Reflections on Road to California 2016


It was a lovely ride.


Road to California began as a local quilt juried quilt show that over 20+ years has built itself up to be a nationally-ranked show with outstanding quilts in all categories.  Unlike other popular national quilt shows, they limit their entries to three per person, so this year’s entries totaled just over 500.  After jurying them, the field was narrowed to about 250 quilts.  You can imagine my surprise to learn that I’d been awarded a ribbon in the Traditional, Wall, Pieced category, a high moment given this past year of sturm und drang (German, for “storm and stress”).  When I found out about my ribbon Tuesday night after my guild meeting (they sent out emails), there was a lot of whooping and hollering and hugging my husband in excitement.  He was as thrilled as I was, as he has been there every step of the way.


I was also happy that Colorwheel Blossom was accepted as well, shown here on the right in one of the bays at the quilt show, hanging among other fine entries.  Overall, many of us were saying it was an outstanding quilt show, from top to bottom, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.


Ewe Are My Sunshine, by Janet Stone, won the Marie White Prize of $7500.


Silk Road Sampler, by Melissa Sobotka, won Best of Show (and a $10,000 prize). This was created with raw edge appliqué, and some use of paints for shading and tinting.  Both of these quilts were so different, but so stunning.


All of the prize winners can be found on *this* page; above is a screen shot of how it looks–when you click on the photo it enlarges it to a nice size so you can see the details.  I also put a lot of the quilts on my Instagram feed (button is to the right), along with their names and titles, if they were posted.

On Wednesday, I took EQ7 out of the Box, taught by Barbara Vlack, a terrific class where I learned a few tricks.  After class I stayed for a while to help hang quilts, joining the incredible army of volunteers who had been at that all day long.  On Thursday, I enjoyed David Taylor’s You, Too, Can Stipple.  Even though I passed stippling long ago, I also learned a lot.  If you ever get a chance to take a class from either of them, sign up immediately.  Some famous quilters aren’t teachers, but Taylor’s class flowed well and was really fun (he’s also pretty funny with a dry sense of humor).

Thursday afternoon Sherri, a friend, joined me from out-of-town, and on Friday morning we met up with a large contingent of the Good Heart Quilters, a local group of quilters in my area.  We carpooled in, then split up to shop see the quilts.  At noon, we were joined by more Good Heart Quilters, and two more quilters from the LA area (Megan and Michelle), and we all went over to El Torito for lunch, enjoying a few minutes off-site to celebrate Simone’s birthday.  Back in the cars for more quilt show, then home again.

Shop Hop in Temecula

Saturday, Sherri and Laurel (one of the Good Heart Quilters) and I did a mini shop-hop, hitting three stores in the Temecula area, and enjoying lunch at a local Mexican restaurant.  We were buying wool for their Oh Christmas Tree QAL, which begins next week in earnest (so I hope you are all getting your supplies, too).  If I look funny, it’s because I was standing on my tiptoes to see over the high rails of the antique bed I was posing in front of. Plus I’m really tired from too much fun seeing the quilts.

Sunday, Sherri flew home, and Dave (my husband) and I headed up to Road for one last blast of quilts, to pick up a flier so I could subscribe to both QuiltMania and Simply Moderne (it took me a while, but I’m finally going to do it) and pick up my quilts.  We were back home by 5 p.m., the fun ride over.

After last year’s high of having three quilts accepted into Road, I didn’t think my quilting life could get any better.  That year still remains a high, but this year was really amazing, too.  In reviewing the year, I must also add in the lovely emails from all my readers, the relationships we’ve developed, as well as the quilting, the ups and downs, the travels, the successes and the failures you’ve shared with me.  As I explained to one white-glove volunteer, who asked about my Pineapples and Crowns quilt, that quilt is really a collaboration, a celebration of community.

And so I celebrate us all, as we begin the year!



Quarterly Reveal on February 1st


See you on February 2nd to begin our Oh Christmas Tree QAL!

28 thoughts on “Reflections on Road to California 2016

  1. Congrats Elizabeth – What an honor to get 3rd place but look at the quilt – so wonderful. You will have to enter next year but what do you submit? You’ve done such beautiful quilts like your Lollipop Trees and ow your pineapple quilt. Boy you are definitely a hard act to follow. Seriously I am very very pleased for you.

  2. Congratulations on your prize! I was happy to see your beautiful work at Road. Thank you for sharing your art and thoughts this past year, I look forward to more inspiration.

  3. What an amazing year you have had, Elizabeth. It has to have been an unbelievable high to receive a ribbon for that gorgeous quilt. I can remember your testing different placement for those petals. It seems like only yesterday! Bask in the happiness as we anticipate this years fun from you. 😉

  4. Congratulations Elizabeth on your win! The time and effort you put into getting that border perfect certainty paid off! Here’s to a wonderful 2016!

  5. I can imagine your excitement about this win, Elizabeth, and all I can say is, “Well deserved!” Your quilt is truly marvelous, and I’m as tickled as peaches that you won this award. The show sounds wonderful, but even more, all the fun you had is absolutely THE best! I revel in shows that bring friends together, let us enjoy quilts, and give us opportunities to socialize and just “be” among our people. It sounds like you did this to the fullest, and that’s the best way to go! Love knowing how you keep making and entering and winning… all for trying to better yourself, and for the fun of it. Keep on truckin’! You sure didn’t let 2015 slow you down, and I bet 2016 won’t either.

  6. And you got money, too? Dang, I seriously should have pushed that box thing. Guess I’ll have to wait until October (?) for something from you. You know, Elizabeth, that I think this quilt is stupendous, and I’m happy to have played my teeny tiny part in it, mainly by encouraging you to run to Trader Joe’s for pineapple. Congratulation on this win, and on getting Colorwheel Blossom accepted, as well. My quilt photographer friend (who probably was there) tells me that RtC is really the show to enter and to be accepted by, by his perception of the talk all over the place. He claims it is tougher to get into than Quilt Festival or the AQS show. RtC was really his first big break into the quilt photography business many years ago.

  7. Thanks for the positive comments on ROAD. It was an amazing show and so many vendors. Your quilts are beautiful! I appreciate your including photos of the winners so I can tell friends who weren’t able to go to check on your web site for the link. I really wish they had allowed photos of the National Park quilts. I would have loved to take a few photos of my favorites just to view on my iPad and recall the moment. I would still buy the book.

  8. Congratulations. First saw your quilts on Sherri’s blog. Your work is amazing and so are you in sharing so much with all of us. Thank you

  9. Congratulations on winning a ribbon and a money prize !!! I loved seeing your winning quilt in person and took a picture for inspiration. I can’t wait to see your entries next year ! I’m looking forward to the Modern Quilt Show in Pasadena. Will you have any quilts exhibited at the show?

  10. Congratulations on your win!
    The Best of Show quilt looks like a display in a Pier 1 store. How unique.

  11. Congratulations Elizabeth!! What a wonderful way to start the new year – best to you and Dave – I LOVE all the COLOR!! – JANE E

  12. Congrats, Elizabeth! My kind of colors on both your quilts this year. I was looking at the Colorwheel Blossom quilt and a lot of women came by and commented on the quilt -they especially liked the way you did the colors so that it looked as though they were overlapping each other. The docent showed us the back and everyone thought that was great, too. Can’t wait to see the Christmas project finished.

  13. I liked Road much better this year than last year. There seemed to be less professional quilts and of course I liked the colors better this year, too. I thought all the quilts I really looked at had fabulous quilting that enhanced the quilts to an amazing degree. I am always looking for ideas for placing blocks in unusual patterns and how borders are done so I took lots of pictures.
    I was good this year and bought very little fabric, just some Australian prints and red lips on black for my daughter-in-law.

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