Saturday, January 25, 2020

Highlights of the Road to California Quilt Show! part 1

Welcome to the Road to California Quilter's Conference and Showcase! The Road to California, as it is called, takes place in Ontario (Southern California), and features over 1,000 quilts by artists from all over the world. Around 40,000 people gather to see the show, take classes, and shop. Join us in admiring some of the stunning quilts from this year's show.

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Persephone by Deb Hyde (Michigan, USA)

This stunning piece drew in hordes of fascinated viewers at the show. The figure in the quilt is created with tiny (1") fabric squares while maintaining an underlying quilt block structure (sunshine and shadow, a traditional Amish pattern, set on point). Deb Hyde explains, "The quilt consists of one-inch fabric squares (many individually cut) that conform to both the demands of the human and landscape image as well as the embedded block pattern, forming concentric diamonds in specific color values."

Deb Hyde explains that all the pieces are placed and then sewn together with a quarter-inch seam allowance and quilted. The facial features, including the eyebrows and eyelashes, were defined by quilting with black thread, as shown in the closeup photo above.  You can read more about Deb Hyde's work at her Facebook page at Deb Hyde Fiber Art.

Little Artists by Hiroko Miyama and Masanobu Miyama (Azumino City, Japan)

One of the most charming and realistic portrait quilts we've seen (and winner of a Third Place ribbon at this show), Hiroko Miyama says this quilt was inspired by pictures of her granddaughters, Natsumi and Fuyuka. Just look at their happy, smiling faces, as they proudly display their artworks! Also check out the adorable dog peering over the sofa.

The girls' butterflies and flowers were also embroidered and popped into the wall paper behind the girls. Hiroko Miyama creates photorealistic quilts by starting with a computerized image (drawing), which is deconstructed into an applique diagram. For more information, see her Facebook page at Hiroko Miyama Quilt.

Triple Threat by Debra Crine (Florida, USA)

A gorgeous combination of fabric painting and thread painting, Triple Threat was inspired by a photograph by Nancy Joiner Harmon. Debra Crine says, "I saw a photograph of these three little faces and knew I had to paint them.  After getting permission from the photographer, I laid out my design, and decided to add some flowers to bring some color to the piece. What fun painting these tiny little faces and bringing them to life."

The precision thread painting on the faces really brings these furry creatures to life.  Check out more of Deb Crine's work at her Facebook page, Deb Crine - Artist.

The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn (Maine, USA)

Winner of the $5000 award for Outstanding Wall Quilt, Margaret Solomon Gunn says, "All my life I have had a love affair with the color purple -- lavender, fuchsia, them all. This quilt explores creating depth, texture and design with just one color."

This beauty is made from commercial cottons and hand-dyed silk Radiance fabrics. It features turned-edge hand applique, embroidery, hand-guided longarm quilting and a scalloped edge created on the longarm. The edge scallops were quilted on the longarm, then finished on the domestic machine; they also were edged with a silk piping as shown below.

You can find more of Margaret Solomon Gunn's award-winning quilts at her website, Mainely Quilts of Love.

Boogie Brass Band by Sharon Casey (California, USA)

We loved this contemporary art quilt, with its bright solid colors and dramatic shapes. Winner of the Director's Choice Award of $5,000, Sharon Casey says, "Boogie Brass Band owes its creation to the big band music my parents played when I was a kid.  I also loved marching bands!  What a thrill it is when the light gleams off the trumpets, trombones, and sousaphones as they break from strict formation and sway into full-tilt boogie-woogie."

The musical instruments, keyboards, notes, and other elements in the quilt were cut in a freeform manner which adds to the improvisational contemporary feel of this quilt.  You can see more of Sharon's work at her website, Sharon Casey Quilts.

Image credits:  Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration at the 2020 Road to California show.


  1. Wow wow wow. Absolutely astounding.

  2. Thank you! So wonderful to see these beautifully executed quilts.

  3. Wow! All of the quilts are just incredible!

  4. Oh my! Those are just hard to wrap my mind around ... a whole way afar from the bed covers I make!


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