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!


Back to My Average Life After 10 Days on the Road

Road2CA acceptance2016

Road?  Did someone say Road?  I found this in my mailbox this morning, and after jumping around my room and being a goofball for a while, the happiness over this news of my acceptance into Road to California 2016 has settled into a happy smile on my face.  Not to mention the realization that lightning has struck me, twice, with this acceptance–both last year and this year.

Vegas Night

My husband and I left for Las Vegas last week for a scientific conference of his, but we decided to stay a couple of night on the famed Vegas Strip.  I liked the Bellagio Fountains, and certainly you can enjoy the wild and crazy neon/light/building attractions, but generally, overall, I’ll probably never go back.  But it was good to do it once, I guess.

Vegas Art

This is what I did like (from left to right): 1) a James Turrell installation in the back of the Aria, near the elevators (see below), Claes Oldenberg’s famous sculpture Typewriter Eraser, and the Dale Chihuly installation in the ceiling of the Bellagio of blown glass flowers.
Turrell installment

Here’s a long view of the Turrell.  The white tube casts different colors (which you can see above), filling the room with light.  I love Turrell’s installations, given that I am completely enamored of color in quilting, too.
Barbara and Children 2105

Our daughter and her three children joined us on our last day, and yes, we ate lunch at Shake Shack (we stayed in the New York, New York hotel, and I thought posing them in front of the fake Brooklyn Bridge was appropriate).SLC Temple

Then I flew up to Salt Lake City, where I saw one of my favorite buildings, and we celebrated my father’s 90th birthday, shown below with my brother Scott.  Dad's Birthday

But I couldn’t leave Utah without hitting at least two shops: Elaine’s Quilt Block (a favorite) and a new one to me: Pine Needles, which I fell in love with.  I’ll be back!Quilt Shops

Wrong Rosette #5And now I need to buckle down with the quilting, the figuring out where to put the stuff I bought from the quilt shops, to remake the center of my latest hexie Rosette #5, because even though I probably got the memo that the pieces were too big and I should figure out the right ones. . . I didn’t.  So now it’s un-sew and re-cut and re-sew. But why do anything average?1Bently Enemy of Average