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Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

Affordable Quilting and Technology

Monday, September 14th, 2020

The Grace Company is one of Road to California’s newest sponsors. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, they came to Road 2020 to get their name out to more quilters and share their vision of quilting and technology.

quilting and technology

The Grace Company is Quality, Value, and Experience  

A leader in the quilting industry for over 30 years, The Grace Company products have not only revolutionized the industry, but they have also given those with a love of quilting “the ability to create masterpieces almost beyond belief.” The Grace Company has become the number one producer of both machine and hand quilting frames. They have also expanded to specialize in quilting hoops, rotary cutting notions and quilting machines, utilizing affordable quilting and technology.

The Grace Company is known for their outstanding leadership in three areas:

Quality– Their machines are built as reliable as any other high-end long arm machine

Value– The Grace Company purposely keeps their prices down by focusing on what is required for an optimal quilting experience, not just convenience.  

Experience– Through customer interaction, The Grace Company relies on customer satisfaction over time to remain relevant and competitive.

Strategic Partners in the Quilting Industry

The Grace Company has teamed up with other well-known quilting brands who together, want to drive the quilting industry forward. These brands include, Handi-Quilter, Gammill, Bernina and Juki. “We are fortunate to work with all levels of companies to help all levels of users,” shared Nathan Erznoznik, Director of Marketing and Sales for The Grace Company. “We are truly team players as all of us have our company’s best interests in mind. We encourage people to go to other companies if we don’t have what they are looking for. In return, these companies will send people to us who are looking for the best quality for the best value.”  

A Quality Rail System  

Grace Frames are known for the smooth and fluid feel of their track and carriage system. When using a machine quilting frame, a sewing machine sits on a carriage, which rolls back and forth on a track. Grace frames utilize smooth ball bearings in high-quality steel wheels that practically glide along the plastic tracks in the frame.

quilting and technology

The value of their quilting frames allows people to get into The Grace Company’s quilting and technology system at half the price of what their competitors charge. They were the first company to offer a midline long arm machine for under $6,000. “We are able to provide the first experience into mid-value long arm machines for our customers,” said Nathan.

Road 2020

The Grace Company was excited to be a new sponsor at Road 2020. Remarked Nathan, “Road has a fantastic location, great crowds and comes at a great time of the year.”

Quilting and Technology

To learn more about this innovative company that combines quilting with technology, visit their website.

You Asked, We Answered!

Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Two weeks ago we sponsored a drawing on Facebook for one of our brand new 2021 Fleece Jackets (they actually haven’t been embroidered yet – the picture was the prototype!) To enter the drawing we asked what would you like to see for Road 2021. We got some great feedback, and thought we’d make Matt write a blog and address some of the more frequently asked questions!

Road Jacket

Suggestions for 2021 and Beyond

Food & Beverage

One of the top comments was regarding food service at the Ontario Convention Center (OCC). Lots of requests for food trucks, shorter lines and more choices. Once the convention center has reopened with their staff we will directly address your concerns with them. I would personally love to see food trucks at Road! However, the rules working with OCC and convincing the food truck owners that quilters eat (we try and try again) seem to keep them away.

Additionally, another food related question was about bringing your own food into the building. OCC has a strict no outside food and beverage policy allowed. Almost all major convention centers share this policy. It has to do with liability – if you get some sort of food borne illness from your own food, OCC may have a liability (or at least that’s what they tell us.)

Chairs & Seating

We always receive tons of feedback regarding the amount of seating in the building or better stated, the lack thereof. Our hands are tied based on the rules of the Ontario Fire Marshall. We try to maximize the available seating based on what is permitted. Your safety is our #1 priority; therefore we will not place chairs that block egress which tends to be most empty spaces.

Wider Aisles

This is one of my favorites. We cannot make the aisles bigger. Why you ask? The electrical is set up for 10′ booths on 10′ aisles. This forces our footprint on a 10′ aisle since the electrical is in the floor. If we deviated from that, we would have massive trip hazards through the aisles. Unfortunately it is simply not possible.

Scooters, Wheel Chairs & Walkers

We receive lots of comments about mobility devices. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) we cannot limit the number of mobility devices or impose restrictions on when the devices can be used in the building.

Special Show Hours

Our current hours are 9 AM – 5:30 PM. In the past 10 years we added 30 minutes in the morning and took away 30 minutes in the evening. We survey our vendors each year to determine when the bulk of their sales occur and then ask them about the hours. In sticking with Road’s history of being a very vendor friendly show we respect the time and labor that our vendors invest in their booths. We will not ask a vendor to be open to a limited audience in the morning or for later crowds when the crowd thins out at the end of the day.

Classes

For 2022 The Grace Company has tentatively agreed to sponsor a third Longarm Room for Road in addition to Handi Quilter and Innova! That means MORE LONGARM CLASSES! We will continue to investigate Machine Embroidery and Ultra Beginner classes (However these classes may make an appearance at Road@Home…..)

COVID-19 & Attendance Capacity

Looking forward to 2021 – we are still awaiting guidance on what the attendance policy will be from the State of California due to COVID-19. I can’t imagine that by January the state will permit Road to operate without limits in place. As this is still a developing situation, we will keep you updated as we know more. Expect to see a big update after the beginning of October.

P.S. – We are optimistically hopeful that COVID will no longer be a concern in January…. But we’re realists too.

Move to a Bigger Building

For the past 6 years we have been investigating the possibility of leaving our home in Ontario California for a larger facility to accommodate our vendors, quilts, and classes under one roof. While we have investigated numerous options, none have met our high standards for Road. Currently, there are no plans to relocate Road, however due to the ever expanding nature of the show, do not rule it out.

Looking Forward

Road@Home

There were some comments regarding zoom classes which you can find at Road@Home. Our goal is to have a vast catalog of classes – one of the largest in the history of Road. There is SO MUCH coming out of Road@Home – make sure you subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss a single announcement!

The Return of Roundabout?

A favorite of long time Roadies, Roundabout is an event where teachers and vendors offer short demos of techniques or new products. Will this event be return to a Road to California event near you? Subscribe to our newsletter for more details about Roundabout 2.0!

P.S. I’m pretty sure you will hear about this soon.

Anything I missed?

What did I miss? There were so many comments I know I couldn’t address them all. Comment on the post and I’ll do my best to answer them before I turn the blog back over to the Road staff!

Matt

Old Quilts Into New Designs

Monday, August 31st, 2020

Jennifer Emry won $1,000 for Blue Window from Sponsor, Wonderfil Specialty Threads at Road to California 2020.

Old Quilts Into New Designs

Meet Jennifer Emry

A resident of Arlington Virginia, Jennifer Emry likes to explore the possibilities of turning old quilts into new designs.

Jennifer became a quilter by first, collecting antique and early 20th Century quilt tops during the 1990’s.  She fell in love with the fabrics.  Not too long after, a quilter friend showed Jennifer how to hand quilt. Jennifer began hand quilting on some of the early tops in her collection. It wasn’t long after that she was “off on the journey.”  Along the way, Jennifer said she learned how to turn old quilts into new designs by repairing damaged quilts, straighten crooked work that did not lie flat, and creating what seemed to her, good designs. 

Jennifer has won many awards for turning old quilts into new designs. The first show she entered was the 2011 AQS Lancaster Show.  That same year, two of her quilts were entered and accepted into AQS Paducah Show.  The first prize Jennifer ever won was in 2012 at AQS Grand Rapid. She received first place in the category, Hand Quilted Wall quilts.

The Journey for Blue Window

Jennifer describes her winning Judge’s Choice Quilt at Road 2020, a color and value study using blue fabrics in squares.

Old Quilts Into New Designs

Blue Window was started in December 2018. The quilting was finished in April 2019.  Jennifer says that she learned that “inspiration comes from working, not from waiting for inspiration.” Experiencing an artistic block, Jennifer started working with squares of fabric in a square-in-square pattern just to keep sewing.  She says she “loved the calm, simple design.” Jennifer used “black and white photos to adjust the arrangement of the squares until the values were the way I wanted them.”

Old Quilts Into New Designs

Winning Entries

Jennifer Emry actually won 2 awards at Road 2020. She first found out that she had received second-place in the category, Modern Abstract, for her quilt, Brush Strokes. She received $750 from Sponsor, Quilters Dream Batting, for this entry.

Old Quilts Into New Designs

She didn’t hear about the Judges Award (given by John Flynn) until a few days later because the email announcing her selection, went straight to her junk folder. 

What is Jennifer going to do with her winnings from Road 2020? “I’m banking it until the perfect antique ukulele comes along.”

Thank you, Jennifer Emry, for sharing with the fiber art world how to turn old quilts into new designs.

Collage Quilting with Laura Heine

Friday, August 28th, 2020

Laura Heine will be teaching two, all day classes at Road to California 2021

On Monday, January 18th 1006C – Scarlet, Lady Bug Collage

Collage Quilting

And on Wednesday, January 20th, 3003C – Vino! Collage A Glass Of Wine!

Collage Quilting

Meet Laura Heine

Laura Heine is one of the most popular teachers and vendors at Road to California. She has been sharing her unique collage quilting at Road since 2014.

A native of Montana, this registered nurse gave up a full-time nursing position to open her quilt shop in Billings in 1994 and has “never regretted it.”   Laura is the mother of two grown children – daughter Jenna and son Brandon.  Her best friend is her Labrador, Hannah, who comes to work with her every day.

Laura started quilting over 35 years ago when she was expecting her first child. She took a quilting class so that she could be able to say “I made one quilt in my life.” Laura figured after the baby came, her chances to quilt again would be lost. Not true!! Since then, Laura has made countless quilts and has gone on to be a fabric designer, teacher, author and thread designer.

When she isn’t collage quilting, Laura enjoys glamping— glamorous/luxury camping. She owns a pink 1956 Shasta trailer that she restored. She takes it on all travels that she drives to including every time she teaches at Road to California. It’s always fun to see her pink trailer in the parking lot of the Ontario Convention Center!!

Fiberworks

Collage Quilting

Laura’s business in Montana, Fiberworks, is a 5,000 square foot shop where “talent, imagination and fun meets fabric, patterns, quilts, threads, and classes.” It supports a community of fiber artists that includes those just starting out, those whose work proudly adorns Fiberworks’ walls, and a delightful rainbow of colors in between. It’s a “quilter’s heaven” where “friends and quilters are invited to just bring your imagination.”

Collage Quilting

Laura’s collage quilts have received world-wide attention! She travels throughout the states lecturing and teaching her collage quilting technique.

Laura is always coming up with new ways to make collage quilts.  Recently she has chosen to collage the entire quilt!  Backgrounds of some of the quilts may appear pieced but they are actually collaged.

The first time Laura came to Road, her most popular collage quilting design was the Paisley Bear Floral Collage.

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Over the years, she has expanded her designs to include other animals, insects, florals, and people.

collage quilting

Welcome back to Road to California, Laura Heine and Fiberworks. To learn more about Laura and her company, visit her website.   

Double Winner at Road 2020

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

First time Road to California quilt contest contestant, Cassandra Beaver, was a double winner at Road 2020. She won Honorable Mention in the Other Large category for Complementary Convergence and she won $2,500 from Sponsor, The Grace Company, for Outstanding Modern Quilt, Lateral Ascension.

double winner

A Winning Sewer at an Early Age

Road’s 2020 double winner, Cassandra Beaver, grew up enjoyed watching her Mom sew and quilt. When Cassandra was about four, her mother started teaching her how to sew.  Cassandra finished her first doll/wall quilt when she was eight years old. She continued learning to sew and making quilt projects for the next ten years in 4-H and has been sewing and quilting ever since.

In high school, Cassandra entered the fashion show portion of the AQS show in Paducah.  She recalls that it was a lot of fun meeting so many talented quilters during the show.  Cassandra ended up receiving an award for the best student entry.

As a college student, Cassandra worked in the theatre department costume shop, sewing theatrical costumes and soft props. She continued this work for many years following graduation. Then, in 2014, Cassandra returned to quilting, creating a modern interpretation of a log cabin quilt made using a potholder quilt technique.  That quilt was accepted into the Paducah AQS Show.  

Outstanding Modern Quilt

Lateral Ascension was inspired by Cassandra’s work in the theater department. Says Cassandra, “As a theater designer, I drafted quite a few spiral staircases.  This quilt design is based on the side view of a staircase draft in the very beginning stages. The quilt shows the simplified placement of stair treads prior to adding the handrail and spindles.”

double winner

Cassandra first made a mini quilt version of her design concept a couple of years prior to constructing the larger quilt.  She adjusted the proportions and techniques a bit before making the second quilt. She had felt confident with the design before she began the construction process.  Actual construction time was just under two weeks because she was really hoping to get it done in time to enter a show!

Lateral Ascension was the first quilt that Cassandra experimented with combining large stitch hand quilting with machine quilting. The colors of the quilting thread were chosen to add to the design.  Matchstick quilting stitches in a heavier 12 weight thread pull the color of each stair tread out to the edge of the quilt. Cassandra shared, “When you first look at the quilt, the color palette appears quite limited, but when you look more closely, you will see that all primary and secondary colors are represented in the design.”

double winner

Double Winner

Cassandra wasn’t able to attend Road 2020, so she depended on Instagram friends to let her know how she fared. She was “stunned” to receive a photo with a ribbon on Lateral Ascension. Then, when she received another picture, this time of Complementary Convergence with a ribbon on it, Cassandra says she “was over the moon!  It’s amazing to win one award, but two was beyond my wildest dreams!”

Future Plans

The prize money for Lateral Ascension was used toward the purchase of a much-needed laptop upgrade.

This double winner had been preparing patterns to be released for wholesale at Spring Quilt Market, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Creatively, she is working on a 100-day project that she started on January 1st and had hoped to have finished by April 9th.  It is a blue and white improvisational log cabin quilt that is constructed entirely from her scrap and stash fabrics.

To learn more about double winner, Cassandra Beaver, please visit her website.

The World of Precut Fabric

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

When you don’t want to cut out fabric or when you want to play around with all the variations of a particular fabric, then precut fabric is what you need.

What is Precut Fabric?

Precut fabric is a bundle of fabric cut to a specific size shape. It is often sold as part of a collection so that all the designs work well. Precut fabric includes fat quarters, jelly roll strips, and squares in either 5” charm packs or 10” layer cakes.

Charm Packs are the most popular because they adapt well to quilt making. They are perfect for one- and four-patch blocks, half-square triangles, and lots of other smaller pieced designs.

Jelly Roll Strips are 2-1/2 inches wide and 42 inches long. They are very versatile as they can be used for quilts that specifically calls for strips, as part of strip-pieced blocks (like a rail fence or nine patch) or for sashing and bindings.

Measuring 18” x 22”, fat quarters are generally the most expensive of the precut fabrics, but they also yield the most pieces of fabric when they are cut. It’s important to iron them before cutting to get all the folds out.

Benefits of Using Precut Fabric

When Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Co. presented her trunk show at Road to California 2018, she shared that she was a huge fan of precut fabric for the following reasons:

They Save Time – Time in cutting out fabric and time in sewing. “It only takes 1-1/2 hours to make a quilt from a layer cake pack,” remarked Jenny.

They Make Matching Fabrics Simple – Jenny told the crowd that she doesn’t “do colors.” She continued, “Being good with fabric is a gift and a talent.” Jenny noted that not many people – including herself – have that talent. She would much rather trust the designers who put the precuts together then her own fabric matching ability.

They Cut Down On The Overwhelm Factor – It’s a lot easier to work with 10 fabric precuts that have been coordinated in to one collection than try to match on your own fabric from 40 different bolts of similar yardage.

Did You Buy Enough?

A problem with using precut fabric is that they are only cut and packaged once. Which means, if you didn’t purchase enough the first time, there probably won’t be any available if you need to go back for more. That’s why it is important to purchase the right amount for the size quilt you are making.

At Road 2018, Jenny introduced the crowd to a handy spiral bound pamphlet that Missouri Start Quilt Co. has published, the Quilter’s Precut Companion. It has everything you would want to know about making quilts using precuts including a chart that explains how many precuts are needed for popular size quilts.

Have you tried using precut fabric in a quilt?

The Quilters Version of Social Distancing

Friday, August 7th, 2020

Beginning in March 2020, quilters (and everyone else in the United States) were asked to social distance to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. What exactly does social distancing look like for quilters?  

Social distancing

Definition

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posting on July 22, 2020, “Social distancing is the practice of increasing the space between individuals and decreasing the frequency of contact to reduce the risk of spreading a disease (ideally to maintain at least 6 feet between all individuals, even those who are asymptomatic). Social distancing strategies can be applied on an individual level (e.g., avoiding physical contact), a group level (e.g., canceling group activities where individuals will be in close contact), and an operational level (e.g., rearranging chairs in the dining hall to increase distance between them).”

Quilters have been extremely creative in determining how far social distancing is when it comes to sewing:

Is could be two yardsticks

Social Distancing
The Voice of Road, Randy Graves,social distancing by yardstick

Or 11 Olfa rotary cutters lying end to end…

It could also be 7 average sized quilt books laid end to end…

Did you know that a bobbin is ¾” or that a number 11 appliqué needle is 1 1/8’ long? How many bobbins or needles would it take to reach the recommended 6 feet of social distancing?

social distancing

Quilting by Social Distancing

Many of our Road to California fans have reported that their quilt guilds have continued their meeting schedules by holding them on Zoom. Is yours one of them?

In March, The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts launched a collaborative art project meant to encourage artists staying at home to keep creating. This open call invited participants from throughout the world to submit a 12 x 12-inch quilt block documenting their individual and collective experiences of quarantine and keeping their social distancing. By mid-June, the museum had received over 300 very diverse blocks from artists throughout Wisconsin, as well as many other states, and as far away as the Netherlands and Israel. The museum began stitching them together and will be presenting a special exhibit, The Quarantine Quilt, beginning August 7th and running through November 15th.

The Quilter’s Guild of North Dakota was “grieving over the loss of our 2020 quilt show,” so they offered to their members to do their own version of the Wisconsin Museum quilt challenge, using the same rules. They hope to have their quilts ready to display for 2021 Metro Quilt Expo.

Quilt block by Colleen Anderson

Stevii Graves, Road’s director of classes, recently had a birthday. To celebrate, she came up with the perfect social distancing idea: “quilting outside on a beautiful day with beautiful friends.” Stevii reported that several “neighbors stopped by to say hello and to see why three women were sitting and laughing in the driveway! Life is good…. especially since cake was also involved!”

social distancing

Quilters have certainly proved that even during a pandemic, they can still be resourceful and creative while social distancing.

Best Group Quilt: Sew Eclectic

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

The winning Best Group Quilt, Broken Shell Beach, won $1,000 from sponsor, Yazzii International Pty Ltd.

Sew Eclectic

Working on a quilt by yourself can be challenging; working on a quilt with ten friends can be even more taxing—but also a lot of fun!!!

Who is Sew Eclectic?

Sew Eclectic is an “Art Quilt Group.” They have been members of various local guilds and often congregated together outside of their respective guild meetings.  Several years ago, they saw a need for a smaller group focused on art quilting and critique.  At the time, “we were a rare breed,” but today, “there are many more art quilters creating beautiful art in both Tulare and Kings Counties.”

All of the members of Sew Eclectic have been regular participants in their regional, Best of the Valley Quilt Show, for several years.  Some of the group have entered quilts in national shows. But for many of Sew Eclectic, Road to California 2020 was the first time to have their work hang  at the show.

Sew Eclectic

Members of Sew Eclectic that worked on Broken Shell Beach included Alice Chitwood, Barbara Daniel, Kristin Eilers, DeAnn Farris, Suzanne Kistler, Charlotte Rogers, Barbara Sawyer, Beth Shaffer, Sharon Scholta, Debbie Van Fossen. While most of the group made one block for the finished project, Suzanne and Debbie each contributed two squares.

Inspiration for Broken Shell Beach

Each year, Sew Eclectic, issues a challenge to its members. For 2018, they chose a picture Suzanne had taken in Oceanside, California a few years before. Suzanne is a habitual shell seeker and on this particular trip, she took many walks along the beach.  Unfortunately, the only shells she found were all broken shells.  Despite their brokenness, the colors and textures were still enough to cause Suzanne to collect a bowl full.  She took a photo of the shells, enlarged it, and thought that the image would make a great quilt.

Sew Eclectic

The instructions were wide open: “using your favorite techniques, recreate your portion of the image in fabric.” Each member of the group had one year to complete their block. Many of the quilters waited until the last month or two to finish their contribution because they were “intimidated” by the project. It ended up being “the most difficult piece they have ever tackled.”

Sew Eclectic

It was a challenge to assemble the quilt as it was discovered that the finished blocks were different sizes.  The original idea had been to just whipstitch them together, but everyone thought “that would have just looked tacky.” A friend suggested using the fishing net, “which was genius.”  The group recalled that it was “not easy to get the quilts to hang well in position – a fish net has a mind of its own! – but eventually everything hung to our satisfaction.”  Everyone was surprised by how successful the project ended up being.

Road 2020

Suzanne was the first to learn their quilt had won Best Group Quilt. A friend was at Preview Night and sent a text to Suzanne accompanied by a photo of the quilt “wearing its beautiful rosette.”  The news and photo were quickly shared with the other members of the group.

Their prize money was used to cover the cost of entry fees and shipping to quilt shows around the country. Sew Eclectic wanted to make sure and thank the sponsor of their winning design, Yazzii International Pty Ltd, for the generous award, and the judges, for selecting our quilt as its recipient.

Road 2021 Class Registration

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

We were thrilled to announce our Road to California 2021 quilt classes last month. The teachers are top notch and the classes offer a wide variety of techniques for all skill levels. The excitement continues as class registration to the general public begins Saturday, August 1st at 8:00 AM.

Tips for Success

Preparation is the key for having the best chance in registering for the classes of your choice. We have created these 8 Tips for Success for your class registration:  

Note: Tips 1 -4 should be done before you begin class registration

Tip #1: Log into your account on the Road to California website to verify your password and how-to login.

Class Registration

Tip #2:  Review the updated Cancellation Policy

Tip #3: Prioritize your list of classes from most important to the least important.

Tip #4: Review Road’s Registration Guide to be up to date with the latest process.

When you register:

Tip #5: Register for a popular class or teacher first.

Class Registration

Tip #6: If a class is full, get on the waitlist. All classes have been capped due to social distancing guidelines. As guidelines change, we hope to open more seats.

Tip #7: If you experience any problems with your class registration, please email us right away at info@roadtocalifornia.com. Our team will be working through the emails as quickly as possible. We suggest waiting 24 hours before reaching back out to us if we did not respond.

Tip #8: After registering, always check your email to make sure you received your confirmation and double check your class schedule.

Class Registration

COVID-19 Considerations

We are optimistic for an in-person event for 2021. However, we also understand that COVID-19 is unpredictable and can cause an abrupt cancellation/postponement. For these reasons, we have developed polices regarding a show cancellation or a show postponement.

If Road 2021 is cancelled in its entirety and nothing from Road 2021 will be offered at a future event, a full and complete refund of all fees paid will be given.

If Road 2021 can be postponed to 2022, and are able to offer the same classes, class registrations will be automatically transferred to the future dates. If a class is not available for future dates, refunds will be given for class payments. Guests may cancel their Road 2021 class registration outright within 7 days after an announced postponement. If there are no changes to a guest’s schedule, Road will offer a 75% refund and a 25% credit for the following year. In this situation, since we are offering guests the same experience, the registration fee is non-refundable. Complete details on our COVID-19 policy can be found on our website.

While Road to California 2021 will look different from our past shows, the quality and variety will never change for the Best in the West quilt show.

Road 2021 Vendor and Teacher: French European

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Did you visit French European at Road 2020? If so, you were shopping with a world renown company.

French European

What is French European?

French European started 45 years ago. It began as brothers doing scissor sharpening all over the United States and today it is a 3rd generation establishment that has added selling fashion and sewing supplies.

Three years ago, French European became known as the premier manufacturer of dress forms. They specialize in helping people with garment fitting issues all over the United States. The reason why the company is called, French European, is because the dress forms are made in Paris.

Owner, Joe Vecchiarelli

A Certified Fit Specialist, Joe Vecchiarelli has made a career in the garment industry, making dress forms so that when garments are constructed, they properly fit their owner. He is best known for his work with fitting television celebrities. He has helped create the body forms for outfits made for stars of the Seinfeld Show, Drew of Property Brothers and Dolly Parton (Joe said she was challenging. He felt a huge sense of accomplishment because he created a form that matched her body perfectly).

French European

Perhaps Joe’s most popular work has been with the hit television show, Dancing with the Stars. Before a season starts, Joe and his team create body forms for all the dancers. Then, the dancers and celebrities begin the arduous training for the show, dancing every day for weeks. As the season progresses, Joe is able to adjust the dress forms up or down to make the various costume changes work throughout the season. Some of his most memorable – and challenging — celebrity clients on Dancing with the Stars included Kristi Alley, Paula Deen, Candace Cameron Barre, Sean Spicer, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.    

Creating a Body Form

It took years of trial and error and modern technology to develop French European’s patented body forms. Each body form is unique to the individual. Their construction is based around weight: the weight of the individual at the time of the pre-cast and the projected weight if the person loses 10-20 pounds. A 3-D body scan is taken of the person with all of their clothes on and is kept in a data base. The body form can then be adjusted as the weight goes down.

Road 2021

Once again, French European will be a vendor at Road. And for the first time, Joe Vecchiarelli will be sharing his vast knowledge and expertise by teaching two, three hour evening lecture classes:

4066C – Commercial Notions For The Home Studio

French European

5068C – Fitting A Dress Form To You

French European

Road is excited to share an industry icon such as French European at the 2021 Show. To learn more about French European, please visit their website.