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Welcome to the Road to California Blog

Meet New Road Sponsor and Vendor: The Grace Company

December 3rd, 2019

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

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

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

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

A Quality Rail System   

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

The Grace Company

Quilting Accessories

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

The Grace Company

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

The Grace Company at Road to California

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

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

The Grace Company

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

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

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

How to Enter Your Quilt Shipping Information

December 2nd, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25th Anniversary Giveaway

November 26th, 2019

Have you heard?

Road to California is celebrating 25 years as the “Best in the West” Quilters Conference and Showcase on January 23-26, 2020.

A festivity as big as this one deserves some extra BIG attention. That’s why Road to California is hosting a 25th ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY.

25th Anniversary Giveaway

25th Anniversary Giveaway Details

Twice a week, from December 2nd through January 11th, Road to California will be giving away prize packages made up of items donated from some of our fabulous Road 2020 teachers. That’s 12 prize packages that we are giving away!!!

The giveaways will be posted on Road to California’s Facebook Page. To enter, simply comment on each 25th Anniversary Giveaway post.

Entries for the first giveaway of the week begins on Monday at 6:00 AM Pacific Time and closes on Wednesday at 11:00 PM Pacific time. A winner will be chosen from all entries received using Random Number Generator and announced the following Thursday morning.

The second giveaway of the week will begin at 6:00 AM Pacific Time on Thursday and closes at 11:00 PM Pacific Time on Saturday. Again, a winner will be chosen from all entries received using Random Number Generator and announced the following Monday morning.

Only one entry per person per giveaway will be accepted.

12 Giveaway Prize Packages

So, what are the prize packages for our 25th Anniversary Giveaway?

December 2-4 Twilight Shades Quilt and Cards

25th Anniversary Giveaway
C Sees Quilts and Sandra Mollon

December 5-7 Modern Templates

Gyleen X. Fitzgerald; Sew Kind of Wonderful; Robin Ruth Designs; Krista Moser

December 9-11 Floral and Fauna Quilt Patterns

Crabtree Lane Studio; Flower Box Quilts

December 12-14 Pre-cut Fun Pattern Books

Barbara Cline; Gudrun Erla; Flower Box Quilts

December 16-18 Piece it Together: Applique and Teeny Tiny Collages

Laura Heine; David Taylor; Aloha Quilt Shop

December 19-21 Traditional Templates

Robin Ruth Design; Deb Tucker

December 23-25 Modern Flare Patterns

Flower Box Quilts; Colourwerx

December 26-28 Geometric Patterns

Barbara Cline; Pat Yamin; Flower Box Quilts

December 30-January 1 Not Just Quilts: Hand Embroidery, Apparel Patterns and a Word Search

Shibori Dragon; Patt Blair; Paganoonoo; Pat Yamin; Desiree’s Designs

January 2-4 Winter Blues and Hues

Crabtree Lane Studio; Connie Spurlock

January 6-8 Jen Kingwell Surprise Box

25th Anniversary Giveaway
Jen Kingwell Designs

And the GRAND PRIZE, January 9-11

25th Anniversary Giveaway
Jenny Doan – Missouri Star Quilt Co.

We are so excited to offer these amazing 25th Anniversary Giveaway prize packages. We will post announcements of each prize package on Road’s Twitter and Instagram Accounts but remember: Official entries are only eligible on Road to California’s Facebook Page.

Good luck to all who enter!!!

Meet Road 2020 Teacher: Pepper Cory

November 26th, 2019

Pepper Cory will be teaching 4 classes at Road to California 2020-25th Anniversary Show which include two Handwork Classes:

On Wednesday, 3005G – Pocket Patchworks

Pepper Cory

And Thursday, 4008G – Its A Wrap — Introduction To Sashiko Stitching And Furoshiki

Pepper Cory

Pepper is also teaching two quilt classes where students need to bring their own sewing machine:

On Friday, 5007G – The Allsorts Quilt – A Very BIG Drunkard’s Path!

And on Saturday, 6007G – Plaid Is The New Black

Learning Quilt Techniques From Elderly Ladies

Pepper Cory’s quilt journey began in 1972 when she purchased an antique quilt at a rummage sale for $1.00. She knew right then that she wanted to make quilts, so she sought out experts around her to teach her the art. Those experts happened to be mostly elderly ladies. Since that humble beginning, Pepper began making her own quilts, writing books about quilts, designing needlework tools, and sharing her love of quilting by lecturing and teaching.

Pepper Cory

For seven years (1976 – 19983), Pepper Cory owned her own quilt shop, Culpepper’s Quilts, in East Lansing, Michigan. Today, Pepper is known for writing seven books, designing nine fabric lines, and creating more quilting designs than she can count! Her special quilting interests include scrap quilts, Southern antique quilts, the Japanese art of Sashiko (country quilting), hand quilting, and incorporating traditional designs in new combinations.

She will be traveling to Road to California from her home in North Carolina that she shares with her husband, Rod, and two cats who are her “quilt testers.”

Pepper Cory

Drunkard’s Path Obsession

Pepper Cory admits that she has had a “lifelong obsession with the Drunkard’s Path pattern.” This obsession has fueled many of her quilt designs. Pepper’s first quilt with large Drunkard’s Path templates, Eclipse, is a “somewhat scrappy quilt” centered on a dark pieced circle in the middle of the quilt. That is the quilt she will be teaching at Road 2020 on Friday along with Meteor Shower, which resulted from experimenting with large templates and combining with Drunkard’s Path units as well as other patchwork patterns.  

This Friday class is titled The Allsorts Quilt. Allsorts was named after a British candy mixture and came about after Pepper found two pieces of coordinating prints that she loved but only had one and a half yards of each print. In order to make a queen-size quilt, she added nine solid color fabrics and paraded them across the patterned background and even out into the border.

Pepper At Road 2020

Pepper Cory will start her time at Road 2020 serving as one of the three judges for the Quilt Contest where she will assist in determining who will win the $92,000 in cash prize money. She says that she is “eagerly” looking forward to seeing the quilts that are entered from all over the world. “Road has a reputation for attracting really fine quilts and I always sense that I’m seeing quilts that will set trends and inspire others.”

She is looking forward to teaching and is hoping that her students “have a good time learning. Instilling confidence is my main objective. If they get to a real finish that’s great but I’m also open to communicating with students after the class.”

Pepper is also looking forward to seeing her friends and reconnecting with students from other classes. Oh– and she is planning to go through Whataburger too!

You can read more about Pepper Cory on her website.

Welcome New Road Vendor Moda Fabrics

November 22nd, 2019

Did you know that Moda Fabrics is actually 3 companies? Moda Fabrics, Moda Home + Gifts, and United Notions. The company started in 1975 as United Notions and today is known as an international manufacturer and distributor of fabrics and finished goods. They are proud of their excellent customer service as they continue to strive to be creative leaders on the cutting edge of the industry.

Moda at Road 2020

Road to California is thrilled that Moda Fabrics will have a presence at the 25th Anniversary Show happening January 23-26, 2020.

They will have a booth in the main Exhibit Hall, sharing some of their most popular quilting fabrics and inspirational works from some of their 50 designers.

Moda Fabrics

Road had the pleasure at Quilt Market in Houston last October to meet a couple of these designers such as Ruby Star Society

moda fabrics

And Laura Muir. Laura Muir says that she tries “really, really hard” to express positivity with her audience.

Moda fabric

Laura grew up sewing and quilting and branched out in fine art, expressing a joyful, happy attitude the Laura says the world “needs more of.” That is why she created her Create Joy Project line, to share her passion with as many people as possible.

Moda FAbric

Moda designer, Jen Kingwell, will be teaching at Road 2020 and Moda personalities French General and Primitive Gatherings will be vendors at the Show.

Showcasing Exceptional Talent

Moda Fabrics leads the way with innovative fabrics designed in-house and by many of the industry’s most popular designers and creative talents. One of those creative talents, Robin Pickens, will be on hand at Road 2020 to share her fabrics and designs.

moda fabrics

Robin’s background is in art. She was a broadcast designer with Warner Brothers before moving to the northeast United States. Her first foray into working with fabric happened when she entered one of the weekly Fabric 8 competitions on Spoonflower. Winners of this competition were invited to work with Moda in developing their own fabric line. Robin won the competition in 2015. Her first line of fabric was called Poppy Mae, a botanical scrapbook featuring (you guessed it) poppies.

Robin was familiar with quilts because her mom was a quilter. In the Fall of 2015, Robin went to her first Quilt Market in Houston. This gave her the chance to talk with other fabric designers. After the show, she went home and began making her own quilts. She showed those first quits at the 2016 Quilt Market.

At Road 2020, Robin is looking forward to attending her first Road to California, speaking to fans, meeting new friends, and talking about her fabric lines, Abby Rose, Definite Plus jelly rolls, her Thatched Basic line, and her latest patterns, Bird Talk.

What does Robin hope to share with our Road attendees? “I hope to pass on the joy of (my) activities…by providing patterns, designs, color, ideas, and inspiration. My heart blooms with color and I hope (they) will also enjoy my designs as part of (their) own creative journey. I love to see images of things (others) make with my fabrics and patterns.”  

To learn more about Moda Fabrics, please visit their website.

Meet Road 2020 Teacher: Debby Brown

November 19th, 2019

Debby Brown will be teaching 4 Classes at Road to California 2020-25th Anniversary Show:

On Monday, 1002C – Template Tantrum using the new, Handi Quilter Capri longarm machine

Debby Brown

On Tuesday, 2002C – Essential Echo

On Wednesday, 3004C – More Or Less Quilting

Debby Brown

And on Thursday, she is repeating Template Tantrum, 4005C

Debby Brown is thrilled to once again teach at a prestigious show like Road. “I’m over the moon to be a part of Road’s 25th Anniversary Show because it’s going to be a huge party and parties mean that there might be cake!”

Another reason why Debby might be thrilled to be at Road is to escape the home renovations happening at her house located 70 miles north of New York City. In September, a giant Beech tree crushed her home. Then, in October just before she left for Houston to attend Quilt Market, the ceiling tiles in her guest bathroom came crashing down.

Debby’s Quilt Journey

Debby Brown made her first quilt when she was pregnant with her oldest child, which was 33 years ago.  She traced a cereal-box cardboard square onto dressmaking scraps using a ballpoint pen, cut them out with sewing shears, and sewed them together using a 5/8” seam.  She layered that top with a percale sheet for backing and the thickest polyester batting she could find.  Then she tied the corners using embroidery floss and finally turned the backing toward the front of the quilt, because “I’m fancy like that.”

A few years later, Debby took a quilt class at her local quilt shop, the Quilt Basket in Wappingers Falls, NY. They introduced her to the ¼” seam and the “magical” rotary cutter. At that point, she gave up all other crafts and has been hooked on quilting ever since. 

Debby remembers, “As I finished my new! Improved! quilt tops, I fell in love with the texture and design that quilting added.  I hand-quilted scores of quilts for myself and others, bought and taught myself to use a longarm machine, and eventually mastered home machine quilting while truly enjoying every way that quilting added texture to quilts. I now design and piece quilts just so that I can quilt them.”

Getting Past Health Struggles

Debby deals full-time with a rare disease called Relapsing Polychondritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys cartilage in her body.  Cartilage is in eyes, ears, nose, joints, heart, blood vessels, trachea, esophagus, and most other places in the human body.  Debby says she is “so grateful that there are infusions and medications to help slow the progression of this disease.  Quilting gets me through the hardest days, and it’s my joy to share this quilting with others to help them get through their hard days, whatever the cause may be.”

On her bad days, she might get a wheelchair ride through an airport, but on her good days, she enjoys chopping wood.  She says that it is great exercise, excellent for stress relief, and has been a great way to get revenge on the tree that crushed her house. 

Quilt Teacher

Debby has two favorite parts of quilting – one is sitting home, alone, stitching whilst listening to audiobooks and the other is spending time with dozens of quilters in the classroom.  While she can’t be in crowds all the time, she can’t stand to be alone all of the time either.  That’s why she says that she has “the best job on earth because it allows me to alternate my favorite parts of quilting to stitch together my great life!”

She started teaching machine quilting classes over 15 years ago at her local quilt shop.  Soon after, she began teaching for Handi Quilter and then at quilt shows.

She wants her students at Road 2020 “to gain a few skills and a lot of confidence.  I hope they leave class knowing that they can pick up a UFO, choose a simple machine quilting pattern, and finish their quilt!” She is especially excited to have her students try out Handi Quilter’s new Capri longarm machine.

To learn more about Debby Brown, please visit her website.

Jenny Doan On The Road To California

November 15th, 2019

Jenny Doan, of Missouri Star Quilt Co., first came to Road to California in 2018. She taught several quilt classes featuring her favorite design, the half-square triangle, and she delivered an inspiring evening trunk show. The response of having her at the show was so tremendous, that we knew that Road to California would be inviting her back again in the future.

Jenny Doan

Road to California 2020

What better time to have Jenny Doan return than at Road to California’s 25th Anniversary Show celebration, happening January 23-26, 2020!!!

Once again, she will be teaching classes. For 2020, her sold out classes, Happy Trails, will feature Jenny demonstrating how to make a super easy Happy Trails quilt out of 5-inch squares of precut fabric (charm packs). This project is based off the old classic known as the Snail Trail Block, aka Monkey Wrench, Indiana Puzzle, Journey to California, and Whirligig, but Jenny’s version is “sew” much easier!!!

Jenny Doan

And for the first time, Missouri Star Quilt Co. has partnered with Road to California to have Jenny present her one-of-a-kind event, Jenny on the Road, exclusively for Road to California guests. This special production will be given twice: on Friday, January 24th at 7:00 PM (Class 9500D) and on Saturday, January 25th at 8:30 AM (Class 9600D). A seat for either presentation can be reserved for $75.00 on our registration site.

Because of the special nature of this event, separate wristbands will be issued to attend and is not included with a regular admission to Road. The bracelets will be available for pick up on site at the Ontario Convention Center. Replacement wristbands for Jenny on the Road will not be available.    

Jenny Doan

Jenny on the Road

Jenny on the Road was started shortly after Jenny Doan visited Road to California in 2018 as a way for Jenny to get out and meet more of her fans by going to areas near where they lived and quilted. It also provided opportunities for Missouri Star Quilt Co. employees to travel and see the face of their company in action, delivering quilt tips, stories, and inspiration.

At Road to California’s exclusive Jenny on the Road, attendees will be finding out, “What happens if?” Using just a few simple flips and turns, Jenny’s quick and easy methods will have guests empowered to try something new. Along with learning many valuable tips and tricks for quilting, there will be lots of laughs and maybe even a few tears shed as Jenny shares the story of what got her started in quilting and how Missouri Star Quilt Co. came to be. Learn how what started with one family, has expanded to touch the hearts of many and has created a family of quilters around the world!

Everyone who attends Jenny on the Road will also be receiving an awesome Swag Bag with custom Missouri Star merchandise (a $55 Value). 

Then, immediately following Jenny on the Road, a special pop-up shop for only Jenny on the Road participants, will be stocked with affordably priced quilting supplies from Missouri Star Quilt Co. including kits that are available only with Jenny on the Road. Much of the merchandise found in the pop-up shop is not available in their regular vendor booth at the show.

Having Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Co. at Road to California 2020 is definitely something to celebrate!!!

Meet Road 2020 Teacher: Margaret Willingham

November 13th, 2019

Margaret Willingham will be teaching 3 classes at Road to California 2020 – 25th Anniversary Show:

Two half day classes utilizing the same pattern:

Whimsical Lollipop Flower Block: Hand Reverse Applique With App, a handwork class on Friday Night (5069C) and on Saturday Night, Lollipop Garden Quilt, Flower Block (6068C) which is a machine reverse applique class.

And an all-day class, 6025C – Appassionata: Machine Reverse Appliqué on Saturday

Margaret Willingham has been a quilter for 25 years, although she started sewing when she was 10 years old. As she says, the only differences are “the seam allowances are narrower, and you iron them differently.” Margaret “properly” started quilting, when she joined a quilt group at her church in Aurora, Colorado. She learned by watching and asking questions. lf she liked a pattern, she would read it and figure it out, usually changing it around to make it her way. She considers herself “basically self-taught with some help from my friends.” Margaret never took a workshop herself until she got a longarm sewing machine.

Margaret Willingham

Quilting Mentors

Margaret Willingham taught dance for 40 years. She compares quilting to dance: they are both about foundational techniques. “lf you have those foundational skills, everything else is just patterns, and how you apply those techniques.”

The most influential person on Margaret’s quilting journey was Mary Wiens who lead the quilting group at her church where Margaret started. Margaret said that Mary “was very experienced and always encouraging. Her most negative comment was, ‘You could do that, if you wanted to.’” Quilting for Mary was all about fun, enjoyment and fellowship.

Foundational books that she still owns and uses include Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. (former featured artists at Road to California) and The Quilter’s Pocket Reference An Easy Guide to Yardage and More by Peggy Scholley.

Margaret has learned various methods for hand applique, including needle, and is inspired by the work of hand quilters on Facebook, like Andrea Stracke and Elsie Campbell, and the Broderie Perse of Cynthia Collier.

Quilting Space

Margaret has basically two work areas at home. Upstairs, she has her regular chair in the family room where she does her hand stitching and hand quilting.

Margaret Willingham

Her studio space downstairs in an unfinished basement. It’s unfinished, because as her business has grown, there are no walls in her way. She has her sewing machine, a drawing table, cutting table, a dresser and cabinet for fabric, drawers and racks for thread, her “new” longarm (they are still getting acquainted), iron and the like, and lots of shelves. As her business grows, she just reinvents her layout and storage.


Margaret Willingham has been teaching quilting classes for 20 years and teaching hand and machine reverse applique and paper-piecing for 8 years.

She loves demystifying reverse applique and seeing her student’s lightbulb go off!  Margaret says, “Everybody thinks it’s so hard and that they can’t do it. All day long in my booth I hear, ‘The patterns are so beautiful. lt’s too hard. I can’t do it.’ And it simply isn’t true! lt takes time, like anything in quilting, and it will take some practice, but it isn’t hard. Reverse applique has a beauty that draws you in and has a big WOW factor for the time spent!

Margaret hopes her students at Road will enjoy their journey: a journey of excellence, not perfection; a journey of joy. She thinks it’s an honor to be involved in such a prestigious show like Road to California as it celebrates its silver anniversary.

To learn more about Margaret Willingham, visit her website.

Meet Road 2020 Vendor: Sulky of America

November 8th, 2019

For almost 30 years, Sulky of America Co-founders, Joyce and Fred Drexler, have been insistent about maintaining the very highest quality with the 4,000 products that bear the Sulky label. According to Fred, “educating consumers has always been a top priority and our extremely strong focus on education through the years has caused Sulky to become the most recognized and asked-for name in decorative threads.”

Committed to quality, Sulky of America only uses raw rayon fibers made by ENKA in Obernburg, Germany. They have been tested and proven to be the very highest quality raw goods produced anywhere in the world.

Sulky also maintains a high community involvement presence. Fred is proud and honored to have had a 44-year involvement with Rotary International, being involved in hundreds of local community projects. Following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Sulky invited sewers all over America to “Share their Stash” with Hurricane Andrew victims. Thousands of people ultimately did, which netted two full semi-trailer loads of sewing machines, fabric, patterns and every other imaginable sewing tool and supplies. Their caring ways continue to support community outreach.

Introducing Filaine

At Road to California 2020 – 25th Anniversary Show, Sulkyis looking forward to introducing one of their newest thread lines – Filaine – to Road’s guests.

Filaine is a 12 wt. acrylic thread that comes in 129 colors.

Sulky of America

It produces a stitch that mimics vintage handwork, with a nubby textured feel and appearance.

Organ Needles

Sulky of America recently became a distributor of Organ Needles, a company founded 100 years ago in Tokyo, Japan. Did you know that all Japanese-made sewing machines (like Janome, Juki, Brother and Babylock) are “born” with Organ Needles?

After the original needles were used up, consumers had a hard time finding replacement ones.  So, Organ Needles developed their exclusive Eco Packs for consumer use. These eco-friendly Eco Packs allow for easy visibility and reusable storage, providing a quick way to identify new and used needles by location in the pack.

Sulky of America

Organ Needles offers a wide variety of needles to meet every sewing need.

Sulky at Road 2020

Not only is Sulky a vendor for the 25th Anniversary Show, Road to California is honored to have them as a Silver Sponsor for the Show.

To learn more about Sulky of America, please visit their website.

Meet Road 2020 Teacher: Nancy Eha

November 6th, 2019

Nancy Eha will be teaching 4 beading classes at Road to California 2020 – 25th Anniversary Show:

On Thursday, 4011C – Happy The Hedgehog

On Friday, 5010C – Inky The Octopus

On Saturday, 6010C – Penny Rug Poises That Sparkle


And on Sunday, 7010C – Beaded Kaleidoscopes

While Nancy Eha is a quilter and quilt teacher, she was doing beading way before she was introduced to quilting.

Inspiration vs. Meditative Beading

Recognized as a national beading teacher, Nancy most enjoys the inspiration process of thinking of a beading idea and fine tuning it before doing the actual beading.  Nancy says, “The inspiration process is exciting and invigorating, always so many possibilities of what I could make.  By contrast the actual beading process is meditative.  The repetition of picking up beads on a hand sewing needle, and hearing the thread pass through the fabric.  Time goes by so quickly beading and the process is so relaxing!”

Nancy’s quilting and beading style is most influenced by Crazy Quilts, specifically Victorian Crazy Quilts because she loves all the fine details of stitching both imagery and the opulent embroidery on the seams of fabric segments.  Nancy shares, “Obviously, working with very small beads I relish detail.  When I saw my first crazy quilt I thought, ‘Oh this is such beautiful stitchery, now how can I replicate that stitchery with beads?’ My second book, Bead Creative Like Crazy: Beading Inspired by Crazy Quilts is the result of endless hours of exploring that question.

Creative Space

Nancy has two side by side rooms as her workspace in the lower level of her home. One is her beading studio, the other the quilting studio. Both have large windows that look out onto her wooded property and a small lake. White tail deer and wild turkeys provide Nancy companionship. Nancy believes that other quilters might be tempted to take the wall down between the rooms, but she has decided to keep it intact. Both rooms have office cabinetry and tables that are modular and not attached to walls.  It allows her to rearrange the furniture to her liking, and has plenty of storage for her millions of beads, teaching supplies, and quilting supplies.


What is her favorite tool? “Size 12 sharps needle for hand beading and the only threader available that actually can thread fine needles.”

Teaching Beading Classes

Nancy Eha has been teaching nationally over 20 years. Regarding teaching, Nancy says,” I love my students and I enjoy teaching beading skills and techniques to make time spent beading pleasurable.  Many students have hesitations and self-doubt as to what they perceive as the complexity of beading when they enter the classroom.  Thus, I break down every technique into small teachable steps along with showing videos of my hands beading each step.  This assures that even an absolute beginner can be successful. After an hour or so the self-doubt has left the room and shouts of glee such as “I can do this, it is not so difficult’ can be heard.

Nancy will be traveling in January from the Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota airport to teach at Road 2020.  While she has been a part of other Road to California shows, she is looking forward to participating in Road’s 25th Anniversary Show to “acknowledge what a great show it truly is and celebrate longevity for putting on such a great show!” She is hopeful that her students will gain both the skills and the confidence to use what they learn in class not only in her class but in their future projects as well.

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