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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

Reunited After 75 Years

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

We hear all the time how Road to California is a great event for friends from near and far to meet up. But at Road 2017, it was the first time that we heard how two friends chose Road as a place to reunite after not seeing each other for over 75 years!! (l-r) Mary Pumphrey and Marion Clute

Mary Pumphrey of Arkansas and Marion Clute of San Marcos in San Diego county, both 86 years young, last saw each other in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1941. From 1938 until 1941, when Mary and Marion were 7-11 years old, they lived one house apart. In just 3 years, the girls became the best of friends. As Marion said, “Mary was my first real friend.” The girls were even baptized together on the same day, March 24, 1940.

In 1941, Marion’s family moved to Colorado then to California while Mary’s family remained in Nebraska. Both women later married and had children; Mary had four and Marion had two. They stayed in touch through the years by writing letters and sending Christmas and birthday cards. There were no phone calls between them because it was “too expensive.”
Over the years, Mary and Marion both got involved in quilting. Mary self-taught herself to make a bedspread for her mother in 1980. It wasn’t until 1982 that she began taking classes. She is still an active quilter, doing machine piecing and hand quilting. Currently, she is working on putting together a 1900-era quilt given to her from a friend.
Marion started quilting in the 1970’s. She found a pattern for one of her first quilts on the back of a McCalls magazine: a drawing of Sun Bonnet Sue. It brought back memories of a quilt she had as a child with the same pattern.

She got the fabric for her project from her children’s old shirts and dresses. She made 30 blocks, then put it aside, preferring to work on hand piecing work for other quilts . In the 1980’s, she found the blocks and decided to put them together but she “hated” how it turned out, so she put the quilt aside again. Then, in the late 1990’s, she attempted to work on it once more but only got as far as taking the blocks apart. Finally, in 2008, she decided to revisit the quilt. She made the blocks smaller before reassembling and began quilting it. Currently, it still needs “some quilting” before it can be completed. Marion hopes “that I get it done before I die!”
How did these lifelong friends end up meeting 75 years later at Road 2017? Mary wrote Marion in her annual Christmas letter that she was going to Road to California with her daughter, Linda Pumphrey, a quilt designer and author, former President of the International Quilt Association and vendor with Mountain Mist batting. Marion sent Mary a reply that since Mary was “going to be so close, we have to meet.” They exchanged phone numbers and final arrangements were made over the phone. Seeing each other was “fantastic,” said Mary. “A special, special time,” remarked Marion.
Their reunion also held a fun surprise that brought back a special memory involving their mothers. Both Mary and Marion’s mothers were sewers. One year, Marion and Mary both got a Dy-Dee Dollthe first doll that wet its pants. Marion said “it was the best Christmas ever” when she got that doll. The mothers made complete sets of doll clothes for their daughters’ dolls. However, when they were sewing them, each mother told their daughter that the clothes were for the other girl’s doll!! Mary and Marion were thrilled when they found out that they got to keep the doll clothes their own mother had made!! Those dolls were so important to the young Marion and Mary that they have kept those doll clothes all these years. Little did they know that unbeknownst to the other, each woman had brought along her original doll clothes to share during their meetup at Road!!

Besides their reunion, both women were also able to enjoy the show. What did they think about Road to California? It was Mary’s first time at Road. She had been to Paducah several times and found Road to California to be “so much bigger than I expected.” Marion thought Road was just “jaw-dropping.”

Road to California is a great place for old and new friends to meet up. We just hope that it doesn’t take any other guests 75 years to reunite!!
Do you have a lifelong, quilting friend too?

Quilting Friends

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Friendship Day is August 2, 2015 – a wonderful reason to celebrate the friends in your life.

Road to California 2015 – 20th Anniversary Show was the perfect place for friends to come together and enjoy over 1,000 quilts on display, 18 special exhibits, and over 700 merchant booths.



Modern quilters Michelle Barbee and Megan Evans met at the LA Modern Quilt Guild. They encourage each other with their modern quilting projects.  They all had “a fun time looking at all the quilts and shopping.”




Meet Cecilia, Joan, Carolyn, and Ann. These four friends quilt at Grace Lutheran Church in Upland, California. They have been going to Road together for the past 10 years because “we have fun.” They enjoy seeing Eleanor Burns, the quilts on display and buying batting for the quilts they make for their church group. Last year, their group donated 154 quilts to various organizations. They’ve started making dog beds out of the scraps from their quilts and are donating those to local animal shelters and to homeless people with pets. As Carolyn said, “We don’t waste anything!!”






Donna Nordstrom and Joanna Larmore started coming to Road 17 years ago as young moms looking for something to get out of the house and enjoy doing something together. Since then, Joanna moved out of state, so their annual trip to Road is a way for them to reconnect. “It’s our refuge every year to do,” said Donna. Added Joanna, “We get to see the future of quilting at Road.” This year, not only did they enjoy the show for three days, they also participated in the Marcus Brothers Textiles Challenge.

Patsy and Cherie live in the high desert north of Los Angeles. They met in a knitting group and belong to the Tehachapi Quilt Guild. They’ve been coming to Road together for the past 7 years. Last year, they took their first bus trip as part of their Road experience, led by the Traveling Quilters. Patsy said it was “an excellent tour” and another “nice” Road feature.



Terri and Ann came to Road from Northern California. Terri has been quilting for 20 years and Ann for 10. Terri remarked, “We come to Road to get inspired,” and “To see the quilting,” added Ann. 

Every day is Friendship Day during Road to California. What could be better than sharing the “Best in the West” experience than with people who are just as passionate as you are with quilting? Bring a friend January 20 – 24, 2016 to the Ontario Convention Center for Road to California 2016.


The Ultimate Friendship Road Trip

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

What does it take for nine friends, who live in Arizona, Oregon and Nebraska, to get together? Why a 10 day vacation centered around Road to California of course!!!

Last January, we caught up with part of the group outside the vendor mall. Their Road Trip took a whole year to plan. A couple of the ladies had never met before this trip but that didn’t matter. Everyone’s love for quilting was all it took to embark on this friendship gathering._i4c3729_copy

It was friend Barbara  (on the far left) who brought all these women together to stay in one house and to explore Road to California and Southern California. She was the one friend who knew everyone. As she put it, “I am like a rolling stone…I gathered all this “moss.” (Oh my–there’s a photo bomber?!! I guess she wanted to be a part of their group too)

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Barbara had a 1,000 square quilt studio in her home. A few of these friends met Barbara by coming to her home to quilt. When her husband retired, he and Barbara established a winter home in Goodyear, Arizona. She joined the local Pebble Creek Quilt Guild and that’s how she met the other women. Because Barbara loves all her quilting friends, she wanted to find some way for all of them to meet and play. Road to California was the perfect choice. Especially since one of the friends, Chris Taylor, had three quilts entered in the show.

[caption id="attachment_2115" align="aligncenter" width="669"]My Blue Loge Cabin - Honorable Mention- Traditional, Wall, Pieced My Blue Loge Cabin – Honorable Mention- Traditional, Wall, Pieced[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2116" align="aligncenter" width="635"]I Have Felt Lonely In A Crowded Room - Modern Piecing I Have Felt Lonely In A Crowded Room – Modern Piecing[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2117" align="aligncenter" width="642"]What's Up Buttercup?-Art, Naturescape What’s Up Buttercup?-Art, Naturescape[/caption]

What did they all think about their Road Trip? Cindy, a 30 year quilter from Oregon and an Arizona Snowbird, said, “There was so much to see. It was so inspiring for all of us.”   

Happy Friendship Day to these terrific quilting friends.  


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.



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.


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.


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.


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?





Ties That Bind Through Quilting

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Six women, ranging in age from 49-82 years of age, credit quilting for the foundation of their friendship, the purpose of their charitable work, and the source of their inspiration.Idaho2

L to  R: Gina, Willie, JoAnn, Andi, Jeanne, and Leslie

Originally from the small northern Idaho town of Sandpoint, these women were brought together seven years ago through a local quilt guild, Pan Handle Piece Makers. Each woman joined the guild as a way to get out of their home, reach out to the community and make friends with someone who shared their same interest. How has quilting made the difference for them and their friendship? Gina, the youngest of the group, said, “I like being with different ages. I learn from the older women’s wisdom.” When two of their members became widowed, the group was a great comfort and support. And they all get excited whenever one of their group has a quilt recognized in a show.

After their local quilt shop closed down, they decided to start (along with their guild), a Quilting 101 class for beginners. Once a year, they meet in a church for a day-long session. There is no charge. In addition to the lesson, they serve lunch to the 12-18 students who attend. It has become so popular, that this year there is a waiting list for their class. They also help out in the community by providing quilts to men’s shelters, ambulances, and foster children as well as through their “Bosom Buddies” program, where each breast cancer patient in Sandpoint gets one of their quilts. They provide prizes for 4H groups and this year they are instituting a scholarship program for graduating high school students. These are busy women!!!!

Through the years, their quilting has led to other shared interests. They all are women of faith and attend a Bible study group as well as travel. Now living in different towns in Idaho and California, Road to California seemed the perfect destination for a reunion. They were all familiar with the quilt show. Joann had previously won an award in 2007 for a quilt she had made with her husband. This year, Gina had two quilts entered in the show and made all the arrangements for everyone to attend. She even made matching shopping bags for everyone!!Idaho1

What did they do at Road? Well, they “spent a lot of money,” “took a class together,” and ” bonded.”

Wherever they go, these women have come to know that quilting has a way of opening doors and bringing people together. After all, it happened to them!!!