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Welcome to the Road to California Blog

Road 2020 Show News

January 10th, 2020

It’s almost here: Road to California 2020-25th Anniversary Show. We have important Show News to share regarding 9 new things happening at this special celebration:

Show News #1: The Road to California Booth has grown!!! For 2020, we’ve opened the booth so guests can walk right in and browse all the Road merchandise for sale—the most we’ve ever had. It’s a great place to shop for one-of-a-kind Road items either for yourself or for your quilting friends back home. We are still located at the front of the main exhibit hall. Thank you, Pat Yamin, for your innovative ideas.  Come check us out!!!  

Show News #2: New location for Show Quilts. In years past, show quilts were mixed in with the vendors in the Exhibit Hall. Top prizes like Best of Show and the Marie White Masterpiece Award will still be located near the front of the Exhibit Hall. But other winners, like the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners in various categories as well as 17 Special Exhibits (our most ever) will all be set up for viewing in the ballroom. All hanging quilts will be enhanced with LCD lighting for improved enjoyment.  

Show News #3: The Tentmakers of Egypt are returning to Road, but with different artisans to entertain guests. Welcome Ekramy Hanafy & Ahmed Kamal who will be assisting in Jenny Bowker’s classes. They will also be located at the front of the Exhibit Hall, giving live demonstrations and selling applique work that they brought with them from Egypt. Most of the money received from selling their Egyptian applique quilts will go back to the Egyptian Tentmaking program in Egypt to maintain this lost art and support humanitarian efforts.

Show News

Show News #4: 25th Anniversary Fabric has been created especially for the 2020 Show. You can purchase it in the Road Booth.

Show News #5: Introducing Quilt Challenges for 2021. The four new quilt challenges being announced are:

Road to California Fabric Design Challenge

Create a bag or garment using at least 50% of Road’s 25th Anniversary Fabric

Conspiracy Theory Challenge

Create 30”x30” quilts depicting family suited conspiracy theories

Twin Challenge

Have you heard? Road’s Show Owner, Matt Reese and his wife, Jen, are expecting twins later this year!! To commemorate this momentous occasion, quilts reflecting twins will be accepted.  

Children’s Special Exhibit

This exhibit featuring work from children ages 8-16 will be returning to Road.  

Show News #6: Multiple International Special Exhibits. For our anniversary show, various countries including France, Australia, and Egypt, will be sharing their quilts.  

Show News #7: Longarm Lecture/Demonstration Classes are returning to Road for the first time since 2009. This year features Karen Seifert as the master teacher. Classes will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Room 1043. Be sure to register!!!  

Show News

Show News #8: Road to California continues to expand its quilting and sewing focus by offering classes and vendors that feature garment construction and Cosplay innovative ideas.

Show News #9: Jenny Doan is returning to Road to present her fabulous show, Jenny on the Road. Tickets are still available for Friday at 7:00 PM and Saturday Morning at 8:30 AM.

Show news

Road 2020 will truly be all silver glitter and glam as we celebrate 25 years of our outstanding show. See you soon!!!    

A Shout Out To Our Sponsors

January 7th, 2020

One of the reasons why Road to California is a premier consumer quilt show is because of the amazing sponsors that contribute to the show. Says Road’s Owner, Matt Reese, “Our sponsors are what keeps us competitive.” Because of their generous support, Road continues to attract the industry’s finest entrants, teachers and vendors which are enjoyed by the thousands of our guests that attend our event.

The top three sponsor categories are:


Gammill Quilting Systems is Road’s premier sponsor. They donate $10,000 to the show, which goes toward the prize for the Best of Show quilt.



For Road 2020, there are five Emerald Sponsors. Each company donates $5,000 to the show, funding the cash prizes for the quilt contest awards that go toward Best Domestic and Longarm Quilt; Outstanding Artistry; Outstanding Wall Quilt; Director’s Choice; and Outstanding Large Quilt.

This year’s Emerald Sponsors include:

Baby Lock

Handi Quilter


Moore’s Sewing Center

Pollard’s Sew Creative



A Ruby Sponsor gives $2,250 that is used for the 1st through 3rd place prizes in such categories as Other Large; Mixed Large; Animal; Naturescape; Other Wall; Applique Wall; Pieced Wall, Abstract; Fantasy; and Mixed Wall. There are 13 Ruby Sponsors for Road 2020:

Pineapple Fabrics

ABM International, Inc /Innova

Bernina of America

Brother International Corporation

Elna Inc

Husqvarna Viking

Martelli Enterprises Inc.

Mountain Mist

OC Sewing and Vacuum


Quilters Dream Batting


The Grace Company


Additional Sponsors

There are four additional sponsor categories: Sapphire ($1,500), Gold ($1,000), Silver ($750) and Bronze ($500). Altogether, there are 50 more companies who offer financial support to the show in these categories.


Road to California is extremely grateful for the continued support of all of these great companies who sponsor the show. For the complete listing, please visit our website.

$5.00 Lectures For The Win

December 31st, 2019

Road to California provides guests with lots of opportunities to learn new quilting techniques and/or improve quilting skills they are already practicing by offering half and full day classes; $5.00 Lectures; and Demonstrations in our Vendor Booths.

Half and Full Day Classes

All of the half and full day classes available at Road to California are taught by a distinguished faculty who are experts in their field of expertise. Classes are geared to all levels of quilters, offering assistance with traditional to modern techniques, hand and machine quilting skills and the latest in surface-embellishment using paint, thread and embroidery. There are even “non-quilting” classes offered including beadwork, clothing construction and jewelry making.  

$5.00 Lecture

Although Road is only a few weeks away, there are still openings in several of our over 100 class offerings. You can check the latest availability on our website.

$5.00 Lectures

Maybe you don’t have time for an entire class. Or the class you wanted to attend is sold out.  Attending a $5.00 Lecture might be just what you are looking for. Lectures are designed as an intimate opportunity to hear from our experts on a specific topic.  They are informal and encourage questions and comments so that everyone benefits from sharing information. Each $5.00 Lecture lasts one hour and are in the same location every day. Attending these lectures are also a great way to rest from visiting the Show Floor and Special Exhibits.

$5.00 Lecture

The best way to attend these $5.00 Lectures are to register ahead of time in order to secure your spot. If there is space still available in a lecture the day and time it is offered, those wishing to attend can pay cash at the door.

Here is a sampling of the $5.00 Lectures being offered at Road 2020:

. 8401C Template (Rulers) and Machine Quilting – A Primer Course

. 8402C Dancing with Templates

. 8403C ByAnnies Bag Making Basics

. 8404C Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob

. 8405C Dancing on the Border

. 8406C Explore the World of English Paper Piecing

. 8407C Thread Ideas to Make Your Project Pop

. 8501C From France to Fabric with French General

. 8502C The Strip Piecied Mariners Compass!

. 8503C Wonder Curves Trunk Show

. 8504C Clover Tool School – Notions Magic

. 8505C Creating Enchanting Custom Fabric with Washable Tsukineko Inks

. 8506C Stripology Magic

. 8507C The Pop Culture Phenomoenon: Sewing for the Millenial Generation

. 8601C Refashion, Upcycle, Re-use: 3D Sewing

. 8602C Make It Modern

. 8603C Let the Color do the Work

. 8604C Batting, Batting, Batiing – Which Do I Pick?

$5.00 Lecture

. 8605C Fast & Furious Quilt as You Go

. 8606C Fabulous Fusible Appliqué with Paintstiks and Stamps

. 8607C Being Creative with Tsukineko Inks

$5.00 Lecture

Vendor Demonstrations

Road to California makes available a vibrant vendor mall of over 225 nationally and internationally known retailers who feature the very latest to see, try and buy in quilt making supplies, machines, notions, antique quilts and gift items.

$5.00 Lecture

Many of these vendors offer demonstrations in their booths of their products and techniques as well as invite experts to share up-to-date information. Each booth differs in how they present their products and techniques. Be sure to ask your favorite vendors when they will be offering advice and demonstrations, so you don’t miss out.

There are many opportunities to learn new techniques and/or improve your quilting skills at Road to California 2020- 25th Anniversary Show. We hope our guests take advantage of the many classes, $5.00 Lectures, and Vendor Demonstrations, especially as they think ahead to their New Year Quilting Resolutions.

See you soon at Road 2020!!  

EverSewn-Quality Sewing For Beginners

December 27th, 2019

Part of the Bernina family, EverSewn is an innovative brand that is focused on encouraging today’s generation of crafters, sewists and artists to keep the sewing industry alive with creativity. Unlike traditional sewing machine companies, EverSewn’s focus is on emerging trends and how to incorporate them into the everyday lifestyle of either a modern and experienced sewist, or a new crafter.  

Family Owned  

At Quilt Festival in Houston last October, Road to California met up with Philip Ueltschi, brand marketer for EverSewn. His family has owned Bernina International for four generations.


Philip shared that EverSewn’s goal has always been to offer “a product that is reliable and good quality” to get people sewing. He continued, “We wanted to evolve our sewing machines to be smarter and easier to use so they aren’t so intimidating.”

Product Line

Besides sewing machines in modern colors

the EverSewn line also includes modern furniture, notions and sewing kits.


The sewing kits include all the basic notions needed to get started in sewing in one convenient place.


EverSewn at Road

EverSewn products are sold by independent retailers like Mel’s Sewing Center and online at the EverSewn site.

During Road to California, you can find EverSewn at Bernina of America.    

To learn more about EverSewn, visit their website.

Added Benefits At Road 2020

December 23rd, 2019

Road to California has a reputation of anticipating the needs of our guests before the Show begins. It is our goal to provide the best possible experience for the over 42,000 visitors who attend by offering added benefits.

Registration Desk

While most classes don’t start until 8:30 AM and the Show Floor doesn’t open until 9:00 AM (10:00 AM on Sunday), one of the added benefits with the Ontario Convention Center’s main hall opens at 7:30 AM. Road Staff are on hand at the two Registration Desks (near the north and south entrances) to answer questions; hand out reserved show tickets; give directions; and offer support. Some convention center food is also available before the Show opens.   

added benefits

The North Registration Desk is also the place to enter our Daily Raffle each day. Show Sponsors donate sewing machines each day and on Sunday, a sewing table, to be won in our daily drawings.  

added benefits

In addition, the South Registration Desk is the place to turn in any squares and/or quilt tops for Roadies Give Back.


As with most public venues, there never seems to be enough women’s restrooms. We solved that problem years ago. Founder, Carolyn Reese, arranged with the Convention Center for added benefits of having some of the men’s restrooms accessible for women. When you visit one of these specially accommodating restrooms, a pleasant surprise awaits you, courtesy of Carolyn’s creativity.

Scooters and Other Wheels

We understand that some of our guests have mobility issues, so as some added benefits, we have arranged for scooter and wheelchair rentals. One Stop Mobility will again be offering equipment rentals for show guests and are located at the south-east entrance of the Convention Center, in front of Room 107A. Items for rent include:

Scooters: $60/day – Pre-Bookings or $65/day – At the Booth

Wheelchairs: Starting at $25/day (4-day rate)*

Power Wheelchairs: Starting at $48/day (4-day rate)*

Equipment Protection Plan: $10/day or $5/multiple day

*The price quoted is for a standard unit. Pricing for heavy-duty models are more. Check with One Stop Mobility for special pricing.

Units are limited so we are recommending you make your reservation before the show to ensure you get what you need. You can make your reservation by calling One Stop Mobility at (714) 533-1444 or fill out their online form: https://www.onestopmobility.com/road-to-california-quilt-show/

As a note of caution, Rolling Carts are not allowed on the Show Floor. They are only welcome to take class supplies to and from vehicles.   

Strollers are only allowed on the Show Floor on Sunday.


The safety and security of our guests is our highest priority. For the past eight years, Road to California has hired special security detail to walk the show floor and hallways, scrutinizing body movements and behavior as they watch out for shoplifters and employees stealing from their employers.

To further ensure guest safety, the Convention Center hires a private ambulance service. They are located at four stations in the Convention Center: under the stairs in the South Lobby; in the Pavilion Tent; in the Main Hallway and in the North Lobby. The medics can help with any kind of medical emergency before, during and after the show each day. Should a medical situation arise, medics advise that you “raise your hand for help” and someone will come to your aid. If they can’t handle a situation, they are prompted to call 911 and have an ambulance come to the Convention Center.

added benefits

These are just a few of the added benefits Road to California offers during the Show. Guests who have any additional concerns or needs should contact Road at least 10 days prior to the Show by email at info@roadtocalifornia.com

The NEW HQ Capri

December 20th, 2019

Handi Quilter’s History

The best innovations begin with a need that isn’t being met.

That’s exactly what happened with Handi Quilter’s founder, Laurel Barrus, in the late 1990’s. A lifelong sewer, Laurel was looking for a way to take a portable machine quilting frame to her family cabin. She couldn’t find anything to suit her needs in the marketplace, so… she created something that could be used with her own home sewing machine. Laurel knew her invention had to be light and small enough to carry in her car, yet adjustable so it could accommodate small or large quilts. Laurel named her quilting frame, the “Handi Quilter.” When her friends saw the portable, adjustable frame she had created, they wanted one too.

Laurel took her first prototype to the International Quilt Festival in Houston in October of 1999. On the first day of the festival, she called her fabricators and told them she had received enough orders to keep them busy until Christmas!! The business continued to grow when in 2002, Handi Quilter introduced an entirely new line of products – the HQ Sixteen quilting machine and the adjustable frames to support it.

In 2010, Handi Quilter became the only longarm quilting machine company to achieve worldwide safety and electrical certificates for their quilting machines and systems, enabling them to expand to more than 900 worldwide independent retail locations across 55 countries. Its dedicated engineering team works with quilters when creating new and innovative products. Handi Quilter’s continued focus on education is furthered by more than 30 field educators in ur HQ their studio and throughout the world who share their talents, knowledge and love of quilting.

HQ Capri

The HQ Sixteen has been replaced by newer machines, including the recently released (as of December 10, 2019) HQ Capri.

The HQ Capri is a stationary longarm machine with built-in HQ InSight stitch regulation. This patented sensor-based stitch regulation is built into the new HQ InSight Table for intuitive quilting and accurate stitches.

HQ Capri

The HQ Capri at Road to California

Road to California is the first quilt show where the Handi Quilter Capri will be available for use by students in longarm classes. Why is Handi Quilter excited to send the Capri to Road? Said Brenda Groelz, Vice President of Marketing & Education for Handi Quilter, “The students attending Road to California embrace innovation and quality, so we knew that the stationary longarm classroom was the right place to invite quilters to try the new technology of the HQ InSight stitch regulation.”    

Teachers who will have the HQ Capri in their longarm classes are Debby Brown and David Taylor. Because one of the hardest things to accomplish in free-motion quilting is even-length stitches, students will be able to achieve “perfect stitches” with the HQ Capri by simply moving the quilt sandwich across the table top. Handi Quilter is confident that students in these classes are “going to love the experience.”

Can’t take a class featuring the HQ Capri? No worries. All show attendees will be able to see the HQ Capri up close in the Handi Quilter Booth.

HQ Capri

Handi Quilter Recognizes Road’s 25th Anniversary

It’s especially exciting that the HQ Capri will be making its quilt show debut during Road’s 25th Anniversary.

HQ Capri

Brenda commented, “Handi Quilter congratulates the Reese family on their 25th anniversary of the Road to California show. When Carolyn Reese started her small regional show, we know that she intended to provide an opportunity for local quilters to show off their work and find new sources for the fabrics, machines, and notions that they needed for their art. She should feel pride in knowing that grandson Matt Reese is taking her vision to new and wonderful places, and taking all of us quilters along with him. The success of this internationally-known and respected show is indicative of the strength of the quilting market and the passion of those for whom quilting is their life.”

To learn more about Handi Quilter and their products, please visit their website.

Meet Road Teacher Penny Haren

December 17th, 2019

Penny Haren will be teaching 2 classes at Road to California 2020-25th Anniversary Show. Both all-day classes are “Play before you Pay” Creative Grids® events.

On Monday, 1007C – Fun, Creative Blocks Made Easy

Penny Haren

And on Tuesday, 2007C – Medallion Quilt With Creative Grids

Penny Haren

Penny Haren grew up sleeping under her grandmother’s quilts. When she moved to Newark, Ohio because of a job transfer, a quilt shop had just opened, and she immediately signed up for classes. A quilter for over 20 years, Penny was a quilt shop owner herself for a period of time.

Penny Haren

Penny has published several books and writes the newsletter for Checker Distributors, the largest distributor of books, patterns, notions and fabrics serving the independent quilting, sewing and needle arts retailer worldwide. She also writes a column on notions for the trade publication – FabShop News.  This assignment gives her the opportunity to try out all the new gadgets and notions before they hit the market.

Pieced Appliqué™

Penny Haren has been developing and teaching techniques that make it quick, easy and fun for quilters —even beginners—to create intricate blocks with stunning results. She is best known for her innovative, Pieced Appliqué™ technique.

Pieced Appliqué™, eliminates inset points and curves from even the most complicated blocks. Since the introduction of Pieced Appliqué in 2008, Penny has been in demand for teaching and workshops around the country.

Penny’s Workspace

Penny lives alone but has a big family that could no longer fit around her dining room table. So, she turned her dining room into her sewing room. This is where she does most of her cutting and pressing.

Her actual sewing is done in the “great room” where she stitches in front of the television.

Creative Grids®and Penny

Penny is part of the Creative Grids® team. When asked what her favorite quilting tool is, Penny replied, “Creative Grids rulers of course!”

Penny has designed her own line of Creative Grids® rulers. Her favorite rulers are her “Square It Up and Fussy Cut” rulers that help save time and make quilting even easier.

Teaching at Road to California

Road to California is Penny’s favorite show because she has discovered that “educated quilters return year after year and appreciate good design.”

A teacher for over 40 years, Penny loves “seeing that light come on in a student’s eyes when they “get it!” She hopes her students at Road will gain “self-confidence” in her classes.  “I love seeing their self-esteem grow as they learn and conquer new techniques.”

In both of Penny’s classes, all rulers and fabrics are provided so that students can make four to five different blocks – and learn additional techniques – in a fun environment. Sewing machines for her classes will be provided by Baby Loc.

To learn more about Penny Haren, please visit her website.

NEW: Mountain Mist Wool Pressing Mats

December 13th, 2019

Mountain Mist has long been a leader in the quilt batting industry. The company started in 1846 when two friends set out to develop batting that was superior to the rest. Today, Mountain Mist offers several options in batting, all made with high-quality fiber and unique blends of natural and synthetic materials.

Mountain Mist continues to be an innovative leader in creating a variety of products designed with quilters in mind. Beginning in April, 2019, they introduced their Wool Pressing Mats.

Wool Pressing Mats

Mountain Mist Wool Pressing Mats are specifically formulated to retain heat and can be used with or without steam. They are made with 10% polyester so that water can get through the fibers and not be trapped in the wool. All mats are ½” thick and are tightly felted for a firm pressing surface.

The wool pressing mats come in a variety of sizes, some that other wool pressing mat brands don’t carry. Mountain Mist’s sizes include 4 x 4,  8.5 x 8.5,  13.5 x 13.5,  17 x 17,  12 x 18,  and  17 x 24 inches. Quilters have reported that the 4 x 4 size is especially useful for English Paper Piecing.

Mountain Mist
Linda Pumphrey, Senior Account Executive, holds up the popular 4×4 Wool Pressing Mat

World’s Only 2-1 Pressing Mat

Mountain Mist is the only brand to offer 2-in-1 Wool Pressing Mats. The 2-in-1 mat is 18” x 24” with a 13 ½” x 13 ½” removable center. Simply remove the center for a smaller mat when traveling and replace into the larger mat once home again. Because of its heat absorbing properties, when pressing a quilt block shapes or sewing project, it’s like pressing on both sides of the fabric at the same time.

Mountain Mist

Mountain Mist at Road

Once again, Mountain Mist will be a vendor at Road to California 2020-25th Anniversary Show. They will be supplying their new wool pressing mats to be used in every classroom at the show. Road is also grateful for Mountain Mist’s donation of wool pressing mats to be given away at one of their premier events, Party Time.

To learn more about Mountain Mist and their products, please visit their website.

Meet New Road Sponsor and Vendor: The Grace Company

December 3rd, 2019

Over 30 years ago, The Grace Company started as a way to meet a need in the quilting industry.

In the 1980’s, Grace Bagley was working at a local quilt shop, Mormon Handicraft, in Salt Lake City, Utah. As she listened to her customer’s needs, Grace shared with her son, Jim, her ideas for a new type of quilting frame. Jim held on to her ideas and his own creative wheels began to spin. Soon, Jim was manufacturing a machine of his own invention: a quilting frame with a no-baste rail system that he named the GraceFrame.

In 1987, Jim attended his first International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas where he was able to promote the GraceFrame beyond a local success to a thriving national business. The Grace Company quickly became the go-to company for those needing the best possible equipment, offering both machine-quilting and hand-quilting frames featuring a professional-quality rail system, improved fabric tension, height adjustment to fit sewing machines, and speed control and stitch regulators.

Today, The Grace Company continues to innovate new exciting ideas and designs, leading the quilting industry in excellence and quality.

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.

The Grace Company

Quilting Accessories

One of The Grace Company’s innovative quilting accessories is TrueCut, their ruler track and cutter guide system. On each side of the ruler is a track that works with the guide on the rotary cutter. As the cutter s moved along the ruler’s track, the guide keeps the cutter from veering away from the ruler’s edge.

The Grace Company

Other accessories include quilting hoops, patterns, clips, patterns and a laser stylus—just to name a few.

The Grace Company at Road to California

The Grace Company is a Ruby Sponsor of Road to California 2020- 25th Anniversary Show. They have generously contributed $2,500 which will be used as prize money for winning quilts in the 2020 Quilt Contest.  

In their vendor booth, The Grace Company is looking forward to sharing their products and meeting new people. They will be featuring their long arm Q’nique quilting machines, Frames, Accessories and Quilting Automation.

The Grace Company

The Q’nique 15 Pro delivers high value for its price point with the most sought-after features, top-of-the-line quality, and user-friendly operation–all in an affordable package. It’s new convenient touch-screen has simplified menus and with a more powerful motor, the machine has a faster speed and enhanced stitch quality.

Road to California is proud to welcome The Grace Company, as it continues to offer a tradition of creativity, innovation, and customer-centered service.

To learn more about The Grace Company, please visit their website.  

How to Enter Your Quilt Shipping Information

December 2nd, 2019

We are excited to have your quilt at Road to California’s 25th Show!

This page is to help you enter your your quilt return shipping information for Road to California.

You will first need to login into your Road to California account at online.roadtocalifornia.com which is shown above.

If you do not remember your password you can use the forgot password link and if for some reason this does not work please send an email to us at info@roadtocalifornia.com. Please do not create a new account as your quilt information is not on that account. You can see the Reset Your Password page below.

Once you have logged into your account you will need to click the link that says Click here to submit your shipping return details, request appraisals and offer your quilts for sale at the show.

You are now on the information page which is where you will fill out all the information for your quilts at Road to California.

If you have multiple entries you can click Ship all accepted accepted entries together which will then note in our system when we we do return shipping to make sure the quilts are all together.

If you would like an appraisal done, you can click the link at request an appraisal and fill out the form. Please make sure to include a $75 check with your quilt for the appraisal.

You can also list your quilt for sale on the link that says offer one or more of your quilts for sale. Please note that Road to California retains 20% of the listed price.

We are finally onto the last section which is where you will actually enter your shipping information!

Under the Return Shipping Info you will click Enter/ View Shipping Information. Once on this page you will need to read all the information listed before you fill out your shipping information.

You have two options, if you will be at the show and picking up your quilt please click the first option. With this option you do not need to enter in your Credit Card Information.

Option 2 is for shipping, this year to ensure an accurate fee we will be accepting credit cards only. Please make sure that all your information is correct above or enter in an Alternate Address for us to Ship to.

Once you have filled out your information you will need to click Proceed to Confirmation which will take you to the next page.

Once you have Confirmed your details you will be sent back to the home page, you will need to head back into the My Entries page for the last section. The last thing you will have to do is click the link under View/Print Return Instructions, this is the page you will print and include on the top of your quilt outside of the bag you store your quilt in.

Once we have received your quilt in the office your Quilt Tracker will change to say Received at Road Office.

We hope this guide helps you with Quilt Registration and if you have any problems please email us at info@roadtocalifornia.com.