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Double Quilt Winner at Road 2019

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Flora Joy was a double quilt winner, receiving TWO prizes for her winning quilts at Road to California 2019.

Flora’s top prize was for the Most Humorous Quilt, From Rags to Stitches. She won $1,000 from Sponsor, BlocLoc Rulers – USAUS INC 

double quilt winner

A Unique Twist

What made From Rags to Stitches so fun was that it was made from re-purposed items such as a bra, a men’s tie, shoestrings, loose threads, garment labels, upholstery fabric samples, feed sacks, mesh produce bags, jeans, and zippers. Underneath each Dutch Doll figure, is the story behind that square.

double quilt winner

Flora was inspired for her unique design from her quilting journey which started when she was in her 40’s after growing up watching her mom quilt in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. “It seems that I have NEVER discarded a scrap of fabric in my life—whether it was used for a garment or a quilt. When my wonderful mom passed away, I brought all HER scraps to my house and added them to MY already-enormous collection. As I did so, it dawned on me that I had quite a “fabric history” and—thus—my FABRIC AUTOBIOGRAPHY began developing in my mind. Because I had slept under a Dutch Doll quilt during my entire childhood, I stitched these quilt blocks in that shape. This quilt design actually DOES reflect the fabric periods in my life.”

It took Flora three years (from the time she began stitching) to finish From Rags to Stitches. She didn’t set any goals pertaining to when she wanted it completed. For each quilt block, Flora says she had to learn and re-learn LOTS about free-motion quilting and other techniques. And along her journey, she kept reminding herself that “quilting should be FUN!!!!!”

Flora also received $500 from Sponsor, Pfaff, for Night Trawlers, the Third Place Winner in the Fantasy Category.

double quilt winner

Quilting a Famous Painting

Regarding Night Trawlers, Flora said that she likes to challenge herself with the “impossible” regarding quilting.

Over the years, she has toured various art galleries around the world and she “gradually” became enthralled with the idea of “quilting” a famous painting. She wanted the artist to be LIVING, so she took some time to explore current artists. By chance, she stumbled on Robert Connett’s work, and he “very graciously” encouraged Flora to stitch one of his paintings. He gave her several choices to pick from and she thought that Night Trawlers was one she could build some curriculum skills around.

After transferring the design onto fabric, Flora began exploring how it could be turned in to a wall quilt. Flora commented that it provided a “FABULOUS” opportunity to do free-motion quilting AND creative borders. She said, “I loved every second of making this quilt, and I especially like the dangling curriculum cards!”

The Joy of Being a Double Quilt Winner

How did Flora react when she found out she was a double quilt winner at Road 2019? “I’m betting you heard my loud squealing (here in Tennessee) all the way out there in California!!!! Just getting ACCEPTED in the ROAD show was thrilling! Getting TWO quilts accepted was cartwheel-turning!! Getting TWO RIBBONS resulted in that high-decibel-cheering you likely heard on your side of the states! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Giving Back

What did Flora plan to do with her prize money from being a double quilt winner? Flora replied that she considers herself fortunate to be able to win quilt awards, so she has always “given back” the money she has received from these endeavors. The recipients vary—from her own local quilt guild, to college scholarships, to helping family members with their struggles. Flora views this as a “pay it forward” transaction, and she is enjoying seeing the benefits.

Flora’s loves quilting. “I have the BEST HOBBY IN THE WORLD! How fortunate can one woman be??? My goal is to continue making FUN quilts in a JOYful manner—and hopefully continuing with interactive design styles, especially when YOUNG LEARNERS can get involved.”

Congratulations Flora Joy for being a double quilt winner at Road to California 2019.

Meet Road Vendor: Wooly Felted Wonders

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

Wooly Felted Wonders has transformed wool in to a hot, hot, hot tool for quilters. This natural fiber is easy to work with and lasts forever.

Thea Jirak, owner of Wooly Felted Wonders, first discovered that wool was a great pressing tool when she was growing up. Her dad was in the military and her family moved around a lot. Frequently, ironing boards weren’t available, so her mom would take out her dad’s wool army blankets and press on top of them. Thea’s memory of this practical and useful tool stuck with her as she moved on, later opening a quilt store in the Portland, Oregon area.

Wooly Felt Wonders

A few years ago, Thea saw wool dryer balls popping up in retail. They were advertised as a tool for drying clothes faster and Thea began wondering why they weren’t being touted in the quilting industry. Thea found the dryer balls aerated the laundry more efficiently, speeding up the drying process. Consequently, quilts didn’t need to stay in the dryer as long. She also discovered that the wool dryer balls minimized static electricity and the lanolin in the wool helped reduce wrinkling.

Giving back to the World Community

Thea began selling her handmade, 100% New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls as Spring Market in 2017. She was the only vendor for this product at the show. Today, Wooley Felted Wonders Dryer Balls are manufactured by women in Nepal who are still struggling after that country’s devastating earthquakes in 2005.  Through this business partnership, Wooly Felted Wonders is supporting fair trade, empowering Nepalese women to enter the workforce and enhance their professional/business skills, and ultimately giving back to the world community.

Other Wool Products Made in the USA

Product development is Thea’s “passion.” After Wooly Felted Wonders Dryer Balls took off, Thea began working on other natural wool product lines designed specifically with quilters in mind.

Remembering her mom’s Army wool blanket pressing experience, Thea created a Wool Ironing Mat. The wool texture holds on to fabric, allowing for even, crisp ironed seams for quilt blocks. The mats come in several sizes. The 13-1/2” mat is handy to take along to quilt classes and retreats as it is the perfect size for pressing 12” squares. In addition to the ironing mats, the company also makes custom cut ironing board covers.  

Wooly Felted Wonders at Road to California

Following the success of the pressing mats, Wooly Felted Wonders next big item was their Wool Pressing Bars. They were developed with Modern Quilters in mind as an aid to pressing open multiple seams. They are handmade by Thea’s husband.  

Their latest wool product for quilters is their pin cushion.

Wooly Felted Wonders at Road to Calilfornia

Wool Bag Challenge      

Earlier this year, Thea teamed with Moda Fabrics for a Wool Bag Challenge. Participants had to make large tote bags from wool. The Finalists were displayed in the Wooly Felted Wonders Booth at Road to California and winners were announced at 2019 QuiltCon. Prizes for the winners included a Bernina 535 for first place and a Bernina 330 for the second-place winner. Thea said the response was “phenomenal” and she hopes to bring back the Challenge again in the future.

Vending at Road to California

Wooly Felted Wonders at Road to California

Thea thought Road 2019 was “fantastic.” She enjoyed interacting with the guests and quickly became known as “Mrs. Wooly.”

To learn more about Wooly Felted Wonders, please visit their website.  

Registration Guide: Road to California 2020

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Each year we publish a tutorial for you to learn how to register for classes at Road. We have created an entirely new tutorial for you this year.

How to Log In

Navigate your web browser to https://online.roadtocalifornia.com. Our system works best with the following web browsers: Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is free to download across most operating systems. We do not recommend using Google Chrome.

If you have registered for classes before, or had an account with Road to California use your email address and password that you have previously used.

Forgot Your Password?

If you have forgot your password, click on the link Reset your password in the teal box where you entered your Username and Password.

Complete the form. If you have moved, you may need to use your old zip code. Please follow the password instructions on the forgot password page. Once you have completed the form, click SAVE CHANGES.

You should now be able to log in using your new password and your email.

Need to Create an Account?

If you have NOT taken classes before, you will need to establish a new account. To do so, click on create an account. It is in RED on the home page.

The system will tell you if your email address is already in use. If so, please go back and click on Reset your password.

You should now be able to log into our online system.

You’re Logged In. What now?

You should now see this page.

IF you are on your iPad or Phone you will see three bars on the upper right hand side. Click on those bars to see the menu.

You should see two tabs on the top of the screen. Under ROAD2020, you will see GUEST REGISTER. Hover your mouse over GUEST REGISTER and REGISTER will appear. 

Registration Page

You are now on our online registration page. The page automatically starts the class listing on Monday.

Show Classes on a Different Day

If you want to change to a different day, click on the drop down menu that has the date “Monday January 20th 2020” and choose the dates you want.

Adding Classes to Your Shopping Cart

Adding a class to your registration calendar is super simple. Click “Add to Cart”.

Additionally, if you want to see the photos of read the description, click on any of the Class Titles and a new page will open with the class information for your selected class.

Waitlist Status

We anticipate an even bigger turnout for class registration than last year. Our system has been improved and tweaked for faster performance and we do not anticipate to have the issues we had last year. HOWEVER, classes will sell out within the first 5 minutes of class registration opening. Depending on how long you spend on the registration page, classes may or may not appear as being full. Before you register, the system will check for availability and inform you if one or more of your selections has filled up.

The system otherwise will show you if a class has met capacity. The button will change from “Add to Cart” to “Add to Waitlist”

Payment Information

Once you have selected your class(es) and are ready to check out, scroll down on the page. You will see the Payment Terms box and the amount due. Please complete your credit card information and billing address. Click REGISTER ONLY ONCE. DO NOT CLICK REGISTER MORE THAN ONCE.

Once your registration has been processed you will be taken to a “Thank you For Registering” page.

We send registration confirmations immediately after you register. Due to restrictions with google and other email providers, some of our messages end up in your spam box. Please check there before letting us know you did not receive your confirmation.

Common Problems

A couple of common problems that we see people have.

  • Our system requires each individual to have their own account. If you are registering for yourself and a friend we recommend having two web browsers open on the same computer.
  • Our payment system will decline duplicate payments made within 5 minutes of each other. So if you’re registering a friend using the method described above, please use separate credit cards.
  • Registration fee is not required for waiting lists and events. You should be able to remove it from events if automatically added. There is a known glitch on waiting lists we are working to resolve. Email us if you want the fee removed if you are only on a waiting list.

Lastly, as stated above we anticipate a large crowd on day one of registration. Our staff will be in the office starting at 7:00 AM on Monday to assist you. Registration opens at 8 AM Pacific. Good Luck!

Reviving Jewish Traditions Through Textiles

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Do you know the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework?

The Guild was organized in 1977 by a group of professional Jewish needle artists in New York. These women shared a common interest in maintaining Jewish tradition through textiles by creating new and beautiful ceremonial objects for the home and synagogue. The Guild publishes a quarterly newsletter and sponsors a convention in North America every two years, offering classes to support Jewish traditions through textiles such as quilting, embroidery, knitting, and other fiber crafting.  

Jewish traditions through textiles

Formal Chapters of the organization have been formed in 12 States and there is also one in Alberta, Canada. Chapter meetings are a rich blend of needlework, culture, tradition and religious practices as they relate to Judaic textiles. Members study the history of Judaic ritual objects in order to embellish their work with authentic symbols and motifs. Through these efforts, members perpetuate their Jewish traditions through textiles for generations to come.

Why Pomegranate?

The Pomegranate is frequently mentioned in the Bible and is reported to have 613 seeds, the number of required mitzvot (good deeds). It was chosen as a modern link to the Guild’s heritage and founding principle of reviving Jewish Traditions through textiles.

The name, “Pomegranate” was specifically taken from the Bible, in Exodus 39, verses 24 – 25: “And they made upon the hem of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet and twined linen” which describes the garments of Aaron, the High Priest. The Guild logo, designed by a founding member, is a stylized pomegranate with the stem transformed into a threaded needle.

A Quilting Friendship Rooted in Jewish Traditions Through Textiles

Marion and Mary Ann are from Winnipeg, Canada. They have known each other since 1995 when they met in a Jewish conversion class in Canada and have been friends ever since.  It was Marion who introduced Mary Ann to quilting. She gave Mary Ann fat quarters, thread, and needles for a birthday gift to encourage her to get started. Marion also invited Mary Ann to join her quilt guild, the Manitoba Prairie Quilters as well as take her to quilt classes and quilt shows.

Jewish traditions through textiles

Another way these quilting friends get support for their interest in Jewish traditions through textiles, is with their membership in Internet Jewish Quilters, a closed group that shares ideas for quilting along with quilt links and upcoming quilt shows.

It was from belonging to this group that Marion and Mary Ann heard about the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework. They joined Pomegranate 7 years ago when Mary Ann gave Marion a membership as a birthday gift. There is no formal Chapter near where they live, so they meet weekly with another friend to quilt. The three also go to quilt shows together.

Road 2019 was Mary Ann and Marion’s first time at the show. During the winter, Marion is a “snowbird” in Palm Springs. She invited Mary Ann to come out and go to the show. An added bonus for coming to the show was that they got to see quilts that two of their friends had entered in the Show’s quilt contest. Mary Ann thought Road was “huge.” She enjoyed seeing all the quilts and the fabrics because there isn’t much of a fabric choice in Winnipeg.

Quilting is a great way to bring friends together who share the same religious culture.  

Best Longarm Machine Quilting

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

best longarm quilting

Summer Christmas was made by Mariya Waters and was quilted by Gina Perkes-Tidwell. Sponsor Baby Lock awarded $2,500 to the winners.

This Best Longarm Machine Quilting winning quilt came all the way from Australia to be entered in to Road to California 2019’s quilt contest!!

Who is Mariya Waters?

The maker of Summer Christmas, Mariya Waters, began quilting in 1989 in New Zealand after having seen her first quilt while studying for an embroidery qualification.  She moved to the United Kingdom in 1991 and won her first quilting award in 1993. From then on, every quilt Mariya has ever entered in a quilt show has won an award!! 

Mariya and her family moved to Australia in 1999 where she continues to quilt and teach today. In 2008, Mariya won the title, Best of Australia.

How was Summer Christmas created?

What was the inspiration behind the Best Longarm Machine Quilting winner, Summer Christmas? In 2005, Mariya’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. During her mother’s long journey, Mariya studied design from multiple cultures, looking for common design elements.  She discovered a whole world of common designs using stencil art from the 19th and 20th centuries.  It was from these designs that Mariya put together Summer Christmas to give her something to sew while looking after her mother.

best longarm quilting

This Best Longarm Machine Quilting winner took 10 years to complete. It was started in May 2006 as a 24” Christmas table runner. Mariya revised the design in 2007 to be a 36” table cloth. She extended the project two more times until it finally ended up being 102”. The appliqué was finished in March 2016.  Mariya noted that she took a two-year break, in 2008-2009, to complete another major quilt.

best longarm quilting

“The only way to construct this quilt with the accuracy demanded was to use preprinted fusible polyester fibre templates that remained in the quilt,” shared Mariya. She also had to develop a method of joining the various borders together using scallops. Summer Christmas has 996, quarter inch red dots which were each drawn up over a template.

Because Mariya developed some health issues during this project, she realized that she needed to form a collaborative partnership with a quilter to be able to finish the quilt.  So, in 2016, she partnered with quilter Gina Perkes-Tidwell.

The scariest part for both of them was washing the glues out of the quilt before it was bound.  Mariya spent 4,000 hours and 20 glue sticks in turning the edges of the appliqué. Gina had invested more than 500 hours in quilting it and the washing result then was going to affect both of them.

Finding out Summer Christmas was a Longarm Quilting Winner

There is a 17-hour time lag between Australia and the United States. Mariya has just come home from a day out with her friends (where she was constantly looking at the phone) when the results of Road’s judges came in. She was “absolutely delighted” to hear about the win as “both Gina and I poured our heart and soul into the quilt.”

Mariya plans to use her part of the prize money for this Best Longarm Machine Quilting winner on travel to future quilt shows. She will continue to teach and is “working very hard” on another quilt that has been under constant work since November 2016.  She hopes the appliqué will be finished in late 2019.

To learn more about Mariya and see some of her other work, please visit her website

Summer Quilting Giveaway

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

How do you support summer quilting during long summer days?

One Southern California summer quilting tradition is the popular SoCal Quilter’s Run.  

The Southern California Quilter’s Run started as a way for quilters to celebrate summer quilting by visiting the many quilt-related stores throughout Southern California. During the two weekends of the Quilter’s Run, participating stores will be offering special deals, tutorials, refreshments and giveaways for summer quilting. 

At the end of the Quilter’s Run, a few lucky winners will be randomly selected for special prizes.  Road to California is once again offering the Quilter’s Run Grand Prize. It consists of a Road to California Mini- Retreat which includes 4 classes for 2 winners along with 1 hotel room for 4 nights.

Anyone can enter the Southern California Quilter’s Run. Simply pick up a free qualifying passport at any one of the participating stores. Each time you visit a store during the Quilter’s Run, have them stamp your passport; no purchase is necessary. A minimum of 3 stamps is required to enter the random prize drawing.

The Quilter’s Run is taking place the weekends of July 12-14 and July 19-21, 2019. Fifteen quilt-related stores participating this year in this summer quilting tradition.

For complete details, visit the official Southern California Quilter’s Run website.

Additional Road Giveaway

Road to California wants to see all the fun participants are having during the Southern California Quilter’s Run. So, we are also offering our own, separate prize: 2 Admission Tickets to Road to California 2020 AND 2 Class Seats to Jenny Doan’s Wednesday Class. Winners just need to pay the class registration fee to attend.

How do you enter for this separate prize drawing? Take a picture of you and your stamped passport at one of the participating stores and email it to promos@roadtocalifornia.com by midnight, July 22nd. We’ll share the photos on our Facebook and Instagram pages during the week between the Quilter’s Run weekends. Then, on July 24th, we’ll choose 2 lucky winners using Random Number Generator.

Good luck and have fun celebrating summer quilting on the Southern California Quilter’s Run!!!