Quilt Shows

Road to California 2022 • Part I

I Hear America Singing, Quilt #252

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.

Wealth of Days, Quilt #247

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.

Picties and Verities, Quilt #243
I snuck my mask off for this one.

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.

That border!

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.

The back of the quilt

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!

26 thoughts on “Road to California 2022 • Part I

  1. Thank you for the show. I live close enough to go but am still anxious. I am curious about your temp quilt as you mention rainfall but I don’t know what to look for to see any changes. I did read a couple other posts but didn’t find specific info. Please direct me to that info. I do like the colors and design of geese moving in different directions. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for sharing the show and your experience. Road to CA is on my bucket list of shows to attend. I’m so looking forward to shows starting back up! We are hoping to get to a show in Branson in March. Like you, we will be watching numbers and driving ourselves there. I sure hope we go, but won’t be upset if we don’t. Enjoy your trip back on Saturday!

  3. Thank you so much! I knew I could count on your good reporting for me to be there vicariously. I had to stop and think – even if we were home, would I go? An unanswered question… It’s so exciting to see your quilts hanging in the show – they are fabulous! Thank you!

  4. Thank you SO much for all the beautiful pictures, the details, what you were feeling & how you dealt with it. After so much time in quarantine (and we continue it!), I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll ever return to ‘normal’ life again. When we DO go out (quick trip to store, etc), we are surrounded by rude people on the road who cut you off in an instant or pull out suddenly RIGHT in front of you.
    Everyone seems to be without manners, kindness or any semblance of being aware that they aren’t the only ones in the world who are living in it. Incredibly difficult times! I am thankful you shared your experience — how I’ve missed quilt shows!!

  5. Your pictures are lovely and so is your quilt! Like you, I’m covid-nervous these days. I’m looking forward to going to QuiltCon next month and hope they are as sensitive to safety as it sounds like Road was. Still, I was disappointed to miss it for the first time in many, many years. Also, like you, my daughter and youngest son managed to catch COVID, despite being extremely careful. Grateful they both were vaccinated (though not boosted) so the symptoms were relatively mild compared to most. Stay safe and looking forward to seeing you next month in AZ!

  6. I’m so jealous that you got to go to a great quilt show,thank you for sharing! everything has been cancelled here in the NE for going on 2 years now. I’ve been faxed and boosted but recoveringfromCovid which I got from my baby grandson! We have been knocking ourselves out trying to keep him safe.
    My husband and I did a bit of traveling this fall. We wore our masks and washed our hands continuously. We tried to go to restaurants between lunch and dinner to avoid crowds. At this point, I think it’s time to get back out with precautions……us older people are running out of time!
    Enjoy your outings, life is short!

  7. Thanks for a detailed report on going to RTC – thanks for the photos of the quilts. Beautifully displayed.
    I’m also happy to were able to attend a workshop.
    Sorry to hear about your family positive tests, we’ve had them too. But luckily the vaccinated are doing well.

  8. My feelings vary wildly from “Oh, no, don’t go” to “I’m so glad you went!” Seems a million years since we were there- our baby was only two, but we still talk about sunny California and visiting with Miss Elizabeth and Mickey! Love that epic circles quilt. Can’t help it if I am biased about the ❤️🤍💙. I am going to bravely venture into the grocery today! X

  9. Enjoyed all the pictures, and especially loved your Wealth of Days quilt! Fabulous colors and an inspiring message behind it to boot!

  10. I really appreciate your reflections on going to the show during Covid times, and your balance of caution and venture. What a beautiful show! I’m encouraged to look forward to Quilt Con next month, and I hope to see you there. ❤️

  11. The KN95 masks are the way to go, all right. I wear one everywhere and haven’t caught COVID (yet, anyway) even though hardly anyone here in semirural Tennessee wears a mask. It’s so discouraging; there are classes I would take if everyone would mask up. I wish I could afford California.

  12. I’m glad you got to go to the show as I know how much you enjoy Road. That block makes up into a wonderful quilt. I’ll be watching to see your scrappy blocks develop. It’s going to be a great quilt. Thanks for sharing some show quilts too. I always find most of them amazing and can’t imagine the time involved in making them. Not something I aspire to but I do appreciate the skill and commitment involved.

  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos; wow, that show gets some wonderfully elaborate quilts! My local show, a Mancuso production near Philadelphia, is not until September and I am hoping we are in a much better place by then.

  14. I’m glad you went, and had fun. My friends in the South Bay also were there. It looks like cases are at least leveling off in Southern California, and in other large cities. Here in North Carolina, they’re still increasing; the rural counties in this state have a much lower vaccination rate. I’ll need to hunker down a bit longer. (Even without Covid, I wouldn’t be going out this weekend. We’re going to have an ice storm tonight!) I hope your family and Laurel’s BIL will all be OK.

  15. I am SO glad you ran the gauntlet and bravely went into the fray! The quilt show you have shared is amazing! As Anne (Springleaf Studios) said, skill and committment aplenty in those beauties! And I really love your new block! That is going to be one very pretty quilt!
    I’m so sorry to hear your family have been hit by ‘you know what’. It is circling us here but I don’t go far or am I indoors with lots of people! Our cases seem to be levelling off, which is a relief as school goes back next week! But I won’t be doing any relief teaching any time soon. I’m enjoying my Summer by the Bay way too much!

  16. Hi Elizabeth. What fun to go to a real live quilt show, even if it was a bit nerve wracking. Your class block looks like so much fun. There are some truly stunning quilts in the show. Hoping all of your family/friends recover quickly with no long term effects. 😄

  17. Thank you for sharing your post Covid venture to a quilt show. I will feel the same once I am brave enough to go to a quilt show. I love that you’re sharing the quilts you have on display and some of the other quilts in the show. I look forward to your part 2 of the show and attending Road 2022.

  18. I really appreciate you sharing these wonderful quilt photos with us – thank you!!! I miss going to shows and this helps fill that gap. The national level show closest to me – the Vermont Quilt Festival – has cancelled for this year🙁. Fingers crossed that the current Covid surge is the last!🤞

  19. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Isn’t it sad to see quilt shows not doing as well as previously…I think there was a big quilting surge due to Covid, but now it seems to be dying out. I also think that a lot of small shops closed (as did many other small businesses) during Covid. I am hoping that life will get back to normal soon. I am thankful for people like you who make the effort to share your show experience with us! Thank you, Elizabeth!

  20. Many thanks. After attending only one of your Zoom classes, I think I understand your world better. In addition to your quilts, I loved *your *look. At first I thought you had stacked your necklaces and then I realized one was your lanyard*. * Love, Christine

    On Fri, Jan 21, 2022 at 12:13 AM OccasionalPiece–Quilt! wrote:

    > Elizabeth E. posted: ” I Hear America Singing, Quilt #252 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 ” >

  21. It is fun to see these quilts and really interesting to read about the show and your experience in the context of COVID. I admire how thoughtful you are about it all.

  22. Accuquilt has posted two YouTube videos showing quilts from Road. The first one is here:

    Your Wealth of Days quilt is right at the beginning. And my friend Carol’s quilt about Eleanor Burns is also shown.

  23. I’m glad you and Laurel were able to attend, and that we can see the show through your eyes. I hope I can meet you there next year!

  24. Thank you for the vicarious quilt show Elizabeth! I’m missing QuiltCon this year – I just don’t feel safe getting on an airplane … Enjoy, and post lots of photos from there!

  25. I went to the quilt show today, did not wear a mask and only a handful of people were. I got Covid in December 2020, only lasting affect is my sense of smell has not fully returned. When I got Covid I thought I had bronchitis and was surprised to learn it was Covid. I was 65 at the time so not real young. I have had the original two vaccines and three boosters, plus flu and pneumonia vaccines. I felt very comfortable being in a crowd without a mask.
    I was sad to see how much smaller the show was and missed a lot of my favorite vendors. I don’t know if someone else is running it now or not but they didn’t have the usual food vendors inside that they use to have. You could only get a meal in the big tent for $18.50. We chose to stop somewhere else on the way home.

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