The Road to California Quilt Show was held this past weekend, and I think it was my 22nd year of going…or something like that. The highlights for the first day are found on my Instagram Account ( as well as some found in #roadtocalifornia2017), but here are quilts that I didn’t post up.
I liked the collage effect of this one by Jean Impey, titled Ernestine Benito. It was started in a class with Susan Carlson, using “Susan’s collage techniques as well as some ‘reckless and raw edge’ appliqué and India Inks.”
The tape keeping people out was placed too far out this year, so the only way I could photograph these horses was side-by-side. The one on the left is White Knight, by Patt Blair. The one on the right is Wendy Knight’s Here’s Looking’ at You. I was mesmerized by her quilting, shown in the next images.
Kona Fabrics had a series of small quilts (around 16″ square) using that bright lemony yellow from last year (above and below). There was also a wonderful exhibit by Cherrywood Fabrics of Lion King, but I could never get a good shot at it as people were always looking at them all closely.
Peony, by Sarah Ann Smith, is a stunning blossom interpreted in fabric.
But I couldn’t help constrasting it with the bluesy-purpled Blue Anemone, by Andrea Brokenshire, admiring its use of periwinkle, turquoise and other colors, and that exquisite quilting.
Overall impressions (including these and the images on Instagram): thankfully the use of sparkly bling has fallen to new lows, with the few quilts that did add crystals keeping them to appropriate usage. Margaret Solomon Gunn’s quilts (here and here) are always exquisite, and I realize that I’m never going to measure up to her long-arm quilting skills. In fact, I heard the moans of “I’m not good enough” over and over. Aside from the usual don’t-compare-yourself-to-others cliches that I could offer, I say the only good remedy for that one is to go home and make a one-patch quilt and have something to show for your time, and that will allow you to realize that every quilt has a beauty all its own. We have quilt shows to admire the best of the best, and the others and to use them to inspire us.
I didn’t choose a “Most Ugly” quilt this year, although there were several that might have qualified. And I’ve decided to change that award to “Didn’t Live Up To Its Promise” so as not to offend.
I took two classes; one was awesome and the other — even though the teacher was so nice and knew her stuff–not worth it. Why? Because they sent a long-armer to do teaching about quilting on a domestic machine. And because they made us use machines that were difficult to use, and we spent a ton of time re-threading them, fighting their built-in stitch regulators and waiting for the tech to come. And because when we showed up, these complicated machines were not threaded or ready for sewing, so we spent nearly 90 minutes of class time getting them up to snuff.
One last gripe: the practice of teachers charging us Beaucoup Bucks for our “kits” of materials that we have at home, for supplies that we already own, and for threads that we don’t care to try. Unless it’s some specialty item that we wouldn’t think to buy, I’d prefer a teacher include a detailed supply list for us to bring. Yes, we will buy the teacher’s stuff in class if we forget ours, or hunt for it down on the vendor floor, but I now have another blue marking pen, two spools of thread that I probably won’t use again (I’m a Superior Thread fan) and a 18″ by 44″ marked quilt sandwich. Those three things cost me $45 (!).
I like having such a high-quality show so close to me, and I enjoy seeing my “yearly” friends. I heard lots of gripes about no printed showbooks, the cheezy Road to California bag, and no lanyard-style name tag holders (and no, I’m not buying their blue Road badge holder), but I think we were all happy to be there.
Until next year, Road!