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Welcome to the Road to California Blog

Meet Road@Home Teacher Jane Haworth

January 5th, 2021

Jane Haworth will be teaching two hand work classes during Road@Home, both on Saturday, January 23rd:

S104 – Succulent Love Fabric Collage from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Jane Haworth

S119 – Pink Cosmos Fabric Collage from 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Jane Haworth

A Crafty Lady

All of Jane Haworth’s life, she has either been making crafts, knitting, stitching, spinning, or weaving. After studying textile design at college in England, Jane sewed industrially for Laura Ashley and then worked with interior designers making soft furnishings. She moved to California in 1998, bought a sewing machine and continued to sew but it took about 3 years before she became aware of quilting.

Jane Haworth self-taught herself with her crafts and so when it came to learning how to quilt, she turned to library books or watched Simply Quilts that she recorded. It didn’t take Jane long to start making her own designs. After watching Susan Carlson with Alex Anderson on Simply Quilts, the option of raw-edge fabric collage caught Jane’s attention. Says Jane, “I think this freeing form of collage appealed to me and I was quickly trying to make photos from a Hawaiian vacation in fabric. I have since explored using this technique on various themes and design all the patterns myself.”

Creating at Home

For the past three years, Jane has been creating in a small area in her home. She used to work in her master bedroom where she still stores all of her fabric. Jane says her sewing space is actually the “formal living room.” It is directly off the front entry, so she needs to keep it neat and tidy.

Jane Haworth

Her sewing machine space looks out to the front of her property and behind it is her design wall. The dining room for the house is conveniently placed right off her sewing area where she does most of her cutting and now my Zoom presentations.

Jane Haworth

Jane Haworth’s “must have” tools for doing her fabric collages include he Karen Kay Buckley 6” perfect scissors, (Jane notes that once she discovered those scissors, she couldn’t believe what a difference they made to free cutting fabric), Aleenes Tacky glue and a school glue spreader that she first bought from a school supply store. Jane stiches on a JUKI 2010Q that is semi industrial. It reminds her when she was using an industrial sewing machine at Laura Ashley. Jane commented that “It is great for free-motion quilting and stitching custom T-shirt quilts, that I do a lot.”

Life During COVID

Since last March, Jane relates that she has “been as busy as ever and still have not found time to work on the UFO’s that I thought I would.” A lot of time has also been spent developing or adapting her classes for teaching online which includes making new samples. Jane put together an “on-demand workshop” called Love of Pets Fabric Collage. This was her most popular class but it doesn’t really fit an online format because there is too much one-on-one teaching involved. Jane also made hundreds of masks for a local care service, neighbors, and a local restaurant.

The life lessons Jane Haworth has learned during the lockdowns is “that family is important even if they are not close by. My mum and siblings and are all in England and I missed my yearly visit this year, but we have started a bi-weekly video chat that we never did previously. I am also very grateful that I have a comfortable place to live, my kids are grown and my son doing high school at home can work independently.  I can now work 8 hours a day on my sewing with fewer distractions.”

Teaching During Road@Home

An experienced quilt teacher, this will be Jane Haworth’s first-time teaching with Road to California. Jane has been teaching quilt classes for about 6 years. The first classes she taught were kids sewing and art quilting at her local sewing store. She has taught classes to her quilt guild and local quilt store. Her teaching has expanded to quilt guilds throughout the United States and at national quilt shows and festivals. Last February, she was invited to teach at the Dubai International Quilt Festival which Jane said, “was an incredible experience.”

Jane is looking forward to sharing her technique which she feels is “a little more freeing than other fabric collage techniques. It opens the eyes to students to try something new and hopefully make them feel that they can work and create out of their comfort zone.”

Jane likes teaching from home for the online Road@Home. She said it gives her “more opportunities to share more techniques including using scraps and found textiles in their projects, painting on fabric and designing their own patterns from photos” while having easy access to all her quilts, samples and materials.

To learn more about Jane Haworth, please visit her website.

Meet Road@Home Teacher Kathleen Riggins

December 31st, 2020

During Road@Home, Kathleen Riggins will be teaching 3 Longarm Quilting Classes, each from 1:30 – 4:30 PM:

On Wednesday, W129 – Swirls Intensive

Kathleen Riggins

On Thursday, T124 – Feathers For Modern Quilts

Kathleen Riggins

On Friday, F134 – Creating Contrast With Free Motion Quilting

Kathleen Riggins

And a Longarm Lecture Class on Saturday from 8:00 – 9:00 AM:

SL08 – Free Motion Mix Tape

Kathleen Riggins

Quilting is in Her Blood!!

Canadian, Kathleen Riggens, comes from a long line of quilters. Her mom, grandma, great-grandma, and great-great-grandma all quilted. Consequently, Kathleen learned all about quilting at a very young age.

When she was first starting out, Kathleen learned how to quilt using her mom’s sewing machine. With all her practicing, Kathleen got to know every decorative stitch on that machine really well. Imagine Kathleen’s surprise when she realized that Santa’s workshop used the very same machine as her mother’s as Santa left one just like it for Kathleen under the Christmas tree!!

Kathleen Riggins

Free Motion Quilting

Kathleen Riggins started free motion quilting when she was about 13 with a phone call to her mom at work: “Mom, how do you free motion quilt?”Her mom replied, “You drop the feed dogs and pretend the needle is a pencil.” And that’s exactly what Kathleen did.

Kathleen always liked free motion quilting. When she lived in England after University for a while, she worked at a quilt store there and did a lot of free motion quilting for them—that’s when she “really got into it.” When Kathleen returned to Canada, she kept quilting, taking lots of classes and practicing pretty much nonstop to bring her to her expertise level she enjoys today.

Kathleen’s longarm machine occupied her family’s dining room until just recently when her family moved to a larger home. Today, her longarm is in a spare room in her basement. It’s great having a dedicated space for her machine, but Kathleen says she does miss the natural light found in her old living room.

Favorite quilting tools for Kathleen are rulers and thread. Kathleen commented, “I love thread so much, and love to use a million colours of threads in a quilt. I also love quilting rulers, particularly straight ones. The ones from The Quilted Pineapple are my favourite.”

Lessons from COVID-19

Quilting has taken a back seat for Kathleen Riggins since the beginning of the pandemic. Instead, family time has been her number one priority. Kathleen has a toddler who is 20 months old. She is expecting her second son soon after Road@Home is over which means she has spent most of the lockdown “sleeping, puking, or playing with my toddler.” She has gotten into hand embroidery “which has been lots of fun.”

Patience with herself has been Kathleen’s biggest learning experience during COVID-19. She regrets that she hasn’t actually quilted anything on her longarm since the end of June. She says that her “day job has been extra busy, parenting a toddler, and being pregnant has just meant that the last thing I want to do after kiddo’s go to bed is go back to work, so I’ve been letting myself not. I’ve actually had time to do what I want for the first time in about 7 years. Unfortunately, it seems that most of what I want is to sleep, but it’s been really nice to give myself the time to do that.”    

Teaching During Road@Home

Kathleen Riggins has been teaching classes for around 20 years. She began teaching kid’s sewing classes in her family’s quilt store when she was just 11 years old!!. So, for most of her life, she has been involved in teaching. Kathleen started teaching free motion quilting classes when she was in England in 2011/2012.

Teaching virtually is also not new to Kathleen Riggins. She has already been doing it for years and feels that she’s gotten a pretty good system down. The hardest part of teaching virtually, Kathleen feels, “is not being able to see when students are struggling.” But she adds, “Hopefully they will let me know! I’ll also be 8 months pregnant, so I’ll be extra glad to not be travelling to teach.”

What Kathleen likes most about teaching is “seeing people improve! Its so fun to watch someone struggle at the beginning of class, but then really get into the grove by the end of class.” She hopes her students with Road@Home will gain confidence and realize for themselves that Free Motion Quilting isn’t hard– and is a lot of fun!

To learn more about Kathleen Riggins, please visit her website.

A New Year With A New Quilt Show

December 29th, 2020

When the Ontario Convention Center officially notified Road to California’s owner, Matt Reese, on October 1, 2020, that they would be unable to house the show in January 2021 due to local and state Health Department rules, Matt had a choice to make. He could either cancel the 25 year show, shutting down a beloved quilting tradition, leaving him and the Reese a family without a source of income. Or, he could go out on a limb and transform Road’s traditional model to a new quilt show that could meet the current challenging circumstances. He chose the latter and embarked on creating the first ever, Road@Home— an all virtual, new quilt show unlike any online show tried before.

New Quilt Show

A Reese Family Tradition

Matt Reese is the grandson of Road to California’s founder, Carolyn Reese. Road has been a family owned and run show since 1995. Through the years, various family members have carried out different roles in presenting the show.

New Quilt Show

Matt got involved with the show in 2004 when he was 14 years old, first as a volunteer and later receiving a stipend for his work. His first responsibility was to haul equipment in and out of the Convention Center. In 2008, he took over for a cousin, first as the assistant to his Grandmother, then later moving on to logistics. Each subsequent year brought more responsibilities and more opportunities to learn all the ins and outs of running a successful quilt show. No matter what his job, Matt was always looking for better ways to run the business, making suggestions to improve it here and there. And if becoming more involved in the business wasn’t challenging enough, during this period, Matt not only graduated from college, but he also went on to law school and passed the California Bar Exam.

Because of his past experience working all aspects of Road, when Carolyn Reese decided to retire, it was an easy decision for Matt to step into the role of owner of Road to California, forging the way for the next Reese generation. Flexible work hours, a way to provide for his growing family, and inheriting a show with a proven track record, gave Matt the confidence to leave a lucrative law career and take over the family business.

Growing and Improving Road

From the very beginning in his new role as owner, Matt implemented important updates to develop an improved, new quilt show. These changes included hiring a professional software developer to create a new software program, registration system and website. Matt has also developed a more business savvy Road, setting a long-term vision while maintaining the family feel.

COVID 19 and Road

When Matt was first told that there could not be a traditional Road to California, it was the start of an “emotional rollercoaster” for him — and the Reese family. In one way, he was relieved that he didn’t have to keep wondering about how to offer an in person show during a pandemic. But on the other hand, how would Road be able to pivot to a new quilt show that could still be relevant and important to everyone involved? Matt recalls it was a time of a lot of “ stress” and “ sleepless nights. Whatever he was going to decide on going forward was going to “affect everything in my life.” He and his wife spent many nights going over every detail. Just as many other small businesses experienced with COVID-19, there were many times Matt and the team were unsure of the future of the show due to the pandemic. They did not give up.

Road has always valued our Road Family, not just the members of the Reese Family, but our vendors, teachers, sponsors, and of course, attendees. How could we bring an event that was safe and enjoyable for all?

The result of all this soul searching: Road@Home. Road@Home actually took a long time to come together as Matt never wanted to share something that he felt did not represent the Road Family in its entirety.

Welcome to Road@Home

Road@Home is not an in-person Road to California dropped into an online format. It is a totally new quilt show redesigned to fit a virtual format. Road@Home is its own unique experience, unlike any other virtual quilt show that has been offered in 2020.

To begin with, Road@Home has the largest collection of classes —over 200– more than any other show. More than 100 teachers from around the world applied to teach and Road accepted pretty much all of them. In-person Road could never have been able to offer such variety with so many quality instructors at one time and that’s exciting!!

 FL03 – Art Quilts From Photographs by Sandra Mollon on Friday, January 22, 2021

Road@Home has still been able to offer traditional fan favorites like a 2.0 version of Roundabout, a variety of vendors not found anywhere else, and Special Exhibits to inspire.

The latest technology has been adapted to prepare for Road@Home’s new quilt show launch. A special Zoom link has been established and a Road@Home YouTube channel is now available. And of course, Road has been utilizing their regular social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Road@Home is welcoming seasoned Road quilt show regulars as well as new participants who have heard about Road’s reputation but due to time and/or distance, have not been able to attend in the past. Anyone can participate with Road@Home’s offerings even if they don’t enroll in a class. After registering for a Road account and signing up for Road to California’s newsletter, anyone can take advantage of special events, lectures, and vendors.

Has the change to a new quilt show been easy? Not quite. Working with a skeleton crew to redesign a whole new program has kept staff extremely busy and extremely innovative. But as Matt Reese shares, everyone at Road agrees: “We’ve given our all to make Road@Home a really special experience.”

Will you be joining us virtually, January 20 – 23, 2021, for Road@Home?

Meet Road@Home Teacher Sandra Mollon

December 23rd, 2020

Sandra Mollon will be teaching 2 classes on Friday, January 22nd, during Road@Home:

A Lecture Class,  FL03 – Art Quilts From Photographs, and

Sandra Mollon

F130 – “Make A Leap For It” Fused Art With Mixed Media

Sandra Mollon

Sandra Mollon and Her Fabric Art Journey

Back in the mid-1980’s, Sandra Mollen’s family rented a house whose previous tenant was a quilter.  After living in the hose for a month, a quilting magazine showed up in Sandra’s mailbox for the previous tenant.  As Sandra thumbed through the pages, she realized how much she loved the quilts, and within 3 months, Sandra bought her first sewing machine.

Sandra Mollon joined a quilt guild in the late 1980’s in Maryland.  She entered one of her first quilts in their local show.  During a set up meeting, Sandra overheard someone call it “ugly.”  Needless to say, Sandra “was pretty devasted and decided that I would try harder before the next show (two years).  Deciding that the Baltimore Album Quilts were the most beautiful, in my mind anyway, I set out to learn to applique.  Two years later I won the viewer’s choice ribbon in that very same guild.  I worked in that style for nearly three decades, eventually winning a purchase award at Spring Paducah in 2019 and have a quilt in that style in the National Quilt Museum.” 

After many years of hand applique work, Sandra was ready to try something new. She discovered that National and International quilt shows were bringing in whole new approaches to textile art.  Sandra decided to join in and has been making fused raw edge art quilts from photographs ever since.

Where Sandra Creates

When Sandra began sewing, her space was really the dining room table when the family wasn’t eating around it. Eventually, she took over a bedroom when her oldest left for college.  When Sandra outgrew that space, she jokingly suggested to her husband that they buy a new house.  And 9 years ago—they did!! Their newest home had a large ‘game’ room with a pool table in it.  Sandra kicked out the pool table and set up her dream studio.

Sandra Mollon’s sewing room houses the tools she can’t work without: her Bernina Q20, assorted scissors, fabric, thread, and Misty Fuse adhesive. During the pandemic, Sandra learned how to use “Zoom”—something she had not even heard of prior to 2020. 

Road@Home Classes

Sandra Mollon is looking forward to teaching at Road@Home, especially her lecture, “Art Quilts from Photographs.” She can’t wait to have “a large audience of people who can see what I do.  I hope I inspire others to reach for their dreams.”

To learn more about Sandra Mollon, please visit her website.

Meet Road@Home Joyce Hughes

December 22nd, 2020

Joyce Hughes will be teaching 3 classes during Road@Home:

On Thursday, T105 – Dimensional Thread Painting With Sunflower Panel

Joyce Hughes

On Friday, F110 – Sketch, Color And Quilt

Joyce Hughes

and on Saturday, S106 – Dimensional Thread Painting With Raw Edge Floral Designs

Joyce Hughes


T-Shirt Quilt Success


Joyce Hughes’ first “adventure” with quilting was making a T-Shirt quilt for her daughter as a graduation gift. Joyce, along with 10 of her friends, got together and read tips online on how to make them. They worked together for several months to complete the quilts.


After making the T-Shirt quilt, Joyce realized that she did not like trying to make all the points match perfectly. But she did enjoy the creative process of quilt making. She quickly changed her quilting into making art quilts with thread painting. As Joyce says, “No need to have matching points!”


Thread Painting Teacher


Joyce Hughes started teaching quilting at her local quilt store 12 years ago. That has led to traveling and teaching on a national level for quilt guilds, quilt stores and National Quilt Shows for the past 10 years


Joyce loves to share her thread painting techniques. Her biggest reward is when she sees a student look at their work with a smile. Joyce says, “It is very rewarding when a student takes what they have learned, and apply my techniques to their own beautiful quilts. Many students have sent photos to me with the ribbons they received from entering their quilts into a quilt show- A VERY proud moment for me and the student!”


Lessons Learned From COVID

Joyce Hughes actually had the Coronavirus earlier this year. She says that that experience has changed her life’s priorities: “I look at things so differently now. What I use to get upset and stress about, I learned are really not as important as I once thought. I learned to slow down an appreciate who and what really matters. My family, my pets, dear friends and a home is really all I need to feel safe and loved. I take the time to look at simple things such as a flower and see the beauty in the detail, or take a quite walk with my dogs and see how happy they are to be with me. I do miss seeing people and being able to teach in person. I miss being able to hug and share our life stories. So I try my best to stay connected with others. I feel at this time, we can feel insolated and lonely and by reaching out just to say Hi, can lift a persons day and maybe bring some comfort and smile to our faces.”

Joyce Hughes

During the lockdowns, Joyce has spent a lot of time figuring out how to continue with her teaching, in a “safe and very professional way.” She has learned a lot of new technology working with virtual presentations. To get away from all the stress of the virus, Joyce works in her garden, maintaining her flower beds. “Gardening is very relaxing for me,” shared Joyce. “When I am gardening, my mind is focused on the beautiful flowers. The garden helps with my creativity and I will look at the garden and get ideas for my next quilts and classes.”

Joyce Hughes


Teaching for Road@Home


Joyce has prepared for her classes for Road@Home by adding technology and equipment that she had not used in a classroom setting. She has incorporated a power point presentation with detailed photos of the threading steps and a camera focused on the machine so that the students can see her demonstrating the correct stitching.


Joyce is most looking forward to meeting her students and finding out why they want to thread paint. She hopes her students will feel “comfortable with the process and be able to create and express their creativity.”


To learn more about Joyce Hughes, please visit her website.

Meet Road@Home Teacher Barbara Cline

December 18th, 2020

Barbara Cline will be teaching 4 classes during Road@Home:

On Wednesday, from 8:00 – Noon: W102 – Diamond Chain Quilt

Barbara Cline

On Thursday, from 8:00 – 11:00 AM: T103 – Overlapping Stars

Barbara Cline

On Friday, from 8:00 – 11:00 AM: F103 – Cactus Star

Barbara Cline

And on Saturday, a 1 hour lecture from 8:00 – 9:00 AM: SL01 – Designing Inside Different Block Layouts

Barbara Cline

It All Began With A Family Quilt Store

Barbara Cline’s journey into quilting began when she was in the 5th grade. Her parents had bought a fabric store and it was there that Barbara’s love for quilting began.  When Barbara was a teenager, she taught classes and worked as a clerk at the store.  She did sewing throughout the years, but it wasn’t until her children were in grade school that she began to design and market quilt patterns. Barbara just published her sixth quilt book a few months ago, in the fall of 2020.

Instead of a quilt store for her work area, today, Barbara Cline’s sewing room is connected to her living room, which she “loves.”  Barbara says that she has always loved being “right in the middle of where our 5 children would play.  Yes, they would walk over my “design wall”, the floor, to get to the steps that led upstairs. But I was OK with that because the children were more important than the quilts.”

Barbara Cline is a World Renown Teacher

Barbara has been teaching sewing for the past 40 years and quilting for the past 30 years. During the years Barbara worked at her parent’s fabric store, Barbara began teaching all kinds of quilting classes. This led to Barbara teaching some of her own quilt pattern designs. 

Ten years ago, Barbara Cline sent her first book proposal to C&T Publishing and they accepted her book!! Today, C&T Publishing has published 6 books written by Barbara. Those books have turned Barbara’s local teaching into national and international teaching experiences.  She says that her “highlight of teaching quilting was in Dubai and Kuwait.”

What is Barbara Cline’s favorite part about teaching, no matter where she is all over the world?  To “see the creativity in people come alive.”

During the COVID-19 shut down, Barbara has been working on new quilt patterns and creating quilt classes on CourseCraft. What has the Coronavirus taught Barbara these past 9 months? “Trust in the Lord at all times.”

Teaching at Road@Home

Of the four classes Barbara Cline will be teaching during Road@Home, she will be introducing her newest class, “Diamond Chain Star.”

Barbara can’t wait to interact with all her students during Road@Home.  She says that she loves “questions and solving problems in the quilting world.”

The three things Barbara hopes her students will grasp during her classes are:  

  1. To learn new techniques of an 8-pointed star;
  2. To see how easy and simple triangle blocks can be used to make a beautiful table runner; and
  3. How to make an easy split diamond and then how these simple split diamonds can create a complex looking star.

To learn more about Barbara Cline, please visit her website.

Meet Road@Home Teacher Cristina Arcenegui Bono

December 15th, 2020

Cristina Arenegui Bono will be teaching all four days of Road@Home:

On Wednesday, W100 – Borders & Slashing Galore

Cristina Arenegui Bono
rhdr

On Thursday,  T100 – Appliquilting

qrf

On Friday, F100 – Deep In The Forest

Cristina Arenegui Bono

And on Saturday, S200 – A Whimsical Village

European Teacher Comes To Road@Home

Cristina Arenegui Bono first heard about quilting in 1996 when she went to watch the film “How to make an American quilt.” She left “the cinema absolutely fascinated about quilting but at that time I was living in London and I couldn’t find any place to learn.” Three years later when she was pregnant with her son, she found out that a patchwork teacher was coming to her town to teach an intensive course and so Cristina enrolled right away. That was the beginning of Cristina’s quilt journey and she hasn’t stopped since then.

Cristina Arenegui Bono never thought about becoming a professional quilter until her quilting teacher told Cristina about another woman in Spain who had a long arm quilting business. Cristina had been looking for a job that she could do from her own home so that she could take care of her son with special needs. Cristina bought her first long arm quilting machine in 2005 and opened a business six months later. Cristina has gone to England, Germany and the United States, perfecting her business by taking opportunities to learn from the best quilters in the industry.

19th Century Quilt Studio

Cristina Arenegui Bono set up her quilting business in the house where she grew up: a 19th century home. Cristina says the house “has its limitations but it also has its charm.”

Cristina Arenegui Bono

Different rooms house different aspects of the business. The warehouse was her brother’s old bedroom. Cristina dyes fabrics in the old family kitchen, and her clients hear the church bells as they learn to quilt.

A fairly large area of the house is the quilting workshop where two long arm quilting machines are set up. Both Cristina Arenegui Bono and her husband work on the long arm machines. The rest of the house is dedicated to the online store as well as a small recording studio where Cristina gives her online courses and her live broadcasts.

Lessons Learned from COVID-19

Since Cristina has always worked from home, the Coronavirus hasn’t stopped her from working on her long arm quilting business. However, Cristina noted that “This time has given me the chance to do quite a big amount of online courses. I have also had more time to work on my own quilts.”

The Coronavirus has taught Cristina Arenegui Bono that “you cannot plan everything in your life. From one day to the next, everything changes, and you have to rethink everything, work, family relationships, etc. Now I try to do more than what really fills me up and I live in the moment.”

Road@Home Classes

Cristina first began teaching quilt classes in 2013. She was encouraged by her longarm clients who were always asking her when she was going to teach them to machine quilt. At first, Cristina gave courses in her quilt shop. It didn’t take long for quilt shops throughout Spain to start asking her to travel to their shops to teach.

Being with her students is what Cristina likes most about teaching. She says that she has found that many of her students had given up on machine quilting. Her best reward is to see these students at the end of a class going home, wanting to continue practicing.

Cristina commented that, “Teaching at Road@Home is a dream come true to me…Being a member of Road´s Faculty is such a big honor to me.” She hopes her students gain confidence in their quilting skills, enjoy the classes and by the end of her classes, “they are keen to make their own whimsical quilts.”

See more about Cristina Arenegui Bono on her Facebook Page.

Meet Road@Home Teacher: Phyllis Cullen

December 11th, 2020

Phyllis Cullen will be teaching five classes during Road@Home:

On Wednesday, January 20th: WL02 and on Thursday, January 21st: T117  It’s All About The Face

Phyllis Cullen

W122 – Easy Stained Glass Quilts

Phyllis Cullen

F124 – Wild (Fabric) Animal (Or Bird) Collage

S116 – Lava Landscape (Fire On The Mountain!)

Doctor Fabric Artist

Phyllis Cullen started quilting in 1985. At the time, Phyllis was a physician practicing anesthesiology. She would paint between cases in the doctor’s lounge and some of her colleagues objected to the smell of the paints. So, she started collaging –painting with fabrics instead.

During this time, she decided to take an official “quilting” class. Phyllis recalls, “Quarter inch seams? Repetitive triangles? not my style!” Luckily for Phyllis, she had already discovered that “playing with lots of fabric scraps in a free form style was lots of fun,” so she told the teacher, “Thanks but I guess I’m not a “quilter”, just a fabric artist who quilts her artwork.”

Phyllis’ Studio

Phyllis Cullen’s quilting area is a huge studio with two walls full of shelves of fabric.  Since she looks at her quilting as painting with fabric, Phyllis says she needs to have a full palette!

Phyllis Cullen

What are the quilting tools that Phyllis can’t live without? First and foremost, her stash!! Next it’s her tiny rotary cutter for slashing up the fabric, then her students, – and finally, her imagination!

During the COVID lockdowns, Phyllis has been exploring different styles, converting all her classes to virtual. She says that she has learned “way more than I ever wanted to know about zoom, and dual cameras,and video editing, etc,” And she wrote a book,”It’s All About the Face: Quilted Fabric Portraits”  which has been really well received (And is the source for some of her classes she’ll be teaching during Road@Home).

Teaching at Road@Home

Phyllis Cullen has been teaching for 15 years, in Hawaii, on the Mainland, and all over the world, from Israel to Australia. Since she retired from practicing medicine, Phyllis feels like she’s become a full-time teacher.

What does Phyllis like most about teaching?  She says, “I love seeing my students succeed and take off with their artwork when they thought they couldn’t do it at all. I love showing them the easier way to do things, and to trust their own choices.”

For Road@home, Phyllis Cullen says that she will be trying to compress day-long classes into shorter time periods. She will be getting in touch with her students before the actual class days, helping them complete “the preliminaries” so that everyone can “really accomplish” what she wants them to do during the class. Phyllis shared that she takes pride in being available to her students for life. She adds, “I really, really want them to succeed, each and every one. I really look forward to sharing everything with students I haven’t met yet, and turning them on to the artist within them, and getting them excited about new possibilities, ways of working, and materials they might not have thought of using.”

To learn more about Phyllis, please visit her website.

Meet Road@Home Teacher Nancy Arico

December 9th, 2020

Nancy Arico will be teaching 5 classes during Road@Home:

W101 – EQ8 Designing A Quilt

Nancy Arico

W118 – Triangles, Parallelograms, And Trapezoids. OH MY!

T101 – EQ8 Designing Blocks

T114 – Scattering Triangles

F101 – Churned-Up

Nancy Arico

Crazy for Math

Nancy Arico knew she’d be a quilter. Back in the 70’s, she first gave quilting a try when she was in high school. Nancy had bought a book called “Modern Quilting” and set out to make a star block with templates and hand stitching. Well, she never finished that block but her love of quilts stay with her. Finally, about 12 years ago, Nancy decided she would give quilting another try. She signed up for a “Learn to Quilt” class at a local shop. After using rotary cutters and doing machine piecing, this time around, she “was hooked!”

Before becoming a quilt teacher, Nancy’s first love was math. Her occupation was as an actuary, a “kind of mathematician.” Consequently, Nancy loves the math aspect of quilting. Some of her classes use the EQ8 to design quilts and blocks. She also likes to teach classes focusing on geometric shapes.

Quilting During Coronavirus Lockdowns

When Nancy Arico’s oldest son went to college, she wasted no time taking over his room with her sewing and quilting. She added some Ikea furniture and a cutting table made from a door to make it complete.

Nancy Arico

She still uses that room, but a couple years ago, she opened a studio. Her original plan was to offer both the fabric artist and the student a place to connect and create. However, the Coronavirus quickly changed her model and now it is more of a quilting studio – with lights, cameras, and computers to make online teaching possible.

Since March, Nancy has been doing Zoom, sewing, Zoom, sewing…… At first, she was “thrilled” to have everything on her calendar get cancelled so she could finish up several UFOs.  But it didn’t take long for Nancy to start offering some Zoom classes and gatherings.  Now, her calendar is full again – with teaching — and she has to make time to squeeze in some sewing and quilting as much as she can.

Nancy says she has learned two valuable lessons from other quilters during the pandemic: “1) to look at what joy I am getting out of my time, even if there is nothing tangible to show for it. And 2) to allow my ideas time to develop at their own pace.”

Teaching at Road@Home

Prior to 2019, most of Nancy Arico’s teaching was sharing what she was learning with her guild and quilt friends. Since then, she has been teaching in person and online a few times every month. She has really developed her Zoom technique of teaching to ensure that everyone in her classes “gets a front row seat.” Says Nancy, “I use 1 or 2 additional cameras to show my work table and sewing machine as needed.”

Nancy is looking forward to “meeting new people and encouraging others to look beyond a pattern to the possibilities.” She hopes her students will find “some new ways of looking at a quilt and how to make it their own.”

To learn more about Nancy Arico, please visit her website.

Japanese Textiles With Patricia Belyea

December 4th, 2020

Patricia Belyea will be your host at Road@Home on Friday, January 22, 2021 from 9:30 -11:00 AM for FL02 – Tokyo Quilt Festival & More Japanese Textile Treasures

Japanese Textiles

American Quilter Turned Japanese Textiles Aficionado

Japanese Textiles

Patricia Belyea began quilting at age 53. She made a baby quilt for a young woman in her design office. At the time, Patricia thought that quilts were made out of old clothes, so she went to Goodwill to buy her “fabrics.” Her project stash ended up including a “pretty” girl’s Gymboree dress, some other clothing, and a striped cotton sheet.

Through her church, Patricia met Maurine Noble—an internationally known quilting teacher. Not only did Maurine introduce Patricia to a rotary cutter, mat, ruled grid, and some ideas for Patricia’s beginner project, she became Patricia’s friend and quilting mentor. Patricia declares that if she “had not met Maurine, I doubt I would have made anything more than my totally imperfect first quilt.”

Three years before Patricia made that first quilt, for her 50th birthday, her husband and she visited Kyoto, Japan for a long weekend. Although their trip was short, the experience proved to be “life changing.” When they returned home to Seattle, their daughters’ high school made a request for families to host Japanese homestay students. The Belyeas “gladly welcomed” Saori into their home for one year and then went on to host seven more Japanese students.

Japan wooed Patricia and her husband with “sweet memories” from their first stay. They returned many times to check in with their “beloved” homestay students. After Patricia began quilting, their trips gained another focus: treasure hunting for Japanese textiles.  

Tokyo Quilt Festival

Patricia’s first time attending the Tokyo International Quilt Festival was in 2010. Her husband was waiting for her in a nearby coffee shop, so she only stayed one hour. Her first impression was “absolute awe” of the Japanese textiles but also chagrin that she could not stay longer.

Since that first visit, Patricia has returned to the Festival six more times, allowing ample time to take in all the Japanese Textiles. Thinking of the Tokyo Quilt Festival, Patricia says, “The three quilt competitions and invitational show exhibit a wondrous array of quilts. But my favorites are the annual retrospectives of famous sensei (honored teachers) and the fabulous feature exhibits. Over the years, different Japanese quilters have begun to recognize me on the show floor. I’ve befriended Sachiko Yoshida, a sensei who specializes in exquisite quilts made with antique kimono silks and visited her home studio.”

Okan Arts

Okan Arts is Patricia’s company that she runs with her daughter, Victoria Stone. Okan means mom in Japanese. Okan Arts is based in Seattle and imports vintage Japanese textiles along with running an online gallery representing national quilters.

Japanese Textiles

Okan Arts also offers textile tours of Japan. Stops on her tours include the Tokyo Quilt Festival and a nearby town that hosts the Akie Ginza Sashiko Museum. Akie-san is an 89 year-old teacher of traditional sashiko stitching known as “little stabs.” Her farmhouse is bursting with her life’s work.

Another popular stop is the Itchiku Kubota Museum in the Mount Fuji region. Here, on display, is an important collection of hand-dyed silk kimono. Patricia recalls that she “got tears in my eyes when I entered the exhibit hall as the textile design and execution were so breathtaking.”

Two other destinations on the tour are the historic town of Arimatsu, home of shibor i dyeing, and the Kyoto area.

Japanese Textiles Lecture During Road@Home

Many people have said to Patricia, Take me with you to Japan. Because the Okan Arts tour caps at 16 participants, a lot of people get left behind. At Road@Home, there’s no limit to the virtual travelers for this unique lecture. This virtual visit includes a front row seat to the 2020 Tokyo Festival as well as seeing several Japanese textile treasures with a tour of a chusen -dyeing workshop, a visit with sashiko guru Aki Ginza, a stop at the secret needle shop in Kyoto, and a peek at the Kubota Museum. Patricia will end her presentation with a trunk show of her creative quilts inspired by these special Japanese textiles.

Patricia knows that those participating with this lecture, will be able to check off their Bucket List their wish to see the Tokyo Quilt Festival and for others who hope to go over to Japan someday, some great ideas for where to visit.

For more information about Patricia Belyea and Okan Arts, please visit her web site.