Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Best of the Road to California - Day 1

More than 39,000 visitors from all 50 U.S. states and several foreign countries come each January to visit the Road to California show in Ontario, California.. This quilt show features traditional, art and modern quilts. Here are some of the award winners and our own favorites from the 2018 show.

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Erin by Sandy Curran (Newport News, Virginia)

Erin was awarded a first place ribbon at the Road to California show. Sandy Curran says, "To me, my daughter, Erin, is one of the most beautiful people on earth. I have been afraid to do a portrait of her because I believed I could never do her justice. So, I created an unlikely color scheme and a simplified pattern. You can still recognize Erin, but, because it is not literal, I don’t have to agonize over whether or not I captured her."

Santorini Sunset by Melissa Sobotka (Richardson, Texas)

Santorini Sunset won the Best Use of Color award. Melissa Sobotka says, "I desperately tried to photograph the golden hour (sunset) in Santorini Greece, but that was an image so many had already captured. So I added a new twist, and challenged myself to turn the sunset-washed town into an abstract for a new perspective."

Melissa’s photo-realistic style of quilting is created by appliquéing numerous pieces of raw edge fabrics, and then enhancing them with inks to give them greater depth. You can see more examples of her work at her website, MSfiberart.

Rainbow Dash by Michelle Howe (Irvine, California)

Michelle Howe says that Rainbow Dash was completed in one week in a class given by Susan Carlson.  We admire Michelle's clever use of batik fabrics in creating this collage quilt with raw edge applique.

Remembering Roatan by Pamela Kuck (Shawano, Wisconsin)

Pamela Kuck achieved a remarkable realism in this seascape. She says, "This view of the sunset is from our home in the Western Caribbean Bay Island of Roatan. This piece uses raw-edged fused applique, thousands of ¼-inch fabric bits, a layer of tulle, and embellished with 500 Swarovski crystals to help the water sparkle."

Gilded Roses by Susan E. Stewart

Gilded Roses won the Best Domestic Machine Quilting award. Susan Stewart says, "this quilt was inspired by the lacy, watercolor-y rose machine embroidery design from Urban Threads, in a variety of soft colors to make all the roses just a bit different. The gold swirl designs are from OESD; the fold lace motifs are John Deer's Adorable Designs. All the quilting was free-motion on an APQS George."

Your Place or Mine by Marva-Lee Otos (Ketchikan, Alaska)

This quilt design was a block-of-the-month project by Australian designer, Wendy Williams. Vibrant fabrics by Kaffe Fassett enliven this quilt. Marva-Lee Otos says, "I have always been inspired by Wendy Williams' vibrant use of color. This quilt was a personal challenge to myself as it used non traditional applique techniques."

Marva continues, "I liked the combination of needle turn and wool applique on the pieced cotton background. That, coupled with use of a creative variety of embroidery stitches, allowed me to express my artistic options."
Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Fabulous photos. I am so thankful for your posts and I'll just bet you have a great time together at these incredible shows. My quilts have been to Road to California, but I have never attended. I love all of these. Melissa Sobotka's is quite different for her and I love it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. wow and double wow....awesome quilts....thanks so much for showing them for those of us who travel via armchair!

  3. Beautiful quilts but the horse is our favorite!

  4. I'm glad I will never be asked to judge a quilt contest now that I look at these. Astonishing!

  5. That is the ideal Technology we are getting from sources.


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