The Marie White Masterpiece Award is sponsored by Road to California in memory of Carolyn Reese’s mother who was a co-founder of Road to California. Nancy Prince and Linda French were awarded $7,500 for winning this category.
Nancy’s love of quilting began when she was 16 when her grandmother made a crazy quilt for her out of her grandfather’s wool suits. Due to family commitments, it took a long time before Nancy could start quilting. About 20 years ago, with her children grown, she finally had the time and opportunity to begin her quilting adventure. Nancy made traditional quilts for about 4 years but found that the repetition from making the same block over and over again was not for her.
Her journey into thread painting was quite by accident. Sixteen years ago, during a hiking trip in the Smokey Mountains, Nancy’s husband took a photograph of a waterfall. Appliqué was her passion at the time and she wanted to make a memory of the time spent in the Smokey Mountains. The waterfall created a problem because there was no movement in the selected fabric. Nancy thought that a bit of thread and a zigzag stitch could give some movement and direction to the water. There was a lot of trial and error but she finally got the stitches to look realistic. An overhanging bough was Nancy’s next challenge. Long story short, she figured it out and as they say, “the rest is history.”
On This Winter Day was inspired by Nancy’s love of period clothing. She was infatuated with the way of life during the late 1800’s, especially the mode of transportation. About 8 years prior to beginning On This Winter Day, Nancy had made a late 1800 winter competitive quilt. She loved the winter attire on the people and the cozy feeling she got when looking at the quilt. Plus, that quilt did well in competition, so her choice for a new quilt was quilt simple: another winter quilt.
It took close to 7 years, approximately 2,000 hours, and in the vicinity of 75,000 yards of thread to complete. Making the quilt was a journey of passion, commitment and the inevitable ups and downs. For Nancy, “there were days of tremendous highs and other days of great frustration, so much so that there were times I thought about giving up. But I had worked too hard and taken too long to give up and I am certainly glad that I journeyed on through the highs and lows.”
Nancy remarked that “whenever I make a new competitive quilt, I want to try some new ideas and techniques not only so I don’t get tired of making the same thing over and over again but also so the viewer is not seeing the same thing from me with each new competitive quilt.” For On This Winter Day, Nancy discovered a new way to thread paint a design so that the thread looks “tweedy.” She also mastered Punch Needle to make the fur on the ladies and children’s coats look realistic. Other details included finding appropriate size leather, silver buckles and horseshoes for the horses to give them the realism they needed. Nancy raided a miniature store for trims, flowers and buttons to accentuate the hats and clothing. Nancy loves detail and believed that with On This Winter Day, that the new ideas and techniques she used greatly enhanced the realism of each thread figure and the quilt as a whole.
Nancy tells it best about what happened when she learned she had won her award: “I live in Orlando, Florida so there is a 3 hour time difference between Orlando and Ontario, California. I had carried my cell phone with me all day knowing that the winners would be announced that day. Around 10 PM Orlando time, I heard an email come in on my cell phone. I had pretty much given up hope at this point of a win so I was jumping-up-an-down excited and honored that On This Winter Day had won the Marie White Masterpiece Award. Knowing that this was an unbelievable award, I decided to fly out the next day to Ontario. So at 12 PM that night I am making airline reservations for a 6 AM flight the next morning.”
Nancy stood by her quilt and answered questions during the show. She thought it “was so rewarding and way more than just fun!! At the end of the show I was exhausted but elated. Winning an award is an honor at any show but winning the Masterpiece award at Road was a very special few days in Ontario for me. My husband told me after I had been home for a few days that he only saw the bottoms of my shoes because I was flying so high. It just doesn’t get much better than that!!”
Nancy and her husband plan on using her prize money to take a vacation. She is teaching on a quilting cruise to Alaska next year and her husband wants to go along.
What does Nancy plan to do next? “Currently I am in the planning stages of a new competitive quilt. Due to my teaching schedule, I don’t have concentrated areas of time to commit to the quilt so I can only work on it as time permits. Of course, I have some new ideas and techniques planned and yes, it will be another winter quilt but a totally different look. Hopefully this one won’t take me 7 years.”
Congratulations Nancy for winning the 2015 Mary White Masterpiece Award.
Juanita’s Pearl was made and quilted by Sue Hawkes of Pocatello, Idaho. The Director’s Choice award was sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Center who presented Sue a check for $5,000.
Sue grew up watching her grandmother cut up any fabric (most of which was recycled from something that was no longer usable as its intended use) she could find into little bitty pieces and then stitch them back together by hand. Sue was always fascinated with the colors and patterns her grandmother created and knew that for sure, someday, she was going to be just like her.
The inspiration for Juanita’s Pearl was Sue’s mother, for which the quilt is named. The two center roses represent Sue’s mother and dad. The nine circling roses are for their children. The long stemmed roses are for their grandchildren. In the border are sixty-four roses, one for each year her parents were married. And the strings of pearls represent the never ending love Sue’s mother had for her family.
It took two and a half years to complete this project. Sue reflected on her work: “I have never taken on such a challenging project both mentally and emotionally. I’m not an artist so the idea of drawing intimidated me a bit. But with all the great tools at hand, I pushed on. My mother loved roses and her favorite color was pink. Her middle name was Pearl so the designing process was easier than I thought it would be with these elements to work with.”
Sue had never done cut away trapunto before, let alone the color trapunto. “The cutting was intense and very time consuming. I had the quilt on my longarm four different times for stitching in the color and then cutting away. During this process, I learned a lot about patience and pacing myself especially around all those pearls, just not once but twice. One wrong snip would end it all. The fifth time on the longarm was for the final quilting.”
Getting to the end of the quilting stage, Sue said she was able to “see the light at the end of the tunnel.” She found that “it was very time consuming and challenging but I used this time to reflect upon all my memories of my mother. Lots of times I had to shut off the machine because I couldn’t see through the tears.”
Her “wow I did it!” moment was when she took the quilt off the longarm and was ready to soak out all the markings and water soluble thread. She prayed it would all come out and that there would be no seepage of color around the trapunto – and there wasn’t!! All her work and worry paid off.
Sue learned many things along the way. What kept pushing her on was what Karen McTavish tells her students and admirers, “Do the hardest thing and push yourself; it will pay off in the end.”
When Sue received her email that she had won Director’s Choice, it was the night before she was to fly out to the show. She remembers, “As I read it I couldn’t believe the words. I just handed off my iPad to my husband to see if he read the same words that I had read.” She spent her winnings on what “every other quilter would do — I bought more fabric!”
Where does Road’s 2015 Director’s Choice winner go from here? “The quilting world is growing in every direction and I plan on growing with it. My biggest obstacle is not enough hours in the day for all I want to do and learn.”
Congratulations Sue Hawkes on winning the 2015 Director’s Choice Award sponsored by Moore’s Sewing Center.]]>
Tags: Award Winning Quilts, Color Trapunto, Director's Award Winner, Karen McTavish, Longarm Quilting, Moore's Sewing Center, Sue Hawkes, Trapunto
Posted in Road 2015- 20th Anniversary Show | No Comments »
Friendship Day is August 2, 2015 – a wonderful reason to celebrate the friends in your life.
Road to California 2015 – 20th Anniversary Show was the perfect place for friends to come together and enjoy over 1,000 quilts on display, 18 special exhibits, and over 700 merchant booths.
Modern quilters Michelle Barbee and Megan Evans met at the LA Modern Quilt Guild. They encourage each other with their modern quilting projects. They all had “a fun time looking at all the quilts and shopping.”
Meet Cecilia, Joan, Carolyn, and Ann. These four friends quilt at Grace Lutheran Church in Upland, California. They have been going to Road together for the past 10 years because “we have fun.” They enjoy seeing Eleanor Burns, the quilts on display and buying batting for the quilts they make for their church group. Last year, their group donated 154 quilts to various organizations. They’ve started making dog beds out of the scraps from their quilts and are donating those to local animal shelters and to homeless people with pets. As Carolyn said, “We don’t waste anything!!”
Donna Nordstrom and Joanna Larmore started coming to Road 17 years ago as young moms looking for something to get out of the house and enjoy doing something together. Since then, Joanna moved out of state, so their annual trip to Road is a way for them to reconnect. “It’s our refuge every year to do,” said Donna. Added Joanna, “We get to see the future of quilting at Road.” This year, not only did they enjoy the show for three days, they also participated in the Marcus Brothers Textiles Challenge.
Patsy and Cherie live in the high desert north of Los Angeles. They met in a knitting group and belong to the Tehachapi Quilt Guild. They’ve been coming to Road together for the past 7 years. Last year, they took their first bus trip as part of their Road experience, led by the Traveling Quilters. Patsy said it was “an excellent tour” and another “nice” Road feature.
Terri and Ann came to Road from Northern California. Terri has been quilting for 20 years and Ann for 10. Terri remarked, “We come to Road to get inspired,” and “To see the quilting,” added Ann.
Every day is Friendship Day during Road to California. What could be better than sharing the “Best in the West” experience than with people who are just as passionate as you are with quilting? Bring a friend January 20 – 24, 2016 to the Ontario Convention Center for Road to California 2016.]]>
How did you get started in quilting? When my children were toddlers, I could no longer balance my painting and their instantaneous needs. I had learned to do handwork, sewing and embroidery at a very young age and after seeing a quilting magazine on my mother’s sewing table, I realized I could focus my art and sewing skills into one creative outlet.
What inspired your winning design, Vivaldi by Moonlight? I wanted to make a different style of wholecloth and at the same time, challenge my skills to the fullest and beyond. I am known for my handwork skills and my machine quilting skills were inevitably overlooked because the viewer focus was always on my handwork.
I knew I did not want feathers etc. I wanted to create a totally original design in my artistic style using only machine quilting to create the overall design. Although it is a wholecloth, I have used a subtle monochromatic thread color palette to create added depth and incorporate more visual dimension to the intricate twining quilting design.
I had originally made this for my bed but the quilt became too fancy to allow my neurotic kitty Milo, who lives on my bed, to sink his claws into. So I decided to enter it and see what would happen.
It took you a year to complete the quilt. What did you learn along the way? This was an extremely difficult quilt to create using a domestic sewing machine. The quilt took six months to quilt and two months just to cut the trapunto. The hand embroidered dragonflies took one month alone to complete.
I used a jacquard fabric for the wholecloth and I will never do that again. It intensified the difficulty level by several percentage points. With a sewing machine, I do not have a large frame to keep the quilt sandwich taut and the tension always perfect so my fabric choices can make or break the experience. This almost broke me and more than once.
What was your reaction when you won Best of Show? Absolute dumfounded open mouthed shock—seriously. I had to read the email over and over a few times to see if I was misreading the news before I would let myself get too excited. Then I started running down the stairs and through the house to tell my husband. When I reached him, I paused and then said, “I better go check that one more time to be sure” and ran back upstairs to my computer to re-read the email again. Then I went crazy –bouncing around the house with supreme happiness crazy.
I have been competing for ten-plus years and have many prizes but this one meant a lot to me. This quilt was a totally different technique focus and direction and I was thrilled that the judges got it. As with all my quilts, the closer you get the more detail you see.
What are you going to do with the prize money? College always sucks the coffers dry and this fall I will have two children in college so the money will definitely come in handy.
What are you going to do next with your quilting? I will go back to my “day job” of applique and designing applique patterns as well as continuing to teach applique and my embroidery techniques internationally.
The diversion of a wholecloth was fun and I am off on a new challenge to keep my quilting process continually interesting and prevent it from becoming formulaic and monotonous.
I will continue to step out of my comfort zone because if I don’t fail from time to time, then I am not discovering and learning something new that may lead to a prize like this one or the pleasure the process brings in making a quilt.
Congratulations Sandra on your stunning Best of Show quilt!!]]>
BeColourful was started originally as a quilt pattern company in 2004 after founder Jacqueline de Jonge won the Color Trophy of the Open European Quilt Championship. A quilt maker since 1978, it is Jacqueline’s goal to inspire quilters all over the world with her beautiful and colorful designs.[caption id="attachment_3297" align="aligncenter" width="678"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
Jacqueline is not only a passionate quilter but also an encouraging and personal teacher. She loves to share her enthusiasm for her designs with quilters and bring them to a higher and different level to find their artistic skills in themselves. She has made quilts that have won international awards and that have been displayed worldwide. Her quilts are based on traditional designs, but with a contemporary and colorful twist. Since starting BeColourful, Jacqueline has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. Jacqueline has been interviewed several times in newspapers and magazines and in 2011 she was profiled and featured on the online Quilt show from Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson.[caption id="attachment_3294" align="aligncenter" width="641"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
Joining Jacqueline in the family business is her sister, Bridget Snijder – de Jonge, who handles the social media for BeColourful. Bridget oversees their Facebook and Pinterest accounts and is the editor of the BeColourful website. She also worked with Jacqueline in making their instructional DVD, “How to make a BeColourful Quilt”, and “The BeColourful Quilt Collection”, a beautiful coffee table book that was released in July, 2014.
The last family member to join BeColourful was Jacqueline and Bridget’s brother, Harm de Jonge. At first, he handled the financial aspects of the company. Then, Harm started his own company, BeColourful Quilting Supplies, which sells the beautiful fabric kits BeColourful is known for. Harm is responsible for moving BeColourful to the United States in 2007.
BeColourful and the de Jonge family weren’t the only Netherlands visitors at Road 2015. Alette Wiersema also journeyed all the way from the Netherlands. She came to Road 2015 with her sister, Jolee Johnson, who lives in Claremont, California.[caption id="attachment_3298" align="aligncenter" width="591"] Alette Wiersema (l) and Jolee Johnson (r)[/caption]
Together, they have attended Road for 10 years and have taken classes for the past seven years. “I participate each year as a white glove volunteer so that Alette can register for her classes early. That way she is assured of her selection and then she can make her travel plans,” said Jolee. Alette, who has been quilting since 1990, says coming to Road is well worth the travel expense. She remarked, “Road is wonderful.”
Note: Early registration is now taking place for Road 2015 volunteers. If you are interested in being a “Roadie” volunteer for Road 2016, and take advantage of early registration for 2017 classes, please visit our website for more information.]]>
They were all about Lucy Boston Blocks – the latest trend in English paper piecing inspired by a quilt made in the 1950’s by Lucy Boston. Not only was Marcus Brothers Textiles demonstrating how to carefully fussy-cut striped fabrics & place them to create unique kaleidoscopic effects, they were also giving away kits for Road guests to try their hand at the design.[caption id="attachment_3243" align="aligncenter" width="711"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
As an incentive to have the guests return their newly made Lucy Boston blocks, Marcus Brothers gave each person a fat quarter and the chance to win one of ten prize baskets. In addition, all blocks returned were considered to be made in to a quilt that Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek, was putting together. That quilt is being donated to an auction being held this July, by Quilters Dream Batting. All proceeds from the auction go to benefit Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Pati Violick, Director of Advertising and Marketing for Marcus Brothers Textiles, pointed out that they were more concerned with the Road guests getting to try their hand at something new than how the blocks turned out. “Winners of the prize packages were chosen randomly, not based on the beauty of their squares,” remarked Pati.[caption id="attachment_3241" align="aligncenter" width="649"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
How was the response? Pati reported that over 120 blocks were returned – enough to make not only a quilt, but a lap quilt as well for the auction. Makers were given a label to sign their name and put on the back of their squares. Many of makers also dedicated their blocks to someone they knew who are suffering from and/or have passed away from ALS.
Two of the participants in the Lucy Boston Block activity were Donna Nordstrom of Rancho Cucamonga, CA and Joanne Larmore of Glendale, Utah. Friends for over 24 years, they having been meeting up at Road for a “girl’s week” for the past 17 years. After stopping by the Marcus Brothers Textiles booth and getting the fabric and pattern for the Lucy Boston block, they ran around the vendor floor getting the needles and thread needed for the English paper piecing technique and cut out their fabric at one of the booths selling rotary cutters!!![caption id="attachment_3242" align="aligncenter" width="692"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
“Then the fun began,” recalled Donna. “Joanne and I found a quiet spot to sit down at the Convention Center and began our blocks. After running around all morning, what better way to relax with your best friend than to piece a block for charity and visit.”
When their blocks were completed, they headed down the elevator to return their squares. Who should get on the elevator with them, but Carolyn Reese, owner of Road to California!! Donna said that Carolyn “was so friendly and we were happy to get to meet her and let her know how much we loved attending every year!”[caption id="attachment_3244" align="aligncenter" width="631"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
Donna said she and Joanne “really enjoyed the whole experience and hopes that there are more challenges like this in future shows.”
Thank you Marcus Brothers Textiles for being in Road’s 2015 Marketplace, sharing and encouraging Lucy Boston Blocks English paper piecing. And especially thank you for caring about a cure for ALS.]]>
Tags: ALS, ALS Auction, Bloom Creek, Charity Quilt, English Paper Piecing, Lucy Boston Blocks, Marcus Brothers Textiles, Quilters Dream Batting, Road to California
Posted in Road 2015- 20th Anniversary Show, Vendors | No Comments »
One of the highlights of our show each year are the stunning quilts hung in the Ontario Convention Center’s Arcade.[caption id="attachment_3152" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
Carolyn Reese chooses a Southern California Quilt Guild to host this special exhibit. In 2015, that guild was The Westside Quilters of Los Angeles.[caption id="attachment_3151" align="aligncenter" width="741"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
The Westside Quilters Guild supports traditional, contemporary and art quilters of any age and from all experience levels. The guild meets quarterly on Saturday mornings at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Their meetings include lecture presentations, workshops and occasional field trips.[caption id="attachment_3147" align="aligncenter" width="623"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
The Westside Quilters guild is a service guild, promoting charitable work with several organizations. Members are expected to give several hours of service each year. Many of their philanthropic endeavors benefit children. they make crib, baby, and childrens quilts for La Familias Del Pueblo, Para Los Ninos, St. Joseph’s Early Learning Center, and to Japanese Tsunami/Earthquake victims.[caption id="attachment_3148" align="aligncenter" width="594"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
Thirty five quilts created by members of the guild adorned the atrium. Sally Wright curated the exhibit for the guild. Said President Perla Rothenberg, “It was a proud moment to see Westside Quilters on display.”[caption id="attachment_3149" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Gregory Case Photography[/caption]
What guild do you think will be featured in 2016?]]>
What better legacy than for mothers to pass on their appreciation for quilting to their children — the younger the better. Just ask these three moms who brought their babies and young children to Road 2015:
Violet Evans, age 10 weeks, sits in her bouncer while her mom, Megan Evans, sews. Violet is happy that Megan met her quilting friend, Michelle Barbee, at the LA Modern Quilt Guild because they encourage each other with their modern quilting projects. Michelle started quilting twenty years ago when her son was little (he’s 23 now) and Megan has been quilting for the past five years. Road 2015 was Megan’s fifth time at the show and Violet’s first. They all had “a fun time looking at all the quilts and shopping.”
2 year old Ben Yoshizawa, came to Road 2015 with his mom, Erika, and dad, Taka. Erika started quilting six years ago when she and Taka were engaged. She thought it would be fun to take a class and start a new hobby. Taka supports Erika in her quilting. He bought her her sewing machine, a Bernina 550, that she uses to not only sew but to also do free motion quilting on her quilts. Taka also made Erika a sewing table for her machine. Ben liked looking at all the “neat stuff” and watched as his mom “tried out some new equipment.”
Destiny (age 7) and Makayla (age 16) had a great time having their mom, Tamara, guide them around the vendor floor. Tamara is a busy quilting mom. She has ten children – six girls and four boys – and they all know how to quilt!! Tamara said she has always loved to sew. Her first project was a baby quilt that she had to “cut out a ridiculous amount of squares.” She later enrolled herself and a daughter into a parent participation quilting class so that they could both learn the “right way” to quilt. Makayla first learned to quilt from her mom five years ago. One of her favorite projects she has made is a hidden nine patch quilt. Destiny started out as her mom’s official seam ripper when she was just three years old!! Destiny began quilting two years ago and has made her own twin bed quilt out of flannel squares. All three ladies enjoyed seeing the quilts on display and getting ideas for their next projects.
Happy Mother’s Day to quilting moms everywhere.