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Welcome to the Road to California Blog

Designer Tammy Silvers Road@Home May

April 9th, 2021

Fabric and Pattern Designer Tammy Silvers will be teaching 3 Classes during Road@Home May:

On Friday,  F115 – Dutch Windmills

On Saturday, SA113 – Garden Stroll

And on Sunday,  SU115 – Retro Pin Cushion

All classes are from Noon to 3:00 PM

On the Road to Pattern and Fabric Designer

Tammy Silvers got into quilting with an invitation from her sister-in-law to take a quilting class. Despite a slow start, Tammy caught the “quilting bug” and has been “stitching up a storm ever since.”

Tammy began teaching quilting to help pay for her second stint in college: getting her high school teaching certificate.  Her students kept asking for new projects, which led to Tammy designing and she’s been a designer for fabric and patterns ever since, for over 20 years.

Where Design Happens

Tammy describes her creative space as a “lovely quilting studio.” She says, “It has room for tons of fabric storage, a dedicated pressing area, a huge sewing table, large, lovely windows, and even a fireplace.  No matter the time of year, it is a cozy, inviting space to create.”

Designer Tammy Silvers

Her iron is Tammy Silver’s quilting tool that she can’t live without. “I firmly believe that no matter how inaccurate your piecing is, your quilt will look 100% better if it is well pressed.  So an iron tops the list.”

Designer Tammy Silvers

Teaching at Road@Home May

The Coronavirus Pandemic helped Designer Tammy Silvers to pivot – “learning more about producing videos, teaching online, and adjusting my class offerings and my guild offerings to work better in an online platform.” 

Tammy says her online classes “have a different pace and a different level of expectation than in person classes.  Slowing down, repeating, showing processes in greater detail have all worked well to make the online class experience work for my students this year, and I’ll apply those experiences to the Road@Home classes as well.” Tammy adds that she will be teaching some of her favorite projects. “I love the freedom these projects have and I’m excited to see how students take the techniques and expand on them.”

She hopes that the students in her classes will learn some fun techniques.  “I hope the students will not only leave the classes with a better understanding of the techniques and complete their projects afterward, but I’m also hoping they will make the techniques their own and put their own unique spin on each.  It is so fun to see spin off projects using the processes, and these classes will be no exception!”

To learn more about Fabric and Pattern Designer Tammy Silvers, please visit her website.

Road@Home Double Winner

April 2nd, 2021

LeAnn Hileman was a double winner, earning two awards in the category, “What You See, during the online show, Road@Home

Double Winner

Ohio Barn in Early Morning Light – Second Place

Double Winner

Navajo Boy With Truck – Honorable Mention

Meet LeeAnn Hileman

LeAnn has been sewing since she was a young girl. She made her first quilt when she was in high school and although she has never been without a sewing machine, she didn’t quilt again until she was pregnant with her son and she made a baby quilt.  She has been making art quilts since 2015.

Double Winner

After the cancellation of shows during 2020, LeAnn had “three major quilts just simmering and waiting to burst into view.” She shared that she had “always loved Road to California shows” so what better place to show two of her quilts!! LeAnn entered both quilts into the category,  “What You See” because “both are representation or realistic. My brain won’t work in the more abstract categories.”

Ohio Barn in Early Morning Light

The first of LeAnn’s double winning quilts, Ohio Barn in Early Morning Light, won Second Place. It took 9 months to make- longer than LeAnn expected.

The quilt was inspired from when LeAnn happened upon this scene in Ohio one early morning and she “was struck by the sharp contrasts of light and shadow.  This kind of lighting doesn’t last long so I returned the next morning slightly earlier and spent time photographing the scene.  The challenge of depicting that light/shadow kept me interested and motivated while I did this quilt.” LeAnn was particularly satisfied when one of the judges commented “that she ‘got’ my depiction of the early morning light.”

The techniques LeAnn used in Ohio Barn in Early Morning Light included turned edge and raw edge applique, painting (sky), thread painting, Fabrico marker, and free motion quilting She says her “son has dibs on it.”

Navajo Boy With A Truck

This Honorable Mention award made LeAnn a double winner. LeAnn says her inspiration for this quilt “was a vintage 8 x 10 sepia photograph I plucked from a pile in an antiques store in Flagstaff, Arizona.” It took 8 months for her to finish.

Again, LeAnn used the technique of turned edge and raw edge applique in making this quilt. She also used organza overlay, free motion and echo quilting, and raw edge collage. Her dream would be that “someday a relative of his will turn up and it would be a gift to that person.” 

Road@Home Experience

Double Winner LeAnn Hileman commented that “it wasn’t all that long ago that I saw beautiful art quilts at the Road shows and thought I’d never be able to do something that beautiful!  Sometimes you just have to spread your wings and jump off the cliff and that’s what art quilts were for me, no turning back, just lots of open air and possibilities!”

While LeAnn didn’t participate in any of the Road@Home events, she did have fun keeping up with all that was going on by reading all the posts. She enjoyed seeing all the quilts submitted and felt that “there were some wonderful and really skillful quilts.” 

What’s up next for LeAnn in 2021? Developing and finishing a project she is working on. She says the challenge is “how to depict neon lights in twilight using fabric as a medium.  It has been said that difficulty is the atmosphere surrounding a miracle or a miracle in its beginning stages, so maybe this will be my miracle.”

To learn more about Road@Home Double Winner, LeAnn Hileman, please visit her website.

Why Road@Home May?

March 31st, 2021

Last January, with continued Coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions in California, the Ontario Convention Center, home of Road to California, was not able to open for Road’s traditional in-person show. With a desire to not let our participants down with their January tradition of attending our premier quilt show, Road to California pivoted to an online experience, Road@Home.

The Success of Road@Home

Not sure how our traditional Road at Home guests would respond to an online show, Road’s staff (owner Matt Reese and his assistant, Jillianne Reese) set out to create not just a virtual version of our premier in-person event but a stand-alone experience.

Because of the online format, Road@Home ended up offering the most teachers and the most classes ever for a Road to California event: over 130 instructors teaching well over 300 classes. Participants Zoomed in from all over the world to join in for the four days. Many were aware of Road’s reputation, but cost and distance kept them from coming to California in January. The online format of Road@Home opened the opportunity for many to finally be able to participate with Road.

Not only were there classes taught by outstanding quilters, Road@Home also offered a Vendor Mall and Special Exhibits. Of this debut show, Michelle Baker commented, “Since we couldn’t be there in person, it was excellent!”

Moving on to Road@Home May

While the Ontario Convention Center is telling us that the outlook for our traditional, in-person Road to California is looking promising for January 19 – 22, 2022, we don’t want our guests to wait that long for our next show. And because Road@Home was such a success, we’ve decided to offer it again as Road@Home May, on May 21-23, 2021.

Road@Home May will still be a virtual show, but it will be more condensed than in January. We are going back to Road to California’s roots with Road@Home May. Meaning, this show will be primarily focused on education. Participants will be offered more outstanding quilt classes taught by world renown quilt teachers. There will also be professional development classes designed for those individuals who have or want to start a quilt-based business.

For those interested in quilt products, the show will have vendor listings instead of live vendor booths. Another feature included with Road@Home May will once again be the online version of our popular Roundabout event.        

The Benefits of Our Online Show

What are the benefits of taking a Road@Home May online class?

1) You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home wherever you are in the world

2) You have your own sewing machine and all your sewing supplies at your fingertips

3) Every seat is BETTER than a front row seat.

4) Teachers know every student by name

5) It’s easy to ask questions

6) The teacher watches everyone at the same time and recognizes when extra help is needed

7) There are bathroom and snack breaks

8) Real Time friendships are made with quilters from all over the world.

Registration for Road@Home May classes begins April 1, 2021. To see a listing of classes being offered, please visit our website.

Road@Home Winner Kimberly Lacy

March 26th, 2021

Kimberly Lacy won Third Place in the category, What You Think You See, for Feathers, during Road@Home.

Kimberly Lacy

Meet Kimberly Lacy

Traditional quilting caught Kim Lacy’s interest in 1976 while she was on maternity leave after the birth of her daughter. Kim’s early work was all traditional quilting such as pillows, baby quilts, and quilted bags.

In 2000, Kimberly Lacy “moved into art quilts” after her mother shared the magic of Quilt National with Kim.  That was all it took to hook Kim on the art quilt movement.  During this time, Kimberly Lacy learned to free motion quilt. She says she was, “captivated by the possibilities…”

Three years later, in 2003, Kim began focusing on her quilting with greater intensity.  She joined a local artisan’s group and started showing and selling her work. She began attending local quilting guilds which “hugely expanded my vision for my own work.” Then, in 2011, Kimberly entered her first juried competition at the Denver National Quilt Festival. More national and international quilt shows followed, with Kim winning many awards.

Kimberly Lacy

Making Feathers

Kim likes to depict things in nature with her quilting. She says she is “inspired by the shapes and forms of nature.” Her access to the professional and amateur photography of her friends is a constant source of inspiration. Kimberly notes, “Their images of wildlife, natural wonders, and fractals have been the focus of many of my quilts.  Geology and paleontology have also influenced much of my recent work.”

Regarding Feathers, Kimberly Lacy says that it was “a serendipitous assembly and I was playing with interesting ways to configure striped fabric.” It took Kim about a month to complete. She used the techniques of machine piecing and fabric painting in her design.

Entering Road@Home

Kimberly Lacy entered the first Road@Home quilt contest because she had entered the popular Road to California quilt contest in the past.

Kim thought “the quilts were fabulous” at Road@Home.  She feels that Road “always attract(s) high caliber quilters” which is what she enjoys about the show. 

When Kim found out she had won third place, in the category, “What You Think You See,” she said she was thrilled and felt “very honored.”

After Road@Home, Kim hopes to show Feathers more in 2021.  Also, Kim says she “will be playing with solid colors for a while.” She just got a “ton of Cherrywood cotton” and she is “very excited” to start “to play with it.”

To learn more about Kimberly Lacy, please visit her website.

Thread Painting with Nancy Prince

March 23rd, 2021

Nancy Prince is an award-winning quilter and thread painting enthusiast. She is a familiar face to Road to California as she was the 2015 winner of the Marie White Masterpiece Award, the second highest award given (after Best of Show) at the Road to California Quilt Contest.

Thread Painting

In 2021, Nancy shared her passion and expertise for thread painting during Road@Home’s Roundabout 2.0 and during the classes she taught. Nancy says that thread painting is not difficult—in fact, “it is a lot of fun!”

What is Thread Painting?

Thread painting, or free-motion machine embroidery, is a unique way of embellishing quilts by “painting” the images on the quilt top. With thread painting, the thread becomes the paint and fabric is the canvas. Only straight and zigzag stitches are used so no special sewing machine is required.

The design to be painted with thread is traced onto a piece of clear water-soluble stabilizer so there is always a drawing to guide the technique with no guessing as to where the thread goes next.  

thread painting

Nancy says that painting with thread is very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways to enhance figures, printed fabric, and quilt designs.

Tips for the Technique

To begin with, Nancy says, “A key is using the best quality size 14 needle you can buy.”  Other tips include:

  • Stitch length is determined by how fast or slow the needle is moved in the hoop.
  • A good stitch width when using zig zag stiches is 2 – 2.4
  • Drop the feed dogs when stitching.
  • Use a 40-weight rayon or polyester thread for best results.
  • A 6” regular embroidery hoop secures the stabilizer and the stitch movement.
  • Thread paint the design the way it grows in nature. Stitch back and forth until the desired dimension is achieved.
thread painting

Teaching during Road@Home

Nancy has great “enthusiasm” for teaching this technique, particularly since it is “very simple” to do and no advanced skills are necessary. It just takes some practicing.

One of Nancy’s students during Road@Home was Sherry Cowley. Of the Simple Threadpainting Class, Sherry commented, “I took the class to learn how to thread paint using Nancy’s technique. Her instructions were very thorough. Nancy had us do some “homework” ahead of class, which made me more familiar with wat we would be doing. The homework didn’t take very long and was simple to do.  Nancy is a very kind, patient and generous teacher and her class was very informative.” Sherry added that most of the students were able to finish their projects during the class. Sherry needed to make a few more stitches after class and didn’t hesitate to finish it later because Nancy had given her the confidence needed to complete it.

thread painting

“That’s how good Nancy’s instructions were.” Sherry said she can’t wait to take another class with Nancy!!    

To learn more about Nancy Prince and her thread painting technique, please visit her website.  

Meet the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild

March 19th, 2021

During Road@Home, there was an opportunity for guilds to represent their organization on the online show’s main page. One of the guilds featured in January was the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild.

San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild

History of the Guild

The San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild was founded in 1997 as a guild dedicated to honoring the “creativity of Black quilters” in the San Diego area. It is the only predominantly African American quilt guild in the county of San Diego. They “take seriously our focus on African American and African creations.”

San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild

The guild is open to everyone, not just Black quilters. They meet the 4th Saturday of each month at the Malcom X Library on Market Street in downtown San Diego.

On the 4th Saturday in February, the guild hosts its annual Quilt Show where they display quilts, have quilt demonstrations, and present baby quilts made by their members to representatives from the Navy and the Marines. These baby quilts are added to diaper bags that the military donates to service members in need.

The guild is also known in the community for donating their quilts to community members who are ill or to commemorate a death.  

What the Guild Represents

The Guild’s goals are:

  1. To provide a forum for the continuation of the tradition of quilting as an art and as a method of recording history and storytelling,
  2. To promote interest in all forms of quilting and textile arts to bring quilting to the attention of our community, and
  3. To endeavor to pursue the recognition of quilting as a true national art form and as an expressive medium equal to painting, sculpture, and the dramatic arts.
San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild

One of their favorite traditions is to share the history of the significance of the quilts used during the Underground Railroad. It is believed that “quilts were used to communicate safe houses and other information about the Underground Railroad, which was a network through the United States and into Canada of “conductors”, meeting places, and safe houses for the passage of African Americans out of slavery.”

Members also assist children in their community to create memory quilts. Before the Coronavirus shutdown, they had hoped to begin conducting a series of classes for children to “introduce quilting and share the medium with a new generation.”

Covid Activities

Like many other guilds, the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild spent the Coronavirus lockdown keeping busy, making masks and “shut down quilts.” Last October, they met in a park with their masks, observing physical distancing, and sharing their projects completed during the quarantine.

San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild

“Quilting has and always will be a part of the African American cultural heritage.” The San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild intend to continue “to endeavor to maintain and elevate this tradition.”

To learn more about the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild, please visit their Facebook Page.

Judge’s Choice Winner Telene Jeffrey

March 17th, 2021

Telene Jeffrey was awarded Judge’s Choice during Road@Home by Judge Jenny Bacon, for Pewter

Telene Jeffrey

Meet Telene Jeffrey

What sets Telene Jeffrey apart from the other entrants in the Road@Home Quilt Contest is that she was the only entrant from South Africa!!

Telene Jeffrey

Telene first learned how to sew from her mother when she was 6 years old. She didn’t start quilting until her late 20’s when she joined a beginner patchwork workshop at her parents’ sewing machine dealership. Telene was studying Interior Architecture at the time and taught basic sewing and lingerie classes at their shop on weekends and holidays. After completing her degree, working 7 years in corporate and getting married, when her son came along, Telene said goodbye to the corporate stress and demands. At that point, her parents’ shop was looking for a patchwork and quilting teacher to take things forward and Telene said, “Me!”

At that time, Telene Jeffey also began quilting for customers. She started her own business, opening her own “little quilt shop and studio” in 2014. That same year, Telene completed her South Africa Quilters Guild Quilt Teacher Accreditation Course and has been teaching across South Africa. Telene adds, “Though I am skilled in all things patchwork I started to develop a passion and ultimate obsession with free motion quilting in any format.”

Telene’s first show entry was in 2015. Her quilt won first place in its category at the South African National Quilt Festival (SANQF) and was also juried into and displayed at the Houston Quilt Festival that same year. Since then, she has earned many other quilting awards.

Making Pewter

Pewter came into existence because Telene Jeffrey happened to come across this “incredible fabric” in the dressmaking section of her local fabric store. Telene shared that she often goes “on a walk-about to find interesting fabrics and look for inspiration. When I got back home, I immediately quilted a sample piece to see how it would behave and the result gave me goosebumps as the quilted section looked just like the real metal pewter panels and artwork seen around. It also reminded me of tin ceiling panels and that is where the inspiration for the design came about.”

Telene Jeffrey

It took a total of 100 hours of work over a period of 2 years to make Pewter. An original design influenced by 19th century architectural designs, Pewter is all free motion quilting and ruler work done on a domestic sewing machine. It has a double layer of batting and a “beautiful ice dyed panel” by Debra Linker as the backing fabric. Pewter has a knife-turned edge done by hand and is finished off with a black and silver lace trim and black beads. The quilt also has some black beads on the inside frame.

Winning at Road@Home

Pewter was already a well-decorated quilt before coming to Road@Home. It placed at the South Africa National Quilt Festival in 2019 and was juried into the Paducah 2020 Show. Unfortunately, that show had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Finally, Pewter also won first place in its category at the Virtual Quilt Show in December 2020.

Originally entered in the Road@Home category, Could Be Grandma’s Quilt, Pewter won the Judge’s Award from Jenny Bacon. Of her award, Telene said, “I am absolutely thrilled and honored that Jenny picked Pewter as her choice. I am familiar with her work since she also enjoys free motion quilting, especially in her abstract modern works.”

Telene felt that “It was a wonderful idea to host the Road@Home virtual show to keep us quilters going, give purpose, entertain, and educate during these uncertain times. I am sure we all long for the personal interaction again, but this format works well to keep us connected in the meantime. It also provides the abilities to reach large audiences and people across the world that would not have otherwise been able to attend the in-person shows. I really hope that some format of the virtual events will still be presented even when in-person shows can continue.”

The Future for Pewter and Telene Jeffrey

Telene’s focus for 2021 is “mainly teaching online and spreading the fmq love across the globe! I have taught several successful classes already via Zoom Live sessions with international attendance and this year there will be more to come.” She will also be working on new designs for her whole cloth pattern series, custom printed fabric panels with Honest Fabrics, stencils with Full Line Stencil Company, digital designs with Quiltable.com and her own range of bespoke merchandise.

As for Pewter, Telene would like to enter the quilt into the Houston Quilt Festival in 2021. It is currently hanging at Road to California Sponsor, Handi Quilter‘s Head Office in Salt Lake City, waiting in anticipation for entries to open. All other plans depend on what the pandemic has in store for all of us.

To learn more about Telene Jeffrey, please visit her website.

Second Place Winner, Precarious Times

March 12th, 2021

Sharon Casey won 2nd Place at Road@Home in the category, What You Think You See, for her quilt, Precarious Times.

Precarious Times

Never a Quilter

If you had told Sharon Casey that she would be a quilter one day, let alone a winning quilter she would have replied, “I wouldn’t have believed it!”

Sharon hated sewing after a bad experience in Girl Scouts. She had to make a garment and wear it in a fashion show. Sharon recalls, “Just imagine a self-conscious 12-year-old who had never operated a sewing machine trying to make a dress. And then having to wear it on stage in front of a bunch of people. My dress kept puckering and pouched out terribly in the back. I was mortified. But the show must go on. And so I walked the runway in my lopsided dress and swore I would never touch a sewing machine again. Yet many years later I found myself sitting at a sewing machine almost every day! How did THAT happen?”

Sharon credits her sister-in-law, an avid quilter, for getting Sharon into quilting. She remembered peeking in her sister-in-law’s closet and saw the rows of beautiful fabrics in a rainbow of colors and exclaiming how pretty they all were. Her sister-n-law told Sharon to pick out three of her favorites. Before long, she had Sharon sitting in front of her sewing machine. Soon, Sharon was arranging blocks on the cutting table, “having the time of my life.” After that experience, Sharon said, “I took my little squares home with me and arranged them to my hearts content. I bought a Bernina and sewing supplies at a quilt shop near my home and began gathering fabric. Fast forward another 20 years and here I am!”

Making Precarious Times

Sharon entered Road@Home’s Quilt Contest because she didn’t want to miss a Road to California show.  She chose the category, “What You Think You See” because Precarious Times is a work of imagination.

What inspired Sharon to make Precarious Times? “I had the idea of balancing these shapes on top of each other like you see in rock cairns. I love rock cairns and I thought it was humorous to balance a huge rock on top of a tiny rock in a way that could not happen in nature! But because I chose a palette of black, white and grey, the tone became dark and foreboding. This matched the feeling in our country as the coronavirus pandemic had quarantined us inside our houses while our government floundered. With each news report of increasing hospitalizations and deaths, the tipping of the “stones” became more exaggerated as this double-sided cairn continued to grow upward. Day by day, it became increasingly off balance and topsy-turvy. It was as if the events swirling around us were manifesting in front of me.”

Precarious Times

The quilt took a little over a year to complete because Sharon kept switching back and forth between other projects. Precarious Times is a work of improvisational piecing. Sharon cut all the pieces at the same time using a rotary cutter, and then flipped one over to match it up. After, she would take it right to the sewing machine. Sharon never pins unless “it is a really menacing curve.” Sharon said that Precarious Times was “really tricky to piece, with some of the awkward shapes and my limited engineering skills!!!”

The Road@Home Experience

When Sharon found out she had won 2nd place in the What You Think You See category, she was “thrilled, of course!” She added that she was “very happy that Road to California was offered online while we were all quarantined at home. I enjoyed my experience at Road@Home. I took two classes which were very in-depth with information that was new to me, about improving my marketing and increasing my on-line presence. The teachers amazed me!”

After Road@Home, Precarious Times was accepted into an upcoming book — Quarantine Quilts: Creativity in the Midst of Chaos by Sandra Sider, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. The book will present chosen work by quilters during the Covid-19 pandemic. The quilts from the book will be on display at The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, June 4 – August 31, 2021.

Sharon’s “Word” for 2021

Focus is Sharon’s Word of the Year for 2021. She chose that word because she “like many creatives – have the tendency to lose focus and try to do too many projects.” She even wrote a poem about her word:

I landed on my tokus when I lost my focus

Was going to make one but started ten

The colors and the fabrics

I just can’t resist

And so I start a new quilt once again

Road@Home was glad that Sharon began her “focus” on making a winning quilt in time for the show’s quilt contest.

To learn more about Sharon, please visit her website.

Painting on Fabric

March 10th, 2021

Roundabout 2.0, an evening event held during Road@Home, was an updated, online version of the popular Roundabout held during Road to California’s in-person quilt show.

During Roundabout, several of Road’s teachers gave mini-workshops on a technique they have perfected. Attendees choose which teachers to attend, moving from table to table. For Road@Home’s online version, attendees stayed put in front of their computer screens as each of the 19 presenters took their place in the spotlight. It was a great way to learn lots of techniques by experts in the quilting world, in a short amount of time.

One of the presenters at Roundabout 2.0 was Nancy Roelfsema. Her 20-minute lecture was on Creative Painting on Fabric.

Painting on Fabric

Meet Nancy Roelfsema

Nancy has been sewing since a young age. She made her first quilt at 11 years old. Her family had just moved to a farm in Gregory, Michigan from the Detroit area. Her mother was very excited to attend farm auctions and found a rustic quilting frame. They put two sheets together and hand quilted the two layers with batting between. Nancy still has that “quilt” in her possession today.

The first sewing class she ever taught was to young girls, teaching them “how to hand piece and quilt a quilt for their American Girl dolls.” Nancy thought that teaching kids was as far as she would ever go; she never “imagined I would start teaching quilting classes for adults.”

Today, she hosts her own YouTube Channel, OnPoint TV, sharing methods she has perfected in making quilts, including painting on fabric.

Painting on fabric

Why would you want to try painting on fabric?

If you can’t find what you want at the fabric store.

If you want to create a one-of-a-kind design.

If you want to add some original pieces to an art quilt.

Products are the Key

With her painting on fabric, Nancy uses Mono Printing Techniques. Nancy says that “it captures more detail and texture than other painting methods.” The best paint she has found to adhere to all fabric types is the Gel Press® brand.  

A 4-Step Painting on Fabric Process

Step 1: Apply paint to a Gel Press® Plate

Step 2: Spread the paint out evenly on the Plate

Step 3: Create original designs using stencils and stamps. Nancy added that are everyday products that can also be used to add dimension to the fabric. Things like tulle from the bridal shop; sponges; netting from wine bottles; even bubble wrap will make great impressions. As Nancy offered, “The options are endless for painting on fabric.”  Generally, Nancy uses 2-4 different techniques on her fabrics. She says, “The fabric will tell me when it’s done.”

Painting on fabric

Step 4: Finishing. Heat set with an iron after the painted fabric is dry if the fabric will be used right away. Otherwise, fabric can just be stored. After 48
hours, the paint will be permanent.

To learn more details about this painting on fabric technique, please visit Nancy’s website.

Judge’s Choice Winner Marilyn Belford

March 2nd, 2021

Marilyn Belford was selected for Judge’s Choice from David Taylor for Norwegian Tree Trolls during Road@Home

Marilyn Belford

Artist Marilyn Belford is a Quilt Winner

Before her quilt journey that began 20 years ago, Marilyn Belford was an artist and managing director of AARG (the Association of Artist–Run Galleries) in Soho, New York City. She had shown her work in various galleries and museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art’s P. S. 1… the Museum’s Contemporary and Avant-Garde division. Marilyn was a conceptual artist as well as an abstract painter.

When her husband retired, they moved from New York City to upstate New York in the early 1980s. Marilyn discovered that the art scene in upstate New York was not the same, as that of Soho. She lost contact with her many friends and associates in Soho because of the traveling distance. It was at this point that Marilyn discovered quilting.

Marilyn Belford’s very first quilt was a portrait quilt, My Parents. She was in a fabric shop and discovered the book by Deirdre Scherer. Marilyn immediately exclaimed, “My God! Look at what can be done with fabric!!” Marilyn credits that book for her inspiration. A friend encouraged Marilyn to enter My Parents into a show, so she entered it into the American Quilter Society Show, where it won the National Award (which consisted of a placard and a crystal vase).

Marilyn Belford

From then on Marilyn became very involved in art quilting, entering many shows, and winning many awards.

Marilyn Belford

Why did Marilyn Belford choose to enter the new, Road@Home Quilt Contest? “I entered the Road@Home contest because I have always loved the work that the show has chosen to be seen. This was not the first time that I displayed some work with the show, albeit it was not virtual, but the actual works on display. The category “What You Think You See” is the perfect category for my quilt because if you see a tree troll, it may be just what you think you see, and perhaps not real. It was easy to choose the category to enter because the staff at “Road” has great explanations to help you select the proper category.”

Making Norwegian Tree Trolls

If you ask Marilyn Belford how long it took her to make Norwegian Tree Trolls, her response would be, “I never really keep track exactly. But I like to say it takes the same amount of time to give birth to a child. Of course, all this depends on the size of the quilt. The Tree Trolls is of medium size, so it must’ve taken somewhat less than that estimation.”

The inspiration for Norwegian Tree Trolls came from Marilyn’s love of “Sturm und Drang”, a love of the dramatic. She had been working on a Mythology series. After doing several of Greek mythology, she decided to do some of Norse mythology. Marilyn fell in love with the idea of gremlins living and hiding in trees within a forest. The Norwegian Tree Trolls was the result.

Marilyn Belford

Techniques included in Norwegian Tree Trolls were the use of raw edge appliqué with a fusible web to hold it on to the muslin. When she decided that all the pieces were in place and looked good, Marilyn then fused it by steam pressing. After, Marilyn “thread painted” the quilt. Her friend, Jamie Wallen, did the quilting.

The Road@Home Experience

Regarding Road@Home, Marilyn commented, “In today’s world of virtual quilt shows, I thought Road@Home did an expert and beautiful job of presenting all those remarkable quilts so that the world can truly enjoy them with ease. I am sure everyone appreciates what you have done. I know I do very much.”

When Marilyn Belford had learned she had won Judge’s Choice awarded by David Taylor, she was “thrilled” to get the news. Marilyn said, “I am very familiar with the marvelous works of David Taylor, and I love them. I am told that David is very thorough in his choices for winners, which adds much to my pleasure of having been selected.”

What are Marilyn Belford’s quilting plans for the rest of 2021? “I have just finished thread painting my next quilt which is called “The Ride of The Valkyries.” It is under the needle of the long arm being quilted at this moment. It is a large quilt. I am also working on a portrait of my granddaughter Rachel. I made one of her many years ago when she was about 10 years old. She is now becoming 30 years old, and I felt I wanted her as she looks for the major part of her life.”

To learn more about award winning artist and quilter, Marilyn Belford, visit her website.