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Archive for the ‘Road 2013’ Category

Meet 2013 Featured Artist: Arlene Stamper

Friday, May 24th, 2013

If Arlene Stamper’s quilt designs haven’t won you over yet, then her warm smile and kind demeanor certainly will.featured_artist__i4c6613

Honored as this year’s Featured Artist, Arlene is best known for perfecting “block of the month” quilt patterns. Since 1999, Arlene has created two complete block quilts a year. There are now 24 quilt designs available to purchase through her business, The Quilt Companythat she runs with her daughter, Melissa.featured_artist__i4c6608

Before starting The Quilt Company, Arlene was a quilt teacher. Beginning in 1980, she and her students participated in “Swap-A-Block.” Each month, students worked on their own quilt block design based on a chosen theme such as birds, barns, and flowers. Then at the class, everyone would bring their one dozen finished quilt blocks (which included their individual signatures) and swapped them with their fellow classmates. The result? Uniquely crafted friendship quilts that were collaboratively designed. Through the years, her Fallbrook, California group has had 47 such exchanges.

In addition to the quilt blocks, Arlene is also known for teaching the Double Wedding Ring design. She patented a technique to make it easier to put together this challenging quilt.

Arlene’s exhibit at Road paralleled her career, showing many of the quilt block quilts she spearheaded. “Being at Road was like returning home,” commented Arlene. She was able to visit with former students and reminisce about past classes. She felt like her “Career had come full circle,” and so enjoyed the reunion she was having.featured_artist__i4c6617

A big smile that invites quilters to create and share their unique work. That is the essence of the talented Arlene Stamper.

Which of Arlene’s “block of the month” designs have you made?

 

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Meet the African American Quilters of Los Angeles

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Probably the most urban quilt guild you will find, the African American Quilters of Los Angeles (AAQLA), meet monthly at the Department of Water and Power in Downtown Los Angeles. Founded 27 years ago, their multi-ethnic membership of 160 is comprised of both men and women of all ages. The guild first came together after an exhibit of African American quilts held in the California Afro-American Museum in Exposition Park of Los Angeles.  The mission of the AAQLA is to bring awareness of the historical value of African-American quilts, as well as to celebrate and continue the tradition of quilting.African American Quilters of Los Angeles

In addition to monthly dues, AAQLA has one additional requirement for all of its’ members. Everyone is expected to make a quilt during their birthday month which is then donated to one of the non-profits they support like hospitals, foster homes, and senior citizen homes. 

There are 9-11 different quilt circles within their organization. These groups meet in other areas around Los Angeles on days and times that work for them.

One of their newer members, Deborah, started quilting about 2 years ago. A co-worker with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and a member of the guild, got her interested in quilting. Before joining the guild herself, Deborah wanted to attend Road to California to see how it all comes together in the quilt world. She enjoyed her first Road so much she started volunteering at the event.Deborah-AAQLA

Deborah belongs to the “Stasher-Dashers” quilt circle in AAQLA. She is a “piecer” and machine quilts her finished work. Deborah gives away all of her quilts. The lucky recipients include Caring Hearts, the group in AAQLA that organizes the guild’s quilt donations,  her quilt circle, her grandchildren and her physician who distributes the quilts to kidney patients.

Deborah has found that quilters are warm and sharing people. She likes the exposure to new ideas that AAQLA and Road to California give her, especially since she is relatively new to the art.

Quilt Guilds and Road to California— great resources for new and experienced quilters.

Have you considered volunteering at Road like Deborah?

 

 

 

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Meet Jerry Granata- Retired Navy Veteran, Artist, Quilter

Friday, May 17th, 2013

How does a 21 year Naval Veteran become an award winning quilter?Navy Seal

For Jerry Granata, his quilting journey began when he was a young boy, watching his mother and sister in their work as high level, garment sewers. His sister noticed his interest and taught him how to sew garments, first for babies then for himself. Later, in high school, Jerry was introduced to quilting but put it aside when he graduated to join the Navy.

His Naval experience included playing the flute, jazz saxophone, and singing vocals for different Navy rock bands. While playing for the Naval Academy Band in Annapolis, he was introduced to musical theater and utilized his sewing background in doing costume design. After 21 years of service, he left the Navy, went to Florida, and opened a night club, providing him with another opportunity to use his music and costume designing background.

He stayed in Florida for nine years when in 2012, Jerry sold all of his belongings, bought a motor home, and spent the next year traveling the country looking to find a place a land. Where did he finally settle? Palm Springs, California where he began oil painting. He soon realized that his love for color and composition was limited with painting, so he embarked on finding a new medium to express his creativity and artistic talent. Fabrics became that new medium.

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Jerry began quilting by learning the basics of patterns and piecing. From there, he moved into art quilts which have become his passion. In his quilting, he loves experimenting with color, painting, art deco, and beading.

He is relatively new to quilt shows, entering his first quilt design in 2009. At Road 2013, Jerry had two award winners:

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What is in Jerry’s future? More quilting and more experimenting. He also hopes to get in to teaching art quilt design.

Whatever Jerry Granata does, he does it with enthusiasm and dedication. He sums up his philosophy this way: “Everyone has a voice, an artistic side. You just have to find out what it is. Quilting does it for me.”

How have you found your artistic voice?

 

 

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Why I Came To Road…The Three Top Reasons

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

We know that Road to California is the “Best in the West” Quilter’s Conference and Showcase. And we are grateful that over 20,000 attendees who visited this year’s show felt the same way. What brings our guests to Road? During the past show, we asked around and got all kinds of great responses. Here were the top three:

1) Variety: Alice from Reno, Nevada, was invited by her cousin to attend. She remarked, “I didn’t realize there was so much to see.” From the quilt displays, special exhibits, vendor booths to the classes and lectures, “There’s too much to get it all in a day.”(Most guests attend a minimum of two days) Valerie, a first time guest from Novato, California, observed, “The quality of the quilts is impressive. So many different techniques and styles to see and appreciate.”vendors__i4c5733

2) Fellowship and Friendship: Joyce, has been coming for the past four years from a remote town in Washington. She has to travel by boat, then prop lane, and finally a jet to reach Ontario, California. Coming to Road gives her a chance to meet up with fellow quilters, buy supplies, and be exposed to things that aren’t available at her distant home.

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Then there are the four friends, Betty, Karen, Norma and another Karen, each from a different city around the state of Washington State.  They became interested when they saw an advertisement  for Road and thought it would be a good place to stay connected.

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Debbi and Golda have been friends for over 58 years. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Debbi now lives in Alaska and Golda lives in Barstow, California. Since 2007, they have met up at Road, take a couple of classes together, then go back to Golda’s house and spend a week or two finishing their projects before Debbi heads back to Alaska.

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3) Inspiration: Judy, from Florida, finds Road to be the perfect outlet to” get her out of her comfort zone,” and find new challenges to explore. By watching demonstrations, she finds out about the latest techniques to take back and try at home. She makes the most of her week by signing up for three night time events and a lecture a day. For Linda, from Mission Viejo, California, Road is “my vacation—I love it!!” When you are relaxed and away from it all, you can let the creative juices flow.

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Road to California is a great place to be inspired, find friends, and be exposed to all kinds of quilting delight. Mark your calendars now for next year’s show. The dates for Road to California 2014 are January 23-26. Hotel reservations can be made now. Show and Class Registration starts on July 13, 2013. For more information, check our web site: www.road2ca.com.

What brings you to Road?

 

 

 

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A Fraternity That Mixes Music With Quilting Service

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

There always seems to be a lot of bad press when you hear about fraternity activities. But you won’t hear anything negative at Road to California where the talent and giving spirit of a local fraternity truly makes a difference.

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is the world’s oldest and largest secret national fraternal society in music. The objects of this fraternity are to encourage the best and truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students; the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater. A key component of this fraternity is charity. Sinfonians are called to serve mankind through ideals and music in “uplifting his fellow man.”fraternity5

Matt Reese is an alumnus of the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at California State University-Long Beach. For the past two years, he has enlisted the brothers of Kappa Omicron to help Road’s vendors haul their merchandise to and from their vehicles.  While these young men are super busy helping to get everything in order in time for Preview Night, they do also get to visit with some of the participants.  Said Robert Tovar, current Chapter Secretary, “I love hearing the stories from all the quilters. They are very friendly.”fraternity2

The fraternity brothers return to the Convention Center Sunday afternoon, when everything is over, to tear down the show. fraternity3

Each student spends about 17 hours completing their assignments. All of the money raised by these young men during Road goes towards their fund raising efforts to provide aid to inner city school music programs. In fact, their fund raising concert, Sinfonia Helps Music, will take place on May 10 at 7:00 PM at the Unitarian Universalist church in Long Beach, CA. 

Robert sums up the fraternity’s participation: “It is just one art helping another art.”fraternity1

Thank you Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia for your hard work at Road and in the community. 

 

 

 

 

 

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May Day and Flower Quilts

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

The First of May is traditionally a day to celebrate the beauty of Spring fowers. May-pole dances and May baskets left by the door are both symbols of the splendor of nature’s fresh bouquets.

Many of the award winning quilts from Road to California 2013 used flowers as their theme. In honor of May Day, here are some of those quilts for you to enjoy:

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Lily Pad by Patti K. Van Oordt 

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Elegantly Chained Garden by Diana Tatro

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                                                                                                                                         Louise’s Poppies by Jan Popa                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

                                                                                                            

 

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Aunt Millie’s Garden by Rebecca Yoder

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My Mother’s Flower Garden by Janet Owens

 

                     

 

 

 

 

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Awaken, Spring by Kristi M. Hammer

 

 

 

 

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Imperial Blooms by Catherine Redford

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Roses for Mary by Ken Berg

 

 

 

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Kaeru-san by Sharon Murphy

 

 

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Get To Know The Inland Empire Quilter's Guild

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Located just a few miles south of the Ontario Convention Center in Corona, California, the Inland Empire Quilters Guild didn’t have to travel very far to display their opportunity quilt, “Lady Liberty,” on Saturday of this year’s Road to California. With 90 members, both old and young, this guild’s “friendships are incredible,” says member Connie Peterik. The guild meets twice monthly for fellowship, business, and great speakers. guild

Inland Empire Quilters Guild has two main philanthropies. They donate quilts to victims of domestic violence as well as to Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for foster children. Last year, they donated over 100 quilts and pillowcases to the campers. inland empire guild2

Another event that fosters friendship is their annual “Country Quilt Fair.” To be held on May 3rd and 4th, there will be over 150 quilts on display as well as special exhibits, challenge quilts, and the raffle for “Lady Liberty.” inland empire guild

What do you value most from your quilt guild?

 

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Get to Know: Sierra Mountain Quilters Association

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

What could be better than encouraging the friendship, fun, and learning of quilting in one of the most beautiful locations in California? SMQA

The Sierra Mountain Quilters Association (SMQA) is just that lucky. Located south of Yosemite National Park near Bass Lake in Madera County, the association boasts 120 members and runs a quilt shop in town, encouraging its members and local quilt fans to shop local. 

Supporting families in difficult circumstances is the hallmark of SMQA.

They make quilts that are presented once a year to children of inmates at the local women’s prison. They also put together Hand-print Quilts for the Children’s Hospital of Central California. Each of these patchwork quilts includes a blank, 17 inch, bordered square in the middle of each quilt. When a child passes away at the hospital, the association places a hand or foot print of the child in the center of the blank square, and presents the memorial quilt to the parent of the deceased child. Such a wonderful act of service and compassion for those grieving parents. 

Each May, SMQA hosts a quilt show when the nearby waterfalls are at their peak and before the summer tourists invade Yosemite. This year, their quilt show, “Mountain Gems,” will be held May 4th and 5th and will include a Country Store, quilt vendors, raffle baskets and the raffling of their opportunity quilt which was displayed at Road to California this past January. SMQA2

The Sierra Mountain Quilters Association is proud to represent the beautiful mountain nature that surrounds them in all their quilt creations.

Is there an aspect of nature that inspires your quilting?

 

 

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Why Modern Quilting?

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Modern Quilting could be found all over Road this year. There were vendors, classes, fabrics and materials all dealing with the modern quilting movement. What is a modern quilt you ask? Emily Cier, one of our modern quilting instructors, described what it isn’t.  “Modern quilts are not easy, sloppy or crooked. Rather, they require good craftsmanship in putting together quilt blocks made of solid colors.”modern

At the lecture, Thoroughly Modern Quilting,” attendees were asked, “Why did you attend this event? Spotted in the class were exhibit curator Helen Remick and her friend of 53 years, Melissa. They have known each other since they were college roommates at UC Davis. Both quilters, Melissa came to Road to see Helen’s exhibit. Together, they wanted to learn more about modern quilting. Most attendees were after the same thing as Helen and Melissa. In addition, they offered these comments:

                        “ I’ve been a quilter for 30 years and am looking for a new look.”

                        “I am a displaced quilter. The modern designs make me happy.”

                        “I like how anything goes with modern quilting.”

                        “My 28 year old daughter told me about these kinds of quilts.”modern_quilts_img_1581

                        “I wanted to see first-hand where quilting was going.”

                        “Our age wants more modern fabrics and looks.”

                        “I love the designs and enjoy the night time activities at Road.”

                        “I am looking for new designs and was drawn to the angular quilting.”

Whether someone was an experienced quilter or a newbie, modern quilting was a fun technique to check out.

What do you think about modern quilting?

        

      

  

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Yo-Yo's Aren't Just For Playing

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

I bet you thought a yo-yo was just a plastic “object consisting of an axle connected to two disks, with a length of twine looped around the axle, similar to a slender spool.”(Wikipedia) You would have been right, that is, up until Road this past January. Because that is where you would have experienced the quilted kind of yo-yo as displayed in Helen Remick’s exhibit, YoYo Quilts.  yoyo3

What exactly is a traditional fabric yo-yo? A circle, folded under a ¼” with a running stitch made along the edge, and which is gathered to create the yo-yo design. Helen, from Seattle, Washington, has spent the past five years experimenting with different yo-yo patterns.  Her stitching with her first fabric yo-yo’s wasn’t that perfect. They often came out too small and you could see through the fabric. It took some practice. She improvised and played around with not only circle shapes but ovals, squares, and triangles too, both opened and closed. She even makes half yo-yo’s. Using flexible plastic helps the fabric keep its unusual shapes. Helen also likes to play with different color combinations. In addition to using traditional single fabrics, she has made yo-yo’s using sheer fabrics and then putting a print in the middle. 

Helen started designing yo-yo quilts because, “Quilts don’t have to be just three layers.” She sews a pieced quilt top first, tacking the yo-yo’s on top.  Often, her quilts are inspired by the names of yo-yo tricks. Some of her most popular designs use the yo-yo’s to create flower designs, patterned after Islamic mosaics. These flowers can have four, five, seven, or eight petals. yoyo2

One of her most creative quilts? The front is made up of fabric glued over blank CD’s with yo-yo’s tacked to the centers. On the back of the quilt, she has recorded her family history. Very clever!!!   yoyo4

Curating the Yo Yo Quilt Exhibit was the first time Helen had all of her quilts assembled together. Helen found Road to California to be professional, well-organized, and a beautiful venue to show off her quilts. Road was delighted to preview this very unique style of quilting.

Have you ever tried to make a yo-yo?

 

 

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