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Welcome to the Road to California Blog

How Road 2020 Quilt Judges Picked Their Judge’s Choice

May 29th, 2020

Seeing quilts from the perspective of someone who makes quilts or just admires looking at quilts is way different from seeing them as quilt judges. Quilt judges have a big responsibility and view their roles very seriously. A two-time quilt judge for Road to California explained it this way: It can be “intimidating,” “difficult,” and a just plain “hard job” especially “when you think about giving away $10,000.”

After the three quilt judges for Road’s 2020 Quilt Contest made their decision for the top prizes, they each individually chose their own Judge’s Choice Winners.

Pat Harrison

Pat Harrison is a long-arm quilter, lecturer and workshop teacher, quilt designer, and owner of Ocean Waves Quilting Company. She became a certified quilt judge in 2008.  

Pat chose Arches by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry as her Judge’s Choice Winner.

quilt judges

What influenced Pat in her decision? “To begin, I look for a balance between excellent design and excellent workmanship. In addition, I seek to find a quilt that catches my eye and when possible, I strive to award my Judge’s Choice to a quilt that is a completely original design. My selection fulfilled all these criteria as well as appealing to my love of architectural elements.”

John Flynn

John Flynn has been a quilt judge twice for Road to California. John is a hand quilter, Featherweight owner and repair teacher, retreat leader, and along with his wife and daughter, owns Flynn Quilt Frame Company.

John’s Judge’s Choice Winner was Blue Windows by Jennifer Emry.

quilt judges

Why did John pick Blue Windows? “I liked everything about this quilt, the clean lines, the creative fabric choices the precise piecing, and the thoughtful well-done quilting design.”

Pepper Cory

Pepper Cory is a quilt maker, teacher, author, fabric and stencil designer. She owned a quilt shop, Culpepper’s Quilts, in Lansing, Michigan from 1976-1988.

Away by Karen K Stone was Pepper’s Director’s Choice winner.

quilt judges

Pepper shared her reasoning behind her choice: “In choosing my judge’s award it was a visceral response. “That’s it!” I shouted as soon as I saw it. Loved it. Wished I had made it. Admired the workmanship and artistry.”

Quilt Judges Give Advice For Future Quilt Competitors

Road 2020 Quilt Judges were asked what advice they would give to quilters interested in entering their workmanship in a quilt contest like Road to California.

Pepper Cory had a long list of suggestions which included, “Read the show’s description of the categories and make sure you’re entering your quilt in the correct group… A quilt is only judged against what’s in its group. A piece that gets a blue ribbon in one show might totally fall out of contention in another. It’s all about your competition at that event.”

John added, “Be original. Use fabrics that you love not what you expect the judges to love. Be as precise as you are able. Quilt with some feeling. Enjoy the process it will show in the finished quilt.”

And finally, Pat replied, “My advice to quilters wanting to submit a quilt to a quilt contest is to just do it! Don’t doubt your skills but open yourself to having your quilt evaluated by the judges and marveled at by the show attendees. Having a quilt judged should encourage a quilter and help them identify where they might need to improve…After all, who doesn’t like to get better at what they love and in so doing make the whole quilt making process more enjoyable.”

Thank you to Road’s 2020 quilt judges and congratulations to the makers of their winning Judge’s Choice selections.

Will you be entering a quilt in Road to California’s 2021 contest?  

Judging Quilts Then and Now

May 27th, 2020

John Flynn was one of the original judges for Road to California, judging quilts at Road’s very first show. He was invited back to be a judge again for Road to California’s 25th Anniversary Show in 2020. John shared what it was like to judge winning quilts 25 years apart.

Who is John Flynn

judging quilts

John Flynn got interested in quilting in the 1980’s when he was testing the quilt frames that he was designing and building for his wife, Brooke. He soon discovered how relaxing hand quilting was and has been working at it ever since.

John has an engineering background so he finds inspiration in the geometry of objects and from old traditional quilts.

The Flynn Quilt Frame Company is a family owned business, consisting of John, Brooke, and their daughter Kate Flynn Nichols. The Flynn Multi-Frame is a simple, lightweight, three-rail scroll frame that can be held in your lap for hand quilting or used with your home sewing machine for no-baste machine quilting.

Today, John designs, reinvents, leads quilt workshops all over the U.S., demonstrates the Flynn Multi-Frame at quilt shows, solves Sudoku puzzles, and rides his road bike up the Beartooth Pass in his spare time. He is also involved in judging quilts for various quilt shows.

Judging Quilts in 1995

Back at Road’s first show, John recalled that judging quilts was a lot easier. There were only about 50 quilts entered in the contest.  Of the fifty quilts entered, only a half dozen were machine quilted. The rest were all hand quilted which was perfect for his judging skills since hand quilting was his expertise.

A big difference judging quilts between 1995 and 2020 was that there was no prize money given out to the winning quilts in 1995. Quilters entered the contest for “bragging rights” only so there wasn’t as much pressure being a judge.

Judging Quilts in 2020

John said judging quilts in 2020 is a lot more  “intimidating” and “difficult” especially when you consider you are responsible for giving away $10,000 for the Best of Show quilt.

Best of Show 2020 – Christmas in St. Andrews by Marilyn Badger

There were 275 quilts to judge for the Anniversary Show. This time around, most of the quilts were machine quilted. Only about ten were hand quilted—the exact opposite from his first-year judging.

He was also impressed with the number and quality of volunteers that assisted the judges in 2020. “They were fantastic.”

John was honored to be judging quilts with his “very experienced” teammates, Pepper Cory and Pat Harrison. “It is fantastic that we are all still here,” commented John.

Mother-Daughter Quilters

May 22nd, 2020

Road to California is a great place for mothers and daughters to come and share their love for quilting.

First Project Together: Log Cabin

Mother-Daughter Quilters

Mother-Daughter Quilters, Melissa and Savannah from Phelan, California, like Road to California because it is the “biggest quilt show” where you can get “anything and everything.” Melissa started sewing at age 8 making garments. She thought quilting looked “interesting” because all it required was straight stitching. She soon found out that incorporating straight stitching into a ¼” seam was more difficult than it looked.  Melissa decided she needed some help if she was going to master this quilt basic, so she took a class at the old Calico Horse in Redlands. That class set her on her way to her quilting addiction. Savannah, age 20, watched her mom quilt over the years and became interested in doing it herself. Melissa taught Savannah how to use a basic sewing machine. The first quilt project they did together was a log cabin quilt block. Today, they both enjoy being Mother-Daughter Quilters.

Small Town Hobby

Mother-Daughter Quilters

Jody and Linda live in Calgary, Canada. They said they became Mother-Daughter Quilters because there isn’t much to do in their small town. Linda has been quilting for 15 years and Jody has been quilting for 12. Road to California 2020 was their first time at the show. They came to see Jenny Doan and when they found out how much there was to see and do at the show, they already decided that they will be coming back. They had a fun time seeing Jenny. They loved the atmosphere and the energy of her presentation.

A Great Gift for Mother-Daughter Quilters

For the past two years, Mercy has given her mother, Ernestine, tickets to Road to California. It’s close to Mercy’s home in Murrieta, California and is a good excuse for her mom to come visit from Tehachapi in Northern California. Ernestine has been quilting for over 40 years and Mercy has been quilting for 20. These Mother-Daughter Quilters loved seeing all the quilts at the show. “It is really big,” commented Ernestine.

Shirley has been giving her daughter, Roxanne, tickets to Road for the past 8 years as her birthday gift. They come to the show from South Gate on a bus with their machine quilting class. Shirley had encouraged Roxanne to start quilting. At first, Roxanne would go with her mother to her quilting class and take notes for her, then typed the notes out.  She now considers herself a “novice” quilter.

Destination Get Together

Mother-Daughter Quilters

Judy and Kendra don’t quilt; they are “quilt appreciators.” Kendra first heard about Road to California from a friend and has been attending for the past five years by herself. She loves the show (“even though I don’t quilt”) so much, that she wanted her mom, Judy, to see it. Judy came from Colorado just to see Road. Judy liked “imagining the people” who made all the quilts and appreciated their work. “It just stuns me.” While they are not Mother-Daughter Quilters, they are Mother-Daughter needle workers. They even liked looking at the vendors, trying to find their next project.     

Winning Mother-Daughter Quilters

Sara and Clarice are Mother-Daughter Quilters who decided to make their first art quilts and enter them into the Cherrywood Fabrics Bob Ross competition—and they both won a spot in the traveling exhibit!!  Sara is a painter who had been inspired by Bob Ross. She had a lot of fun making her first art quilt and is excited to try more. Clarice has also been inspired by Bob Ross and loved that she and Sara worked on this project together.

Road to California offers lots of opportunities for Mother-Daughter Quilters to enjoy, make, and share their appreciation for quilting.        

Get to Know Road Teacher Krista Moser

May 19th, 2020

Krista Moser learned to sew before she learned to read.

From age 8 to age 12, Krista Moser had sewn hundreds of garments each of those four years. Most of those garments were made from designs that Krista just made up along the way. Why was she sewing and designing so much? Because she could not read.  Krista is dyslexic and wasn’t able to read until she was 12 years old. Instead of battling with trying to figure out written patterns, she spent her time thinking about how and why things were done.

Krista Moser

A Sewing Prodigy

Even though Krista finally learned to read, because she had spent so much time doing her “own thing,” she decided to just keep on doing what she knew best: being creative and not worrying about academics. “Creativity was a confidence builder,” Krista remembered. “It kept me from comparing myself to other kids.”    

When she was 12, a local quilt store asked Krista to teach her method of sewing. Krista worked at that store for 9 years until the store closed. By that time, she had made a name for herself as a longarm quilter, pattern designer and sewing teacher at other stores.  

Quilting Innovations

Krista Moser is known in the quilting industry for her YouTube videos on Y Seams

She has also designed two rulers for Creative Grids

Krista Moser

And her 24 quilt patterns are highly visual, using easy to follow illustrations with only a few key words. Quilters in Europe, who don’t know any English, have said they have no problems using Krista’s patterns because they are so visual.

Krista Moser

Krista Moser at Road 2020

Road to California 2020 was Krista Moser’s first time at the show. She taught classes and was featured in a Special Exhibit.

Krista Moser

“Sheesh.” said Krista. Being at Road 2020 has been “non-stop” and “delightful.” Because Krista is from the Seattle, Washington area, she was particularly grateful for the California sunshine. 

Sandy, from Whittier and a member of the Long Beach Modern Quilting Guild, took one of Krista’s classes because “Krista is terrific.” “I wanted to learn Krista’s Y Seam technique from Krista.” Sandy has been quilting since she was 13 years old. “I had a great Home Ec teacher in Reno, Nevada. She taught me how to ‘Quilt As You Go’ with a log cabin quilt.” Sandy has been to Road the past 6 years. She likes Road because “it is close to my home and there are vendors from all over; ones I would normally not see.”

Newlyweds John and Neyha took Krista’s class because John’s mother had signed up she and Neyha to attend but had to drop out at the last minute so John took her place. It was their first ever quilting class. Even though Krista’s class was considered an “intermediate” class, they felt they did OK. “It was a team project,” said John. Neyha received a Featherweight sewing machine from John’s parents for a birthday gift two years ago to encourage her to sew. “Krista is an awesome teacher,” remarked Neyha. “She does multiple demos so you don’t feel like you miss out on anything.” Neyha especially liked that Krista was “young like me.” John said that while he had grown up around his mom and grandma quilting, “I have never done anything like this before. I have a different appreciation for quilts my mom and grandma have made.”     

Krista will be teaching again at Road to California in 2021.  To learn more about Krista Moser, please visit her website.

Director’s Choice Road 2020

May 15th, 2020

Sharon Casey received $5,000 from Sponsor, Moore’s Sewing Center, for her winning Director’s Choice entry, Boogie Brass Band.

Director's Choice Road to California 2020

A Road to California Tradition

There is a tradition at Road to California that the Director of the Show gets to choose the winner for the Director’s Choice Award. Matt Reese is not only the Director and Owner of Road to California, he is also a lawyer, and a musician. His undergraduate degree from California State University – Long Beach was in Tuba Performance. Because of his music background, he usually chooses a music-themed quilt to receive the distinguished Director’s Choice Award.  

Meet Award Winning Quilter, Sharon Casey

Sharon Casey had a bad experience with her first foray into sewing. At 12 years old, she was asked to make a garment and wear it in a Girl Scouts fashion show. She had never sewn before and her garment ended up being a  “lopsided” dress that she wore down the runway. She was “mortified” from the experience and “swore I would never touch a sewing machine again.”

It took 30 years and an encouraging sister-in-law to introduce her to quilting. Soon, she was having the “time of my life” arranging fabric blocks. Not long after, Sharon bought a Bernina and sewing supplies at a quilt shop near her home and began gathering fabric. Her first quilts were all original designs from scratch.

Director’s Choice Road 2020

Finding Her Voice in Contest Quilting

Twenty years after her sewing re-boot, Sharon is still enjoying sewing and making award winning quilts like the Road 2020 Director’s Choice, Boogie Brass Band.

Sharon entered her first quilt contest in 2014 in a Studio Art Quilt Association contest called Oasis. Sharon had been seriously ill for several years and making art quilts had become her therapy. “This theme was perfect for my journey toward recovery,” recalled Sharon. “My quilt was named ‘Serenity.’ It was juried into the show and traveled around the country to different quilt shows as a special exhibit. What a thrill! I will never forget the feeling when I received the show catalog and flipped through it. There was my quilt!”

After that experience, Sharon went back in her studio with a desire to celebrate life by making large, vibrant, colorful quilts. She took classes online and in person, taking workshops from her favorite quilt artists. It was vital to learn the skills and techniques needed to do the things I wanted, like piecing beautiful curves, but even more important to me was developing my artistry and individuality.

Sharon is very “comfortable” entering her quilts in large shows, whether or not they win a prize. “I love sharing them and getting feedback, especially from people who are just discovering quilts as works of art. I hear things like, ‘That’s a quilt?’ Or ‘I didn’t know quilts could be like that.’ I also sell my quilts, and have donated some to benefit worthy causes. It makes me happy to think of them having a life after me, rather than having to roll them up in a dark storage box.”

Making the Director’s Choice Award

Quilting is the way Sharon merges the two passions of her life – music and art.

It took Sharon a year to make Boogie Brass Band. Boogie Brass Band owes its creation to the big band music Sharon’s parents played when she was growing up. Sharon also loved the sound and pageantry of marching bands, especially when they would stop, count off, and break into full tilt boogie! Sharon also confessed, that while she was working on Boogie Brass Band, “I couldn’t stop singing, “76 trombones in the big parade…” while I was working on it. (from The Music Man)”

Sharon was at home when she learned from a friend that she had won the Director’s Choice Award. “I called out to my husband and showed him and we both danced around the living room!”

The prize money is currently sitting in Sharon’s bank account, waiting to be spent on fabric.

The Next Project

The next quilt Sharon is working on is the third in a series of large abstract compositions with a musical theme, using bold, contrasting colors. She noted that she likes to play with size and perspective, so that objects are larger or smaller than expected. “It makes me smile.” And Sharon is quick to add, “…As always, there’s music playing while I quilt!”

To learn more about the Road 2020 Director’s Choice winner, please visit Sharon Casey’s website.

Wise Words from Jenny Doan

May 12th, 2020

Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Company, began her quilting journey like most quilters: she took a class at a local quilt shop. That first step into quilting led her to start a longarm quilting business, then teaching tutorials on YouTube. Her pioneering spirit helped Jenny and her family revitalize the town of Hamilton, Missouri where today, Missouri Star Quilt Company is known as the “Disneyland of Quilting,” attracting visitors from around the globe.

As part of Road to California’s 25th Anniversary, Jenny was invited back to Road for a second time to teach classes as well as share her story and inspiration with her show, Jenny on the Road.

During her time at Road, students and fans got to hear many of the Wise Words from Jenny Doan; sound advice for quilting and life in general. Here are a few of the Wise Words from Jenny Doan:

Jenny Doan's Wise Words
Jenny Doan's Wise Words
Jenny Doan's Wise Words
Jenny Doan's Wise Words
Jenny Doan's Wise Words

Winning A Lunch Date With Jenny Doan

May 8th, 2020

Road to California is always looking for ways to engage fans before the show starts in January. With the celebration of Road’s 25th Anniversary happening at Road 2020, it became clear that Road had to offer a BIG giveaway to draw attention to the occasion. That BIG giveaway ended with a chance for winning a lunch date with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company.

25th Anniversary Giveaway

Twice a week, from December 2, 2020 through January 11. 2020, Road to California gave away prize packages made up of items donated from some of Road’s fabulous 2020 teachers. Twelve prize packages that were ultimately given away!!!  

The prize packages included quilt patterns and books, quilting tools, quilt notecards, a specially designed mini quilt and a surprise box donated by Jen Kingwell that weighed over 3 pounds!!

The grand prize was winning a lunch date with Jenny Doan for the winner and a friend, plus two front row seats to see “JENNY ON THE ROAD” on Saturday morning. Over 400 entries were received for the grand prize. The winner chosen for a lunch date with Jenny Doan was Donna Bach of Tempe, Arizona. For Donna’s “plus-one,” she chose her husband, Mark.

Winning a lunch date

The Winning Quilter

Donna Bach has been quilting for over 8 years. Her neighbor across the street got her into quilting and remains her “quilting mentor” to this day.

Donna “loves” Jenny Doan. Donna saw Jenny in Phoenix at an event and thought she was “hilarious.” “I love her patterns and her videos.” Donna added, “Jenny is very humble. It is admirable how she takes care of her family.”

Donna’s husband Mark commented, “I hear Jenny’s theme song and I know that Donna is watching another video.” He was particularly impressed with how Jenny “took a small town and built it into a haven.”     

When Donna entered the giveaway for winning a lunch date with Jenny Doan, she never dreamed she would win. As soon as she found out that she was the winner, she posted it on Facebook, letting all her friends and family know.

winning a lunch date

Lunch with Jenny Doan

A private room overlooking the main Exhibit Hall was the location for the luncheon. Jenny and her husband, Ron, joined Donna and Mark for a relaxing time.

winning a lunch date

Road to California’s owner, Matt Reese stopped by to meet Donna and congratulate her. While he was there, everyone learned that Matt’s undergraduate degree was in Tuba Performance and Jenny’s was in Theater. Matt and Jenny decided that they needed to work on a project together, a CD called, “Love Songs on the Tuba.” (Road will be sure to let everyone know when it comes out 😊)

What did Jenny and Donna talk about? Well, children and grandchildren, of course.

Jenny gave details on her story, how her family got to Hamilton, Missouri and how the business started. “The Missouri Star Quilt Company is located on Highway 36 – the Highway of Geniuses. J.C. Penney, Mark Twain, and Walt Disney all got their start along that highway.”  

Jenny shared that she does not use a computer to design her quilt patterns. “I just have to try stuff.”

Donna told Jenny how much she loved her pillowcase tutorial. “I have made it over and over again.” She asked Jenny if she has had a favorite moment. Jenny answered, “Every time I do something new, it is my favorite.” She especially loves “When I do something with a new block and I realize, ‘Oh my gosh—this is going to work.”

Donna asked Jenny would she have done anything differently? Jenny replied, “No. I’ve learned so much about the business from my son.” As for the future of Missouri Star? “I would love to have our town become a craft center where every woman brings a man so that they can do something together.”  

winning a lunch date

Winning a lunch date with Jenny Doan is something Donna Bach will never forget.

Remember When Jenny Doan Came to Road 2020?

May 5th, 2020

Road to California and Missouri Star Quilt Company partnered to present Jenny Doan and Jenny on the Road as a part of Road to California’s 25th Anniversary Show in 2020.

Jenny had visited Road to California for the first time in 2018. She taught classes and presented a trunk show. She was so well received that Road knew having Jenny back as a part of their 25th Anniversary Celebration would be a great addition to all the special anniversary plans being planned.

What was Jenny on the Road?

Jenny Doan

Right after Road 2018, Jenny Doan and the Missouri Star Quilt Company started a new venue for Jenny to get out among her fans.  Jenny on the Road took Jenny around the country to meet fans, tell the history of her company, and share inspiration on quilt making. Jenny was accompanied by some of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. employees who got to see the face of their company in action.

Jenny Doan

Jenny on the Road was offered twice during Road – on Friday night and Saturday morning. Guests who attended Jenny on the Road, received special SWAG bags filled with Missouri Star merchandise, had the chance to talk with Jenny and take a picture with her, and shop at a special Missouri Star Pop-up Shop created especially for the event.

Jenny Doan Fans

Sally, Robin and Diane are quilters who also show horses together all over the country. They live in the Midwest (Texas, Indiana, and Kansas) and have gone to Hamilton, Missouri – home of Missouri Star – the past three years.  They rent a house nearby, sew, party and shop while they are there. In 2019, the three women finished 12 quilts while they were in Hamilton.  Diane, who has been quilting for three years, recognized how Jenny “has done amazing things to get new people into quilting.” Diane said that her four-year-old granddaughter’s favorite YouTube show to watch is Jenny Doan and Missouri Star Quilt Company’s channel. Sally is the one who got Robin and Diane into quilting. She said, “Road is the best. I love all the quilt vendors.” They have already made their reservations for Road 2021.

Cathy and Jerry live in Santa Clarita, California. Cathy has been quilting for over 30 years. She and Jerry have been to Road to California 6 times. They enjoy looking at the quilts when they come to Road and particularly liked the new exhibit venue set up in the ballroom for 2020. “It was a much more relaxed atmosphere,” remarked Jerry. After visiting Missouri Star in 2019, Jerry made his first quilt. “We went to Jenny’s office while we there and she stopped everything she was doing to talk to us.” Cathy said she loved talking to Jenny about how her family values brought the town of Hamilton back to life.

On Saturday morning, Joyce from South Australia, said that she travelled all the way to Road to California just to meet Jenny Doan. She became acquainted with Jenny from You Tube and loved her personality. “She is such an inspiration.” A quilter for over 60 years, Joyce thought her Road experience was “fantastic.” She loved seeing all the “beautiful quilts.”

Jenny Doan

Terry and Jan live in Claremont, California. Jan has been quilting “forever” and Terry has been doing longarm quilting for the past 15 years. Terry said, “I listen to Jan as she listens to Jenny’s You Tube channel. Jenny has a personality that you just want to get to know her.”   

The Future for Jenny Doan and Missouri Star

Like everyone else in the country, the Coronavirus has affected business in Hamilton, Missouri. Their official statement on their website reads, “ Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19), we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close our in-town shops and reschedule or cancel many upcoming events and retreats to keep our guests and employees safe. During this uncertain time, your well being is our greatest concern. We are so sorry for this inconvenience and hope you will be able to come visit us soon!” Their calendar shows that Missouri Star hopes to be up and running this summer and be able to hold their annual Birthday Bash in September.

Road to California 2020 was the last time Jenny Doan and Jenny on the Road made an appearance before the Coronavirus shutdown. Road was thrilled to host such a dynamic and influential quilt superstar at our 25th Anniversary Celebration.     

Jenny Doan

Meet The Simi Valley Quilt Guild

May 1st, 2020

Started in the 1970’s, the Simi Valley Quilt Guild has 125 members. Before Coronavirus, they met on the 2nd Wednesday of the month and every other year, they hold a quilt show. Their next quilt show is scheduled for October 2020.   

Community Supporters

The Simi Valley Quilt Guild believes that being visible in the community is an “important thing.”  They have a large quilting force that meets twice a year to make quilts simply to give away. Blocks for the quilts are done individually and then put together in groups.  

Every event they support – Street Fairs, The Simi Valley Blues Festival, and Simi Valley Days – the guild sponsors a booth where they display quilts and sell quilt related items. Some of the proceeds from their booth goes to the event they are supporting.

Road to California 2020

Like many local quilt guilds, the Simi Valley Quilt Guild had their latest opportunity quilt on display during Road to California 2020.   

Simi Valley Quilt Guild

Psychedelic Hexies was designed by guild member, Debra Delahunt. It is 74” by 79” and was constructed by guild members.

Debra was on hand at Road to answer questions about the quilt. She also brought along her 12-year-old granddaughter, Brooke, who participates in her grandmother’s mini-group with the guild, “Patchwork Pals.” The group makes quilts for Quilts of Valor and tiny quilts for local hospitals to give to premature babies.

Simi Valley Quilt Guild

Brooke has been quilting for almost a year. Her grandmother, Debra, taught her how to quilt. Brooke has already attended two quilting retreats and has designed her own quilt. Brooke’s “Nail Polish Quilt” was made for her manicurist. Brooke has her own Brother sewing machine and thinks quilting is “relaxing.”

Staying in touch during COVID-19

California has had “Shelter in Place” restrictions since March 13th. Citizens have been restricted to their homes, avoiding any unnecessary public activities. How does the Simi Valley Quilt Guild stay in touch during these stressful times?      

They utilize their monthly newsletter as a way to share member’s stay-at-home projects and  recipes, coordinate a quilt block exchange, and even solicit help in finding sewing machines to lend to local middle school sewers so that they can finish school projects that were started before their schools went exclusively to online learning.   

Simi Valley Quilt Guild
May Block Exchange: “Mini Bow Tie”

To learn more about the Simi Valley Quilt Guild, please visit their website.

Sew Kind of Wonderful Curves

April 29th, 2020

“If it has a curve, we can figure it out.”

Sew Kind of Wonderful is a boutique, modern quilting company that specializes in designing patterns and products centered around their award-winning Quick Curve Ruler©. It is owned by three sisters: Jenny Pedigo, Helen Robinson, and Sherilyn Mortensen. Helen began quilting in 1997, followed by Sherilyn in 1998, and then Jenny, in 2002. All three sisters are Gammill artists.

Sew Kind of Wonderful

How did Sew Kind of Wonderful Begin?

When Jenny was looking for some work she could do at home while raising her 6 children, Helen suggested she try longarm quilting. Jenny’s response? “What’s that?”

Jenny went right to work practicing longarm skills. She bought a used Gammill machine with a 14-foot table and joined a longarm guild near her home in Everett, Washington. She picked up customers from a quilt shop down the road and learned quickly that longarm quilting “was a lot of work!!” Jenny encourages quilt makers to “hug your longarm quilter.” She really loved her longarm work and had quilted over 1,000 quilts. But about after 6 years into it, she was burning out and felt she needed to do something different.

Jenny started playing with curving and decide that she wanted to design curve edged quilts. She couldn’t understand why everyone seemed to be “so scared about curves.” Jenny figured out that her curve fetish would go a lot smoother if she had a ruler that not only was curved but also had a grid for squaring up blocks. There was nothing like that on the market, so she graphed her idea on some graph paper and took it to a local company to manufacture. A year and a half later, the first Quick Curve Ruler© was created.  

The Quick Curve Ruler©

It wasn’t long that Helen and Sherilyn caught Jenny’s curve ruler vision. Together, they combined ideas and today they have come up with over 100 designs using their Quick Curve Ruler©.

The Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) makes cutting curves fast, easy and consistent.  The sisters developed their QCR technique of Cut-Sew-Square-Up that allows for working with the bias, and the square-up step ensures blocks are concise, consistent for piecing the final product. There are three QCR rulers on their website. Each is a different size and has a different curve.

Their patterns are made in series. The first series was called Urban; the second was called Decco; and the third is called Metro. Their most popular quilt to date is from the Metro Series and is called, Metro Rings. It is a double wedding ring pattern made from five jelly rolls, stitched together and then cut with a curved ruler. Jenny says, “It is fast and easy.”  

Sew Kind of Wonderful at Road 2020

Jenny and Sherilyn did a Sew Kind of Wonderful Trunk Show as a $5.00 Lecture at Road 2020, sharing many of their original designs.

Sew Kind of Wonderful

Sherilyn came up with the idea for Mod Strawberries while she was on the treadmill.

Sew Kind of Wonderful

Posh Santa is a favorite pattern. A Mrs. Claus design will be available in July.

Sew Kind of Wonderful

The sisters are always on the lookout for new ideas from what is trending in the home decorating world.

Sew Kind of Wonderful

Emojis, letters and numbers are some of their favorites right now.

Sew Kind of Wonderful

Sew Kind of Wonderful has certainly made quilting with curves fun!! Visit their website for patterns, rulers and more. They also have You Tube videos that provide easy to follow instructions.