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Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

Meet Road@Home Teacher: Esterita Austin

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Esterita Austin will be teaching will be teaching three classes during Road@Home:

Wednesday, January 20th from 1:30 – 5:30 PM:

Esterita Austin

W119 – 4×4- A four-hour lecture demonstration on four original techniques that Esterita has developed.

Thursday, January 21st from 1:30 – 5:30 PM

Esterita Austin

T115 – Luminous Painted Irises- Create an art quilt by combining and overlapping layers of paint and transferring it onto organza.

Friday, January 22nd from 8:00 – 9:30 AM

Esterita Austin

FL01 – Inspirational Journeys- Looking for art inspiration all around us.

Backpacking and Quilting

Esterita Austin learned about quilting at age 22 while backpacking through Greece. She tells the story how she “met a young woman from England who had small brown paper hexagons and bits of fabric she was folding around the paper. I asked her what she was doing and she explained to me that it was an American past time called patchwork quilting. I said to her you mean you Cut up fabric and sew it back together again? With a big grin on her face she said yes! I said, well that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard of. The time I was embroidering the holes in my jeans and without realizing it so the pair I was working on to the pair I was wearing… It was embarrassing. 20 years past and we find each other on the InternetAnd she asks me, “so what are you up to? Of course I had to tell her that I was teaching quilt making to which I got quite a laugh out of her.”

An Art Background

The classes that Esterita Austin will be teaching at Road@Home have a big art influence. That’s because art has had a big influence in Esterita’s life. She started off as a high school art teacher, teaching her love of drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and ceramics. She discovered art quilting by taking workshops David Walker and was hooked.

Esterita and her business partner marketed a unique technique using Mistyfuse and paint transfer. Mistyfuse is a gossamer fusible that virtually disappears when ironed onto fabric and doesn’t change the hand of the cloth.

Lessons Learned from COVID-19

To “save my sanity” during the Coronavirus lockdown, Esterita Austin “started doing some mindless work.” She made three bed quilts for her children; two queen and one king. Then she made a couple of quilted backpacks.

What COVID-19 has taught Esterita is to “never take for granted all the things that I thought were small things before. Just getting to see my children is such a privilege. I’ve had my first grandchild during the pandemic, and she is such a treasure to me.”

Teaching at Road@Home

Esterita Austin has been teaching for over 20 years. Her husband passed away when their children were still young, and she had to find a way to make a living. She decided to give teaching quilt making a try and has never looked back.

When the pandemic began, Esterita taught herself how to teach virtually. She has already taught numerous virtual classes and is “surprised” at how much she is enjoying the experience. Esterita sees virtual teaching as a way to demonstrate exactly what she is doing so every person has a front row seat. She has her cameras set up around her work area to provide an up close and personal demonstration every time. She has also developed a technique to interact with her students while the class is going on. Each student texts Esterita a screenshot of their work in progress. Esterita then annotates their photo on a shared screen, giving advice of where they can change and or improve their image. Estreita says, “It works out pretty well.”

She is looking forward to sharing time and conversation with like-minded people during Road@Home and can’t wait to create with everyone, helping them build confidence as well as a new sense of experimentation and creative adventure.

To learn more about Esterita Austin’s work, please visit her website.

 .

A Special Exhibit for a Special Road

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Road to California has a reputation for offering the best in quilting: the best classes, the best teachers, the best lectures, the best quilt displays, the best vendors, and the best special exhibits.

Each year, several of Road’s special exhibits have made their western-United States debut at Road. This tradition continues with Road@Home featuring usual and unique special exhibits sponsored by Martingale.

special exhibits

Who is Martingale?

Located in Bothell, Washington, Martingale is a leading publisher of knit, quilt, crochet, and craft books. The company was founded in 1976 as That Patchwork Place by Nancy and Dan Martin. The original publication focused on quilting. Then, in 1996, the company expanded their publication interests to include more general crafts and became known as Martingale. Through their over 40-year publication history, Martingale has published over 1,500 books and products, which have sold more than 24.1 million copies.

In 2007, something unusual happened: Martingale’s founders, Nancy and Dan Martin, retired and sold their company to their employees. Today, a tight-knit group of 26 individuals operate Martingale and 80% of these new owners either sew, knit, crochet, or craft in their spare time. Through their own personal experiences, they are dedicated to empowering other makers, who use fabric and yarn, to make life more enjoyable.

Past Special Exhibit Firsts

In 2014, Road to California hosted Sister Cities – City of Angels, a collaboration of quilts from Los Angeles and Puebla, Mexico.

special exhibits

Road to California’s 20th Anniversary in 2015 was the first time Road hosted the Tentmakers of Cairo showcasing their lost art of applique.

Cherrywood fabrics also debuted their first Cherrywood Challenge – Wicked – at the 20th Anniversary Show.

Last January, at Road’s 25th Anniversary, there were 17 special exhibits, the most ever on display.     

The Martingale Special Exhibit for 2021

Road@Home’s Special Exhibits are going to offer more than just flat images of quilts to look at on your computer. Instead, Road has partnered with Martingale to offer Road@Home guests a sneak peek of exhibits featuring a wide variety of books. These special exhibits will include both full and detailed shots as well as themed photos – just like they are presented in a quilt book. With the help of Martingale, this exhibit will also present books that haven’t been released to the public yet. And an added benefit exclusively offered to Road@Home participants will be the opportunity to purchase the newly released books on shopmartingale.com before they are offered to the general public!

These amazing photo quality special exhibits are another great reason not to miss out on Road@Home.

So You Want To Enter Road’s Quilt Contest?

Friday, November 13th, 2020

Road@Home is unlike any previous Road to California Quilters Conference and Showcase. So, of course, Road’s Quilt Contest for 2021 is also going to be unlike any other that Road has sponsored in the past 25 years.   

Road’s Quilt Contest Past

The first time Road’s quilt contest was held was in 1996, when Road to California was just five years old. The Show was held at The Ontario Airport Hilton, after being moved from the former Ontario Marriott Hotel (now the Gateway Hotel). The total amount given away for cash prizes at the first contest was $5,000.

Road's Quilt Contest
Road to California 1997 Official Program

Through the years, Road’s Quilt Contest has grown to be one of the premier quilt contests – both in the United States and internationally. The number of quilt contest categories offered, quilts submitted, and cash prizes given away, has grown substantially through the years. At the 25th Anniversary Show in January, 2020, Road received more than 500 entries. And at that show, Road gave away $92,000 in prize money. The Best of Show quilt alone received $10,000 – twice as much as the total amount given in 1996!!   

A New Twist for 2021

The prize money for Road’s Quilt Contest largely comes from the vendors who sponsor Road to California’s quilt show. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Road’s traditional vendors – especially the smaller sponsors – have suffered financially as they have not been able to participate in any quilt show activities since March 2020. Due to these hardships, Road did not want to burden our sponsors with paying the prize money and therefore formally cancelled the traditional quilt contest last Spring.    

Since that time, Road to California has been aware that many quilters were still desirous to showcase their talents. So, Road decided to change up the quilt contest format and offer a new and different type of quilt show – fitting for Road@Home’s online format.

Three New Categories– Tons of Possibilities

Categories for the Road@Home 2021 Quilt Contest have been streamlined into 3 general categories:

Could Be Your Grandma’s Quilt

Quilts in this category should be based on traditional blocks. Interpretation and improvisation of traditional blocks are welcomed.

2020 Best Use of Color Winner – Carolinas
by Terry Sargent Peart

What You See

Quilts in this category should be based on realistic imagery. Pictoral, People, and Naturescape quilts are appropriate for this category.

Road Quilt Contest
2020 Best Artistry Winner: Missouri Barn
by LeAnn Hileman

What You Think You See

Quilts in this category include abstracts or interpretations. They should inspire the viewer to think about or guess what the subject is.

2019 First Place Abstract Winner: Carnival
by Beth Nufer

There are no date restrictions for the 2021 contest.

The entry deadline is November 23, 2020. Accepted entries will be notified no later than December 15, 2020. All official entries will be judged online. Recordings of the judging process along with live commentary will be included in Road@Home’s Behind the Scenes event.

Another feature of Road@Home’s 2021 Quilt Contest is that all entrants are still eligible to enter their quilt in the 2022 Road to California Quilt Contest so long as the entry falls under the rules for the 2022 contest. For the complete 2021 Quilt Contest Rules, please visit our website.

Road to California invites all quilters to go through their quilts, finish up any quilts they might be currently working on, and enter them into Road’s Quilt Contest before November 23, 2020. We can’t wait to see what will be submitted!!

Road@Home Quilt Contest Entry Guide

Friday, November 13th, 2020

We are so excited to see all the quilts entered into Road@Home Quilt Contest. This guide will take you step by step on how to enter your quilts into the show. The due date for entries is November 23rd. If you are interested in taking classes for Road@Home make sure to follow our Registration Guide.

To enter quilts into Road@Home you need to be logged into an account. You can go to the My Account tab and click Create an Account if this is your first time entering a quilt. (We’d like to say welcome to the family!) For our returners you can use Login to get back into your account (We are happy to have you back and can’t wait to see what you enter!).

Now on your phone/tablet you are going to see it with Three Bars in the upper right and it will give you a long drop down menu. All of the sections used by the Quilt Contest will be closer to the bottom of this list.

How to Set Your Conference

Once you have logged into your account you are going to want to check that you are in the correct Conference. It is important to make sure your active Conference says Road@Home. You won’t be able to enter a quilt being in the other conference.

How to submit Your Entry

To start with submitting your quilt you will want to hover over My Account. Under My Account You will find Enter, after clicking Enter you will be taken to the quilt entry section. Each competitor can submit three entries and you will submit each entry one at a time.

This is where you will start entering in your quilt information.

For example we created this Test Entry to show what you need to enter to complete your entry. Here are some key points for quilt entries:

  • The Division and Style will both be entered as Quilt. You must fill out this section.
  • The Width and Height of your quilt does not matter for any category, but you must include it for the category to become available.
  • You have three categories to choose from. You can find out more about those categories on the Contest Rules.
  • The year does not matter for Road@Home so please enter in 2020 for both year started and year ended.
  • Make sure to double check that you have entered in everything in correctly before submitting.

Submitting Photos and Payment

After finishing your quilt entry you will automatically be taken to you My Home Page. Which is your main page for your pre-jury information.

  • If you click the entry numbers next to the entry you can edit your information. before we close entries on November 23rd.
  • By clicking upload under the Main, Detail, and Back you will be able to add your photos.
  • Clicking Pay Bill will take you to your payment section for Road@Home.
  • Once you have added photos and payment you will actually see another block be added to your Quilt Tracker.

This is the upload screen for photos which you will be able to add the photos of your quilt. These photos will be the photos used for Road@Home Quilt Contest so make sure they are the best ones you have!

  • Your file should end in .jpg to be accepted by our system.
  • It also needs to be smaller than 5.5MB for the system to save the photo.
  • It takes time to upload so please wait as the photo is added into the system. You will be taken back to the main page after submitting a photo.

After submitting your first photo the system once completed will take you back to the home page. You will need to go to My Account and then click My Home Page to get back to the Quilt Tracker and the submission section for photos and payment.

You will know your photo has been accepted since the Upload will turn Green.

Shown above is the payment page. The page will autofill with the contact information listed on your account. You will need to add in payment information. Please submit payment after you have added all of your quilt entries.

Final Notes

We are so excited for the Road@Home Quilt Contest! We cannot wait to see what quilts are submitted to the show.

Ever wondered how a judging room works? We will actually be showing how an actual judging room works (virtually of course) with Behind the Scenes. This will be when all the quilts are first shown and you can actually watch the Judges pick the winning quilts!

Remember entries must be in by November 23rd.

Choosing a Longarm Quilter

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Road@Home is offering many longarm quilting classes. But If you can’t do the quilting yourself, the next best alternative is to choose a longarm quilter to do the quilting for you.

Longarm quilter
Longarm work by Jodi Robinson

We asked longarm quilter, Jodi Robinson, for some tips in choosing a longarm quilter.

Who is Jodi Robinson?

MQX, Jodi Robinson

Jodi Robinson has been a quilter for more than 20 years. Her mother-in-law encouraged Jodi to start quilting. Jodi accepted the challenge and made a log cabin quilt.

She has taught at national shows across the country for 15 years and has won numerous national awards for her machine quilting skills. In 2015, she won Outstanding Modern Quilt at Road to California. In addition to teaching and creating, Jodi designs pantograph patterns, has self-published nine machine quilting design books, and provides professional longarm quilting services to her clients.

Jodi’s favorite aspect about quilting is designing a quilt as well as the longarm quilting, especially when the quilt is pieced. She uses two small bedrooms for her quilting area.  One is her sewing room (and guest bedroom), and the other is her longarm room.

Longarm Quilter

Longarm Quilting Reflection

Jodi has been a professional longarm quilter for over 19 years. Road asked Jodi to share a story about one of the most unique jobs she has had:

“One of the most difficult jobs I had was one for a decorator.  He wanted me to quilt large cross hatching on fabric for recovering a sofa, and wanted the lines of the quilting to line up with the lines on the sofa, ugh. I did tell him, that because we are working with fabric and batting (which stretches and shrinks), it would be VERY difficult to ensure that the lines would match up)  I told him I would do it, but only if he would mark the lines where he wanted them stitched (because I did not want to be responsible, if they didn’t match up, lol). He agreed to mark them, and I stitched them, just as marked … luckily you could still see his lines under my stitching, as he was not too happy, when he realized the lines (as I suspected) they did not match up perfectly.

Choosing a Longarm Quilter

Jodi was asked what the most important thing was to consider when choosing a longarm quilter. She replied, “The most important thing, when choosing a longarm quilter, is finding a quilter whose style best matches your aesthetic.”

Communication is key. Talk to the longarm quilter about your vision for the quilting and ask to see samples of their work to see if it matches your vision. Ask about the services they will provide—and those they will not – as each longarm quilter “offers different services.”

When preparing your quilt to deliver to the longarmer, Jodi said, “I think some of the most important things (to do) are to be sure that your backing fabric is nicely pressed, and at least 4 inches larger than the quilt top on all sides, as well as giving them a well pressed quilt top, with all of the excess threads trimmed from the back.”

Road looks forward to having Jodi teach at Road to California 2022.

Zoom On In for Road@Home

Friday, November 6th, 2020

Road@Home, Road to California’s premiere online quilt show will be utilizing the video-conferencing network, Zoom, to broadcast its show to attendees all over the world. Road is recommending all attendees get familiar with using Zoom before Road@Home starts on January 23, 2021.

What is Zoom

zoom

Zoom was founded in 2011 as a cloud-based, online chat service. In just four years, Zoom’s video-conferencing product went from being a “scrappy upstart company” to being used by tens of millions of people all around the world. Earlier in 2020, Zoom saw a significant global increase in usage due to the introduction of quarantine measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By using the Zoom platform, Road to California can provide a quality quilt show experience to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Be Prepared

Road wants everyone attending Road@Home to have the best experience possible. That is why it has developed “common sense guidelines” on how to use Zoom during the Show:

1. Before the Show

● To avoid technical issues, Road to California recommends having multiple devices (Computer, Tablet and Phone) and two separate internet connections (home line and cellular) to ensure that if one drops you will still be able to be in class.

Zoom

Come to class prepared with fabric cut or other pre-class work completed.

● Sharing the room number or password to anyone is prohibited. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of every class. Only those individuals who have paid for the class will be permitted to remain. Road will be using the waiting room function. Only registered participants will be able to enter the class.

2. During Your Class

Be on time. Teachers will not be starting over or reteaching to late comers. No refunds will be given to late attendees.

Cameras must be active and on during the entire class.

● Only one student per registration per device camera. Anyone caught with multiple people on a camera with a single registration, will be removed from the Zoom class and will not be eligible for a refund.

● Because all participants can be seen during the class, students are urged to dress appropriately. Casual attire “like you would to a grocery store” is suggested.

● To prevent outside disruptions, microphones must be muted unless when asking a question.

● The chat function will be enabled during the class to communicate with the teacher.  

● Teachers will only be teaching what is listed in the class description.

● Recording or use of photography during a class is prohibited.

Training

One way to become familiar with participating in a Zoom Meeting, is to take advantage of Live Training Webinars offered by Zoom. By scheduling in advance, participants can get up to speed with Zoom in less than an hour.

Prior to the start of Road@Home, Road to California will be offering its own Zoom Information Session as well as provide handouts on how to use Zoom. Road highly recommends that all guests use these tools to insure a positive online quilt class experience.   

Twenty-first Century technology has enabled Road to California to continue to offer its Best in the West quilt show during unprecedented times. Everyone working together to observe common courtesy during the Zoom classes will ensure a great experience for everyone.  

DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

A lot of people have been sewing in 2020. With a slower pace brought on by lockdowns and quarantines, many individuals have either started to sew, returned to sewing, or upped their sewing game. All that sewing and quilting means a lot of sewing machines are being used – which is a great thing. But it also means that those sewing machines need some purposeful attention to make sure they are working at their best. That attention includes regular and frequent cleaning – some of which can by be done DIY at home.

Why DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning

Road reached out to Bill Pollard, co-owner and frequent Road Sponsor, Pollard’s Sew Creative, who has been kept more busy than usual in 2020 servicing sewing machines. Bill has over 30 years’ experience repairing sewing machines.

DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning

Generally, he fixes 3 sewing machines a day, five days a week, and keeps a log of all his repairs.

DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning

Bill started off by saying many of his customers feel so proud when they bring in their sewing machine and brag to him, “I’ve had my machine for 25 years and this is the first time I’ve ever had to bring it in.”  What that is actually telling Bill is that they have neglected their machine for 24 years. Undoubtedly, when he opens the machine up, he finds that it is filthy inside and many of the parts are not working. Bill says that some of this wear and tear can be avoided if the owner spends some time with DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning. Here are 5 most common complaints Bill receives and what a sewing machine owner can do to avoid them:

Thread

Using poor quality thread wears a machine down. Thread begins to rot after 5 years. Old or bad thread causes lint to collect, both in the top and bottom of a machine. When thread is old, it also frays, disrupting the tension. “The biggest problem I find in older sewing machines is that the sewer is using old thread,” said Bill. What is considered good thread? “Any thread that costs more than $2.50,” replied Bill. Thread from Road Vendors like Superior Threads, Sulky of America, and Wonderfil Specialty Threads.  

To avoid thread issues, Bill recommends cleaning out the tension area regularly.

Needles

Did you know that one out of every 100 needles produced is a bad needle? Therefore, there’s a chance the brand-new needle you are putting in your machine is a bad needle. Another way needles get in the way of efficient sewing is that they wear out and become dull.

What DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning attention should be given to avoid issues with your needle?

  1. Change your needle every 10 hours or with every project
  2. Use the right needle for your project
  3. Never use a “Singer” needle in a European sewing machine
  4. Be careful not to overtighten a needle when inserting it into the machine as it might strip the screw. When possible, only tighten by hand.

Tension

When customers come in and complain that “My machine doesn’t sew,” or “I’m getting looping,” Bill knows right away there is a tension issue. Bill related there are two areas to pay attention to with tension: flossing the tension and the tension dial.

Flossing your thread means making sure your thread has gone through the tension unit. The tension unit is made up of two washers that push together during sewing, putting pressure on the thread. To make sure the tension is working properly, as you thread your machine, the pressure foot needs to be up so the washers are open. If the pressure foot is down, the washers are closed, and the thread just lays on top of the washers. This results in looping on the back side of your project.  Bill added that you can test to see if your tension is set properly by lightly tugging on the thread. If it resists, you are ready to put the pressure foot down and begin sewing.   

Regarding the tension dial, Bill said it should never be set to zero. He always encourages customers to play with the tension dial especially when using different weight thread.

Bobbin Case

A bobbin case should be cleaned out after every use due to lint collection. DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning in the bobbin area is easy. Simply blowing on the case will get rid of the lint.

Another area of lint collection is with the feed dogs. Take off the plate and use tweezers to remove the lint.  

Bill says that you should never use a bobbin that wasn’t made for your machine. Buy bobbins only from a dealer and not online. Generic bobbins that “works with” a type of machine are similar in size and shape but are not an exact fit.

Never wind a bobbin with more than one color thread. This plays havoc with tension especially if the threads are different weights.

Clean the Outside of a Sewing Machine

Bill related that this should be an obvious DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning step but many people ignore it. Dust it off after each use to avoid lint build up using a rag and a general-purpose cleaner like 409. Don’t put stickers or permanent ink on the outside of the machine.  

These are great DIY Sewing Machine Cleaning Tips that should be done regularly to preserve your machine. However, Bill also recommends taking in your machine for professional cleaning and care at least every year. If you are a heavy sewer (sewing daily), you should take your machine in every 6-8 months.. One of the most important things a professional sewing machine repair person does is oil the inner most part of your machine. While you might think your machine does not need oiling, (that statement only refers to consumers doing the oiling), Bill reminds us that all machines require oil that only professionals can do.

A sewing machine is an investment. Like an automobile, it needs to be maintained and serviced regularly to perform at its best.

Road@Home Registration Guide

Friday, October 30th, 2020

This guide may look the same, but with Road@Home, there is one additional step to register. Please pay close attention to how to change your conference so registration appears!

In the photo above you can see our main website at www.road2ca.com which now has a login button and a My Account tab.

Here is the log in page where you can log into your account. You can also reset your password if you forgot it.

This is the reset password page where you can reset your password. 

If you have never taken classes before you can create a new account. Please note: accounts must have a unique email address. If your friend wants to take a class with you, they need their own account to register for a class.

If you are trying to register on a mobile device or your computer screen is smaller you will not have the login button or the tabs at the top, but instead three bars in the right hand corner.

You will want to click on the three bars and you will receive a drop down menu where you can login.

Now we need to make sure we are in the correct conference. Due to us postponing Road to California 2021. You can actually still register for the classes as they are postponed to 2022.

How to Change Your Conference

You want to make sure once you are on the Choose Conference page that your active conference is listed as Road@Home. If it is not you can change it using the drop down menu on the page.

Now that you are logged into your account and in the correct conference you will use the My Account Tab to enter the Registration process by clicking Register.

The Registration system is similar to how the old system is. You will click Add to Cart to add a class to your schedule and use the drop-down menu to travel between days. You can click the title of a class to go straight to that classes specific information page. Also, you will find a separate page for Volunteer Opportunities.

All of your classes and volunteer shifts will end up in your schedule as shown above with your Events/Classes to be Purchased below. The Registration Fee is only charged once and is added to your cart automatically.

The last section is the payment section which will then lead into the Registration Confirmation section.

When you click the Register Button please only click it once and do not click the reload or back button on your browser, wait for the system to take you to the next step. By clicking it multiple times you are causing the system to record multiple error payments. 

On the first day of general registration at 8 am we always suggest having the list of classes you want to take written down and that you prioritize registering for the class you want the most. Sadly, some classes can sell out quickly, but you can always add to the waitlist in case of an opening later.

If you have any questions about classes or the cancellation policy you can find them at https://online.roadtocalifornia.com/pageroad.php?ID=92.

Remember, General Registration begins November 3rd at 8 am PST for Road@Home.

Moving Forward

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

One of the highlights of each Road to California Quilt Show is the anticipation of which quilt, from the over 200 accepted for the quilt contest, will be recognized as the Best of Show Winner by the judges.  

Because Road is moving forward in 2021 with an all online quilt show, Road@Home, the decision was made not to have our traditional quilt contest. Details for a quilt contest that is more conducive to the online format are being finalized and will be announced soon. Road is confident that they will receive many entries from excited quilters and can’t wait to see everyone’s creativity with the new categories.

Even though going forward for 2021 means no Best of Show quilt, we can still appreciate all the hard work and dedication from the makers and quilters of the last two Best of Show quilts.

Janet Stone

Janet Stone first started making quilts out of printed panels and tied with yarns back in the 80’s. Moving forward, she started quilting again, between lots of cross stitching, about 1995. Janet finally got “serious” about quilting in 2006 when she bought a new sewing machine. She entered a show in 2008 with the first quilt that she designed that had an alphabet in it and won 3 ribbons. That first winning experience, “immediately hooked” Janet on quilting for shows.

Janet is known for her trademark alphabet quilts. She decided to do a series of 26 alphabet quilts and Garden Variety Sampler, the 2019 Road to California Best of Show, is number 17 in the series.

moving forward

Garden Variety Sampler was inspired by Janet’s many years of stitching reproduction antique cross stitch samplers. She was also inspired by some Japanese quilts that she had seen in several shows that use taupe fabrics, which Janet loves. The layout of Garden Variety Sampler was loosely based on a page from an antique children’s book, written by Walter Crane in 1878. It took Janet about 7 months to complete. She works a regular 9-6 office job, so is only able to quilt in the evenings and weekends. The quilt was designed the old fashioned way – using graph paper – and was quilted on a domestic sewing machine.

Marilyn Badger

Marilyn Badger has won several awards at Road to California and was even the Featured Artist in 2013. But moving forward and winning the Best of Show award at Road’s 25th Anniversary Show in 2020 was extra special. Marilyn commented, “I know how difficult Best of Show awards are to come by – the competition is incredible today! I also know how lucky I am when I win, whatever the award.”

Claudia Clark Myers came up with the design for Christmas at St. Andrews and challenged Marilyn to use the plaid fabric in the background. After all the piecing, appliqué and quilting, Marilyn really “had fun” adding the hand details and trims.

It took Marilyn about 9 months to complete Christmas in St. Andrews. She said that she tends to be somewhat obsessive about getting a quilt finished before starting another one. Quite a few were waiting in line when she was working on this one. By the time it was finished, she was more than ready to move on to the next one. Marilyn said she really learned a lot about matching plaid seams while making this quilt. She eventually used 6 yards of fabric by the time she fussy cut everything.

While we are moving forward with a new and innovative Show for 2021, we know we will be seeing more outstanding Best of Show winners starting again in 2022.

To learn more about Road@Home, please visit our website and be sure to opt in for our new and improved newsletter.

Remembering Best of Show Quilts- Part 2

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

This past week, our show’s owner, Matt Reese, announced changes to our annual quilt contest for Road@Home 2021. There will be three categories:

Could Be Your Grandma’s Quilt

A spin on traditional quilts including traditional blocks

What You See

Realistic imagery featuring pictorial and animal designs

What You Think You See

Non-realistic images

Details about the quilt contest will be available soon.

As we prepare for a different kind of show with a different kind of quilt contest, we wanted to spend some more time remembering some truly amazing quilts – Best of Show winners 2017 – 2018.

Remembering The Twisted Sister

In 2017, Margaret Solomon Gunn of Gorham, Maine, won $10,000 for The Twisted Sister. This quilt is the sister quilt (hence the name) to Margaret’s 2015 quilt, Bouquet Royale.  The earlier design featured the elongated hexagons of Lucy Boston, set on silk Radiance.  Margaret loved the process of hand piecing the fussy-cut pieces so much, she decided to do it again.  The Twisted Sister also has fussy-cut pieces, but they are regular hexagons.  They are not English Paper Piecing, but rather a hand-pieced technique Maragret developed that is much better for custom quilting.  The colors in the quilt are Margaret’s “current fave” – pinks, greens and orange.  She also has a current addiction with silk, so Margaret revealed, “you can expect the backgrounds of my quilts to be silk Radiance for some time to come! It allows me to use bolder prints elsewhere because the quilting will always show beautifully on the silk.”  The Twisted Sister’s blocks feature a crazy zebra print (because Margaret says this sister is a whole lot more wilder!), and an asymmetrical twisting border.   There is also a twisting motif in the quilting of the outer border. It took Margaret about 16-17 months — from the time she started the blocks– to complete the quilt.  There is about 180 hours in the quilting alone and about 120 hours in the binding.  Margaret realizes that small points in judging “can be won and lost with finishing, so most of my quilts feature more unique edge treatments.”

2018 Best of Show: Fractal

Remembering

Like Margaret Solomon Gunn, German quilting pioneer, Claudia Pfeil, found new quilting creativity after she purchased her longarm machine in 2005. Remembering her purchase, Claudia said, that she found a way to “express myself through fabric and thread that was exciting, addictive and fun.” Claudia says that free-motion quilting gives her the freedom–“like an eagle flying over the mountains”– to play with spaces and quilting designs.

When Claudia begins a project, she likes to work with a theme. Themes challenge her, get her out of her comfort zone, and start her thinking “out of the box.” Her theme for Fractal was kaleidoscopes. Claudia searched Google for pictures of kaleidoscopes and endless links introduced her to fractals. She admits that before then, she really didn’t know what fractals were.  She became fascinated by their dynamic, vitality and vibrancy. Before falling asleep at night, she would collect dreams and visions of her theme and began thinking about how she could translate her visions into realistic designs. She began by preparing circles in different sizes out of white Dupioni silk on freezer paper templates. Next, she drew designs on to the circles, first with pencil, then if she was satisfied, she drew them with a black pen (Faber-Castell)  filling in the details and painted them with acrylic colors (Stewart Gill) and Tsukineko ink pens. Playing and creating the layers is one of the main parts of the quilt. Claudia tried to enhance this impression with the choice and placement of quilting designs. Using 100 wt black silk thread, it took several backtracking stitches around the outlines of the circle designs to repeat and enhance the black drawing lines. The design was couched with different yarns (for example Razzle Dazzle and Yli ) around all outlines, respecting again the different layers to create a foreground and a background. Her final touch? 30,000 Swarovski Crystals!!! Besides learning about fractals, Claudia also learned by trial and error how to use mixed types of ink and paints and pens while making Fractal. She commented, “I learned that it is hard to get rid of pencil drawings on silk.”

Remembering past winners is a great way to be inspired for new quilting ideas.