It’s here! It’s here! Road to California is finally here! Or was there…because I’m writing about this event and it’s in the past, as is typical with reporting on news. The bag this year was cute, using the Best of Show winner Janet Stone’s quilt from 2019–and it was sturdy as well as colorful (hooray for none of those cheesy faux fabric bags from years of yore), and has the ever-popular aqua-blue trim. But enough on Road Fashion, and on to my experience at Road.
First up was a class with Laura Heine, then two days of class with Jen Kingwell: Halo and Steam Punk.
Simultaneously, my friend Leisa was headed to the hospital as her cancer had progressed rapidly and she was in for a wild ride. I wrote about it on IG, and was grateful for Jen Kingwell’s kindness to me during a very stressful two days. So if I look a bit wiped out in the photo above, it’s because I’d been crying on and off for two days. All I have to say is if you are going through crisis, be sure you’re with Jen and her comforting brand of patchwork. And the class–so wonderful, and so fun to be surrounded with like-minded soon-to-be friends, all doing patchwork. It was mostly a hand-sewing class, but because my distraction level was sort of high, I did sneak out my little sewing machine and piece mine. I need to make up a few more and make a small wall-hanging; such fun designs!
But happy news was that Afton of QuiltingMod had decided that if half of the Gridster Bee quilters (photos below) were coming to Road, she wanted to come too. So she roomed at my house, and rode back and forth with me for three days — a great companion and fun to be with. She took the photo, above. Because she’s a youngster (under 45), she was able to take part in a research project about younger quilters, and luckily her interview room had a great view of the retail booths in the large exhibit hall.
I found Ladybird first. I’d received a congratulatory note the night before from a friend about winning, but as we like to say in our house, I may have gotten the sign, but the neighoring quilt got the ribbon and the money. By the end of the week, she had the sign, too, but it was fun while it lasted. I was in there Thursday at lunch to try and find my three quilts in the Road Showcase.
They had a new set-up this year at Road, and while there were a few lighting problems, overall I’m a big fan. The quilting really pops, and we could lean in a bit closer to the quilts to see detail. They had music going on (from a vendor selling harp and keyboard music) and while by the end I was wishing for some light jazz, that tunes weren’t too bad either. The only complaint from everyone was how cold it was, but that’s not anything the Road people had control over (they were renovating parts of the Convention Center, so I chalk it up to that). Boy, you are getting ALL the details. Sorry.
Cute signs showing the “streets” of this neighborhood, and that first time a contestant (that’s what we’re called) head into the room, they are sort of frantic about “Where’s my quilts?” So I’m photographing this sign above, asking the White Glove Lady how to make sense of it, and I turn around to see this:
Both of my other quilts, on the same row! (Big grin) On the left is All Are Friends in Heaven, and two down from that is Plitvice.
Photo taken in front of Plitvice on Day One by a lovely white glove lady.
Photo taken on Day Two in front of All Are Friends in Heaven by Catherine Butterworth, who I’d known, but met in person at Road this year (small world!).
I went looking for Simone‘s quilt that Kelley quilted–it was just down the “street” from Ladybird, so easy to find.
When class was out, I went to see some of the vendor mall, as the crush dies down mid-afternoon. There were lots of fun things to see and to buy.
And I had one more quilt to find: Azulejos, my newest quilt, all the way at the end of the Atrium. Close-up, below left. (More on that in an upcoming post.)
One of the fun things was the meet-ups of the Gridsters. Clockwise, from above left:
- Jennifer (local) and Carol (Boston)
- Afton (New Mexico) at In-N-Out Burger (I made sure she tried our Southern California burger)
- Lower row: Lisa (Utah), Kelley (Palm Springs), Afton (NM), Simone (local);
Back row: Me (local), Carol (Boston)–all of us at our traditionl Mexican place we dine at every year.
- I also saw Janice (in class with me), and we had a group picture of others, also at El Torito on Friday night:
Others at our dinner were Kim, Lori, Betty (Utah), then Carol’s daughter Hayley and her granddaughter, Maddy, who was very shy. Laurel (next to Carol on the left) is also one of our regular “Roadies.”
Many of us then headed over to Jenny on the Road, an evening presentation with Jenny Doan. We went two years ago, but this year we were handed some swag: a tote bag, a T-shirt, and some fun notions. It was a nice evening, but after being on the go for a few days, I was ready to head home and crash. Afton kept me entertained, and kept me awake, and I was glad she’d come to Road.
I’ve posted numerous quilts that were in the Showcase on Instagram @occasionalpiecequilt and used the hashtags #road2ca2020 and #roadtocalifornia2020.
Next post: Road to California, Part II
Last post: Road to California, Part III
9 thoughts on “Road to California 2020”
I love your travelogue — thanks for sharing! I took Jen’s maiden Halo class in Utah about 4 years ago. I really need to pull out my scraps and work on it again.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us Elizabeth. You are so honest and sincere in your writing, I can almost imagine being there. Are you sure that Ladybird didn’t win? It’s a great looking quilt! Halo has long been on my list. I think when I finally finish my Quattro Colour quilt, I’ll start on it!
All Are Friends in Heaven – great quilt, great title. It was this quilt I was standing in front of next to two women who were pointing out all the little details to each other. I couldn’t help myself as they were admiring it to point them to this blog: “if you like this quilt, you should see her blog, opquilts!”. It was all I could do not to preface that information with, ” I know her!”. So happy to have the ability to say that. Thanks for the beauty you share with us.
I’m so sorry to read about Leisa. I pray she is doing better now. Road looks like a good one this year, but overshadowed for you by your worry.
So grateful to have been there and met everyone! It was truly a one of a kind experience! Such warm thoughts when I pull out my bag for a shopping trip! Hoping for the very best for Leisa. Friendship, so precious. X
Love experiencing Road through your eyes. Thanks for sharing all the quilt photos. So many wonderful quilts. I’m happy for you and all your quilts that were in the show.
Looks like an absolutely fabulous show! California appears to be the place to be, for graphic beautiful colorful quilts! I would love to have a class with Jen Kingwell someday. Love her quilts!
Wow! Looks like that was quite an experience!
I had a great experience at Road this year! Funny. I was in a class with Carol on FMQ. We both played on a Q20. 😃