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Posts Tagged ‘Quilt Guilds’

Meet The Friendship Square Quilt Guild

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Located in La Habra, California, the Friendship Square Quilt Guild has approximately 125 members. This guild has a strong heritage of members specializing in hand work and hand appliqueing.

The Friendship Square Guild supports Operation Blocks for the Brave, a nationwide effort to provide quilts to service personnel who have been wounded while serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2008, they have made over 400 quilts in red, white, and blue fabrics, donating them to the VA Hospital in Los Angeles.blocks-for-the-brave-1

Another popular philanthropy for their guild is Kumfort Quilts for Kids and Teens. Lap quilts are made for various organizations, including shelters for women and children. Volunteers assemble kits composed of a quilt top, backing and batting and a label which are all bagged and made available at their guild’s general meetings. Members take the components and create finished quilts and return them to the guild for distribution. The guild’s intent is that their quilts bring comfort, warmth and a smile to the recipients.kumfort-quilts-2

The guild’s opportunity quilt that was on display at Road, Beauty of Life 2014, was hand appliqued and hand quilted. It will be given away at their quilt show on March 1st and 2nd at the La Habra Community Center. Proceeds from the opportunity tickets are given to small non-profit agencies in their area such as after school reading programs, Meals on Wheels, the Salvation Army, and Maddie’s closet – an organization assisting terminally ill children. _i4c3942

Road to California loves supporting local quilt guilds




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.     


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?





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?



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?




Meet The South Bay Quilters Guild

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The first thing everyone notices when entering the Ontario Convention Center for Road to California is the immense hallway with all the beautiful quilts hanging from the ceiling. This year, those quilts were the work of members from the South Bay Quilters Guild.hall1

Based out of Torrance, California, the guild currently has approximately 175 members. Like most guilds, they hold monthly meetings featuring speakers along with a “Sew and Tell.”hall3

The South Bay Quilters Guild has an active community service program. They have donated 800-1,000 lap quilts to local nursing homes and hospitals.

The guild also began a “Read Me A Quilt” program with CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates. This group provides volunteers who advocate for children in foster care. The guild became aware of CASA from one of its members. For the past 10 years, the guild has been providing quilts and books to toddlers through teenagers in the foster care system. hall2

Another guild member had connections with field hospitals in Afghanistan which led to the guild’s “Quilts for Wounded Warriors” project. Their donated quilts are made to fit the size of a gurney and are mailed directly to the field hospitals. The quilts are given to soldiers and remain with the recipients throughout their hospital stay and their journeys home. The guild has been involved with this worthwhile endeavor for 6 years.

For more information on the South Bay Quilters Guild, contact them via their email: southbayquiltersguild.org hall4


Bridging Language And Culture Through Quilting

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Apparently, learning to quilt teaches all kinds of great skills, including learning English.  Because that is exactly what happened with Molly Hamilton-McNally, winner of 2012 Road to California’s Best of the Show quilt entry. Meeting Molly at this year’s Road was a real delight as she shared her humble beginnings in to the world of quilting.


In 1994, Molly came to the United States on a seven month VISA. Originally from China, Molly spoke no English and a little Japanese.  She was hired to work in a Japanese restaurant.  One of her regular customers introduced Molly to her boss who also knew a little Japanese and they began dating. He had a hard time pronouncing her Chinese name, so he told her he was going to call her something easier, Molly. Thus, that was how she got her very English name. As the deadline for her VISA loomed near, he proposed marriage so that she could stay legally in this country and she accepted.

Tragically, in 2000, Molly’s husband passed away from cancer. This left Molly with no income, no children, no relatives, and no way to effectively communicate in English. You can understand why she soon became depressed and sought therapy.  Her doctor suggested that she find a hobby to help her through.  Molly lived in the small Northern California town of Tehachapi.  She had recently visited the local quit show and thought that quilting would be an interesting hobby to look in to.

Molly had no background in quilting; there are no quilts in China. But she did love art and could see where her interest in art could benefit her in this hobby. She decided to join the local quilt guild to find out what quilting was all about.  She remembers that the first meeting she went to was really difficult because she didn’t know English. She learned how to quilt not by following verbal directions but by carefully watching the demonstrations.  Over and over again, she diligently watched the steps repeated and repeated until she was able to basically self-teach herself.   Over time, the friends she made at the guild not only showed her how to quilt, but also helped her to learn English. Molly credits the guild and its members for saving her life.

Today, Molly uses her Chinese background as inspiration in creating her quilt designs. She has become a teacher, lecturer, and designer of quilts. Molly says she loves quilting because of the many uses of color in fabrics.  Her favorite technique? Appliqueing. It was that technique that she featured in her award winning quilt.

2012 Best of Show

Molly truly was an inspiring find at this year’s Road to California.  Who did you meet at Road this year that inspired you?