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Posts Tagged ‘Ontario Convention Center’

Road 2018 Was A Huge Success!!

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

How to describe Road to California 2018?

The sun was shining.

Teachers and their classes were creating.

The vendor floors were busy.

Guests kept coming.

And best of all, the quilts were amazing!!!

[caption id="attachment_5489" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Best of Show, “Fractal,” by Claudia Pfeil[/caption] Not only was Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Company, a popular teacher… …her Trunk Show was inspiring. Road’s Founder, Carolyn Reese, was honored by the Ontario Convention Center’s President and CEO, Michael Krause, for being a loyal business partner to the City of Ontario, the Convention Center, and the Community. The new App, QuiltSpace, was enjoyed by thousands of users. The winner of the App’s Quilter Choice Award went to “Your Place or Mine” by Marva-lee Otos. She received $500 for receiving the most votes from the App users. [caption id="attachment_5488" align="aligncenter" width="482"] “Your Place or Mine,” by Marva-lee Otos[/caption] And Road’s new owner, Matt Reese, still found time to give 5 month old son, Braden, a tour of the show. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making Road 2018  “The Happening Place to Be.” We can’t wait to start planning next year’s show!!]]>

What’s New At Road 2017?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

New Management: Road to California is family owned and operated. For the past 21 years, Carolyn Reese, her three sons and their families, have brought you the 2nd largest quilting show in the United States. This past year, Carolyn Reese retired and turned over the management of the show to her grandson, Matt Reese. Matt has held various responsibilities with the show since he was a pre-teen and for the past few years, has assisted Carolyn in running the show. A recent graduate of the California Bar, Matt divides his time between overseeing the day-to-day operations of Road to California and a budding law career focusing on family law.   Giving Back: On Saturday night, attendees have the opportunity to participate in quilt-a-thon to benefit the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center. Roadies will be piecing tops, quilting tops and finishing quilts that evening. The Pavilion: The front addition to the Ontario Convention Center is added each January exclusively for Road to California. Improvements this year to the pavilion include the removal of trees and street lights. The floor will be carpeted and the floor plan has been rearranged to be more accommodating for vendors and guests. New Café: Located at the north end of the Convention Center, under the stairs, it resembles a famous coffee shop that shall not be named. Breakfast will be served as well as quick meal items for easy take and go. The grand opening for the café will be January 20th, so Road guests are the first to use it. Outdoor Patio: Located near the north doors, there will be a fireplace and comfortable seating – the perfect place to rest and visit. If you are wondering what happened to the food venues that were previously located in the new patio area, the ice cream can be found in the food tent; kettle corn and roasted almonds will be between the pavilion and the exhibit hall. Road to California Booth:  Where to find special souvenirs of the show. New this year include:

Artic Cups

Handmade bags made by Carolyn Reese featuring Road to California 20th Anniversary Fabric

Fold-up Grocery bags

(Note: California now charges for grocery bags. Show them and bring your own Road to California Bag!!)

The Road App: Our new app is easy to navigate. It gives real time announcements and changes to the show plus it allows you to keep your notes from classes and vendors long after the show ends. Before you come to the show, download our app at IOS at www.konnected.co/ios or Android at www.konnected.co/android Don’t worry…if apps aren’t your thing, you can download for FREE the Show Guide at http://www.road2ca.com/2017%20SHOW%20GUIDE%20copy.pdf  Please note: A limited supply of Show Guides will be available to purchase at the event at the North and South Info Desks. However, once they are gone, they are gone. We hope our guests will enjoy these changes and look forward to hearing their feedback.      ]]>

Meet Matt Reese: Road’s New Show Director AND A New Lawyer

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Carolyn Reese, the matriarch and founder of Road to California since 1995, has worked closely with her grandson, Matt Reese, the show’s manager. Matt and Carolyn In 2013, while Matt has been overseeing Road to California, he was also enrolled in law school at the University of La Verne. Matt’s studies came to an end last summer when after graduation, he shifted gears and began studying for the California State Bar Exam, administered on July 28, 29 and 30th at of all places, the Ontario Convention Center – home to Road to California.Matt's Graduation5 In order to focus on the bar exam, Matt took a leave of absence from his Road to California duties for 10 weeks, May through July. What was it like for Matt to prepare for the bar exam?  “I studied on average 10-12 hours a day (some days more, some days less) and studied for 70 days straight. I did not take a day off. When Road’s registration started, I did pause, but studied again in the afternoon. I at least outlined every bar exam essay question the state of California released since 2001, practiced over 2,000 multiple choice questions and did over 20 performance tests. Even over the Fourth of July I was studying prior to going to my in-laws house for a BBQ. I figured a short summer sacrifice was better than doing this again.” As a newlywed, Matt’s wife Jennifer, also made some sacrifices (well, sort of) while Matt dedicated the 10 weeks to his studying.  Matt recalled, “I actually think my wife had a blast while I was studying. She spent a lot of time with her mother crafting and so on. She even made a cuddle quilt for my cousin’s newborn son! She was extremely supportive, and was a great help in keeping me focused and on track.”Matt's Graduation During the three days of the exam, Matt would arrive at 7 AM at the Ontario convention Center and did not leave until 5 or 5:30 PM most days. What was the bar exam like? “Overall, the written portion of the bar was pretty straight forward. The multiple choice was difficult – but everyone else thought so too. I would not want to take it again, but it was oddly fun. After we worked so hard to prepare for the test, it felt like normal routine to sit and write the test – and also realize that we wouldn’t have to do this again for a long time!” said Matt. Matt started back to work at Road to California on August 5th, while most of his classmates and friends took the month of August off. Even though he fell back in to his Road duties, it actually took him about a month to recover from all that studying. “My brain was so saturated with information it was hard to focus on anything.” New logo November 21, 2015 was the day the bar results were published. Multiple news reports were released throughout September, October and November telling how across the nation the bar results were at an all time low. This caused some anxiety for Matt. Also, right before the announcement, on November 19th, Matt’s grandfather passed away. That coupled with the recent death of Carolyn’s sister Glenda, also added to the stress Matt was feeling anticipating the news. Matt, Jen, and his parents put the online results up on the TV so that they could all see the news at the same time. And the news was very good: Matt Reese passed the California Bar Exam on his first try!!! What does the immediate future hold for Matt? He will be transitioning in to a new position: Road’s Show Director. And he will be starting a law practice in estate planning, available to work with clients starting in May. Currently, Road’s office space is being transformed into a dual location — home for the show and also the home for a new law practice – to accommodate Matt’s new responsibilities. Please join the Road family in congratulating Matt Reese, Estate Planning Lawyer and Show Director for Road to California.  ]]>

Road 2016 Highlights

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Were you one of the over 35,000 guests at Road to California 2016?

Did you enter the Ontario Convention Center to see the magnificent Atrium Display by the Glendale Quilt Guild?

[caption id="attachment_3754" align="aligncenter" width="496"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photo by Brian Roberts[/caption]

Did you see the over 1,ooo quilts on display including Best of Show, Silk Road Sampler, by Melissa Sobotka?Best of Show

Did you shop with one of the 220 retailers that came from 37 states and 7 foreign countries in the 700 merchant booths?_I4C8435

Did you meander around the live trees adorned with twinkly lights in the Pavilion?

[caption id="attachment_3755" align="aligncenter" width="529"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photo by Brian Roberts[/caption]

Did you attend one of the 173 classes, lectures, and special events taught by our internationally recognized experts in their field?

[caption id="attachment_3757" align="aligncenter" width="454"]Natalia Bonner Natalia Bonner[/caption]

Did you take a bus tour to local sites and quilt shops on one of our bus tours?113

Did you get inspired?

We hope you were able to come and participate with all the show had to offer. The next few months, we will be sharing on the blog some of the amazing stories that came out of Road 2016, bringing back wonderful memories and moving forward to future possibilities.

What did you enjoy most about Road to California 2016?


Road 2016: Service and Security

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Since 1998, The Ontario Convention Center has been the home of Road to California.Ontario Convention Center

Road to California is the convention center’s largest client, taking up not only the entire convention center footage, but additional tent space as well. This year’s show will feature

173 classes, lectures and special events taught by internationally recognized experts

Over 1,000 quilts on display

220 Retailers from 37 states and 7 foreign countries set up in over 700 merchant booths

[caption id="attachment_3709" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Photo courtesy of Gregory Case Photography Photo courtesy of Gregory Case Photography[/caption] The Ontario Convention Center provides great service to the Reese family and their Road guests:438 Desiree has been a convention center assistant to the Reese family for three years. Her job is to provide hospitality items like meals, beverages, and water to the Reeses so that they have the nourishment and energy to run the second biggest quilt show in the United States. Desiree says of her experience, “I love working with the Reese family. Carolyn is a sweetheart and everyone is so kind.” Desiree loves watching the show come all together, especially with all the quilts.Tina Tina is the Director of Event Services for the Ontario Convention Center. She oversees all event logistics, directing the many managers on staff. However, with Road to California, she personally oversees all aspects of this event because Road is the convention center’s biggest client. She has worked with the Reese family ever since they first came to the convention center in 1998. Tina works 14 hour days during the week of the show, supervising the convention center workers like greeters, janitorial, and security guards; serving as the direct contact to the police and fire departments; and troubleshooting situations that arise. For instance, last year during Road 2015, Ontario experienced extremely high winds. To accommodate for this hazard, Tina and her staff worked quickly and efficiently to change the bus drop off locations, block off dangerous entrances, reinforce the tent areas, maintain crowd management and hire additional staff to pick up items that were blowing away. Regarding the show, Tina admires “the extensive art work involved with the quilts.” It is a joy for her to see how the quilts have evolved over the years.download Large crowds, over a hundred classes, and numerous vendors require extra safety precautions. For the past five years, the Reese family has hired special security detail to watch out for their guests. Their security personnel have extensive experience dealing with loss prevention with a big box retailer for over 20 years. They walk the show floor and hallways, scrutinizing body movements and behavior as they watch out for shoplifters and employees stealing from their employers. What advice do they have for our guests to help prevent possible losses?
  • Keep bags and purses close and in front of you.
  • Use Sack Sitters to manage your purchases.
  • At night, leave the convention center in groups.
Road to California is always watching out for our guests, especially when it comes to service and security.  ]]>

Road 2015 Arcade Quilts

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

One of the highlights of our show each year are the stunning quilts hung in the Ontario Convention Center’s Arcade. 

[caption id="attachment_3152" align="aligncenter" width="614"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]


Carolyn Reese chooses a Southern California Quilt Guild to host this special exhibit. In 2015, that guild was The Westside Quilters of Los Angeles. 

[caption id="attachment_3151" align="aligncenter" width="741"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]


The Westside Quilters Guild supports traditional, contemporary and art quilters of any age and from all experience levels.  The guild meets quarterly on Saturday mornings at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Their meetings include lecture presentations, workshops and occasional field trips.

[caption id="attachment_3147" align="aligncenter" width="623"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]


The Westside Quilters guild is a service guild, promoting charitable work with several organizations. Members are expected to give several hours of service each year. Many of their philanthropic endeavors benefit children. they make crib, baby, and childrens quilts for La Familias Del Pueblo, Para Los Ninos, St. Joseph’s Early Learning Center, and to Japanese Tsunami/Earthquake victims.  

[caption id="attachment_3148" align="aligncenter" width="594"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]


Thirty five quilts created by members of the guild adorned the atrium. Sally Wright curated the exhibit for the guild. Said President Perla Rothenberg, “It was a proud moment to see Westside Quilters on display.”

[caption id="attachment_3149" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Photo by Gregory Case Photography Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]

What guild do you think will be featured in 2016? 


Celebrating 20 Years of Road To California

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Hip Hip Hooray – 2015 marks Road to California’s 20th Anniversary.Logo 2015

Why did Carolyn Reese decide to purchase Road to California in November, 1990? Because she felt “Southern California deserved a good quilt show.”

Prior to 1990, Road to California was a small conference held in October in Anaheim, California. Carolyn produced her first show in October 1991. The first change Carolyn made was to move the location to Ontario, California and the Clarion Hotel. She kept the format the same as a conference only show. There were just nine faculty members and nine classes available each day. Around one thousand guests came to that first show.

In 1993, the show’s dates were changed to January. There were no other quilting events going on that time of year and Carolyn thought that California, with its superb winter weather, would be a great draw.

In 1996, Road to California became known as a “quilters’ conference and showcase.” For the first time, quilt entries were accepted only from quilters in California and Nevada. Three years later, in 1999, the show began accepting quilts for the contest from all over the world.Ontario Convention Center

With the continued growth of the show, a new location was needed. So, in 1998, Road to California was moved to its current home at the Ontario Convention Center. Road was the first public show held at the new convention center and now is the center’s largest client, taking up not only the entire convention center footage, but additional tent space as well. Last year, over 35,000 people attended the show, taking over 150 classes from an internationally known faculty.vendor floor 2

A unique feature of Road to California is that it is a family run event. Carolyn has involved her family in the show right from the start.  Her grandchildren were models for the wearable fashion show at the in first shows. They also took tickets, handed out programs, gave out prizes to the winners and visited with the guests. Seven of Carolyn’s nine grandchildren continue to stay involved by managing the office, doing computer work, overseeing the Road Booth, and assisting with financial tasks. Today, grandson Matt Reese, who was three years old when Carolyn started the show, is Road’s manager (and a law student graduating next May)._i4c4160pg

Carolyn’s three sons have always played a huge part.  Oldest son Mike works with the financial aspects of the show. David, Carolyn’s middle son, created the computer programs and registration protocols that are unique to Road. David also photographs the contest quilts and makes the annual Road CD. Youngest son Darrell oversees the set-up and take-down of the show. And don’t forget Carolyn’s three daughter-in-laws. They help their spouses in taking pictures, running the Road Booth, and handling the equipment.       

What does Carolyn do during the show? Her role is to mix and mingle with the guests. You will find her buzzing around on her cart, watching the guests “walk around with a smile on their face, enjoying themselves, and forgetting their problems for a day.”

Carolyn is really looking forward to some of the special exhibits that will be on view for the 20th anniversary show. Quilts depicting Beatles songs, 150 years of National Parks, and demonstrations of a lost quilting art from the Tentmakers of CairoEgyptian Exhibit

Another thing Carolyn is excited to have at the show is the specially designed Road to California 20th Anniversary fabric commissioned from Alexander Henry Fabrics.Fabric-Road-to-California---natura

What does Carolyn see for the next 20 years for Road to California? More new ideas and continued growth. She would really like to see this year’s latest addition, Marketplace, expand to offer more expert advice for attendees.

Road to California 2015 – 20th Anniversary Show promises to be the best Road yet. Congratulations Carolyn Reese and the entire Road family for 20 years of the best quilt show in the West.

What is your favorite part about Road to California?


Highlights of Road 2014

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Another great show has come and gone.

This year’s event had more guests, more vendors, more space, more learning, more emotion, and just more great fun!!! 

Over 25,000 people came to Road this year. Men and women. Young and old. From Southern California, all around the United States, and across the globe.  We met guests from England, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and even Serbia. hall__i4c5713

This year we welcomed over 200 vendors – a 30% increase from last year. There was more variety, more fabric, and more non-quilting items available for purchase. Each booth was attractively decorated and alluring. The vendors were friendly, helpful, and eager to assist.vendor floor 2

To accommodate our additional guests and vendors, a 2,800 square foot Pavilion was added to the south end of the Ontario Convention Center. Housed inside was more seating, more food venues, and more space for the extra vendors. It was air conditioned, carpeted, and had the feeling of an old fashioned country fair.

 Learning and inspiration is a big part of Road. More classes were offered throughout the day and evening, beginning on the Monday before the show and continuing through the final day.  New this year was a $5.00 Lecture Series sharing the history, process, and secrets of products familiar to the quilting industry.  

Also new this year was a Daily Raffle. Guests had the opportunity to enter their chance to win wonderful prizes each day of the show. Every afternoon at exactly 3:30 p.m., the name of a lucky winner was announced throughout the venue. Crowds gathered at the north information desk hoping to hear their name and to catch a glimpse of the winner. The recipients were so excited, so thrilled, and so grateful for their prizes.

Probably the biggest highlight this year was the Veteran Presentation at the beginning of the show. In conjunction with Road’s support of Quilted in Honor and Operation HomeFront, Carolyn Reese presented a quilt she created to a deserving veteran of the Vietnam War. Many tears were shed in the Exhibit Hall during this memorable event.Veteran

The Reese family gives their heart and soul in providing this “Best in the West“ Quilters’ Conference and Showcase. Says Carolyn, “What brings me the most joy is seeing people walk around with a smile on their face, forgetting their problems and having a good time.”  

In the coming weeks, the blog will be sharing in-depth, behind-the-scene stories of this year’s show. You won’t want to miss a single post as we remember the highlights of Road 2014.

What was your favorite part of this year’s show?   


Plane, Car, or Bus Tour: How Are You Getting To Road?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Convenience — that is what Road to California specializes in. Having it at the Ontario Convention Center  is convenient. If you are flying in, it  is convenient to Ontario Airport. If you are driving in, it is convenient to Interstate 10 and 15. If you are staying more than a day, it is convenient to hotels.  And what could be more convenient than leaving all the arrangements to attend Road to California 2014 with an official bus tour!!

There are four organized bus tours for Road 2014 . Two are starting in California, one is originating in Arizona, and one will be beginning all the way from South Dakota!!! Anyone can join a tour even if you aren’t from the location where the tour starts. Bus tour

Country Heritage Tours: The Ultimate Road to California





This tour begins in San Diego, California and ends with two days at Road in Ontario, California. The tour stops at six of the area’s best-loved quilt shops along with California’s must-see countryside & attractions including Palm Springs.    

Stitchin’ Heaven Travel: Trip of a Lifetime










A Southern California Quilt Shop Hop is what you’ll experience on this tour. Fly in to San Diego Airport and stay two days in the beach community of La Jolla, California. While at Road, the tour includesPreview Night and two days of shopping and quilt viewing at the show. 

Blissful Bus ToursQuilter’s Dream TourBlissful_Bus_Tourslogo1






Gathering quilt lovers from the Tucson and Phoenix areas for this first annual trip west to Ontario, California and the Road to California Quilters Conference. Luxury motor coaches, on board refreshments and raffles, hotel accommodations, complete access to Road, and more!

ABS Travel GroupQuilting Extravaganza  






Departing January 22, 2014 for a 6 days / 5 nights tour beginning from Rapid City, South Dakota and landing in Ontario, California. (Other airport arrivals can be arranged) Includes all the best Road to California has to offer: hundreds of vendors, all entrance fees, the popular Roundabout evening session, the Alex Anderson Lecture and 3 additional lectures of your choice. Also included is a day’s tour of the area including many quilt shops, bead and embellishment shops and more. You are sure to have a ‘quilt-mazing’ experience!

In addition to these extended tours, there are seven, one day bus excursions planned. Please check the Road to California website for additional information regarding dates of travel and departure locations.

No matter how you plan to get to Road 2014, we can’t wait to see you!!! 



First Impressions

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Everyone knows that first impressions are extremely important. They set the tone and expectations for what will happen later. When you walk through the doors of the Ontario Convention Center for Road to California, we want your first impression to be something special – just like the event itself. hall2

Past themes in the arcade have included winter icicles and honoring individual quilters. For the past three years, the massive hallway has been adorned with quilts provided by quilt guilds from throughout Southern California.

How are the guilds chosen? Any quilt association can submit an email to Road requesting to be considered. The guild to be honored is chosen randomly from all the submissions. Once chosen, the guild then picks 35 quilts to be displayed. The only requirement is that the quilts must be at least 6 feet long. Road staff supervises the hanging of the quilts on special wiring in the arcade.hall4

While the exhibits on the show floor tend to offer quilts that are created by artists and specialty quilters, the guild quilts showcased in the arcade are more traditional in workmanship and provide inspiration for quilters of all skill levels.

So, who will be the featured quilt guild for Road 2014? The Camarillo Quilters Association.

The Camarillo Quilters Association has 300 plus members from the Ventura County area and beyond. Besides exchanging ideas about quilting, learning new techniques, and improving quilting skills, they also work to inform their community about the history and preservation of quilts.Camarillo Quilt Association1

This group gives away 700 quilts a year among their many philanthropies including RAIN Communities, Inc.  (helping homeless families in transitional housing); A New Start for Moms (quilts are given as a motivation and reward for graduation from their parenting skills program); Habitat for Humanity; Life Centers of Ventura County; the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit; and convalescent homes.

The association is quite excited to be able to share their quilts in the atrium exhibit. Remarked one of their members: “I have been going to Road for the last 10 years. What a joy it would be to see my quilt up there.”  Previously, they had one quilt that was shown at Road in 1995 and have had the Presidents Quilt 2011-2013.19_CQA_President_Quilt_(3)

When you come to Road 2014, prepare to look up. A wonderful first impression will be waiting to welcome you.