My friend Laurel and I headed up to Road to California 2022 Tuesday afternoon, one hour earlier than the “VIP” admissions. We know this show often has slow check-ins and we wanted to get our badges and show bag and figure out where our class was tomorrow. We had time to sit and reflect before it opened on how our own numbers of local quilters has shrunk, through moves or losing interest. One year we gathered almost 20 people for a dinner at a local restaurant; now it was down to just us two, eating our brought-from-home sandwiches, waiting for the abbreviated quilt show to open.
Road to California is a well-established quilt show, running for more than two decades. I have had mostly perfect attendance, ever since moving to Southern California — except for last year, when it was cancelled. Laurel called this year “a year to take a breath” and get your bearings again. When they opened up, we hightailed it to the quilt show area so I could see my quilts. They were still setting up, so the overhead lights were on, a departure from 2020 when I was last here. Everything was so well lighted; we loved it.
We explored the quilts (more at the bottom of this post), shopped the vendors and headed home to get some sleep before our class the next day.
We live about 35 minutes from the show, so I picked up Laurel and off we went. Our class was being taught in a different hotel, so we loaded the wagon, went in and found our places. I had said to Laurel that I was very “covid-nervous” and might have to leave if people weren’t wearing their masks, or taking precautions. We are still under mask mandates here in California, but I got a seat near the door and we left the doors open for ventilation, and class started.
The class was Posh Penelope, taught by Helen and Jenny from Sew Kind of Wonderful — really lovely teachers. At the beginning of class they passed out little goodie kits for us–so welcome! I’d precut and prepped so after the demos, I started right in.
I hadn’t heard from my daughter that morning, and I checked on her IG Story and saw this. Just when I am thinking we’re going to get out of this in good shape! In texting my other children, I found out my son and his family had it last week, another son offered up that his 16 yo daughter had it. Laurel had been tracking news of her BIL who has been in the hospital for over a week, with covid. I felt surrounded by covid, but took a deep breath and kept quilting. It’s still here, but we were at Road — and I consider that a deep breath and a leap back into life.
We took our lunches outside to this gazebo–in the old days we would have cranked away at the sewing machines inside; now we escape to the beauties of the world a little more often.
And then class was over. No, I don’t know what that fabric is I used for the blue, but I plan to make this quilt a few scrappy blocks at a time. It’s such a great pattern, and using their rulers makes it easy. We went back over to the convention center, to grab the last couple of hours of the day. It’s about half the size in terms of vendors, with no large tent this time. I thanked a lot of the vendors for coming, knowing that it’s a hard time for this sort of thing. The quilt show is also smaller, so I was happy to get my quilts in.
Here are some of the quilts we saw: so much beautiful work. Click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.
If you have $75,000, this could be yours.
I don’t have the maker info; I will get it and update this later.
This is a miniature, made out of old sari, and each of the those pieces are about an 1/8″ wide. Here’s the larger view:
I love this title…and the quilt.
I will admit to really loving this one.
I think I am through with the animal section.
Having gone to Guatemala in 2019 to see my sister Cynthia, I could relate to this one a lot, as Cynthia took us to a specialty textiles shop that had handwoven textiles, with a woman out front doing a demonstration of weaving with a hip loom.
About the colors: from standing there, I would say the color was a slightly blue/red, with red being predominant, but when I got in closer, the camera would convert it to magenta. This was a highly detailed quilt, full of wonderful appliqué.
Okay, I know you were waiting for a Janet Stone Quilt. She works with the alphabet, for those who don’t know her work, and always includes a sheep/lamb/ewe somewhere in the quilt. This has them all in abundance.
Back of the quilt. I learned about her thread color, about when she switches threads, and that I continue to stand in awe of her work.
Zina Clark: Love in the Time of Coronavirus and Murder Hornets. If you’d like to purchase it, the price is $3700.
About Going to to a Quilt Show During Covid
I’m writing this long explanation not only for the record of this time, but also because of the questions on Instagram I’ve been asked about how I felt about being there at a quilt show during a covid surge. You have to know, first, that I spent most of 2020 in my house. We timed grocery store runs to every other week and scurried home. When I got the first vaccine in January of 2021 it was like an answer to a prayer, and I received the second one on Valentine’s Day. More mostly staying at home after our “easy summer” ended, and we still watch covid numbers. So yes, you could say I’m a bit anxious about covid.
But I’d been boosted, I’d upgraded to KN94 masks (no more cute homemade cloth ones anymore) and it was time to put my toe back in the quilt world. I felt keenly like I wanted to support Road to California and those vendors and teachers who were brave enough to come here. During an Omicron surge.
I agonized, and talked to my husband (question: do you want me to sleep in the guest room? answer: no), and decided if I limited my time, going in spurts, it would be manageable. The convention center has tall ceilings, they had a mask mandate (about 99% were heeding that), and I saw the beginning of the dip in the charts. But still, here was the info from the week before in San Bernardino, where Road was being held:
Coming to Road was easier for me, because I drove. (I plan to drive next month to QuiltCon, too.) Because this was a “take a breath” time, there was less of everything: some holes in the convention center floor where a vendor had maybe pulled out, quilt exhibits that felt like they were stretching to fill the space, rather than oodles of individual quilts. But I felt okay, after an initial nervousness. I also wanted to do a trial run before heading to Phoenix and QuiltCon in February; my roommate has decided to cancel, so my husband is now going with me. I’m not upset by this; I thought it might be me canceling. It’s a tough time.
I will be going again on Saturday afternoon, to study the quilts one last time, then wait around for my quilts at the end of the show. I’ll post more photos of the show later (I still have quite few to share).
So, Happy January.
Happy Road to California time!