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Archive for the ‘classes’ Category

Celebrating Hoffman Fabrics: 94 Years And Going Strong

Friday, May 4th, 2018

How much do you know about this iconic fabric brand?

Michelle Flores of Hoffman Fabrics shared the following 10 Facts and Figures of the “Hoffman Look” in a $5.00 lecture at Road to California 2018:

1) A family owned and operated business, currently four generations of the Hoffman family run the day to day operations with headquarters in Mission Viejo, California

2) Imaginative fabrics originate with a team of in-house textile artists. Many designs are developed from hand-drawn and hand-painted art. Premium screen-printed and hand-dyed fabrics are manufactured for independent retailers

3) Hoffman searches the world for their premium, high thread count, 100% cotton fabric base.

4) Bali Batiks are a Hoffman exclusive. They have been running their own independent operation in Bali for 35 years. Original, hand drawn designs are put in the computer where designers play with size and repeat. Once perfected, the design is sent to the factory in Bali and re-created on copper stamps which are dipped in wax and applied to the base fabric. Wax does not absorb dye, so designs are left intact. When the dying process is completed, the wax is washed off.5) The minimum order for each Batik design and color is 1,000 yards. Because it takes 6-8 months to develop a Batik fabric, it is recommended that if you love a particular design, buy it when you see it as Hoffman does not duplicate the same design and colors.

6) Interested in their famous Christmas Batiks? These fabrics are delivered to stores in June and July.   

7) Me + You is Hoffman’s modern Batik line. They are mostly solid fabrics with minimal design patterns like these prints created by Latifah Saarfir exclusively for Hoffman Fabrics:8) Can’t find Batiks in your area? Hoffman recommends you first go to your local fabric shop and request what you want. If you still can’t purchase locally, these online retailers carry Hoffman’s line: e-Quilter.com, Batiks Plus, Hancock’s of Paducah, and Nancy’s Notions.

9) For the past 5 years, Digital Prints have become Hoffman’s latest fabric trend. Because a screen-printed fabric can only hold 17-18 colors, the magic of digital printing allows designers to achieve a more realistic effect using more colors. Custom orders for digital prints are honored with a minimum of 500 yards.10) Digital Prints are also made in to panels which can be used for binding and backing or can be cut-up for piecing. Some of their popular panels include the Crazy Panel—all Hoffman fabric challenge prints for the past 30 years. Not sure how to use a digital print panel? Hoffman has free patterns on their website for ideas.

Hoffman Fabrics has lots to celebrate in 2018: Fabulous fabrics, a rich heritage, and their 30th Anniversary of the Hoffman Challenge. Thanks Hoffman Fabrics for allowing Road to California 2018 be the exclusive stop in sharing your successes.      ]]>

The Batty Lady Is Resilient And Resourceful

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

The Batty Lady is a familiar vendor at Road to California. Started in 2008, The Batty Lady’s mission is to “provide quality quilt batting, at a reasonable price to quilters all over the world. Plus, share quilt batting knowledge to those quilters whether they be beginners or advanced quilters.” Alicia went above and beyond to fulfill that mission statement at Road 2018 when she had to overcome a robbery of her merchandise just days before Road started. The first week of January, Alicia was returning from a show in Arizona with her trailer loaded with product. She took her trailer to her brother’s business in Yorba Linda, California, to store temporarily until Road to California. On January 6th, around 5:30 AM, the trailer was stolen. Alicia immediately went to social media to get help in locating her trailer. She sent out two separate posts that combined, received over 200,000 impressions!! On January 9th, the trailer was located in a church parking lot in Anaheim, about 10 miles away. Unfortunately, the trailer was cleaned out. How was The Batty Lady going to keep its commitment to their customers at Road to California in nine days? Having a high quantity of product in a high-quality booth is important to Alicia. Luckily for her, having shared her plight on social media, individuals and businesses knew of her circumstances and rallied to help out:

Alicia and her staff were able to pull it together in time. Their booth didn’t have the familiar look, but it was ready to help customers. Throughout the show, random guests stopped by, giving words and gifts of encouragement which Alicia so appreciated. One quilt group even made Alicia a care package to help her get through the show.      Not only did Alicia have to worry about keeping The Batty Lady booth running, she also had a $5.00 Lecture Class – Batting, Batting, Batting-So Many Choices — to teach on the first day of the show, adding to her stress. Teaching about the different types of batting for different types of quilting was the easy part. Alicia was worried though about the samples that were promised to attendees in the advertising materials. Thankfully, Quilter’s Dream came through and donated prizes for her students. In the end, Alicia felt that a very negative situation came out positive. “I could have been crying,” said Alicia. Instead, she experienced first hand the warmth of the quilting community on her behalf—and it wasn’t just from all the batting in her booth!! The Batty Lady travels to different quilt venues throughout the country as well as operates the The Batty Lady Warehouse and Wonderfil Threaducation Center in Orange CA.. For information about warehouse hours and locations where The Batty Lady will be headed in the future, please visit their website.]]>

DIY Fabric Painting

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Joyce Teng, owner of TSC Designs and 2018 Road to California Vendor and Teacher, says not to worry. She has spent the last 30 years developing tools and techniques to create your own, specially designed fabric. When creating your own fabric design, Joyce says you need to first consider 3 important elements: 


What are you going to mix with your ink to get the effect you want 


What are you going to use to apply your medium to the fabric


What do you want your end design to look like

Medium:  Joyce and TSC Designs sells and uses only one kind of ink: Tsukineko. A high quality ink that has been around for over 1,000 years, it is archive quality and child safe. Tsukineko inks come in a ton of colors and can be used on any fabric. 

What is the most popular color ink Joyce uses and sells? Champagne Mist. Joyce says that it makes “all the colors shimmery.”

A bonus when using Tsukineko inks is that the fabrics don’t have to be pre-treated. Just follow the care labels on the fabric and heat set the ink when you are done. Her favorite fabric to use is White Kona Cotton.

Joyce touts to “Never use just ink alone.” As she says, “Play with it.” Experiment with mixing different colors together. Then, try different mediums to mix along with the ink to create different textures. Some of her favorites are rubbing alcohol and shaving cream.

With the rubbing alcohol, always use 90% Proof, spraying small amounts directly on the fabric before applying the ink to enhance the colors.

Shaving cream can be mixed with the ink and a little water to create a collage pattern.  Joyce recommends the Barbasol brand. It is inexpensive and has “never” failed her.

Tools: Joyce and TSC Designs has a large line of brushes to help you get the look and texture you desire. For instance, she carries an alcohol brush that retains both ink and water together to create water color designs. A batik brush has bristles made from man-made leather to create a realistic batik-like overall background. TSC Designs also carries nine different shapes of marbeling tools to help you achieve the precise look you envisioned.

Other common tools can be found at your local Dollar Store like soft paint brushes. Sea sponges also add a nice texture. And Joyce reminds, “Don’t forget about your sewing machine’s brush!!”

Pattern: There are many sources of pattern designs: fabric, nature, textiles and stencils.  As with the inks, Joyce encourages playing around with stencils: “Don’t use them as is.” To prevent bleeding when using stencils, apply shaving cream directly to fabric by dabbing it lightly before applying ink to the stencil. 

Why does Joyce spend so much time developing new techniques? Because she firmly believes that everyone needs to “share their passion with the next generation. We have a responsibility to teach the next generation.” She wishes there were “48 hours in a day” to create all the new patterns she has in her mind to share.

To learn more about how to use ink, tools and patterns, you can use Joyce’s book (with a new edition coming out soon) or go to her website.


A Survivor Motivated By "So Many Dreams"

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Her first dream was to become a pharmacist. In her native Taiwan, she not only taught at a Pharmacy School, but as a chemist, she developed a heart medicine. With a medical background, how did she become involved with fabric arts? Joyce confides that she was born with an eye for color and always liked design.

The transition from science to art happened on a trip to the United States, attending the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Joyce’s next dream was to own her own art-related business which she started in 1984–TSC Designs. This family-run business started out in Joyce’s garage as Teachers Stamp Company, where she manufactured her own line of rubber stamps and other educational arts and crafts products. Joyce later designed and produced brass embossing templates and other accessories for paper crafts and scrapbooking. In 2005, Joyce and her husband retired from the stamping business to focus solely on providing unique and innovative products for quilters & sewers. Since 1990, they have worked with Tsukineko Inc. to provide the highest quality paper and fabric inks to their customers. During this 20-year relationship, they have helped thousands of creative minds develop new ways to “color” their world.

What others might call “tragedies,” Joyce survived two life-threatening events that actually increased her desire to be more creative. The first event happened while she was attending Paducah in April of 2014 when she suffered a massive stroke at the show. Lucky for Joyce, Paducah’s hospital is a major stroke center and was able to give Joyce the best treatment from the best doctors available. She says that after the stroke, “God opened her brain” and ever since she has experienced non-stop creativity. “New things come out every day,” insists Joyce.

More recently, as a resident of Houston, Texas, Joyce and her family were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Their home was completely flooded and FEMA told them that they had to get rid of everything. With the help of 30 volunteers, any salvable goods were packed up and put in a warehouse. Joyce said she and her family were living basically day by day to get back on their feet. Some people ask why Houston? Joyce replies, “Why not Houston?” She feels they were blessed by the manpower and community spirit present during those struggling times.

Just four months after Hurricane Harvey, Joyce and her husband were at Road to California 2018, manning the TSC Designs vendor booth in the Tent. Joyce also taught several classes including a $5.00 Lecture and at Roundabout, mentoring others to pursue their artistic creativity.  

Because there are still many more dreams for Joyce to pursue, she wishes she had “48 hours in every day to play.” In the meantime, she will make the most of each 24 hour day as she develops new ideas to share. To learn more about TSC Designs, please visit their website.]]>

Jenny Doan’s Favorite Quilt Block

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

the half square triangle. The classes were actually titled: Mystery Half Square Triangle because as Jenny explained, you can create literally 252 different versions of a half square triangle, providing limitless (and mysterious) possibilities for quilt top designs. Jenny says everything she does has to be “quick and easy.” If any of her classes or YouTube weekly tutorials look hard, “it’s a lie.” They are meant to show different methods to get you started so that you don’t have to “remember everything” when you are on your own. To create a half square triangle block, Jenny says to: 1) Take two square pieces of fabric (you decide the size) and lay on top of each other, right sides together. 2) Stitch along the outside 3) Cut on the diagonal 4) Press open and create!! Each student received a handout that shows the 252 different versions of the half square triangle that they could put together. In addition, all around the room were examples of half square triangle quilts to inspire the students. Jenny McKinsey from Porterville, California has been quilting for 7 years and was attending Road for the fifth time. She always comes to Road with four friends. They share the ride down from Northern California and a hotel room during the show. While Jenny regularly watches the Missouri Star Quilt Co’s weekly YouTube videos, she took the class because she thought “it would be fun” to experience Jenny Doan in person. A quilter for over 50 years, Linda McGregor has traveled from her home in Wyoming 15 times to attend Road to California. She started her quilting journey making tied quilts and today loves to make wedding ring and other traditional patterns. Like Jenny McKinsey, Linda has been watching Jenny Doan’s weekly tutorials for many years. When Linda found out that Jenny Doan was going to be a teacher at Road 2018, she “signed up as soon as I could.” Linda said that Jenny was “just as wonderful in person as she is on her videos. I haven’t seen a quilt in the classroom that I don’t want to make.” Linda likes coming to Road because “there is always something new. Everyone is warm and welcoming.” Also seen in Jenny Doan’s classroom was her husband, Ron. He says he helps Jenny at home and in the classroom, answering questions from quilters. Ron says, “I help wherever I can with the little things” whether it be working on quilt machines or in the warehouse. What did Ron think about his first experience with Road to California? He admitted that he didn’t know what he was coming and that he was surprised to see how big Road is.“ Road to California is pretty awesome.” And we would have to agree!!    ]]>

Meet Road 2018 Vendor and Teacher i-bead.com

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Beadwork – the art of using glass beads to embellish fabric art, jewelry, and other personal items – is as popular as ever.

For over 20 years, Amy Kupser of i-bead.com, has been creating unique bead designs and art applique patterns and kits that she shares with the world—including Road to California. i-bead.com specializes in offering kits that are easy to put together and ready to go. They are perfect to take along on road trips. Most of the fabrics in the quilt kits come from either Sew Batik or Anthology.  The beads Amy uses in her kits come from all over the world. Some of the beads featured in her booth were from Japan as well as some glass, hand-pressed buttons from the Czech Republic.   Road 2018 was i-bead.com’s 5th time vending at the show.  Sharing space with Amy in the i-bead.com booth was Cloud—a white shepherd medical alert dog that adores children. Cloud was modeling one of i-bead.com’s dog collars that are handwoven and fair traded from the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.   In addition to vending, Amy also taught three popular bead classes at Road 2018:

Empress Bracelet

Celtic Dance Bracelet

Just a Little Snippy

“Beading is not as hard as you think,” remarked Amy who loves to share her knowledge and joy of beading at shows, bead retreats, bead escapes and bead cruises. A fun way to embellish jewelry and quilt designs, is to add BRANCH FRINGE. Amy has developed an easy method for using this technique. Simply add beads to desired length for the fringe. Go back up to where you want the first “branch.” It is usually 4 – 6 beads or more depending on how dense you want your fringe to be. Continue until you have the number of branches you want. Adding a larger or unique bead to the end of each branch gives added dimension. Also try creating branches in different colors. To learn more about i-bead.com or to get information about joining Amy for one of her bead adventures, please visit her website.  ]]>

Jamie Wallen And The Art Of Longarm Quilting

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Innova machines under the tutelage of Jamie Wallen. Prior to becoming a long arm quilter, Jamie was a Registered Nurse for over 20 years. Burn out with the profession settled in after working 18-hour days, 7 days a week for so long. One day, in the mid-90’s, Jamie went to a friend’s house to help him put up a fence. His friend’s wife was a piecer and had a quilting magazine laying around. Jamie picked it up, thumbed through it, and saw an ad for a longarm quilting machine. He bought the machine 2 days later!! Right from the beginning, it was never about the piecing for Jamie; he was all about the longarm quilting.  He recalled, “I saw the potential for ‘painting on a canvas of what was finished.’” For two years, Jamie did nursing and quilting was his hobby. In those days, there was no support for longarm quilters so “you had to make it up as you went,” shared Jamie. He did a lot of practicing on bed sheets to come up with ideas. Soon, the quilting industry began to boom—and so did his business. How many quilts has he quilted? He stopped counting three years ago when his total reached 6,500!!   A resident of Michigan City, Indiana, he and his partner, Rich, travel extensively with their business, Quilters Apothecary. In 2017, they spent 34 weeks traveling over 60,000 miles driving and flying, including a one-month stint in Australia teaching in five different cities.    Jamie got in to teaching as a way to be a mentor for friends who made a big investment in their longarm machines but didn’t know what to do with them.  Today, he values teaching as a way to be a caretaker for the industry. Jamie teaches at Road approximately every other year (he previously taught in 2013 and 2016), and his classes sell out fast. Being from the East, he enjoys coming to Ontario during the winter. He appreciates the creative energy found at the show and all the inspiration that it has. Jamie says his students are always “happy and ready to learn.” During his classes, Jamie demonstrated drawing and quilting different designs as he shared personal stories of what it like to be a longarm quilter. One thing Jamie stressed with his students was the necessity of putting aside time each day for practicing.  With drawing, practicing at least a half hour to 45 minutes will help build muscle memory which eventually translates over to working on the machine. “Drawing designs is addictive. Anything a pencil can do, a longarm does,” Jamie said. He recommended keeping a TV tray, a folding chair, and some drawing tablets in the family room and use them when watching television.   With quilting, Jamie said that the biggest problem is waiting until you have a quilt before you start quilting. “You need to practice a lot before you lay down a quilt on the machine.” He added, “Every new quilt design is like learning cursive. It will look ugly at first,” but over time, “repetition brings rhythm.”   Looking for new longarm quilting ideas? Jamie recommends going online. “Search for contour line quilt blocks. There are 100’s of quilt blocks to print off and practice.” He also said to look for popular quilts, print a picture of them, and come up with three ways to quilt it.     What are the biggest changes Jamie has seen with longarm quilting since he started?  For one, it has become more of an industry than merely a hobby. People recognize its value and are willing to pay appropriately. Another change is how quilts are looked at in general. No longer are they just functional fabric items. They have evolved into family heirlooms where quilters preserve lasting legacies.  Jamie shared that the current biggest trend is photo quilts—4×4 inch photos on fabric. To learn more about Jamie Wallen and his quilting tools, please visit his website.      ]]>

So You Think You Know Jenny Doan of Missouri Star?

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Missouri Star Quilt Company, teach a couple of quilt classes during the week and offer her popular Trunk Show on Friday Night. Are you familiar with Jenny Doan? Superfans of Jenny’s might think they know everything about her. But we asked Jenny some unique and unusual questions that you might be surprised to learn her answers. What do you like best about living in a small town (Hamilton, Missouri – Population 1,724)  I love that there is no traffic! Also it is so nice to live in a town where everyone knows your name and watches out for each other. You also can’t beat the friendliness of our town! Missouri Star is made up of several themed buildings. Which one is Jenny’s favorite? I would have to say Penneys. It is our most colorful shop with all the solid fabric you could ever want! I love color! It’s all about family at Missouri Star, a family owned and run business. Jenny’s children and their spouses play major roles with Missouri Star. What about the next generation?  The Doans currently have 21 grandchildren, ages 7-20 years old with one on the way, a baby boy coming this May. Jenny is a You Tube star!! What is the hardest part of filming her show? To be honest, the hardest thing about filming is to only share 1 idea. I can see countless ideas in each tutorial I film. I see it doing so many things. Has she had an embarrassing moment when filming? I feel like my calling in life is to do something to embarrass my children. lol But that aside, I would say one of those moments was when the puff foam part of my microphone popped off and I couldn’t find it anywhere! Luckily, I learned long ago to laugh and just go with it!  Missouri Star Quilt Company sells lots of quilting and sewing supplies. What is Jenny’s favorite sewing tool? The Splash rotary cutter. I love that you can use it with either hand and it has a quick blade release. I don’t like cutter with scissors. As a classroom teacher, what does Jenny want for her students? I will be teaching them to ask themselves… WHAT HAPPENS IF…​ I want them to try to think out of the box and start having fun creating.  Road 2018 will be Jenny’s first time at the show. What is she most looking forward to? Sunshine  What can Missouri Star fans be looking forward to in 2018? We will be opening 2 NEW SHOPS in Hamilton!!  At the end of the day, what is Jenny’s favorite treat? I have 2 favorite treats. The first is frozen grapes. I love to pluck them off, pop them in the freezer and have them ready to pull out and eat. The second would be almost a daily favorite that my husband makes for me. Sugar Free Cook and Serve chocolate pudding!  Tickets are going fast for Jenny’s Trunk Show. Remaining tickets are available at the Registration Desk at the Ontario Convention Center or at the door of the event.    ]]>

Meet Road 2018 Teacher Cheryl Lynch

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Cheryl Lynch will be teaching four classes at Road to California 2018:

On Thursday, 4010C   Silk Curvalicious Skinny Quilt  On Friday, 5011C  Beachalicious On Saturday, 6009C  Funky Town  And on Sunday, a handwork class, 7007C  Mini Mosaics Cheryl Lynch is an East Coast girl. Born and raised in New York, she has lived the past 25 years outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She says, “It’s the perfect location, halfway between New York City and Washington, DC and not far from all the quilt shops in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.” If Cheryl’s not quilting, she is traveling to find inspiration for her next quilt. Cheryl commented, “I find inspiration in the world around me. It can be as close as next door or halfway around the world.” The farthest she has traveled that was quilt related was Bali. It was amazing to her to see how batiks are made. Cheryl’s favorite quilting tool is a rotary cutter because of its impact on how quilting is done. “I can’t imagine making lots of blocks and cutting them out by hand.” When it comes to teaching her classes, Cheryl loves sharing the knowledge and techniques she has developed. She hopes her students gain confidence and enjoyment in her classes. What is Cheryl’s best quilting tip?   “Finished is better than perfect. Relax and enjoy the process. You’ll get better over time and you’ll be able to see how much you’ve improved.” You can learn more about Cheryl on her website.]]>

Author, Vendor, Teacher: Meet Jodi Barrows

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Did you know Jodi Barrows has authored three quilt-themed novels and 26 quilt pattern books?

Her novels take place during the 1856-time period and is based on her own family. Since she enjoys the 1800’s, she likes to look at fabrics, clothing, museums, antiques, homes – just about everything that comes from that time period. She also spends a considerable amount of her professional time giving lectures on women and quilting. In addition to being an author, Jodi’s quilts have appeared in numerous publications and she has been a guest on several television programs.

Did you know Jodi Barrows started her company Square in a Square® over 25 years ago as a way to promote her own quilt technique and tools?

Jodi says “that one tool does all triangle units and all of them can be done in any size.” During Jodi’s early days of quilting, she felt that “cutting out templates one at a time and putting them back together always seemed like a big waste of time.  My grandmother always did multiple projects at the same time similar to today’s modern strip piecing techniques.  So it was natural for me to realize that there has to be a better way to produce triangle units without all of the hassle.  Doing, quilt biology, I was able to dissect the units in my head and it started my way of thinking that lead to the Square in a Square piecing technique.” In her booth at Road 2018, Jodi will be featuring  Square in a Square® books, rulers, patterns, fabric, fabric kits and education.  In addition to everything Square in a Square® , she will also have her newest novel, Threads of Courage, to go along with her two others.  Plus, being a fabric designer, she will feature her latest fabric collection complete with quilts made from the new designs.

Did you know Jodi Barrows has been teaching quilting classes for over 24 years?

Jodi has a family history of quilting. She “really got in to piecing” at her local church attending an outreach class that combined bible study with quilting. Jodi will be teaching 2 classes at Road 2018: On Monday, 1001C  Square in a Square (Concentrating on Square) and on Tuesday, 2001C  Square in a Square (Concentrating on Diamond) What does Jodi enjoy most about teaching? The “thrill” of seeing “the student when that lightbulb moment” happens; when they first see “the unlimited possibilities” of her teaching.  Jodi says that she likes to inspire her students to realize that they can achieve projects that they never thought possible. In her classes, Jodi likes to “teach knowledge” — something that the student can still have long after the class is over. Instead of taking home an unfinished project (UFO), Jodi refers that her students take home information and knowledge which provide motivation for the student to keep sewing and working on projects.

Did you know Jodi Barrow’s best quilting tip has to do with a sewing machine?

“When doing any sewing, including quilting, always keep a “runner” in your sewing machine.  Our sewing machines are happier when they have fabric in them, so always put your “runner” in before you clip off or take your project off of the machine.  I teach this in every class and it doesn’t take long to convince the student of its value.  Give it a try.” To learn more about Jodi and her books, her company, and her teaching,  please visit her website.          ]]>