Best Longarm Machine Quilting- Road 2019

Summer Christmas was made by Mariya Waters and was quilted by Gina Perkes-Tidwell. Sponsor Baby Lock awarded $2,500 to the winners.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting Road to California Quilt Show

This Best Longarm Machine Quilting winning quilt came all the way from Australia to be entered in to Road to California 2019’s quilt contest.

The maker of Summer Christmas, Mariya Waters, began quilting in 1989 in New Zealand after having seen her first quilt while studying for an embroidery qualification.  She moved to the United Kingdom in 1991 and won her first quilting award in 1993. From then on, every quilt Mariya has ever entered in a quilt show has won an award!! 

Best Longarm Machine Quilting Road to California Quilt Show

Mariya and her family moved to Australia in 1999 where she continues to quilt and teach today. In 2008, Mariya won the title, Best of Australia.

What was the inspiration behind the Best Longarm Machine Quilting winner, Summer Christmas? In 2005, Mariya’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. During her mother’s long journey, Mariya studied design from multiple cultures, looking for common design elements.  She discovered a whole world of common designs using stencil art from the 19th and 20th centuries.  It was from these designs that Mariya put together Summer Christmas to give her something to sew while looking after her mother.

This Best Longarm Machine Quilting winner took 10 years to complete. It was started in May 2006 as a 24” Christmas table runner. Mariya revised the design in 2007 to be a 36” table cloth. She extended the project two more times until it finally ended up being 102”. The appliqué was finished in March 2016.  Mariya noted that she took a two-year break, in 2008-2009, to complete another major quilt.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting Road to California Quilt Show

“The only way to construct this quilt with the accuracy demanded was to use preprinted fusible polyester fibre templates that remained in the quilt,” shared Mariya. She also had to develop a method of joining the various borders together using scallops. Summer Christmas has 996, quarter inch red dots which were each drawn up over a template.

Because Mariya developed some health issues during this project, she realized that she needed to form a collaborative partnership with a quilter to be able to finish the quilt.  So, in 2016, she partnered with quilter and Road 2019 teacher, Gina Perkes-Tidwell.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting Road to California Quilt Show

The scariest part for both of them was washing the glues out of the quilt before it was bound.  Mariya spent 4,000 hours and 20 glue sticks in turning the edges of the appliqué. Gina had invested more than 500 hours in quilting it and the washing result then was going to affect both of them.

Best Longarm Machine Quilting Road to California Quilt Show

There is a 17-hour time lag between Australia and the United States. Mariya has just come home from a day out with her friends (where she was constantly looking at the phone) when the results of Road’s judges came in. She was “absolutely delighted” to hear about the win as “both Gina and I poured our heart and soul into the quilt.”

Mariya plans to use her part of the prize money for this Best Longarm Machine Quilting winner on travel to future quilt shows. She will continue to teach and is “working very hard” on another quilt that has been under constant work since November 2016.  She hopes the appliqué will be finished in late 2019.

To learn more about Mariya and see some of her other work, please visit her website

Tips For Making The Best Bags

Annie Unrein of ByAnnie.com shared her wisdom and tips on making the best bags during a $5.00 Lecture Class at Road 2019.

making the best bags

Annie’s path to making the best bag started when one of her beloved Vera Bradley bags wore out. She decided to try and copy the bag. In the end, she liked how it turned out except for one thing: the feel of the bag. Her version would collapse when she sat it down. She took the Vera Bradley bag apart and found out that they used a type of foam instead of batting sandwiched between the fabric layers. Annie went shopping to several stores, trying to find a similar foam but had no luck. The closest she got was “headliner foam” – the stuff they use in manufacturing cars. She used this product for 2-3 years, but still was not completely satisfied with the result because this foam would stretch over time.  Instead of settling, Annie decided to make her own foam. And then her own patterns. And that was how ByAnnie.com was started: a one place stop to find everything needed for making the best bags.  

What were Annie’s most popular tips for making the best bags?

The most important item for making the best bag is to have the right kind of stabililzer.

The trade name for the foam Annie developed is known as Soft and Stable. It is 58 inches wide; a ½ yard piece is enough for two bags. When she first started, the Soft and Stable was black. White came a few years later and today, is the number one seller. The key to Soft and Stable is that the material creates static which keeps the fabric firm.

making the best bags

Quilt the Fabric First

If the bag pattern calls for quilted fabric, an important step in making the best bag is to quilt the fabric pieces for the pattern first. This way, there is no loose lining. Make a quilt sandwich before quilting: lining, Soft and Stable, then outside fabric. If using a longarm, quilt the entire large piece of fabric. Annie said that two yards of fabric is ideal to quilt beforehand. This will make about two bags. In order to keep the Soft and Stable from peaking out through the edges, stitch ½ inch around all the outside edges. Annie uses a stiletto to keep the fabric down.

making the best bags

If the pattern doesn’t require quilted fabric, omit the quilting step and just use the main fabric, being sure to cut the Soft and Stable to fit.

Pinning and Cutting the Pieces

Place pins at a 45-degree angle. This pushes the fabric to the outside. Pin on the outside fabric side and then flip the project over to make sure the inner lining isn’t crinkling. Pin every 6-8 inches.

Never throw away the leftover pieces from cutting. You can join the smaller pieces of Soft and Stable with a zig zag stitch.

Stitching the Bag

Use a 90-14 topstitch needle for all bag types. This needle has a bigger eye and keeps the thread from fraying. Thread should be fine, #50 polyester thread. If the pattern calls for a fold in the bag, stitch a line of stitching through all layers where the fold is supposed to be.

Ironing

The polyester setting is perfect for making the best bag. Soft and Stable is washable and dryer safe.

Try Different Fabrics

Most bags are made from cotton. Annie has been experimenting with wool fabric and she says that wool is “so gorgeous.” Quilt the lining first, then lay down the Soft and Stable, and place the wool on top. Stitch 1/8 inch around the edge to keep the wool in place.

Annie said she is always learning new things when making the best bag. Her newest techniques are featured on ByAnnie.com’s You Tube Channel where she gives step-by-step directions for her most popular patterns.

making the best bags

To learn more about ByAnnie.com, please visit their website.

Meet Road Vendor Uniquely Crafts, LLC

Road to California is very particular about its vendors. We listen to our guests and bring back popular booths each year. And when there is an opening, Road fills the new space with original and timely vendors like Uniquely Crafts LLC and their 5D Diamond Painting.  

Uniquely Crafts LLC 5D Diamond Painting

Uniquely Crafts LLC is a family owned and operated business out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. For the past four years, they have been designing and selling 5D Diamond Painting tools and canvas.

Owner and Designer, Amy Tucker, said that 5D Diamond Art and Painting is relatively new in the United States.  A lot of research went in to their business model before they embarked with the company. Similar to cross-stitch, 5D Diamond Painting uses beads cut like diamonds (so that they shimmer) which are individually placed by color on a pre-marked canvas to complete a design.

Uniquely Crafts LLC 5D Diamond Bead Painting

Each kit comes with everything you need to complete a 5D Diamond Painting: a tool set, design canvas sheet, color coded instructions, and of course, the beads. The kits are portable; a canvas can be rolled up and taken along to appointments or on trips. Should an artist lose beads, Uniquely Crafts LLC takes pride in responding to customers the same day, mailing replacement beads at no extra charge.

Uniquely Crafts LLC 5D Diamond Bead Painting

Designed for age 4 and above, 5D Diamond Painting is a perfect activity to relieve stress. Customers have bought Uniquely Crafts LLC to help with chronic medical issues and pain management. Kids find it fun and have been known to sit for long periods of time working on their 5D Diamond Paintings. And in our technology driven world, “it’s a way to get kids off their devices and develop their motor skills as well as their eye-hand coordination.”  

Uniquely Crafts LLC 5D Diamond Bead Painting

Amy had known of Road to California for years and was thrilled to be invited to be a vendor at Road 2019. Knowing that quilters like to do things with their hands, Amy said, “Our kits are another way for crafters and sewers to create.” She had most of her designs available, including several especially made with sewers in mind.

Uniquely Crafts LLC 5D Diamond Bead Painting

Amy was “excited” at the positive response she received at Road and enjoyed meeting “so many nice people” at the show.  She had a lot of fun, especially hearing how guests planned to use the 5D Diamond Painting kits. Children’s kits were purchased for birthday parties and “one lady bought 15 kits for a wine party.”

Uniquely Crafts LLC 5D Diamond Bead Painting

What does Uniquely Crafts LLC see for their future? They plan on offering “tons” more design canvases, including providing for customers to send in their own designs of their pets and other artistic ideas. And of course, continue their focus on providing excellent customer service.

To learn more about Uniquely Crafts LLC, please visit their web site.   

Quilt Friends Lead A Double Life

Other interests may have first brought these quilt friends together, but it is their love of quilting that keeps their friendship strong.

Quilt Friends Road to California Quilt Show

These quilt friends are all retired teachers who got really “serious” with their quilt skills when their teaching days were over. Judy and Joanne taught 35 and 30 years respectively for the Alta Loma School District and Barbara taught 35 years in the Ontario-Montclair School District. Both school districts are located in western San Bernardino County. Joanne, who started quilting in 1976, is credited with encouraging Judy and Barbara with their post-retirement quilting.  The first year after Judy retired, she and Joanne made 102 quilts for all the first graders at Judy’s old school, Jasper Elementary. These friends enjoy spending time together at Road’s quilt show. Barbara and Joanne have been coming each year since the quilt show started in 1993. Judy has been attending with them for the past 8 years. They all like seeing the showcased quilts and visiting the vendors. At Road 2019, Barbara especially liked seeing the miniature quilt exhibit.

Eddie, Barbara, and Joe

These quilt friends are also dance partners. Eddie and Barbara are roommates in Hawthorne, California. Joe lives in Chino, California. A quilter for 50 years, Barbara inspired Joe to start quilting 2 ½ years ago and Eddie a year ago. Eddie commented that quilting has become his stress reliever. Joe said he has discovered making quilows- lap quilts that turn in to pillows. Barbara also likes to do embroidery with her Brother 10 needle machine to embellish her quilts and clothing. She and Eddie were wearing some of her art work at Road 2019.

Quilt Friends Road to California Quilt Show
Peacock Feathers
Quilt Friends Road to California Quilt Show
Quilt Friends Road to California Quilt Show

Road 2019 was the 2nd time these quilt friends had been to the quilt show. Barbara likes discovering “amazing stuff” at the quilt show to use with the new ideas she finds. Looking at new sewing machines and trying to understand all their functions keeps Joe interested and coming back.

Quilt Friends Road to California Quilt Show

Los Angeles residents, Russell and Ivy, used to work together and then they became quilt friends. They met at the Sewing Arts Center in Santa Monica, California where Russell was the original owner. Russell has been quilting for 24 years. He has been on the faculty of Los Angeles Trade Tech in the fashion design department. Besides quilting, he is interested in tailoring, pattern drafting and shoe making. Russell has been coming to Road to California for 20 years. He says that Road is “state of the art” and that he always finds out “what is going on in the community” when he attends. He wanted to bring Ivy to Road 2019 to give her ideas to make her first quilt. Ivy said the quilt show was “eye opening.” “I never knew how broad quilting can be.”

Which quilt friend will you be attending with at Road’s special 25th Anniversary Quilt Show happening January 23-26, 2020?            

Outstanding Modern Quilt Road 2019

Christine Perrigo won $2,500 for winning Outstanding Modern Quilt from Sponsor, OLFA North America, for Ohio Snowball

Outstanding Modern Quilt Road to California Quilt Show

Christine Perrigo is an award-winning, internationally exhibited longarm quilter who has been quilting since 2003. Her quilting journey began when she bought a quilting book as a gift for her mother-in-law to be.  Before wrapping the present, Christine read through the book and became “intrigued” with the whole quilting process. Christine’s first quilt was a tumbling block quilt, English Paper pieced.  She says, “The outcome was so satisfying that I promptly started another and then another.  I was hooked…” And by the way— her mother in law never received the book!!!

Outstanding Modern Quilt Road to California Quilt Show

With a background in computer science and 15 years’ experience in the computer industry, Christine has a unique, highly technical approach to computerized quilting and surface design. She focuses on high end, custom digital quilting for modern quilts and approaches each quilt as opportunity to explore new territory and push boundaries.

Ohio Snowball was designed for a quilt challenge that one of the modern guilds Christine belongs to was having. The challenge was to make a modern quilt inspired by traditional piecing. It also included the restriction that the modern quilt had to be black and white with the addition of one other color. This limit gave Christine the color palette to allow her to create a primary and secondary pattern.

The piecing for Ohio Snowball was inspired by overlapping and playing with the scale of two very traditional quilting designs, an Ohio Star block and a Flowering Snowball block.

Outstanding Modern Quilt Road to California Quilt Show

The quilt top itself took Christine over a year to piece. Along the way, she invented and modified methods to achieve the precise transparency effects. Christine related that “there was lots of glue used to ensure that the curves matched perfectly.”

After piecing the top, it sat for another year while Christine struggled with how to quilt it. She was perplexed because while she knew that generally a secondary design is created with the quilting, this quilt already had a primary and secondary design in the piecing. She got an answer to her problem while at QuiltCon 2017, when Christine met Pamela Wiley. Pamela encouraged Christine with the words “more is more” and reassured Christine that a simple plan was not going to satisfying enough for her. Christine said that, “Unbelievably, the quilting came to me in a dream. Sometimes I do my best work while asleep! I had to learn to trust my instincts and, in the end, created something that not only defines me as an artist, but has allowed me to take digital quilting to the next level.”

Outstanding Modern Quilt Road to California Quilt Show

When the email came from Road to California that she had won Outstanding Modern Quilt, Christine was working on another quilt. She said her win “took a while” for it to sink in, after the initial “shock and lots of giggling” wore off. “I couldn’t believe that my quit had been chosen!”

What did Christine do with her prize money for Outstanding Modern Quilt? “Well, I have had my eye on some fabric….”

Next up for Christine is to continue teaching more of her computerized quilting methods and inspiring others to think outside the box.

To learn more about Christine, please visit her website.   

Keeping Up With Bohin

The past year has seen many changes with the Bohin brand.

Bohin Brand Road to California Quilt Show

Going forward with new Bohin management

The company acquired new management under the direction of Fabien Regnier and his wife, Audrey. This young, dynamic couple were thrilled to take on this new adventure and grow the company.

Bohin Brand Road to California Quilt Show

One of their main goals for 2018/2019 was to refresh the Bohin brand with new packaging, beginning with their famous needles. They also worked on designing new products aimed towards a woman’s point of view.

Bohin Brand Road to California Quilt Show

Another aspect of the new Bohin branding is their new motto:

“To sew fast, to sew well, discover BOHIN France”

The Bohin Factory and Museum

Built in the beginning of the 19th century and located on the Risle River near the town of L’Aigle in Normandy, France, the original Bohin factory has been preserved by continuous use, maintaining its original character and architecture. The facility has earned recognition as a registered Historic Place by the French National Registry.

Bohin Brand Road to California Quilt Show

The museum was first opened in 2014 and is open to the public 6 days a week, Monday – Saturday. Over 15,000 visitors came to the Bohin Factory and Museum in 2018, touring Bohin’s working factory through the eyes of its founder, Benjamin Bohin. The museum also features special exhibits on how it manufacturers pins and needles, their history and uses.

The museum and factory hosted its first American tour group in October 2018: Cherrywood Hand Dyed Fabrics personnel and some of their winning quilters from their Van Gogh Challenge. Cherrywood owner, Karla Overland, said that they had an “unbelievable” time and were treated so graciously from all the Bohin staff.

Bohin at Road to California 2019

Bohin Brand Road to California Quilt Show

Fabien came to the show along with Bohin Purchasing Manager, Christophe Le Moigne, aka “Mr. Everything.” While he has been involved with U.S. market for the past 15 years, it was Christophe’s first time at the show. He enjoyed the opportunity to meet Bohin customers face-to-face and talk with some of their suppliers.       

Bohin Brand Road to California Quilt Show

New for 2020

Bohin is striving to get their pin cushions in all the dress shops in France.

Their newest design, available this month, is a tribute to French fashion designer, Jean Paul Gaultier. Known for his iconic white, ¾ length sleeves t-shirt with black stripes, Jean Paul was given his second wax figure in the famous Grévin Museum. The pin cushion will be patterned after Gaultier’s black and white striped shirts. To bring attention to this launch, Fabien and Christophe wore Gaultier-esque t-shirts themselves during Road to California.    

Bohin brand Road to California Quilt Show

One thing that Bohin will never change is the company’s high standards and quality for their needles, pins, and Dussaussay Gallier specialty scissors.

What do you like about the new Bohin branding?

Meet Instagram Quilters @eliseandemilie

Elise and Emilie are sisters who quilt who also happen to be popular Instagram quilters.

Instagram Quilters Road to California Quilt Show

In fact, it was seeing quilts on Instagram that got them interested in quilting in the first place. They saw different quilt posts and began following quilters and fiber artists who inspired them to begin making their own creations.

Two years ago, they made their first quilts. It was part of a Pat Bravo Quilt Hop, using her “Heartland Collection.”

Instagram Quilters Road to California Quilt Show

Knowing that Pat likes to promote sewists, Elise and Emilie reached out to Pat and sent her photos of their finished quilts from the blog hop. They offered to promote and blog about Pat’s fabric line. That led to the sisters promoting other fabric lines on their Instagram account. Elise admits that they love to “hoard fabrics and create new projects.”

Lots of designers send their fabrics to these Instagram quilters and allow Elise and Emilie to come up with ways to showcase the new fabrics. Some of the fabric lines the sisters have experimented with include:

Sassafrass Lane’s first collection, Foundation, by Wyndham Fabrics. Each of the 30 fabrics are full of white hand drawn designs on rich bold colors.

Instagram quilters Road to California Quilt Show

Minkie Kim, a designer for Riley Blake Designs.

Instagram Quilters Road to California Quilt Show

Art Gallery Fabrics, who features Pat Bravo’s designs , regularly send Elise and Emilie some of their other new fabric releases.

You can see many of Elise and Emilie’s finished projects on their Instagram account, @eliseandemilie

Instagram quilters Road to California Quilt Show

Road to California 2019 was the sisters third time visiting the show. Victorville, California residents, these Instagram quilters come to the show to find “inspiration, venders, and ideas for new projects.”  

Director’s Choice – Road 2019

Joanne Baeth, from Bonanza, Oregon, won Director’s Choice for her art quilt, Sea Breeze. She received $5,000 from Sponsor, Moore’s Sewing Center.

art quilt Road to California Quilt Show

A quilter since the 1980’s, Joanne Baeth started making art quilts after she retired from a career in teaching. Her favorite subject for her art quilts is creating realistic scenes in nature as evidenced by her winning entry, Sea Breeze.

art quilt Road to California Quilt Show

The inspiration for Sea Breeze was twofold. For two months every summer, Joanne and her husband salmon fishon the Oregon coast. The coastal scenes that surround them for those two months was part of her inspiration. More inspiration for this art quilt came from her sister who has a beach house. On one of the walls of her house, her sister has hanging several floats that she has collected from her walks on the beach. Those floats provided the rest of Joanne’s inspiration for Sea Breeze.

Joanne began this art quilt right after Road to California 2018 ended. She started with painting and cutting out the floats then thread painting the crab pots and small background trees. Joanne shared that the work on the floats was done while she was camping in California. The bait shop, boats, and small buildings in the background were cut out and fused one board at a time. The roofs were painted and heat distressed for more texture. The sky was painted and the water was constructed with many strips of fabric. Extensive machine quilting completed the art quilt.

The Director’s Choice Award is chosen by Road to California’s owner, Matt Reese.  Joanne didn’t find out that she had won this prestigious award until she walked in to the show on Thursday and saw it hanging in the front of the Exhibit Hall.

art quilt Road to California Quilt Show

She immediately called her husband and a few friends to share the good news. Joanne said she was “thrilled” to receive this award. She was also “thrilled to attend the show and talk to attendees about my quilt.”

What did Joanne do with the prize money for her winning art quilt?  She “spent part of the prize money at Road – lots of great vendors.”

Congratulations, Joanne Baeth, for your winning entry.

Quick Quilt Tips From Rob Appell

Rob Appell talks fast – really fast.

He can share a lot of quick quilt tips in a single quilt class!! 

Here are a few of the quick quilt tips Rob Appell gave in his classes at Road to California 2019:

Don’t Over Complicate

Are you ever overwhelmed by making fabric choices for your quilt projects? You’re not alone. Rob Appell shared that, “We all over complicate.” He suggested the next time you don’t know where to start in making fabric choices, ask yourself, “If there was a fire, what would I take?” Line up your choices and always start with your favorite fabric and have that be at the center of your quilt. Next pick your favorite light fabric, then your favorite dark fabric and continue until you have all the fabric you need. Your least liked fabrics can be used for the borders as borders aren’t the focus of your quilt. Trust your favorites to guide your fabric choices.

Quick Quilt Tips Road to California Quilt Show

Straight Stitching

Rob is the first to admit that he is a “dude who makes a lot of quilts and breaks a lot of rules” For one, he sews his quilts from the top down.

Regarding his best quick quilt tips for perfecting straight stitching when sewing strips, is to simply Go Slow. When he first started quilting, Rob did the opposite and sewed fast and learned his lesson. How does Rob put together strip quilts?

Quick Quilt Tips Road to California Quilt Show

Why use a stiletto? It allows you to let go of your work and make the last 3-5 stitches count, keeping a quarter inch seam. Did you know that Rob also makes handmade tools like his stiletto/seam ripper duo?

Quick Quilt Tips Road to California Quilt Show

Another quick quilt tip is to put the heaviest fabric strip on the feed dogs as it will carry the lighter fabrics through.  

Iron Piece by Piece

Lay your fabric flat on your ironing surface. Set the seam first by holding the iron for a few seconds on the seam. Hold fabric up in the air to flatten the seam. Replace fabric on surface and press down one side and up the next, pressing each seam allowance in the same direction.

Quick Quilt Tips Road to California Quilt Show

Thanks, Rob Appell, for giving away some of your best quick quilt tips.     

Do you know Quilter Rob Appell?

Rob Appell has a ton of energy.

And luckily for the quilting world, he spends a lot of that energy quilting and helping others to quilt as well.

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

Rob Appell started his quilting journey working in his Mom’s quilt shop, The Cotton Ball, in Morro Bay, California, while his wife was finishing up her teaching credential. At first, he was the guy who repaired the Pfaff sewing machines that came into the shop.  His first sewing project was making 30 Aloha Shirts from batik and floral scraps. He wanted to try free motion quilting, so he used those same scraps to start making quilts. His very first quilt “wasn’t much to look at,” but his second quilt, “The Dolphin Dance,” got a lot of attention.  A stripped, pieced quilt, today, it has sold hundreds of patterns. From there, Rob Appell has pretty much taught himself different quilting techniques on a domestic machine and shares what he knows at quilting retreats and quilt shows like Road to California.

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019


Known as “the surfer dude who quilts,” Rob Appell first taught at Road to California in 2015. He had just landed a video spot with Missouri Star Quilt Company as “Man Sewing” and was eager to meet prospective fans. At Road to California 2019, he announced that he was no longer affiliated with Missouri Star and had started his own website, robappell.com.

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

It features “new and exciting” projects and videos as well as his new exclusive partnerships with Michael Miller Fabrics and Juki sewing machines.

Rob taught several sold-out classes at Road 2019. He said he was “stoked” to be back at Road and that he was enjoying every minute. “I started teaching in Southern California and so I get to see students, guilds, and shop owners from when I started.” Watching his students create was “really something.”

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

Kathi from Eagle River, Arkansas has been quilting for over 50 years. Road 2019 was her second time at the show. She signed up for Rob Appell’s class because it “looked visually enticing. I wanted something I could use my jelly rolls with and get it done.” Kathi had some questions beforehand about the class, so she called Rob directly to get some answers. “He was so enthusiastic about his process.”  What did she think about the class? “Great. Good information and new information about artistic theory.”

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

Sara has been a quilter and Road attendee for the past 8 years. Why did she take one of Rob’s classes? “Rob Appell came to our guild, the High Desert Quilt Guild, in Ridgecrest, California a couple of years ago and I was familiar with him. I wanted to get into his class really bad, but it sold out and I was put on a waitlist.” Lucky for Sara, and the other people in her class, Road and Rob decided to open another section as the wait list got quite long. During her class, Sara found Rob to be “energetic.” “He makes quilting look not so boring.”

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019