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Posts Tagged ‘Road to California’

Men Quilters Are On The Rise

Friday, June 15th, 2018

quilt show men quilters Karl is the quilter in the family. He has been quilting for over 21 years. When his wife, Elizabeth, first met him, she thought Karl had “an interesting hobby.” How did Karl start quilting? He dated a girl whose mom owned a quilt store.  He and another friend thought it was interesting and wanted to learn how to quilt, so they took a class at the store and he’s been quilting ever since. A lawyer by profession, Karl likes to make quilts that are “traditional but complicated with lots of small pieces.” Elizabeth noted, “The stuff he makes is beautiful.” Karl belongs to a mini-group of 10 quilters, Friendship Stars, on the west side of Los Angeles. They like to make charity quilts for Los Angeles area charities. A fun fact: Karl won Best First Time Entry in the Hoffman Challenge in the early 2000’s. Elizabeth and Karl have been attending Road to California for 10 years. They think it is an “awesome show” and like looking at all the new gadgets, tools, and rulers.quilt show men quilters Nicholas (13)  and Matthew (16) are men quilters in training. The learned how to quilt from Matthew’s mom/Nicholas’s aunt. She bought Matthew a Featherweight machine to use for his quilting. Nicholas enjoys quilting as an art form and likes the creative aspect of quilting. Matthew likes experimenting with different designs. Road 2018 was their fourth visit. Matthew is a big Eleanor Burns fan and always seeks her out when she is at the quilt show.quilt show men quilters Men quilters also own quilt stores!! Brothers Teancum, Brodie and Zach are from Las Vegas and opened their quilt store in 2016 in Northwest Las Vegas. Why did they begin this unusual business venture? Prior to the 2008 recession, Las Vegas had 10-15 quilt shops. All but two closed during the recession. Because so many quilters were left with limited quilt store options, the boys felt they had a great opportunity to offer a new kind of quilting service to the area. Their store boasts over 10,000 bolts of fabric, different nationally known teachers offering classes each month, an online shopping site, and quality customer service. Being in Las Vegas and close to Interstate Highway 15, the brothers have met customers from all over the world. The brothers added, “Our store is more than just shopping. It is an ‘experience.’”quilt show men quilters Jon Russikoff is new to the men quilters tribe; he started quilting a little over a year ago. A family tragedy brought him to quilting. He was looking for an outlet to find comfort and happened upon a quilt store and decided to go “whole hog.” He never sewed before so his first purchase was a sewing machine. After six months, he bought another one!! During the past year, Jon has taken 12 classes at various locations. He says, “I am eager to learn.”  He loves piecing—designing and the geometry — and enjoys the community he has found at his local Joanne’s store.  Road 2018 was his first time at the quilt show. He liked meeting people, learning techniques and see all the fabric art. Are you a men quilter too? Do you know any men quilters?    ]]>

Say Good-Bye To Your Quilt UFO's

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

a little push to get those quilt UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects) done. All quilters have them. Some are out in the open; some are hidden away. Some cause frustration; some are presumed to never again see the light of day. No matter the reason, a quilt UFO is a nagging reminder that a job wasn’t finished and that someone might be missing out on a really nice, homemade gift. To help solve this dilemma with our guests, Road to California 2018 instituted its first class dedicated to finishing those pesky quilt UFO’s. Titled, Goodbye UFO’s-Hello New Projects, it was led by acclaimed Road teachers, Pat Yamin and Stevii Graves. Of the class, Pat remarked, “We wanted to bring back community sharing in this class; sharing what each other was working on and sharing everyone’s different levels of experience and use of techniques to get the projects done.”finish your quilt UFO's Students were encouraged to bring work they started from home or what they began in classes taught during Road. Sewing machines were provided so that there would be one less excuse for quilters not to finish their project.finish your quilt UFO's

What else did the class offer to encourage quilt UFO success?

A quiet, dedicated time to work.finish your quilt UFO's

A cell phone free zone to avoid distraction.

Rewards for showing up (everyone got goodie bags filled with sewing gear from Primm USA) and for hanging in there (throughout the evening, students won door prize giveaways donated by Pat and Stevii).finish your quilt UFO's

One of the door prize winners was Gwendolyn Humphries from Victorville, California. She has been quilting for 3 years when she found more free time after retiring from a career as a Speech Therapist for the San Bernardino County Schools. Gwendolyn signed up for this class because “I have a lot of stuff to finish. I knew Pat could help me if I got stuck.” Gwendolyn has been to Road to California the past 3 years and “loves it.” She said she loves trying new things, especially new machines, when she takes classes.  finish your quilt UFO's Fontana, California resident, Angelica Reyes, took Lee Chappell Monroe’s Blooming Dresden class and was looking forward to having quilting experts Stevii and Pat share their knowledge in helping her finish up the class project. Do you have any quilt UFO’s waiting to be finished? Try these class reminders: finish your quilt UFO's    ]]>

Siblings That Quilt

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

Karla and Karen took Jenny Doan’s class together at Road 2018 as a chance to meet up and

learn some new quilting skills. Karla is a retired teacher living in Alta Loma, California and Karen lives in San Diego. For 15 years when she was teaching, Karla helped her students create 12- block quilts as a memory of all they learned in her class that year. Now that she is retired, Karla uses her free time to take advantage of taking classes at Road for the first time, quilting at home, and embroidering. Karen has been to Road to California 8 times and “absolutely loves it.”

Both sisters were familiar with Jenny Doan and looked forward to taking her class together. Karen watches Jenny’s YouTube Tutorials all the time and was “blown away” at her Trunk Show on Friday night.  Karla has been to Missouri Star Quilt’s home in Hamilton, Missouri twice. She refers to it as “Disneyland for quilters.”  

There’s no better place to spend a “Sister’s Week” then Road to California says Cheryl,

Sandy,and DeNese. All three sisters are quilters. DeNese started quilting in 2012 when she retired from Delta Airlines. Cheryl was inspired to start quilting from her mother-in-law. Sandy figured that since her sisters were quilting, she might as well too. They get together two or three times a year to share quilting techniques and go to quilt demonstrations. They enjoy piecing, paper piecing, and collage applique and make quilts for their children and grandchildren.

As far as their opinion of Road to California, DeNese, who lives in Utah, said, “It is bigger than anything I have been to and I spent more money than I thought.” Cheryl, who also lives in Utah, said that Road was “Really fun. I thought I would get bored but there were so many interesting things to see.” And Sandy, a resident of Palm Desert, California, commented, “There are lots of gadgets to make quilting easier that I didn’t know existed.”  

These three sisters and one sister-in-law all have their roots in Iowa. As quilters, they chose

Road to California 2018 for their “Sister’s Retreat.” Karla lives in Escondido, California and planned their retreat to include Road. Karla has attended five times in the past, but for everyone else, it was their first time. When the Road 2018 class schedule was posted in July, the women were notified that an Aunt had left them money in her will. Karla said “it was a sign” that they should use the money and take classes at Road. They each took two classes plus attended Preview Night and Jenny Doan’s Trunk Show. And of course, they did a lot of shopping!! All four are established quilters. Oldest sister Karen, Karla and Pam grew up sewing. Their grandmother taught them how to quilt and they‘ve been quilting for 30 years. Sister-in-law Liza learned how to sew in a 7th grade Home Economics class. Her quilting influence came from her mother and grandmother.  She said that she couldn’t believe “how many people are here” at Road and was excited to see so many other quilters, especially those who had quilts in the show. Will you be bringing a sibling to Road 2019?]]>

Bringing Up A New Generation of Quilters

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

In an effort to keep the art of quilting alive and well for the next generation, some grandparents are making a conscious effort to teach and encourage their grandchildren in the art. In addition to sharing techniques, sewing machines, and being a sewing mentor, grandparents also take their grandchildren to Road to California for inspiration. Kennie has brought her two granddaughters, Amber (17) and Kylie (12) to Road to California three times. She herself has attended Road six times. Kennie first opened her home for a sewing teacher to come and introduce Amber and Kylie to sewing. Today, the three sew and work on crafts all the time. Road 2018 was the first time the two granddaughters took a class with their grandmother. Kylie said she really liked “sewing stuff with Grandma” and Amber liked seeing lots of “neat stuff you don’t see every day.” For Kennie, she enjoyed the 1 on 1 and 1 on 2 time with her granddaughters. It is especially important for her to have the girls be interested in things they can do all their life. Both from the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, McKenna is Susan’s 11-year-old granddaughter. McKenna has been spending the past year going to her grandmother’s house on weekends. Her first project was making pillowcases. She thinks “sewing with grandma is fun. She lets me choose fabric and projects and then she helps me.” Susan has been sewing for over 60 years. She learned from her mother and still has the 1938 Singer sewing machine that she learned on; “It works perfectly.” For Susan, her satisfaction comes from “teaching McKenna something useful” that has begun as a hobby and could turn into a vocation later in life.     For Grandmother Lu, her daughter Cassie, and granddaughters Hannah, Hope and Alexis, enjoy being together and encouraging each other with their sewing creativity. Lu learned to sew from her mother 47 years ago and has been quilting the past 20 years. Cassie made her first quilt for Hannah when she was born. How did Road spark their creativity? Alexis liked the variety. She is working on a quilt and learned a lot of techniques to incorporate in the future. Hannah liked seeing and reading the stories behind the van Gogh Special Exhibit. Cassie loved seeing all the quilts on display. And Lu admired the artistry on display. With grandmothers like these women, taking the time to share their passion of sewing and quilting with their grandchildren, the tradition and art of quilting has a bright future.    ]]>

Our Staff Make The Difference

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

the Reese family knows that it takes many dedicated employees to insure the show remains the best quilt show in the West. Most of our staff have been working with the show for many years. They keep coming back because they love sharing their love of quilting with the thousands of people who attend the show through their contributions behind the scenes.     Cathy Norell was Road’s first employee outside of the Reese Family. She started with the show in 1991 when it was housed at the original Marriott Hotel on Holt Boulevard. At the time, Road to California consisted of only a few classes. By its third year, Cathy remembers, it had grown to a full show offering not only classes but vendors and even a fashion show. Cathy started out helping with registration and has for many years worked with the vendors, personally greeting them every day, making sure they have everything they need for a successful show. She says that she really looks forward to seeing the vendors each year. They have become “like family to me.” A quilter for over 70 years, her favorite quilts are the ones “that can be dragged around and loved.”       Traditional quilters Patti McCormick and Karen Jones, have become familiar faces to guests in the main hallway as they assist with registration and information. Patti has worked with Road for 18 years helping with buses, classes, and registration. At Road 2018, she was in charge of checking people in, helping them with their packets, and answering general information. Her favorite part of Road is seeing the show come all together and meeting people from many places with many different quilt interests. Stationed at the North Registration desk, Karen not only answered questions and gave directions during Road 2018, she helped guests with their entries to the daily giveaways. Seeing the excitement of the guests is one of Karen’s favorite things about the show. In addition, Karen really gets in to the spirit of the show with her quilt jewelry.    Husband and wife, Rae and Michael, are both quilters and are both part of Road’s staff. Rae is busy before the show even starts, checking in the vendors when they arrive to set up. Michael also helps with setting up the vendor floor. During the show, he is busy offering support for the classrooms. Rae says that working for Road is “fun” and that she enjoys getting to know the people behind the scenes. We appreciate these and many more diligent staffers who truly make the difference in helping us present a quality show.    ]]>

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!!]]>

Generations Of Quilters And Quilters To Be

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Ben grew up watching his mom, Mary, make quilt for his bed and wall. He wanted to join his mom at Road 2017 to see what others were doing in the “quilting universe.” As Mary related, it is so “different” to see all the art quilts “in real life” than in a picture. A quilter for over 30 years, Mary had been to Road six previous times, always to be inspired. Ben was “blown away at the detail work and creativity” he found during his first visit to the show. Kevin, Brenda, and Ashley (age 7) are from Simi Valley, California. Ashley had just received her first sewing machine the Christmas before Road 2017, a Bernina 330. She got interested in sewing from watching her mom sew. Ashley’s first project was going to be a quilt, of course, picking out the fabric and pattern with her mom. It was Ashley and Kevin’s first time to the show. Kevin found there were “lots of options for my girls.” Brenda has been quilting for two years and is self-taught. She had bought an embroidery machine because she wanted to make pillowcases. She quickly learned that in order to make the pillowcases, she had to sew in a straight line. Quilting has helped her to sew straight lines!!  Brenda’s first project was a king size quilt made of six-inch squares. Jenna came to Road 2017 to model for her girls, Emma and Abby, how to “have fun and explore” new ideas to “make stuff.” The all loved looking at the quilts, fabrics, and different projects. Jenna has been sewing for five years. Her first quilt attempt was a baby blanket for Emma when she was born. Married 41 years, Barry and Brenda McCutcheon have attended Road to California 10 times together and Party Time eight of those ten years. They come down from Northern California for “lots of beautiful quilts, cool ideas, and lots of fun.” Will your family be joining you for lots of inspiration, creativity, and fun at Road 2018?    ]]>

International Appeal

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

around the world? Birgit, Heike and Ute are from West Germany.  These friends have been quilters for over 20 years and belong to the same quilt group. [caption id="attachment_4763" align="aligncenter" width="402"] Birgit, Heike and Ute from Germany[/caption] They planned for two years to come for their first visit to Road. Ute owns a quilt shop in North Germany near Hamburg and was on the lookout for some quilting adventure ideas. It was actually Heike who had heard about Road to California and suggested it to the others. They made the most of every opportunity at the show, including taking one of the bus excursions offered by Road. They were excited to see the stops in Southern California as well as visit the quilt shops along the tour. Road 2017 was also the first visit for these friends from Mexico City. [caption id="attachment_4765" align="aligncenter" width="510"] Silvia, Lourdes, Monica and Maria from Mexico.[/caption] Silvia organized the group’s visit which included all of them taking several classes. She owns a quilting studio (“The best in Mexico!!” declared Lourdes) as well as organizes Mexico’s Quilt Festival every September in Mexico City. Silvia has attended other shows in the United States and had been trying for years to come to Road. They are all long-time quilters who were anxious to learn new techniques in their classes, find new gadgets, meet new people, and “have fun.” Silvia remarked, “The people who come are the best part of the show. Quilters are nice people.” In addition to participating in all of the Road activities, the ladies also visited iconic downtown Los Angeles landmarks like the Museum of Modern Art and the Catholic Cathedral. They all hoped that this would be the first of many trips to Road to California. These three friends traveled from a rural area east of Calgary, Canada to attend Road 2017. [caption id="attachment_4764" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Sue, Heather, and Karen from Canada[/caption] Heather was the ringleader for this trip. She learned about Road to California on Facebook. The timing was good to come this year and it didn’t hurt that they would be “getting out of the snow.” They were in Southern California for nine nights, planning their trip well in advance of when registration for Road opened last July. Heather created a spreadsheet of all they wanted to accomplish while they were here!!  Each of the women took classes (7 in all) to further their education “past piecing.” They were also interested in taking longarm classes as both Heather and Karen own longarm machines. They were also sure to include Party Time in their schedule plus time to visit all the vendors because they don’t have much in quilting fabrics and supplies near their home. They were all “thrilled” to attend and said they are definitely coming back!!! How far did you travel to come to Road 2017?]]>

Everyone Loves A Winner

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Konnect, rolled the drum and pulled out the ticket of a lucky winner:


Marilyn McKitrick from Penticton, BC, Canada won a Babylock Rachel from Moore’s Sewing Center. Giveaway Winner Quilt Show

This was Marilyn’s fifth time at Road to California. She came with a friend from Nevada and they spent four days at the show. Marilyn said that Road is the “highlight of my year.”

A quilter for the past 15 years, Marilyn was in Lea McComas’ Thread Painted Portraits class when the drawing was held. Earlier in the day, her phone had died. She knew she had to put a phone number down on the entry form, so she put her friend’s number down instead — and forgot to tell her. When Road called her friend’s phone and told her the news, she ran from her hotel room to Marilyn’s class to tell her so Marilyn could make it to the registration desk before the 15 minute time limit was up. Marilyn said she was in “shock–absolute shock” when she found out she was a winner.


Mel’s Sewing donated a Bernina Red sewing machine which was won by Nancy Zimmerman from Placentia, California. Nancy and her “Bunco-Quilting-Jazzercise-Friends” braved the rain to attend Road that day. This was Nancy’s fifth time at Road and she has been quilting for over 20 years.

“Thrilled” was Nancy’s reaction to winning. She said she had been “looking for a smaller machine to take to classes” and this machine would meet her needs. Nancy loves to see all the vendors at Road. “There are new things every time you come.”


Cathy Hesler came from Covington, Indiana to attend her second year at Road. She won the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 930 that was donated by OC Sewing and Vacuum.

She also was in a class when she found out she had won, attending Jacqueline Kunkel’s Vintage Compass. Winning was “a dream come true” for Cathy. “Road is great–I love it!!”


Elle Sproal from Orange County, California was the final Daily Giveaway Winner for Road 2017. She won a workstation from Martelli Enterprises.

Thank you to the vendors who contributed the giveaway items and thanks to all who entered.


A New Decade Of Adventure For Carolyn Reese

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Road to California is a family owned business.

Bought in 1991 by Carolyn Reese, she added the quilt show four years later. New logo Carolyn’s three sons and their families have helped out with Road from the very beginning. Oldest son Mike is the financial officer. Middle son Dave provides the technical assistance; he is the one who designed the on-line registering system for the conference. Dave and his wife Susan also photograph all of the winning quilts. Youngest son Darrell is charge of equipment logistics, overseeing the set up and take down for the entire show. [caption id="attachment_4433" align="aligncenter" width="1000"](l-r) Mike, Darrell, and Dave Reese with their mother, Carolyn Reese (l-r) Mike, Darrell, and Dave Reese with their mother, Carolyn Reese[/caption] Reese family members can also be found in the Road vendor booth, at the registration table, and assisting teachers and lecturers with the evening classes. Carolyn has a Halloween birthday.  For as long as she can remember, she has spent her birthday at Quilt Market in Houston, first as a quilt shop owner of the Fabric Patch in Upland, CA from 1980 until 2006, then as owner of Road to California. But this year, Carolyn will be celebrating her birthday at home with family and friends. [caption id="attachment_4434" align="aligncenter" width="480"]80th Birthday dinner at Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar 80th Birthday dinner at Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar[/caption]

Why the change?

Because this year marks Carolyn’s 80th birthday and she has decided to retire from managing Road to California.  Carolyn has “turned the management over to my Grandson, Matt who has been working with me for the past six years and he is doing a great job.”Matt and Carolyn After managing businesses for over 37 years, what will Carolyn be doing with all her free time? As a quilt shop owner, Carolyn has taught many people how to piece quilts and other aspects of quilting. She also organized the first mystery quilt class in Southern California. Carolyn has always enjoyed helping people with sewing projects so she decided teaching would get her out of the house and working with people with similar interests. Carolyn Carolyn’s first class was at The Quilt Loft in Upland, CA teaching the POP-UP container. She has now taught at Sewn Together in Norco, The Busy Bee in Calimesa and Monica’s Quilt and Bead Creations in Palm Springs.  Other projects have been The Sweet Pea Pods, Fold and Stitch Wreath, Fold and Stitch Leaf Topper, Hexagon Star Table Topper – which Carolyn designed – and an Octagon Tablemat. Her newest class is Perfect Binding Corners for any shape, squares and rectangles, hexagons, octagons and even an inside corner for each shape.  The binding can be any width up to 1” wide width which is great for placemats, table toppers, etc. With a background in sewing that has covered many aspects of dressmaking, tailoring, upholstery as well as quilting, Carolyn also has lots of tips to share in her classes for easier methods of construction than what is found in a published pattern. What other classes will Carolyn be teaching in the future? “Who knows,?” says Carolyn. “What ever strikes my fancy!!” Of course, as his grandmother, you can be sure Carolyn will be keeping “an eye on Matt and what he is planning for Road to California…he has some great future ideas for Road.” Carolyn is looking forward to be able to “just go to the show – SHOP – and visit with the vendors as well as enjoy the beautiful quilts.”Carolyn on Harley Thank you Carolyn Reese for your leadership and vision in establishing Road to California as “The Best in the West Quilt Show and Conference.”      ]]>