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Meet the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Where is Tehachapi?

The city of Tehachapi, California is located off Highway 58, north of Mojave and south of Bakersfield. The Tehachapi Mountain Quilters has 100 members that meet the first Monday of every month.

Tehachapi Mountain Quilters

The Guild’s Opportunity Quilt was on display at Road 2020. The quilt was supposed to be featured at the Guild’s Annual Show on August 15-16, 2020, but the show has been canceled.

Famous Tehachapi Mountain Quilters

One of Tehachapi Mountain Quilters famous members is Molly Hamilton – McNally. Molly credits the guild for not only teaching her how to quilt but helping her learn English.

Molly arrived in the United States in 1996 from China. When Molly’s husband tragically died in 2020, Molly was left with no income, no children, no relatives, and no way to effectively communicate in English. She had recently visited the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters’ quilt show and thought that quilting would be an interesting hobby to look in to. Molly had no background in quilting; there are no quilts in China. But she did love art and could see where her interest in art could benefit her in this hobby. She decided to join the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters to find out what quilting was all about.  She remembers that the first meeting she went to was difficult because she didn’t know English. Molly learned how to quilt not by following verbal directions but by carefully watching the demonstrations.  Over and over again, she diligently watched the steps repeated and repeated until she was able to basically self-teach herself.   Over time, the friends she made at the guild not only showed her how to quilt, but also helped her to learn English. Molly credits the guild and its members for saving her life.

Molly is a familiar winner at Road to California. She won Best of Show in 2012, Outstanding Innovative Quilt in 2017, and at road 2020, she won Outstanding Large Quilt.  

Another famous Tehachapi Mountain Quilters member is Gina Siembieda, a Handi Quilter Educator. Gina started sewing when she was 12 years old. In 1985, Gina’s love of quilting started when bought her first, hand-quilted Amish quilt in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Soon after, she joined a quilt guild, learned to quilt herself, and began teaching others. Gina started longarm quilting in 2003. She has made over twenty million stitches!!!  She presently quilts with an HQ Infinity® with Pro-Stitcher®. Gina has also entered quilts in Road to California shows.


The Tehachapi Mountain Quilters have the distinction of being the only quilt guild in California who donates quilts to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Earlier this year, the guild had donated 140 quilts to the hospital. They also donate quilts to the Madera Children’s Hospital.

The guild contributes quilts to local veterans’ groups as well as bereavement quilts to community members—all by word of mouth.

Money received during their annual Christmas party is donated to Links for Life, an organization in Bakersfield, that pays for mammograms for underprivileged women.

To learn more about the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters, please visit their Facebook Page.  

Most Humorous Road 2020

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Road 2020 Most Humorous went to Kathryn Bernstein (along with Cindy Brauntmann who did the Embroidery). Kathryn received $1,000 from Sponsor, BlocLoc Rulers – USAUS INC, for  A Tale of The Salem Witches Quilt Guild – Those Pesky Goblins!

Most Humorous

A Sense of Humor leads to winning Most Humorous.

When Kathryn Bernstein’s grandmother passed away, her grandfather sent to Kathryn one of her grandmother’s homemade quilts, a flour sack utilitarian quilt. Kathryn washed it and started using it for her television quilt.  It didn’t take long for her husband to take possession of using the quilt. As Katherine recalled, “Finally, I said, ‘If I make you a quilt will you please stop touching my grandmother’s quilt?’” She went out and bought a book and some fabric and made him the “ugliest first quilt on record.” Over the years, Kathryn has invested in “fifty plastic bins of fabric and four sewing machines” and she feels like she’s “just getting started!”

Most Humorous

Kathryn started entering quilts in competitions after she made her third and fourth quilts. She entered them in the Santa Monica Quilt Show, “which, thank goodness, was not a juried show.”  Kathryn ended up showing her sixth quilt, “Jumping Off the Cliff With Freddie” at Road to California and the Quilters Guild of Dallas.  It won a ribbon in its category in Dallas, which qualified it for submission to Houston.  It was also displayed in Houston in the Texas Guilds exhibit.

Inspiration for Most Humorous Winner

The whimsy of Crabapple Hill designs has always appealed to Kathryn. She had been working on her family tree when she came across the Salem Witches Quilt Guild pattern at the Paducah show.  “Two of my great grandmothers were accused in the Salem witch trials.  While those trials are a horrifying episode in American history, the fact that there are two accused witches in my family explains a lot about the women in my family and the qualities I look for in my friends!  The notion that goblins love attending guild meetings and meddling in the stitching took hold in my imagination, so I sketched drawings of them to hover in the background.  The limerick for the label of the quilt just popped into my head, “There once was a coven of Witches who couldn’t master their stitches.  For a wee taste of gin, the goblins stepped in and stitched in all of their Ditches.”

most humorous

The quilt took several years to make. Each witch figure took a day to color.  Kathryn discovered that microwaving a white crayon to soften it up, permitted her to quickly lay down a thicker, smoother white base, which in turn allowed for better shading and highlighting of the figures.  She quickly realized that she needed help completing the embroidery, so she enlisted her friend, Cindy Brautmann. 

It took months to settle on the setting blocks and fabrics when Katherine decided, “What could be more appropriate than Spider’s Web?” Katherine approached several long arm quilters about how to incorporate the goblin drawings. Susan Corbett of Fort Worth, Texas, “is such a talented quilter and she was so excited about executing the drawings that she was the natural choice.”

What Was Learned Along the Way?

Kathryn said that while making this Most Humorous quilt, she “learned to never give up on completing a complicated quilt.  Rely on your friends and listen to their encouragement and advice, trust your talent and instincts to develop new techniques and be willing to permit other talented people to shine as well.  Last but not least, when its 2:00 AM, it is time to stop adding hot fix crystals and always, always let the goblins help!”

most humorous

A Winning Design

Kathryn was sick with a cold and couldn’t make it out to Road 2020. Susan Corbett called Kathryn to tell her that a friend had posted A Tale of The Salem Witches Quilt Guild – Those Pesky Goblins! on Instagram as a winner.  A  member of Katherine’s beloved quilt group, the YaYas, also called to tell Kathryn that one of her friends had spotted the ribbon. 

Of winning Most Humorous, Kathryn commented, “Winning a ribbon is always such a joy because it validates the time, money and effort spent pursing excellence.  It also allows me to wave the ribbon at my husband to justify my credit card bill!”

Kathryn shared her prize money with both Susan and Cindy “because they worked so hard on the quilt too

What’s Next?

Kathryn hopes to spend 2020 completing the applique baby quilt that she started when her first grandbaby was announced.  “Catalina turned six on February 27, 2020, so maybe it will be finished before she goes to college!”

Congratulations, Kathryn Bernstein, for winning Most Humorous at Road 2020.

International Quilt Exhibits

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Road to California attracts quilt exhibits from all over the world. In 2020, there were six international quilt exhibits representing such countries as Australia, Canada, Egypt, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and the United States.

Pack and Follow- Australia

international quilt exhibits

This international quilt exhibit was curated by Road to California teacher, Australian, Jenny Bowker. One of the quilts, After the Last Sky, told the story of a massacre in Egypt.

international quilt exhibits

Stitch Like An Egyptian

international quilt exhibits

A favorite and returning international quilt exhibit where quilts were not only on display but also offered for purchase. It was also fun to watch the Road 2020 teachers stitch and share their ancient applique tradition.

international quilt exhibits

French Quilt Exhibits

There were two international quilt exhibits from France on display from French Patchwork:

Do, Re, Mi, Lin

international quilt exhibits
international quilt exhibits

and From the Earth to the Moon

international quilt exhibits
international quilt exhibits

World Wide Whispers

international quilt exhibits

This special exhibit featured contemporary quilts from around the world. The idea for this international quilt exhibit began following a conversation between quilter Ann Hill and four other international quilters – Paula Rafferty from Ireland, Jeltje van Essen from The Netherlands, Debbi Cagney from USA and Kim Caskey from Canada.

United States of America
international quilt exhibits

They each chose 12 quilters, one for each month of the year, and asked them to make a quilt from a photograph they would receive from the quilter who had made the photographed quilt the month before them. This resulted in 12 quilts from 5 countries, totaling 60 in all.


Bringing in international quilt exhibits is another feature that sets Road to California apart in the quilting world.

Quilts and Veterans

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Road to California has a long history of celebrating quilts and veterans.

Road 2014: A Special Exhibit and Presentation

Led by Island Batik, Quilted in Honor was a fund-raising initiative for Operation Homefront, one of the top military fundraising organizations. A special exhibit they sponsored recognized quilts and veterans with a collection from top industry celebrities and quilters. They were asked to incorporate specially designed fabrics created by Island Batik for this initiative in their quilts. The results were truly patriotic!!! After the show, the quilts were donated to support military families and returning veterans whose lives were forever changed because of their service to our country.

quilts and veterans

Also, at the 2014 Show, Road to California, Island Batik, and Quilted in Honor recognized quilts and veterans when they presented to veteran, Ron Baker, a special quilt to thank him for his patriotic service. Mr. Baker was a former combat photographer who spent 12 years in the military (from 1964 until 1976), serving in Germany, Vietnam, Japan, and California. In 2014, Mr. Baker also worked as an advocate for other veterans.

Quilts and Veterans

Road 2016: Southern California Quilts of Valor

The Long Beach Chapter of Quilts of Valor recognized quilts and veterans by collecting donations during the 2016 show ranging from quilt tops to selling raffle tickets for their opportunity quilt. The drawing for their opportunity quilt is held annually on Veterans Day at the Long Beach VA Hospital.

Quilts and Veterans

During the years, Long Beach Quilts of Valor has gone to various veteran events around Southern California, telling their story and presenting quilts. In 2015, they gave away 417 quilts to service members and veterans. At the time of Road 2016, they had already given away 134 quilts with 78 more being donated January 26th to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers affiliated with the West Los Angeles Veteran Hospital.

An interesting fact is that not all veteran recipients request a patriotic themed quilt because it can be a painful reminder of what they went through, especially with POW’s. For those instances, Quilts of Valor volunteers have made quilts in a range of colors and themes such as animals or sports. “You never know what a veteran will request. Whatever type of quilt we make, it always finds its rightful owner,” remarked Chapter leader, Barbara Winkler.

Veterans at Road 2020

Frances attended Road 2020 with his wife, Betty. Both are long time quilters who had only missed one Road to California Show since it moved to the Ontario Convention Center. Frances served as an Electronic Technician in the Navy during the Vietnam War. His ship, the USS Forrestal, was the first of the “super carriers.” While Betty has been quilting for over 20 years, Frances got interested in quilting when attending Road and saw a demonstration on how to use circles in quilts. That was 10 years ago.

Quilts and Veterans

David and Elaine are residents of Boise, Idaho. Road 2020 was their second time at the Show. They love the great weather in California in January. David liked seeing all the quilts on display. He too served in the Navy, as a medical captain during the Korean War. His responsibility was to save Marines from their battle wounds.  

Quilts and Veterans

It is a privilege for Road to California to honor both quilts and veterans during our shows.

Thread Education

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Each year, Road to California offers $5.00 Lectures: one-hour classes presented by vendors featuring their popular quilting techniques, tools, and trade secrets.

At Road 2020, Eric Dressler of Sulky of America, engaged students with thread education tips using Sulky’s needles and threads.

Who is Sulky of America?

Sulky of America sells over 4,000 products that include their popular thread lines and stabilizers. The company was founded by Joyce and Fred Drexler almost 30 years ago. A priority for Sulky of America is thread education. Remarked Fred Drexler, “Educating consumers has always been a top priority and our extremely strong focus on education through the years has caused Sulky to become the most recognized and asked-for name in decorative threads.”

Committed to quality, Sulky of America only uses raw rayon fibers made by ENKA in Obernburg, Germany. They have been tested and proven to be the very highest quality raw goods produced anywhere in the world.

Sulky also has a strong presence with community involvement. Fred has had a 44-year involvement with Rotary International, being involved in hundreds of local community projects. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Sulky invited sewers all over America to “Share their Stash” with Hurricane Andrew victims. Thousands of people ultimately did, which netted two full semi-trailer loads of sewing machines, fabric, patterns and every other imaginable sewing tool and supplies. Their caring ways continue to support community outreach.

Newest Products

Sulky of America introduced two new products at Road 2020:

Filaine, a 12-wt. acrylic thread that comes in 129 colors. Fibers can be brushed out to create a fuzzy look in projects

thread education

Sulky recently became a distributor of Organ Needles, a company that was founded 100 years ago in Tokyo, Japan. All Japanese-made sewing machines (like Janome, Juki, Brother and Babylock) are “born” with Organ Needles.

thread education

Sulky of America at Road 2020

Sulky’s thread education $5.00 Lecture was given on Friday afternoon by Eric Drexler. Eric has spent 35 years in the sewing industry. The last 13 years he has been working with Sulky as an educator. Besides being a teacher, Eric is also passionate about free motion artistry.

thread education

Eric shared that quilters should not be afraid to “mix up their threads in their projects.” The ideal thread weight which Eric says is “good for everything” is 30 weight – a medium weight thread. He also added that whenever you change the thread in a project, you should also change the needle.

thread education

During the thread education session, Eric emphasized the following thread rules for quilters:   

  1. A spool of thread should be able to turn freely in a machine. This keeps the thread from curling.
  2. Loosen the tension two numbers before threading your machine.
  3. Use a 90-14 topstitch needle. Should your thread “kink,” it will still be able to pass through the larger eye.
  4. Which color thread to use? Have it match the back of your quilt.
  5. Thread weight does not have to be the same on top as in the bobbin. Just be sure to adjust the tension.

Thank you Road 2020 Sponsor, Sulky Thread of America, for sharing your thread education.

Best Applique Winner At Road 2020

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

Georgia Spalding Pierce received $1,500 from Sponsor, Fiberworks, Inc., for Balam (Jaguar)

Best Applique

Meet Georgia Spalding Pierce

Georgia was familiar with quilts before she started making them herself. She grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where quilting and the Amish community is synonymous. Georgia started quilting 1987.  Her first quilts were functional quilts for beds, both pieced and appliqued.

Georgia entered a few quilts in her local guild shows starting in 2005.  About this time, she attended Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She wondered if she could make a quilt that would be accepted into that show.  Her first quilt she entered had a cultural theme, “Baltimore Goes to Japan.” Georgia commented, “Amazingly it was juried into the show and then much to my surprise; it received a Judge’s Choice award.”  Since that time, Georgia has made four quilts exclusively for shows and has “been blessed to win a number of awards. I am now hooked on making show quilts for the challenge they present as well as the feedback that I receive that helps me to become a better quilter.”

Making Balam

This Best Applique quilt is the fourth in a series of quilts based upon the art of various cultures. The first was based on Japanese family crests. The second, on the art of the First Nation People of the Pacific Northwest. And the third quilt was based on Ancient Egyptian art. Balam is based on Mayan art.

Georgia shares that she always researches the art of the culture she chooses before she begins.  For this award-winning Best Applique quilt, Georgia found a book called, “Blood of the Gods,” published in support of an exhibit of Mayan art in Texas.  She became acquainted with the drawings of Linda Schele, an artist and archaeologist, and was fortunate enough to receive permission to base the central portion of this quilt on one of her drawings. 

Best Applique

Georgia surrounded the central panel with Mayan hieroglyphs. The color pallet used on this Best Applique winning design is the same one found on existing Mayan wall paintings.

Best Applique

Because Georgia is also a full-time nurse, work on Balam took 2 years to complete as she had to deal with long interruptions during the quilting.

Winning Best Applique at Road to California 2020

Georgia has had some success at Road to California in the past, but not with the larger awards. She learned about her award for Balam by checking the Road 2020 judging results on the Internet at home. Georgia said she “was quite surprised to have received the Best Applique award.”

With her prize money, Georgia bought herself some more quilting supplies: fabric and embellishments for her next project.  In addition, some of her prize money will fund the future travels of Balam to other shows.  For Georgia, a successful year is one where any prize money covers the cost of shipping to shows.  Georgia shared that “The money is lovely, but the recognition and the judges’ feedback is equally valuable as I hope someday when I retire from nursing to travel to quilt shows as a teacher, not just a contestant and viewer.”

What is instore for Georgia’s quilting future?   She said that she is ready to leave the world of culturally themed quilts. She is planning to combine applique and crazy quilting together for her next project.  So far, work on her new quilt is proving to be “a very steep learning curve” as she incorporates the crazy quilting into a large quilt.  Georgia added, “It has also proven to be costly, since I discovered Etsy and all of those wonderful embellishments that are available out there in the world.

Congratulations Georgia Spalding Pierce on winning Best Applique.

These Men Are Quilting Fans

Friday, June 19th, 2020

Road to California is a great place for families to meet up. Not just for moms, grandmas, daughters, and aunts. At Road 2020, we also saw lots of dads, grandpas, sons, and uncles who were quilting fans too!!

Hamilton, Missouri Visitor

quilting fans

Craig and Pat have been to Road to California six times together. From Irvine, California, both are quilting fans of the artistry element of quilting. Craig has accompanied Pat to Hamilton, Missouri – home of Jenny Doan and the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Pat makes a lot of Jenny’s patterns and Craig always enjoys seeing the finished quilts. “They are fun to look at,’ remarked Craig. Pat shared that Craig is her “design and color consultant.” She commented that “he is really good at it!”

Multi-talented Artist

quilting fans

During the Show, Jason sat in the main hallway of the Ontario Convention Center, helping his wife, Sue, check in volunteers. Jason shared that he is an artist, tattooist, painter, quilter and longarm quilter. Sue said that she introduced Jason to quilting three years ago and two years ago, encouraged him to start longarm quilting, where he became her “personal longarm quilter.” Soon after, he started a longarm quilting business and has quilted over 300 quilts for clients. These quilting fans belong to the Inland Empire Quilters Guild. Each year for their Quilt Show, Jason contributes opportunity baskets that include hand painted Featherweight machines that Jason makes especially for the show.  

Understanding the Meaning of Quilts

quilting fans

Arcadia, California residents, Luke and Robin, are originally from China and came to the United States in 2002. Robin has been sewing for 8 years and just recently started quilting. This was their second time at Road. The first time they came, they only stayed 30 minutes and quickly found out, that was not enough time. These quilting fans wanted to understand better the meaning behind quilts and quilting by attending Road. Luke added, “I like visiting different artwork and (Road) was interesting.” He especially liked the Special Exhibits, seeing the “ideas from many creative minds.”

Road to California Owner

Matt Reese grew up around quilts and Road to California. From a young age, Matt, his sister, and cousins, helped their Grandmother, Carolyn Reese, put on the show. He spent several years moving equipment around when the vendors moved in and out on the vendor floor. Later, he and a buddy were asked to stay for the entire show, doing “gopher duties,” which gave him a great perspective of all that goes on at Road to California. Matt’s role changed greatly when he became the Manager of Road. In this capacity, he oversaw acquiring teachers and setting up the classrooms. Then, in 2016, when his grandmother retired, Matt became owner of Road to California. While Matt has never finished a quilt, he is one of the HUGE quilting fans. He owns several quilts (his favorites include ones made by the Egyptian Quilters), visits quilt guilds, and enjoys taking in all the Special Exhibits at the show. He especially appreciates the opportunity of choosing the Director’s Choice winning quilt.

2020 Director’s Choice Winner: Boogie Brass Band by Sharon Casey

At Road 2020, Matt and his wife, Jennifer, had one son, Braden. This Spring, in the middle of Coronavirus, they welcomed twin sons, Owen and Oliver. We are confident that these three sons will be quilting fans too!!!

Get to Know Road Sponsor Oliso

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Road to California was thrilled for the return of Oliso to the show. It had been several years since the company had last visited as a vendor and $5.00 Lecture participant. For Road’s 25th Anniversary Show, Oliso returned as a vendor and a Sponsor for the event.


Who is Oliso

A San-Francisco based team of inventors, engineers, and researchers, Oliso listens to their customers to design products that simplify everyday life. The goal of Oliso is to “marry aesthetics and function to create ergonomically optimized products.”

Known for its remarkable irons, did you know that Oliso also makes food preparation items such as a vacuum-sealer and their  SMARTHUB™- a stovetop or countertop appliance that seals, cooks sous vide, and sears?

Oliso Irons at Road

Michele Muska, Director of Content and Community Relations for Oliso, brought her team to the show to demonstrate the Oliso Smart Iron and introduce their new, Mini Project Iron.


The Mini Project Iron was developed through “a lot of grassroots work in order to get it in the hands of quilters and garment sewers,” shared Michele. The company listened to customers to come up with a product that features a diamond ceramic plate, a detail point, 120/240 wattage, steam burst, and takes only 25 seconds to heat up. Oliso spent a lot of time reaching out through podcasts like Black Women Stitch as well as Instagrammer, Rachel Daisy of Blue Mountain Daisy, sponsoring contests and giveaways to promote the new small mini project iron. The iron was so popular at Road 2020, that it sold out on the first day!!


Michele said it was great for Oliso to be back at Road. “The customers have been wonderful and super nice,” she said. They were also happy to supply the irons in the classrooms during the show.

15 Smart Ironing Tips from Oliso

  1. Determine what you will be using the iron for: ironing or pressing. Ironing is defined as sliding the iron back and forth over fabric. Pressing is lifting the iron up and down over the fabric.
  2. Heat and moisture are what is needed for a good crease. Using steam will speed up the ironing process.
  3. Features to consider when purchasing an iron include a stainless steel soul plate (a shiny plate or one that has a Teflon coating tends to create a drag when ironing), the length of the cord, a generous water tank and an auto shut off for safety.
  4. Just like pre-heating an oven before baking, make sure the iron is heated before using. This will also help prevent leaking.
  5. Place the iron near your machine but far enough away so that you have to get up and walk over to it.
  6. Press all seams twice. First, press the seam like you sewed it. This sets the seam. Then go back and press open or press to one side – depending on the design and how it will be quilted.

7) Press as you go. Press whenever you join another seam. Press on the back when you finish a block and when you have the top completed. Press lightly again on the right side. Never press after a quilt after it has been quilted because it will mash the batting.

8) Use the highest setting with steam when pressing cottons. Turn down the heat for polyester or synthetics. Test the fabric first from the back side.

9) White Vinegar mixed with a little water both puts a crease in and takes a crease out.

10) Never press over pins, markings, or basting threads.

11) Press long seams going across your ironing board to prevent distorting the grain line.

12) Clean the sole plate using a dryer sheet, a Clean Magic Eraser, or try this: ironing over wet table salt on a brown paper bag.

13) Clean the steam vents by pouring hot water into the chamber, heat up the iron, and quickly press out all the water over the sink.

14) Unplug or turn off electric output after use.

15) Always use regular tap water when filling the water chamber.

Thank you Oliso for your generous support of Road to California.

Meet Road Vendor: Pink Sand Beach Designs

Friday, June 12th, 2020

Women entrepreneurs and owners of Pink Sand Beach Designs, Nancy and Michelle Green, not only sell  patterns, kits, and fabric, but they provide employment opportunities for other women who otherwise might have been shut out of the work force.

Meet Founder Nancy Green

pink sand beach designs

Before Pink Sand Beach Designs, Nancy Green had worked 25 years as an executive for IBM. When she retired from IBM, she knew there was a second career just waiting for her discover.

Nancy had been sewing since childhood. In 2004, after she retired, Nancy started sewing homemade bags. It didn’t take her long to see that her finished handmade bags didn’t end up looking very professional because regular quilt batting was customarily used as a filler. Nancy set to work incorporating her background in construction and engineering to analyze different fusible interfacing that could be used to replace the batting. Not long after her discovery, Nancy approached Luella, a local quilt store owner, and asked if she could teach a bag making class using her own pattern. In a class that traditionally only got a handful of attendees, twenty-four people signed up for Nancy’s first class taught at Luella’s Quilt Basket!! Due to that initial success, Nancy continued to teach as well as sell her original patterns at the Quilt Basket.

Four years later, in 2008, Nancy decided to sell her handbag patterns at Quilt Market. Having never gone to Quilt Market before, and not knowing what to expect, Nancy took 4,000 patterns that she had printed at her local print shop. Those patterns sold out quickly and her original business of making and selling handbag patterns began. Today, Nancy and Pink Sand Beach Designs sells 60-80,000 handbag patterns annually.

Pink Sand Beach Designs

When two of Nancy’s three daughters (Michelle and Kathryn) were in high school, they wanted to sew rag quilts to earn extra money. Nancy helped them buy their fabric, make kits, and sell their quilts at the local Manhattan Beach Old Town Fair. The girls named their business, Pink Sand Beach Designs after the pink sand beaches they had seen on a trip to Bermuda. The girls were in busines for a couple of years and sold over 1,000 quilts. When Michelle and Kathryn moved on to college, they sold their business name to their mom. Six years ago, Michelle joined her mom as a partner in the business.

With a passion to help other women get ahead, Nancy and Michelle hire college students to cut the fabric for their kits and stay-at-home moms to assemble the kits. In addition, they have women from local quilt guilds sell their samples.

Today, Pink Sand Beach Designs not only sells patterns, kits, fabrics, notions, and thread on their website, they also have a retail store located in a business park in Torrance. Their kits are also sold by other retail outlets like Missouri Star Quilt Co. Pink Sand Beach Designs has come to be known by their customers as the “most modern, professional” pattern and kit maker vendor at Road to California.  

pink sand beach designs

Staying Relevant during the “Safer at Home” Order

When maintaining their retail store presence during the “Safer at Home” order in Los Angeles County got difficult, Michelle and Nancy got creative. Masks were their first venture during the Coronavirus shut down, along with selling elastic.  During the first 3 weeks of the lockdown, Pink Sand Beach Designs sold 250,000 mask and elastic kits. “It’s what kept us alive,” shared Nancy.

pink sand beach designs

They also began holding twice weekly Facebook LIVE! selling events, offering special online deals. The store has been turned in to a highly productive, mail order procurement center. “The Facebook LIVE! is really fun. If it’s not fun, I’m not doing it,” said Nancy.

pink sand beach designs

Recently, Pink Sands Beach Designs hosted another Road to California associate, The Traveling Quilters. The Traveling Quilters wanted to celebrate their 30th Anniversary with a Facebook LIVE! of their own, and Nancy and Michelle were more than willing to provide the venue for the virtual event.

pink sand beach designs
(l-r) Michelle Green, Nancy Green, and Traveling Quilters owners, Lynn Crawford and Pam Overton

What started out as a way to have a second career, has become not only a successful sewing business but a compassionate business as well– a win-win for everyone!!

To learn more about Pink Sand Beach Designs, please visit their website.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting Road 2020

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Teri Cherne won Best Longarm Machine Quilting and received $2,500 from Sponsor, Babylock, for Finding Light in the Darkness.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting

Meet Teri Cherne

Teri Cherne was encouraged by her mother to use her hands to create. Teri feels “fortunate to be given that gift from her to share with others.” A two-time cancer survivor, Teri entered her first quilt contest in 2014 at MQX – Machine Quilters Exposition in New England. Her quilt, “Rays of Hope,” won second place which “thrilled” Teri.

The Story Behind Finding Light in the Darkness

Finding and using colors to capture light and darkness is what inspired Teri to make this award winning Best Longarm Machine Quilting design.  It took several years for Finding Light in the Darkness to become a quilt. First, Teri designs the entire quilt on her computer before she even begins cutting the fabric.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting

Finding the correct colors of fabric took a couple of years. Teri says she “got lucky” to find that Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics had all the colors that she needed.

Metallic threads were used to allow the quilt to shine bright in the light. Teri used Wonderfil’s Dazzle 8wt thread for all the hand couching to add more color and shimmer.

An important lesson that she learned along the way was to not rush the process especially after spending so much time with the design process.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting

Naming the quilt came from her experiences with cancer. “Being a two-time Cancer survivor, there were many times I had to look within to find the light,” commented Teri.

A Winning Quilt

Teri found out that she had won Best Longarm Machine Quilting late Thursday evening, the first full day of Road 2020. She got an email from a friend who was at the show congratulating her on her win! “I was so excited, and very honored to receive Best Longarm!” Teri planned to purchase new glasses with her prize money.

Future Quilting Endeavors

At the same time Teri was working on Finding Light in the Darkness, Teri was also working on her next project, an appliqué quilt. Terri says her life is busy, so she has to keep putting her project aside. But she is confident that it will all come together, a bit at a time. For Teri, there is no rush, “it’s about savoring the journey!”