to people’s faces.





So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt? Thoughts From Our 2013 Masterpiece Winner

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Denise Havlan of Plainfield, Illinois, was awarded $3,000 from Sew Batik for her winning entry, The Peaceful Ones. This quilt took 2 years to create as Denise balanced her quilting time with her family and grandchildren time. 

How did Denise get started in quilting? Back in 1989, she unknowingly entered a quilt shop and was interested in what she saw. However, she “had no knowledge of sewing, let alone quilting. I took some classes and fell in love and the rest, as they say, is history.”

The Peaceful Ones was inspired by her favorite subject as a painter: Native Americans. When Denise started quilting, she wanted to render their images in fabric. Her work process was a journey that involved stretching her imagination, extending her physical capabilities, and making creative decisions that affected the outcome of her work.10731

What was Denise’s reaction when she won the Masterpiece prize? “It was the ultimate satisfaction when others recognized (my) creative efforts.” Denise feels that if one puts so much effort into a quilt, it needs to be recognized. She says it is thrilling to have other’s see her work in a quilt show and to come home with a ribbon is great.  When asked if she did anything special with her prize money, Denise replied, “The prize money is always spent before I get it…the ribbon is my award that lives on!”

There is no stopping Denise with her quilting endeavors. It is “forward in to the future” for her.



Traveling The World Over For the Love Of Quilts

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Luisa and Mary are two quilt loving sisters from northern California, who travel the world going to different quilt shows. They have been to The Hague, Netherlands, Austria, the “all states region” in the south of France, and even Bali to take a “batik lovers” tour. Why so many exotic places? Because they love to travel, and they love to foster their common appreciation for quilting.


Their interest in sewing started with their mother who was a Home Economics teacher that encouraged her daughters to sew their own clothes. Mary got in to quilting in the ‘80’s, followed by Luisa in the ‘90’s. Mary started as a traditional quilter but enjoys the art type quilts today. Luisa prefers applique quilting.exhibits__i4c6441

Since raising their families, Mary and Luisa have more free time to pursue their joint quilt travels. Luisa and Mary choose to travel with quilt and textile tour groups. They prefer this method of traveling because, “You don’t have to worry about your luggage, traffic, or making reservations.” They try to take a quilt tour every three years. This year was the first time they had come to Road. They specifically chose Country Heritage Tours for this trip because Road to California was one of the featured stops. Having heard for years what a great show Road was, they were anxious to check it out for themselves.

When asked if there was a difference between the international quilt shows and Road, Luisa remarked that the international shows are bigger because they feature several different countries at one location. With so many contributors, there is a big mix of quilting styles. They said that no matter where you go, you still see a lot of American influences. At Road, they appreciated the friendly atmosphere and smaller exhibits. They also enjoyed the different vendors.people__i4c6333

Have you ever wanted to go to a quilt show in another country?      


Bohin France: More Than Just Pins And Needles

Friday, June 7th, 2013

You might think that French Fashion is all about the garments found on their famous runways. Actually, the ultimate French fashion statement, according to Mr. Didier Vrac, President and Chairman of Bohin France, are scissors and a pin cushion. After all, without these perfect tools, there would be no clothes finding their way down the runways.French Fashion Statement

Similar to France’s pins and needles industry once dying off, so was their scissor industry. That is, until Mr. Vrac stepped in and began managing Dussaussay Gallier, the company that has manufactured scissors in France since 1947.  Located in the cutlery-area of Nogent, famous for the crafting of knife-making, the mark “DG” denotes expert craftsmanship and superior quality. In order to maintain the original high standards of the company, one of its original—and talented —  employees, a gentleman who was 84 years old, was brought back to share and teach the unique techniques required to make their specialty scissors. No one else in the world had ever done that before and it reflects how important it was to the new leadership that the scissors retain their value

Dussaussay Gallier scissors have unique features. All scissors are made from stainless steel. Their large, over-sized scissors with handmade rings are used by all of the tailors in France. Smaller, delicate scissors are sold in specialty wooden boxes created exclusively for each individual pair, and have become collector’s items.Bohin Specialty Scissors

Between Bohin France and Dussaussay Gallier, what are their most popular products by those in the quilting industry? Well, it depends where you live. In France, it is their needles and pins.                                                               

Bohin Chalk PencilsBohin Needles


  In America, it is their line of chalk pencils and their scissors.                                                  





Bohin France and Dussaussay Gallier: Whatever your preference, you will always know that you are getting a quality product from a trusted brand that prides itself in both tradition and technology.

What is your favorite quilting tool?


Meet Catherine Bonte: President of French Patchwork

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Not only does Road to California represent the best of American quilting, it also connects with an international audience. France to be exact. Catherine Bonte, president of France Patchwork, the largest member organization of the European Quilt Association, came to Road last January to experience the show and even took a class!France Patchwork

Catherine began quilting in 1992 when her husband took a job in northern France. They had been living in southern France and she was looking for a way to meet people in her new home. She heard about a local quilt class being started and decided to join it. It ended up being a great way to meet new friends.Catherine Bonte

Catherine said that quilting is a popular hobby in France. French quilters tend to sew more by hand, even if they own the latest sewing machines. They are always interested in learning the newest techniques and are fond of taking classes. While many French quilters travel to the United States to purchase new products and fabrics, they also like to support French industry merchants like Bohin, the last needle maker in Europe. (Bohin was a vendor at this year’s show. More about them next week on the blog).Catherine Bonte Quilt

“a Flor de pie!”  made with Cotton organza and french lace by Catherine Bonte 

For the past four years, Catherine has been the president of France Patchwork, a non-profit, volunteer run, national quilt guild with over 12,500 members. It promotes quilting and art textile in France by publishing a quarterly magazine, Les Nouvelles (The News) and hosting a web site that keeps members up to date with all that is happening with patchwork in France. Within the guild are local clubs where women meet together to share their passion for quilting. Most of the clubs organize a “journèe de l’amitiè,” or day of friendship. According to Catherine, the members meet “To make a quilt for a special event or for a gift, share a delicious buffet, and drink some wine. Don’t forget, we are French!!!”Quilt de Legende

Quilter Isabelle Étienne

Catherine came to Road after receiving an invitation from Stevii Graves at the Fall 2012 International Quilt Market where Catherine was curating France Patchwork’s exhibit, Quilts de Lègende. A biannual exhibit, Quilts de Lègende features 30 quilts inspired by the history, materials, and quilting techniques of the American frontier and Civil War periods. Catherine hopes to bring one of France Patchwork’s collection of quilts to Road one day because “I do love to share this textile link between our two countries and I think it is a good opportunity to know us much better.”Antique Quilt

A copy of an American antique quilt made by Anne Marie Uguen for Quilts de Lègende

We would have to agree. Quilting unifies different people and cultures on so many levels.

Have you met a quilter from another country?