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Welcome to the Road to California Blog

Looking Back: Best of Show Winner

October 20th, 2020

With the pause in our traditional quilt contest, Road realized that there are probably a lot of quilters who were forced to pause in their creating of potential show winning quilts. Also, there’s probably been a pause for quilters who were looking for new inspiration as well as missing the opportunity to show appreciation for outstanding quilt work. Since we temporarily won’t be able to look forward to our next contest winners, Road realized that perhaps for now, great quilt inspiration will have to be found by looking back. Do you remember these past Best of Show winners and their award-winning quilts?    

Once Upon a Time

Sharon Schamber of Payson, Arizona, received $6,000 in 2014 for her Best of Show winner. The quilt was inspired by her love for the romantic and delicate details of the Victorian era. Said Sharon, “I love how things are both simple and complex at the same time. I wanted to create a medallion quilt that spoke to that romantic notion.” Sharon chose blue roses because “they were unique and the quilt asked/demanded something special like them.”  At the time she started on the quilt, there were no actual blue roses, but by the time she had finished, they became available. Sharon likes to think that “maybe the quilt knew something that the rest of the world hadn’t thought about yet.” Sharon actually began Once Upon A Time in 2000. Her lengthy process to complete this best of show winner taught Sharon that each quilt truly has its own schedule and identity. “You have to follow the clues it gives you if you want the best out of it and yourself,” remarked Sharon. Even though it took 14 years to finish, Sharon felt it was an amazing adventure and she “enjoyed every minute of it.”

Vivaldi by Moonlight

Best of Show Winner

In 2015, the prize for Best of Show increased to $10,000. That year, the winner was Sandra Leichner, from Albany, Oregon.  Regarding her winning design, Sandra shared how she wanted to make a different style of wholecloth and at the same time, challenge her skills. She said that she was mostly known for her handwork skills and felt that her machine quilting skills were “inevitably overlooked because the viewer focus was always on my handwork.” From the onset, Sharon said that “I knew I did not want feathers etc. I wanted to create a totally original design in my artistic style using only machine quilting to create the overall design. Although it is a wholecloth, I have used a subtle monochromatic thread color palette to create added depth and incorporate more visual dimension to the intricate twining quilting design.” Vivaldi by Moonlight was originally made for Sharon’s bed but when the quilt became “too fancy to allow my neurotic kitty Milo, who lives on my bed, to sink his claws into” it, she decided to enter it and “see what would happen.” What happened was the best of show winner for 2015.

Silk Road Sampler

best of show winner

Do you remember the fuss this 2016 best of show winner caused on the show floor? Road received many complaints that maker and quilter, Melissa Sobotka, just stitched around one piece of fabric. It wasn’t until one looked up close at the immense detail of this art quilt, that one realized that Silk Road Sampler was truly a masterpiece. It took Melissa 5 months to complete this best of show winner which was inspired by a picture she took in the spice market in Istanbul. She thought the designs on the pillows were something that many appliquers would appreciate and that it would be a busy enough design for her to enjoy working on for many months. About 4 months into the project, Melissa wondered. “What have I got myself into?” The detail on the bottom section nearly put her into “a straight jacket.” But as with all her quilts, Melissa just “faced the challenges head on, a little more each day, until it was finally completed.

It is so fun to look back at past best of show winners. Stay tuned for the best of show winners from 2017 – 2020 in our next blog post.

Teri Lucas, Quilt Book Author

October 15th, 2020

Have you ever wondered how a quilter ends up writing a quilt book? Meet Teri Lucas, an accomplished quilter, owner of TerifiCreations and a new quilt book author.

quilt book author

Getting Started in Quilting

Teri shared that for her, quilting “started while working on a project for the kids at Church that led to making patchwork placemats for my sister and her fiancé. While working on these projects my husband watched the joy I was experiencing and told me I needed a hobby. The patchwork placemats led to quilting. A friend showed me how to hand quilt and off I went.”

The aspect of quilting that Teri likes most is machine quilting. She says that it brings her the greatest joy. “The hum of the machine, the designs in my head forming under the needle, seeing the whole work come together.”

A Quilt Teacher

Before becoming a quilt book author, Teri was a quilt teacher. She formally began teaching quilting in 2009. She likes to help her students realize that it’s okay to make mistakes, and then she likes to present to them different solutions to move past the mistakes. She also tells her students that quilting outside the lines is “kinda cool” and that wherever they are in quilting is the right place to be.

Quilt Book Author

Teri calls herself a Chief Creative Weirdo. Her creativity led her to publishing her first quilt book, Color, Thread & Free-Motion Quilting: Learn to Stitch with Reckless Abandon in July, 2020.

Teri explained the reason why she focused on thread for her book: “As machine quilters know, thread color can dramatically affect the look and mood of your quilt.”  By using color theory and solid design principles, Teri uses her book to explain how specialty threads in different weights can make motifs stand out the most against the fabric. She shares free-motion tips and tricks as well as her “Impractical Color Wheels.” Teri’s intent is to help quilters learn the thread choice rules so they can be broken!!

Teri’s COVID-19 Adventure

Last April, when COVID-19 was still relatively new, Teri and her husband moved from New York to Texas. They drove 1,700 miles to their temporary home, living in a hotel from mid-April until the end of August. They are still settling into their new home and much to Teri’s dismay, her sewing room still isn’t organized.

quilt book author

What has the pandemic taught this quilt book author? “The biggest affirmation through this: we are built and made for community. This separateness has been hard on everyone for many reasons. The second is: no matter what be kind and presume good motivation/intent. There may be things going on with someone that we do not know.”

Road wishes Teri Lucas the best of luck on her new quilt book adventure.

Road In-Person & Road@Home Next Steps

October 14th, 2020

By now I’m sure you all have read our newsletter discussing the postponement of Road 2021 in-person. I wanted to personally reach out to all of you and answer some questions we got in our email.

Hotel Reservations

If you filled out a form at Road in 2020 for a hotel room for 2021 you have not lost your reservation. A representative from the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau will be contacting you to confirm you want to transfer your reservation to 2022. We are currently negotiating to ensure there is not a hotel rate increase for 2022. This process does take some time, but we are hoping to begin contacting individuals within the next month.

If you want to cancel your reservation, please let them know when they call you. We will not be processing any hotel reservations or cancellations in the Road office.

Show Postponement

I know the terminology that we used is very confusing. Here is the longer story.

Back when my grandmother owned Road to California, she would sign year to year contracts. This allowed the family the option to close the business with minimal issues should something happen to her.

When I purchased the company, we started signing multi-year contracts. Our last contract with OCC expired in 2021. OCC holds dates for us 5-10 years in the future, however they are not contracted dates, just courtesy holds. 

When we had our meeting to determine the fate of Road 2021, OCC exercised their right under the contract to postpone the show to later dates. Rather than attempting to guess when the pandemic would end, we encouraged them to select our 2022 dates. They kept our advanced deposits and adjusted our 2021 contract to 2022.

That is why we considered this a “postponement”. We knew that OCC would be able to exercise this option back when we opened class registration. That is why we posted both “cancellation” and “postponement” options for the registrants prior to the start of class registration. Also, we included in all our teacher contracts that should the show be postponed, their contract could automatically be transferred to our 2022 dates.

We will be adding to our class catalog as time goes on. Our yearly class fees increase will take place on March 1, 2021 – so for the best deal make sure you sign up for Road 2022 prior to the price increase. We will be taking our class registration system off line for the time being until we update with new dates for 2022. We expect to open 2022 registration up sometime in mid November. If you already registered, we have emailed you and your registrations are confirmed awaiting your decision.

Newsletter

As some of you may have seen, our new newsletter provider decided that our email newsletter list was all spam….. This required us to have everyone re-opt in again to our newsletter. As annoying as that may be it’s the only we can put your email address in our new system. Make sure you opt in to receive our newsletter by going to this page.

Once you opt in the system will sent you the most recent newsletter.

Road@Home Classes

Road@Home classes will be posted online no later than October 20, 2020. Our catalog includes over 150 classes, lectures, panels, professional development seminars and events. You’ll definitely be super busy in January with all that we have planned – you really don’t want to miss it.

Just like an in person show you will have the ability to shop vendors, attend lectures, classes and special events. We will have chat rooms for you to chat with fellow quilters and even RoadTV – our new TV network.  Our special exhibit gallery is absolutely stunning. These aren’t flat pictures of quilts – you’ll be amazed at the quality of the images.

We know there is so much to do with Road@Home that it may be overwhelming. No worries – we will be posting articles and RoadTV videos on how to access everything!

Road@Home Registration

I know many of you are excited for the opening of Road@Home class registration. We are too! Priority Registration for Road@Home is automatically granted to those individuals with active class registrations for Road 2021 (Now Road 2022).  Priority begins on October 23, 2020. General registration begins on November 3, 2020.

Concluding…

Although we won’t be able to be together in person, Road@Home is the next best thing. Stay tuned for even more announcements and updates regarding Road@Home! I can’t wait to virtually see all of you in January!

Matt

DIY Quilt Sleeve

October 13th, 2020

What is a Quilt Sleeve?

A quilt sleeve allows a quilt to hang evenly. It helps to prevent stretching that occurs when the quilt is hung from a wall when using a type of fastener. A DIY quilt sleeve can be permanent or temporary and it can be sewn on after or at the same time you apply binding.

Road 2020 Winning Quilt

How to Make a DIY Quilt Sleeve

Road Staff came up with their version of a quilt sleeve that is easy to make:

 DIY Quilt Sleeve

Hanging Your Quilt

Once the quilt sleeve has been attached to the quilt, slide either a wooden dowel or slender piece of wood that is 1″ longer than the finished sleeve into the sleeve and hang as desired.

What’s New With Cherrywood Fabrics?

October 9th, 2020

A consistently popular vendor at Road to California is Cherrywood Fabrics – 100% Cotton hand dyed fabrics that have the look and feel of suede.

In addition to their booth, since 2015, Cherrywood Fabrics has also presented Special Exhibits of their unique Cherrywood Challenges. Road 2021 was supposed to be the debut of the Cherrywood Challenge, Diana, in honor of Princess Diana. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Diana Challenge Special Exhibit has been put on hold.

How else has COVID-19 impacted Cherrywood Fabrics? Road reached out to Karla Overland, owner of Cherrywood Fabrics, to find out the latest.

How has Cherrywood Fabrics Adapted to COVID-19?

When the pandemic first hit, Cherrywood immediately went in to “Face Mask” mode, cutting and donating hundreds of facemask kits for local seamstresses to make masks for healthcare workers. Because of this, Cherrywood did not have to furlough any workers. They were also able to keep filling online orders due to a healthy website following. In May, the company decided to take the leap into social media selling. Karla recalls, “It was a very steep learning curve, but we now have five months of weekly Facebook shows under our belt. I am also doing Zoom sewing workshops now and inviting guests to join me on both formats.”

The Facebook LIVE sales have been “fantastic.” Karla believes this was due to several factors: “We already had a large following and they were craving beauty and color. We had one-of-a-kind products that were not available on our website, and our faithful customers have a genuine interest in seeing our small business prevail during COVID-19.”

What Happened to the Cherrywood Challenge Schedule?

Karla explained the logistics of rescheduling Cherrywood’s popular exhibits:

“Not only were we horrified to see our full vending schedule shrink down to absolutely nothing, we had even more cancellations to deal with for The Bob Ross Cherrywood Challenge. It is a huge job to handle all the requests and logistics for the five different trunks, and almost as big a job to un-do it all. Then the question – what would happen to “Bob?” Would anybody get to see “Bob” in person before “Diana” took over?”

Cherrywood Fabrics

“After running through every scenario we could think of, our tiny staff of four decided that we should treat the entire year of 2020 as a “do-over.” If a show had to cancel The Bob Ross Challenge in 2020, we offered it to them again in 2021.”

“The Bob Ross Cherrywood Challenge quilts are safe with us for the moment, with dates scheduled in 2021. I have created a “virtual tour” of the exhibit that has served as a “place-holder” for a few virtual shows. The hope is that they can indeed display the real thing next year.”

What is the Status of the Diana Challenge?

The Diana Cherrywood Challenge was announced in November 2019.

Cherrywood had already received many digital submissions when COVID-19 took over. Even though the Cherrywood Challenges have been so rewarding and positive for their business, Karla knew it was vital to make sure that her business stayed healthy during the pandemic, and her staff was the heart of that. Karla felt the company needed a little breathing room and that the customers did too. Consequently, Cherrywood decided to move the Diana submission date from July 1st to December 31st, 2020. The juried exhibit will premiere at International Quilt Festival 2021 (honoring their prior commitment). This allowed Cherrywood several months to accomplish the jury process, photography, book design and printing, assembly of the physical exhibit and all the million details that the project entailed. (To put it into perspective, these details with the other Challenges were crammed into about two months…while still dyeing fabric every day!)

Cherrywood Challenge Exhibit for Road@Home

Cherrywood was “so thrilled” to put together a Retrospective of The Cherrywood Challenge for Road to California 2021. Remarked Karla,” This is the perfect solution since The Diana Challenge will not be ready and Bob Ross has already made his appearance (at Road 2020). We have hand selected 60 quilts that represent the first 5 years of this colorful journey from Wicked and Lion King on Broadway, to Van Gogh, Prince and Bob Ross.

Looking ahead to Road to California 2022, the beauty and grace of Princess Diana will fill Road’s quilt show with light during the year of the 25th anniversary of her death.

Sign up today to view all Special Exhibits at Road@Home.

Mountain Mist’s DIY Face Mask Filter

October 2nd, 2020

Mountain Mist, maker of exceptional batting products and a favorite vendor at Road to California, has begun a new venture related to the Coronavirus.

Mountain Mist is one of the many product lines that Fibrix, LLC produces.  Their sister company, Fibrix Filtration, makes a filtration line of goods— including a DIY face mask filter media.  Mountain Mist is now in the position to offer this media to the DIY market. 

Why a DIY Face Mask Filter?

From all the research conducted by Mountain Mist, it appears that face masks are the new fashion statement. With the prediction of a second and a third wave of the pandemic, school districts all-across the United States are requiring facemasks for teachers and students when going back to school. In addition, individuals wearing face masks are wanting more than one mask for their wardrobe.  Consequently, the research states that mask making will continue.

DIY Face Mask Filter

DIY Face Mask Filter Media provides an added layer of protection to homemade and store-bought face masks. In fact, it is the same 100% polypropylene needle punched material that Fibrix sells to commercial face mask producers. This vital filtering layer, previously only available to the commercial sector, is now available for the home-sewing market.

How Does the DIY Face Mask Filter Work?

The filter media is made of 100% polypropylene that is needle punched through a polypropylene scrim. It is washable and easy to use. When a filter is placed inside two layers of fabric, it increases the effectiveness of the mask.  The filter media can either be sewn into the mask or be used as a removable filter for pocketed masks. 

What Has the Response Been?

Mountain Mist started shipping the DIY Face Mask Media in August 2020.  Says Linda Pumphry, Senior Account Executive for Fibrix, “The response has been over whelming.  A Mountain Mist retailer did one posting on Facebook of What’s New and sold out his initial order in 20 minutes and called to increase his order.  A consumer said she shared it with her oncology support group, and they were so excited about the product. They shared that the extra layer help in giving them a little more peace of mind when having to venture out for appointments.”

The response to the product was not surprising to the company. All their research indicated that face masks were going to continue to be part of people’s everyday wardrobe. Since Mountain Mist was not able to supply the DIY Face Mask Filter Media during the first wave of face mask making, they weren’t sure if the pipeline had been filled.  As it turned out, the need for wearing face masks has increased; individuals are adding to their initial supply.   

You can take part in using this timely product by purchasing the DIY Face Mask Filter at local independent quilt stores or on Amazon.com.

Meet Road 2021 Teacher: Annie Smith

September 29th, 2020

Annie Smith will be teaching:

On Wednesday, January 20th- 3014C – Build Your Own Color Sense

 Annie Smith

On Thursday, January 21st- 4015C – The 1:10 Quilt

Annie Smith

On Friday, January 22nd- 5014C – Aurifil Thread Matters

On Saturday, January 23rd- 6014C – The “A” Word By Machine

Annie Smith

And on Sunday, January 24th- 7012C – A Is For Applique

Annie Smith: 40 Years Quilting

Annie Smith was a garment sewest long before she started quilting. In high school, Annie made clothes for herself, her friends, and then her friends’ moms. Quilting was a natural transition. Annie began by making a quilt for her first baby in 1980. Calico and solid cotton/poly blends were all that were available at the time. No one in her family quilted so there wasn’t anyone who could guide her. Annie’s husband bought her a book which taught her how to piece and quilt by hand. Annie pieced those first blocks from her hospital bed when she developed pregnancy complications. Later, she took classes at a local quilt shop to have a night out and she found that she got hooked quickly.

Quilting Influences

Annie says that the quilt book, Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes (former Road to California featured quilters) has had the biggest influence on her quilting. Annie shares, “That book was cutting edge and rocked the quilting world and changed the way we looked at making quilts. The sampler quilt in that book has been made thousands upon thousands of times. That quilt and the techniques from the book are so varied — that if you follow the instructions to make that quilt, you will gain the most whole instruction for making a quilt that you could ever get. The techniques teach you how to make a quilt from A – Z; quick-piecing, hand-piecing, applique, y-seam construction, drafting, mitered corners, and so, so much more. They also included instructions in the book for anyone who would like to teach, as well as a lesson plan – remarkable.” Annie ended up teaching a 12-week class using that lesson plan for over twenty years for hundreds of students.

Annie’s favorite quilting tool is Clover Fork Pins. They allow her to butt her seams, securing them in place as she stitches. She always ends up with perfectly aligned seams and perfect points. “They’re worth their weight in gold.”

Quilting Space

Annie was asked to describe her quilting work area:

“First of all, I’m a dedicated BERNINA girl — six and counting. I downsized my work area when I moved from California to Texas recently, so I’ve had the challenge of making the most out of my space. I use two Arrow Gidget II tables for work surfaces and rely on Ikea pieces for storage and versatility. I have a few cool things that I love in my work area. I repurposed CD racks from Mexico to use for fat quarter and half-yard fabric collections, which makes it so much easier for me to shop in my own stash.

Then, I have a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling design wall that I can’t live without. I have a glass white board that is also magnetic, so I can work out quilt details and diagrams and attached fabrics and photos to the board for easy viewing.

Annie Smith

I also love to have familiar and sentimental things around me that keep me grounded: family photos, beautiful artwork, framed pieces from my first book, a tin butterfly from Asilomar, CA.

What the Coronavirus has Taught Her

When everything began shutting down in the United States, Annie was on a teaching trip. The past six months have been the longest she’s been home in over fifteen years! Annie has used this time to “truly organize” her workspace, using cool iPhone apps to catalog fabrics, patterns and books (mainly so she doesn’t re-buy the same thing when she shops!). She has also reformatted her in-person lectures and classes so they can be given virtually via Zoom.

Annie and her husband moved to Texas to be near their kids and while they haven’t been able to see them as much as they would like, they’ve still  been able to do some creative events like a cyber baby shower and helping her grandson with his first day of online-Kindergarten while his mom gave birth to a new baby sister.

The pandemic has taught Annie that “life is even more fragile that we think, that the world can come to a screeching halt overnight, and that we are so much more resilient than we realize.”

Teaching at Road 2021

Annie has been teaching quilt classes since 1984. For twenty years, she worked in Silicon Valley and then would teach classes at night and on weekends. She credits her “experience in my job, training employees in customer service excellence practices and soft skills” for really helping her structure curriculum for her quilting students.

The best part of teaching quilting classes for Annie is meeting new people, many of whom have become dear friends. She loves to nurture people and feels she can learn just as much from them. Annie says that she is really grateful for the students who desire to take classes from her — for, if they weren’t there, she wouldn’t be there either.

Annie hopes her students at Road 2021 will gain self-confidence and realize that they are capable of creating so much beauty. Annie says, “They come into class with so much talent already — and I’m there to assist them in learning something new, and, hopefully, exciting. I love to see the light bulb come on over their head when it all clicks in place — it’s delightful to see!”

Meet Road Vendor: Breakwater Fabric

September 25th, 2020

Who is Breakwater Fabric?

Housed just a few miles west of the Ontario Convention Center, Breakwater Fabric is a quilt shop specializing in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Singer Featherweights, Riley Blake and Moda.

Owner Rachel Mayfield has been quilting since 1989. She has a passion for “beautiful fabric and Singer Featherweight machines.” She recalled that she and her husband were once selling Singer Featherweights in an antique shop in Orange County, California. Leaving a quilt shop one day, Rachel was driving in her car and decided that she could open an online quilt shop to sell Featherweights and quilt shop fabric at quilt shows. Combining this desire with her background in accounting and display, “Breakwater Fabric just all came together.” 

Breakwater Fabric

Rachel says that she LOVES chatting with the quilters who come into the Breakwater Fabric booth at the various quilt shows they attend. “My customers have become my friends.” Rachel also really enjoys display and she is constantly thinking of creative ways to share new fabrics and notions.

Breakwater Fabric

How has Breakwater Fabric adapted during the age of COVID-19? “The biggest change we had to make,’ said Rachel, “was to open an Etsy shop and move all of our online presence to Etsy. This has been great for us”

Coming to Road 2021

Breakwater Fabric can’t wait to see their customers in person again. They “so miss chatting and visiting with the quilt show attendees.” Rachel continued, “I feel like we need to reconnect through our love of fabric and share how we’ve been working on our projects since the Corona Virus Safe at Home recommendations.”

Featured in their booth will be Moda Grunge, Robin Pickens, and FreeSpirit Kaffe Fassett fabrics along with Singer Featherweights in their booth at Road. They will also have some fun antique sewing machine items to share this year.

Road is looking forward to having Breakwater Fabric at Road 2021. To learn more about this online shop, please visit their Facebook Page.

Best Piecing Road 2020

September 22nd, 2020

Best Piecing winner for Road to California 2020, Nancy Simmons, won $1,500 from Sponsor, Hannah’s Quilts, for Farm Market Blooms

Best Piecing

Meet Nancy Simmons

Pennsylvania resident, Nancy Simmons, began her quilt journey by taking a beginner quilt class at a craft shop thirty years ago in 1990. It wasn’t until 20 years later that she won a blue ribbon for her quilt at a country fair. With that win, she went on to enter a quilt in the Muncy Historical Society Quilt Show the next year where she won 3 awards: Best of Show, Best Machine Quilting, and First Place Wall Hanging. Her prizes were a free quilt appraisal and a framed watercolor print from a local artist. Things sure have changed for winning quilters since 2011!!!  

Farm Market Blooms

Nancy said that Road’s 2020 Best Piecing winner was inspired by the tiny, ½” finished diamonds. The design basis came from Edyta Sitar’s Flower Box Pattern.

Best Piecing

Of her winning Best Piecing quilt, Nancy shared, “I especially love antique quilts originating from diamonds. The Lonestar being a favorite. And I love precision piecing…the smaller, the better. The possibilities are endless!”

Best Piecing

The quilt took 9 months to complete with a lot of “patience needed for the precision piecing.”

Road to California Winning Entry

Nancy was at home when she found out she had won Best Piecing. She received a message along with a picture of Farm Market Blooms “adorned with that beautiful ribbon. I was so shocked and delighted,” recalled Nancy. She planned to use her winnings for “more fabric and paying for my next quilt retreat. We hope she was able to go before the Coronavirus shutdown!!

Nancy had already began putting the binding on her next quilt design when it was announced she was the Best Piecing winner. She said that “ideas are bouncing around my head for the next one…it will be stars.”

Quilter’s Rule: More than Just Rulers

September 18th, 2020

Who is Quilter’s Rule?

Popular Road to California Vendor, Quilter’s Rule, was started in 1983 by Jim and Patricia Simons. They produced the first “fabric gripping” ruler made especially for the quilting industry. This signature ruler was designed to be used with a rotary cutter. Quilter’s Rule has since designed many rulers with the same “fabric gripping” technology.

As their logo says, “We’re more than just rulers!” Quilter’s Rule also manufactures a variety of products including:

  • MegaMat pinnable gridded mats, sizes range from 5″ x 7″ to our largest 60″ x 120″.
  • A large assortment of Machine Quilting Templates for use by short-arm, mid-arm, and long-arm machines as well as large-throated sit-down machines.
  • A host of Specialty Rulers.

Teaching at Road

Patricia Simons is always willing to share product knowledge regarding her company’s rulers and mats. She is easily recognized by her flamboyant hats and her long braid.

Quilter's Rule

A question Quilter’s Rule is often asked is “How do I take care of my rulers, templates and mats?”

Quilt Ruler Maintenance

Patricia says that it is important to shop for durable rulers because they will last longer. Essential features to look for in a durable ruler include:

  • Molded instead of cut out of plastic
  • Have their lines injected instead of silk screened on
  • Have a clear coating protecting their marking instead of just having the ink speed dried.   

Templates

Patricia suggests that templates should be ¼’’ thick if they are going to be used with quilting machines. Thinner templates are best for tracing designs.

Mats

Quilter's Rule

Patricia states that a common problem with quilters is that they don’t understand the durability of cutting mats. She commented that there is a notion that mats are self-healing; that cuts and scratches can magically fill in thus preserving the life of a mat. Patricia points out that because mats are made of non-living materials, there is really no way a scratch or cut can totally disappear. The ability for a mat to last over time is due more to the care that it is shown. Some tips for extending the life of a cutting mat include:

  • Only use a rotary cutter with a sharp blade. Dull blades will damage a mat.
  • Never push harder with a rotary cutter than is necessary to cut fabric.
  • Cutting repeatedly on the same line will erode the mat on that line and cause it to bubble or warp. Move your cuts around.                        
  • Wash your mat occasionally with warm soapy water to keep it clean.
  • Always store cutting mats lying flat – not rolled up.
  • Keep mat away from direct sunlight or excessive heat sources for long period of time.

Thank you, Patricia Simons of Quilter’s Rule, for these great tips. To learn more about Quilter’s Rule, please visit their website.