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Archive for the ‘Road 2015- 20th Anniversary Show’ Category

Repurposing Your Denim

Friday, May 1st, 2015

We are always reminded of the need to reuse-renew-recycle — especially when it comes to fabric scraps, fabric stash, and used clothing.

Luveta Nickels of Junk Jeans is an expert at reusing fabric, especially denim. Road to California 2015 was Luveta’s second time at the show and first time giving a lecture presentation. Her class, “Ready to Wear Rehab” shared original ideas on how to repurpose denim jeans.Denim2

Known as the “denim diva,” Luveta has had an interest in recycling denim jeans since she was a young girl. At one time, she had collected over 3,000 pairs of jeans! Her natural curiosity about the workings of zippers, tack buttons, rivets and even the purpose of holes in the knees, prepared Luveta in those early years, for cutting, ripping and tearing her current creations.

During the lecture, Luveta shared how to make a denim jacket out of three pairs of jeans. And how one pair of jeans can be cut down to make four placemats!! It is all about how you lay out your project, Luveta explained.

With the current interest in creating handbags and purses – not to mention Road to California’s and ByAnnie.com’s Bag Challenge for Road 2016 — Luveta demonstrated a fun embellishment: using the pockets from worn denim jeans.470

To use Luveta’s technique, you will need a pocket removed from a pair of jeans, some lace, and a spray bottle filled with bleach.

Step One: Remove a pocket from a pair of worn jeans.

Step Two: Arrange a piece of lace over the pocket472

Step Three: Spray bleach over the lace and then immediately remove the lace.

Step Four: Be patient and wait for the bleach to take hold on the fabric. Once it has dried, the pocket can be stitched to your project.

Luveta said that this procedure can also be used on t-shirts. You just have to dilute the bleach before spraying over the lace.

Do you have any tips for reusing fabric or jeans?      





A "Couple" Of Quilters

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Road to California is even more fun when shared with a spouse.


Meet Jan and Mike Rowe of Perth, Australia. (In case you were wondering, their air flights from Perth to Ontario, California took 18-1/2 hours!!).  Art and quilting are Jan’s passions. Her interest in quilting began 20 years ago when she was visiting her sister in England and ran across a sign advertising a quilt show. She has been quilting ever since, favoring “contemporary” designs. In 2001, she started teaching quilting. Mike and Jan travel all over the world, picking themes for their trips that almost always include a stop at some quilting venue. They came to Road as part of a one month tour around California for their 44th wedding anniversary. Mike is “very supportive of Jan’s quilting interests and turns a blind eye to her shopping.”



Road 2015 was Gary and Laynee Greenberg’s third visit to Road. From Fresno, California, Laynee taught kindergarten for 20 years, retiring in 2011. She started quilting after she retired. They always come to Road together. Gary enjoys supporting Laynee in her quilting hobby. In return, Laynee goes with Gary to his HAM radio events. Both Laynee and Gary appreciate the creativity that goes in to the quilts they see at Road. Gary observed,  “They are incredible.”



[caption id="attachment_3086" align="aligncenter" width="707"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]

Mel and Chong Ogawa drive up from their home in San Clemente, California to spend a day together at Road. Road 2015 marked their fourth time visiting the show. Mel says he comes along to offer “moral support” — and to manage Chong’s shopping bags. Chong has been quilting for 15 years. She likes to incorporate Hawaiian fabrics in her designs. Both Mel and Chong like viewing the exhibits. Chong likes to get new ideas from other quilters while Mel admires the quilts because they “look just like pictures.”   

Have you considered bringing your spouse to Road?


Quilt Ink

Friday, April 10th, 2015

One trend that we noticed at Road 2015 was the popularity of quilt tattoos.

Husband and wife Steve and Pam Dransfeldt own a longarm quilting business in Camarillo, California. They have attended Road for several years and appreciate the familiarity of Road. Says Steve, “I like seeing all the stuff at Road. The quilts are incredible. I work in a paper mill and I try to tell the guys how great quilting is but they have no idea.”  IMG_8803

Both Pam and Steve sport several quilt inspired tattoos. Steve even has a tattoo design on the back of his  leg that came from a Karen McTavish quilt. “Her quilt work is natural for tattoos,” says Steve.

[caption id="attachment_3050" align="alignnone" width="518"]IMG_8795 Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3046" align="alignright" width="426"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]











Pam always asks permission from the quilters before they use their artwork for a tattoo


Linda M. Posle also asks permission before she uses a design from a book for a tattoo. She writes the author and has never been turned down.  

Abbie Van Buskirk, teacher and advisor of the Quilt Club at Innovative Horizons Charter School, has an Eleanor Burns inspired Block of the Month design on her leg. Abbie showed Eleanor her tattoo when Eleanor helped out with the quilt tours for the elementary school students. Eleanor was speechless; that was a first for her!!_I4C8038

What do you think about quilt inspired tattoos?


A Field Trip Of Dreams

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Do you remember your elementary school field trips?

You probably went to a museum or to an art exhibit; the zoo or the fire station. Maybe you even went to a theatrical performance. For 5th and 6th grade students in the Quilt Club at Innovative Horizons Charter School, their field trip was to attend Road to California!!

[caption id="attachment_3037" align="aligncenter" width="662"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]


A low, socio-economic school located in the low, socio-economic Perris Elementary School District, Innovative Horizons Charter School’s  Quilt Club is in its second year under the direction of teacher (and quilter) Abbie Van Buskirk. The original intent of the club said Ms. Buskirk was to enable students to “learn to sew something for themselves and to sew something for them to give away.”

[caption id="attachment_3039" align="aligncenter" width="673"]_I4C8028 Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]

This year, there are 25 fifth grade and ten sixth grade students participating in the after school club.  “I joined the Quilt Club to make quilts for people who need warmth in the cold,” said 5th grader Jesus Ayala. Added Cain Gonzales, another 5th grade student, “I wanted to make quilts for preemies.” 

The club meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for 1-1/2 hours.  It has access to 8 Brother sewing machines which were donated to the school along with cutting boards and cutting tools. Students cut out their own projects using fabric donated by Ms. Van Buskirk and other faculty at the school. Christine Tober, a mom of one of the club members and a volunteer with the Quilt Club, said of the program, “My son has been in the Quilt Club for 2 years and has become an advanced quilter. I love the opportunity the club gives the kids not only to learn how to quilt, but for them to socialize, use their math skills, and participate in something.”

[caption id="attachment_3040" align="aligncenter" width="708"]_I4C8066 Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]

Ms. Buskirk approached her school district and Road to California to attend the show. The district provided the buses from its art funding.  After a one hour bus ride, the students were greeted at the show by Road’s owner, Carolyn Reese, and well known quilter Eleanor Burns. Many of the students were familiar with Eleanor’s Quilt in a Day and so they treated her like a celebrity!!

And Eleanor was just as excited to see them. “I started sewing when I was young so I know firsthand the benefits of how sewing will keep you healthy and give you something to look forward to each day. I hope these children will keep sewing the rest of their life.”

The students were divided in to three groups and given a three hour tour of the show. Each group took turns learning about long arm quilting machines and cutting tools; visited the Celebrating 150 Years of California State Parks special exhibit and met with the Egyptian quilters at their special exhibit. They were thrilled with the special treatment they received and were inspired but what they saw.

Carolyn Reese enjoyed hosting the students.  “It’s important to let the younger generation experience the different aspects of quilting and learn that it’s much more than making blankets.”        

[caption id="attachment_3038" align="aligncenter" width="618"]_I4C8024 Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]

For the Quilt Club of Innovative Horizons Charter School, going to Road to California was the field trip of their dreams!! 


When A Famous Artist Meets A Famous Quilt Show

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

IMG_8924 Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]

Road to California’s guests come from all over the world: men, women, old, young, quilters and those who appreciate quilts. During Road 2015, one guest, artist Giorgio Tuscani, came simply because his good friend — the Mayor of Ontario, California — invited him. He had no idea what he was in for; he thought he was going to see a bunch of patchwork blankets. But after spending two hours on the show floor, Giorgio went away with a whole new respect for the quilting world.

Giorgio Tuscani is a Renaissance painter whose paintings can sell for upwards of $125,000.

[caption id="attachment_3005" align="aligncenter" width="789"]"I Give My Love To You" Giorgio Tuscani “I Give My Love To You” Giorgio Tuscani[/caption]


He is also a fabric designer with his own line of clothing and shoes. Born in Italy, raised in West Texas, Giorgio had no background with quilts. When his good friend, Mayor Paul S. Leon, invited Giorgio and his partner, Rod McDonnell, to come visit Road to California 2015, Giorgio said he accepted the invitation simply to “oblige the mayor.” What he didn’t expect was to experience “an art form from a different world that I didn’t even know existed.”

Giorgio and Rod were given a tour of some of the special exhibits by Road’s staff. They got to see up close the prize winning quilts as well as Celebrating 100 Years of California State Parks  and were “totally blown away by the sophistication ” of the artistry and quilting.

[caption id="attachment_2907" align="aligncenter" width="718"]Point Lobos State Natural Reserve by Christine Robin Hartman Point Lobos State Natural Reserve by Christine Robin Hartman[/caption]

They also spent some time with Featured Artist, Sheila Frampton Cooper. Tuscani and Cooper immediately connected as Sheila began her career as a painter before leaping to her current passion of studio art quilts.

[caption id="attachment_2846" align="aligncenter" width="631"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]

During his visit, Giorgio was especially touched by the obvious caring community that quilters enjoy. “I love how the quilters nourish and support each other,” remarked Giorgio.

What was Giorgio’s overall opinion of Road 2015? “I have a whole new appreciation for this art form. It was simply amazing.”


Meet Road Faculty Member, Brian Haggard

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Brian Haggard is the first to admit that he got in to quilting backwards.Brian Haggard

A Floral Designer for 22 years, then an Interior Designer with his own business (Windsor Home Interiors) for 17 years, quilting is Brian’s third career. “I have been fortunate to always have a career centered on creativity.”

While Brian had helped his grandmother with her quilts since he was a child, he actually first started quilting on his own about eight years ago. His first quilt was a crazy quilt that he made for his mother as a Christmas gift. Then, when his grandmother passed away, Brian made a memory quilt of her life. His family was so excited about Brian’s new hobby; they encouraged him to do more. He made more quilts, table runners, pillows, and eventually came up with a process to take pictures, duplicate them on fabric using sepia tones (“Sepia is my world”), and embellish them in a quilted piece.  Brian Haggard work

He received so many requests on how to do his sepia picture technique that he decided to write a book, Crazy Quilted Memories, in 2011.Brian Haggard book

This is where the “backwards” entry into quilting came in to play. “I didn’t know that you had to first promote your work and make a name for yourself before you write a book. I did it all backwards. I wrote the book first, and then went in to the industry.”   It only took one year for Brian’s work to be recognized and now he is working full time in the quilting world. His second book, Embroidered Memories, was released in 2012.

Brian loves teaching and being on the road. He has taught his quilting method in Ireland, New York, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois, Kentucky, and last January, in Ontario, California at Road to California 2015. “There is nothing like the joy of helping a person ‘get it’ the first time. That is why I teach.”

[caption id="attachment_2984" align="aligncenter" width="744"]Picture by Gregory Case Photography Picture by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]


His students at Road 2015 enjoyed being in his class as much as Brian enjoyed teaching it. Said Rachel, “Brian is very creative and talented. He is humble and easy to talk to.” Val added, “Brian’s teaching is very effective. It is easy to pick up his techniques and I have lots of ideas to take home.”  

[caption id="attachment_2982" align="aligncenter" width="683"]Picture by Gregory Case Photography Picture by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]


What does the future hold for this quilter? More teaching and another book for C&T Publishers. Going backwards has proven to be the right move for Brian Haggard!!




Road 2015 Vendor Spotlight: Meet Splinters and Threads

Friday, February 20th, 2015

A Road to California Sponsor, the online business Splinters and Threads, began in 2002 as the place that “brings you the best in quilting and embroidery.” Splinters and Threads features machine embroidery designs, wood printing blocks, fabric paints, patterns and fabrics.Splinters and Threads

Owner Gina Reddin has been sewing since she was a very young girl in West Texas. She made her first dress completely unsupervised right after her 3rd grade year in school. She called her mother to see if she could sew something while she was home that day. When her mother returned home from school, she fully expected to find a slew of cut up fabrics. only to find a fully completed dress. Gina entered that dress in the fair that year and came home with a blue ribbon. Gina won numerous competitions in school, Girl Scouts, and 4-H.Gina Reddin

When her children were young, Gina made most of their clothing and soon began making quilts. While home with her 4 children and expecting her 5th child, Gina discovered machine embroidery.  With her degree in Interior Design and having worked as a draftsperson, digitizing was naturally the next step. The images of the embroidery designs progressed into having blocks hand carved in India.  Today, Gina brings together her love of computers, quilting, machine embroidery, and fabric to bring a wide array of genres into her designs. Gina has been published in Quilting and Embroidery Magazine and Quiltmaker magazine.

In addition to her business, Gina enjoys photography and travel.  She loves hands-on classes, helping others get interested in new ideas.  Giving to others also excites Gina; the hand carved blocks now help support 40 families in India ensuring electricity in their homes and all their children now in school.

Splinters and Threads has been a vendor at Road for five years. 2015 marked the first year the company was a Road sponsor. Gina remarked, “I love the customers that Road has, the quality of the quilts and the special afternoon treatment Road shows its vendors.”Splinters and Threads2

What will be new for Splinters and Threads in 2015? Gina shares that a new template/ruler will be released this year.  “This one template will replace several templates and be a space saver.” There will also be new patterns offered to go with the line.

To see all the products offered by Splinters and Threads, please visit their web site: www.splintersandthreads.com


2015 Special Exhibit: Celebrating 150 Years of California State Parks

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

California has over 279 diverse natural and cultural state parks. They include underwater preserves, reserves, and parks; redwood, rhododendron, and wildlife reserves; state beaches, recreation areas, wilderness areas, and reservoirs; state historic parks, historic homes, Spanish era adobe buildings, including museums, visitor centers, cultural reserves, and preserves; as well as lighthouses, ghost towns, waterslides, conference centers, and off-highway vehicle parks.  The diversity of these parks was captured in the Road 2015 Special Exhibit located in the center of the show’s pavilion.

[caption id="attachment_2907" align="aligncenter" width="590"]Point Lobos State Natural Reserve by Christine Robin Hartman Point Lobos State Natural Reserve by Christine Rohn Hartman[/caption]

The exhibit featured 57 quilts made by members of the Quliters’ Sew-ciety of Redding, Inc. One quilt was a replica of the official California State Parks’ 150th anniversary poster and the other 56 quilts in the exhibit depicted 56 different state parks. 

[caption id="attachment_2908" align="aligncenter" width="569"]Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area by Candy Ralston Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area by Candy Ralston[/caption]

In addition to making their quilt, each quilter also submitted a written narrative describing the park they chose, what inspired them to make the quilt, and a description detailing the techniques they used to make the quilt.

[caption id="attachment_2909" align="aligncenter" width="587"]Anza Borrego Desert State Park by Blossom Hamusek Anza Borrego Desert State Park by Blossom Hamusek[/caption]


All quilts had to be 20” x 30” with a 3” sleeve, and could be vertical or horizontal.   Quilters chose their state parks on a first come/first choice basis from the 279 various state park units in California. The quilters were given 7 months to complete their project.

[caption id="attachment_2910" align="aligncenter" width="546"]Old Town San Diego State Historic Park by Katherine Fletcher Old Town San Diego State Historic Park by Katherine Fletcher[/caption]


Regarding the exhibit, curator Chris Hartman commented, “This was really an inspirational quilt challenge that seems to appeal to viewers of all ages and genders.  It was fun to organize and participate in.   We thank the CA State Parks 150th Anniversary Committee and the staff members of many of the state parks for their enthusiasm and support for this project.”    

[caption id="attachment_2911" align="aligncenter" width="603"]Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park by Linda Molter Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park by Linda Molter[/caption]

The exhibit is currently on a two-year tour to various states and national quilt shows. It will also be exhibited at various Northern California State Parks such as Ide Adobe State Historic Park during Ide Adobe Days, Bidwell Mansion, and at the Stanford Mansion at the Leland Stanford State Historic Park in downtown Sacramento during the month of September.



Everyone Loves A Winner

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

For the second year in a row, Road to California hosted a Daily Drawing.

Prospective winners filled out an entry form at the North Information Desk prior to the drawing at 3:00 p.m. each day of the conference.Thursday4

All guests had the opportunity to win one of these great prizes donated by these great companies:

Babylock Rachel donated by Moore’s Sewing Center

Bernina Sew Pink Sewing Machine donated by Mel’s Sewing Center

Viking Sapphire 930 donated by OC Sewing

LaCresta Premiere Work Station donated by Martelli

Everyone was excited and nervous waiting for the anticipated announcement. Thursday5

After giving the steel drum several spins, winners were selected and announced by Randy Graves.Thursday

And the lucky winners were:

Thursday: Agnes Wilkerson, Idylwild, CaliforniaThursday2

Agnes came to Road by bus with her local guild, The Mountain Quilters. She was on the bus waiting to leave when her friend ran out to tell her she had won. A quilter for 11 years, Agnes thought it was “amazing” that she had won.  “I’ve come to Road for several years and I love everything here.”

Friday: Lynn Grassel, Gillette, WyomingFriday

Lynn’s favorite color is pink. “I love pink blingy things.” So it was fitting that she won a pink Bernina sewing machine. It was Lynn’s first visit to Road. She came with six quilt buddies and they were having “a blast” taking classes, staying at the host hotel, and visiting the show. Lynn started quilting in 2001 when her youngest child graduated from high school. Going to Road inspired Lynn to want to become an art quilter.

Saturday: Susan Nowak, Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaSaturday

Susan was inside the Exhibit Hall when she heard her name called. This was Susan’s 5th time at Road. She came with friends who met at college at Cal Lutheran and are now all retired. What is she going to do now that she won her beautiful machine? “I plan to do lots and lots of sewing!!”  

Sunday: Kristin McClary, Alta Loma, CaliforniaSunday

Kristin had attended the show earlier in the week and was just going to stop back by on Sunday “for one more item.” Little did she know that a last minute drop of her entry would win her a new electric work station valued at $3,250!!!

All of our winners remarked that they “never win anything.” Just goes to show that it pays to take a chance and enter the daily drawing. Because one day, the winner’s name being called out just might be yours!!



What Is Your Creative Process?

Friday, February 6th, 2015

No two people approach their quilting projects the same. Here, Road’s 2015 Featured Artist, Sheila Frampton Cooper, shares her creative process:Sheila2

1)      First Things First: Palette and Scale* I usually have a color scheme in mind but many times, I will pull out all of my fabric and just start making color choices as I am building a piece. There’s something about actually looking at a particular piece of fabric and deciding if it’s a good fit. After I decide on the color direction, I then consider the scale of the project. Will I use large pieces or smaller ones?    

2)      Music* Ever since I was a young child, I have had a very eclectic and discriminating taste in music. It’s fair to say you rarely walk into my studio when there’s nothing playing. Music can change my mood in an instant and it energizes my creative soul; this is one of the reasons music plays such a huge part in my creative process. Some of my favorite artists include: David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Grace Jones, Neil Young, theKinks, Elton John, Bootsy Collins, and Parliament Funkadelic.

3)      Improvise* I don’t really work in a series. Each quilt is its own thing, so to speak. Often I’m inspired by a piece and I want to recreate that in some way, but it always goes where it wants to go. Improvisation requires thoughtful attention and every move I make takes careful consideration. In some ways, it’s a lot easier to follow a pattern or a predetermined design. Creating without an initial plan gives me the opportunity to make decisions throughout the construction of a piece and for some, that can be daunting. However, I thrive on that and when I run into a challenge, I step back, quiet my mind, and wait. I wait with the knowledge that a solution will dawn on me, and it always does, without fail.Sheila's work2

4)      Favorite Tip. I use Superior Threads mono poly in my bobbin. I wind the bobbin and use 50% speed. This also saves thread and gives a nice look on the back of the quilt.

How do you approach your creative process?  

*Part of this text was adapted from an article that appeared in the May 2014 issue of American Quilter Magazine.