Prepping the Quilts 2018

Road to California Logo

Thank you all for the lovely words of encouragement you wrote in response to my last post.  I’m making my way through them, and will answer them.  However, everything I have done lately…is done lately.

Annularity_May 2018LabeledNorthern Lights Medallion on bench

These two lovelies were juried into Road to California 2019, and so I spent a morning prepping them to head off:

Prepping for Road_1

Now you see the bit of errant blue quilting thread…

Prepping for Road_2

…and now you don’t…Prepping for Road_3

…thanks to these trusty friends.  This is an old quilter’s trick, mentioned in several older books I have.

Names on labels are covered up. I also had to make sure my name and contact information are included on the quilt, and I do that in a label near the hanging sleeve, and that’s covered up, too.

Quilts into a clear plastic bag, into their box, and off to Road to California, not to be seen until January 2019, in the show!

Road to California 2018

Ready, set, go into a busy week:

Tuesday: Cynthia England’s class with Lisa, my pal, who has moved away to Utah.  That’s Cynthia’s class sample, above.  I loved taking a class with Cynthia as I was there in Houston the year her quilt won the Best of Show and launched her career.  Upshot? Here’s another UFO for my collection, but I’m glad I took the class and learned the technique.

Wednesday was a day off: I picked up my new glasses, blocked a quilt I’m working on for Paintbrush Studios’ booth for QuiltCon in a month, cleaned the house, and did the laundry.

Thursday: I went in early with Leisa, another pal, and killed time until the show opened, and when it did, made a beeline to find my two quilts.

Here’s Shine hanging in its cubby with a dazzler gem quilt, which quite overshadowed it.  (See below for the link to Instagram, where I did post a lot of the quilts and their names/makers.)  But the fun was being juried into Road!

Then to find the second quilt: Oh! Christmas Tree, hanging with its buddies.  Again, a real thrill to see it there.

Now to tackle the shopping.  The layout, above.

First stop, Pineapple Fabrics, where they stock my favorite solid fabric: Painter’s Palette Solids, by Paintbrush Studio.  Even though I learned about these solids by designing a quilt for Paintbrush Studio, I’m quite in love with their solid fabric and needed a few colors.  Pineapple Fabrics sells them at the best price of anyone out there.

After Pineapple, I started out in the “Pavillion” which is really just a monster-sized commercial tent with awkward lighting.  The first row facing the courtyard was well-lit (above, a Kaffe booth that has a great selection), but as soon as you round that corner, the booths are less well-lit.  Actually I found the lighting overall to be a problem in the main ballroom, too.  It was fine in the small ballroom.  Turn up the lights, Road!

I zipped over to see Dora Cary of OrangeDot Quilts, as I follow her on Instagram, and love her work.

For some reason, this show seems to attract the scooter/walker/cane crowd.  At the entrance they have about 40 of these scooters lined up to rent. Here are some scooters parked alongside a booth.    Will I stop coming to these when I hit this stage?  Who knows, but I am counting on the fact that the online presence will be so strong that I can stay home and hit the vendors that way.

Here is “saw-though-the-head” and “scissors-through-the-head.”  I also saw “hairbrush-through-the head.”  I suppose, as a vendor, you’ll do anything to make your booth stand out.

Fun to see a bee-mate’s quilt hanging up in the Ventura Quilt Guild’s booth.  It looks great, Joan!  And here’s the instructions and the place to send the blocks if you want to contribute to the Thomas Fire Relief Quilts.

I didn’t just shop or take classes (more coming up), but I also took time to look at the quilts.  The one made from a Wendy Williams pattern (above) caught my eye.  I have a lot of the quilts, plus the placards that tell about the quilts, up on my Instagram feed beginning here.  Use the right arrow to advance through them, and I apologize again if you follow me on IG and I blew up your feed.

I had many favorites and wrote about them on Instagram, but I also kept looking at the quilting, trying always to improve my FMQ.

Leisa finished her class with Gyleen Fitzgerald on Pineapple Quilts, and on the way home we stopped by Blaze Pizza for an early dinner (and to catch up with our non-quilt-show lives), because we had…

…Caitlin’s baby shower to attend that evening.  I was the gift scribe, and being the oldest of the bunch I needed a translation program that spanned several decades.  For example, I would write “squeaky toy” and Caitlin would say “Thanks for the teether.”  I would then line out “squeaky toy” and write down what she called the plastic giraffe.  This happened over and over, and left me certain that I was waaaaaay past the child-bearing years.  The language was so different, it was like a different world.  The favors were tiny succulents, the food was divine (I need to get the recipes) and we took a marker and wrote a message on the diapers in the wire basket, above — messages that Caitlin would read at those midnight diaper changes.

Okay, back to the show.

Friday: Lisa, Leisa and I took the Mystery Triangles Class from Jenny Doan.  Another class where I chose it for the person teaching it, as Jenny Doan is fabulous.  This was the most relaxed class, and I really enjoyed it.  The quilt above is all the techniques/options rolled into one quilt.

Lisa finished a baby quilt top, using Christa Watson’s new line of fabrics, that have a lot of wow-factor.  Cute!

We ate lunch every day upstairs overlooking the dramatic hallway with the hanging quilts, and I loved this quilter’s bag, made for her by her daughter, who asked her what were the four most important things in her life.  I agree, except I’d have to make room for my husband’s name on there.  (Maybe leave off gardening?)

We did some shopping, then headed over to El Torito. where our little quilt group gathered for our annual dinner.  Some years we’ve been fewer in number, and some years we’ve been higher in number; this time Lisa’s friend Margaret from Idaho joined us (in the red).  Then we all hightailed it back to the show, where we took in Jenny Doan’s Trunk Show that night.  It was fun and funny and good to be there with everyone.

Saturday: I walked all the vendors one more time, then about noon, Leisa and I left.

Sunday: I had to pick up my quilts at 4:30 so I went early.  My experience has taught me that the show is pretty emptied out near the end, and I could walk the quilts and look at them one more time, taking photographs without any people in them.

I re-visited the Cherrywood Fabrics booth with all the Van Gogh-inspired fabrics and snapped these two panorama shots (which distorts the photo–it’s really quite rectangular).  Next year the theme is Prince, with purple fabrics, if you want to jump in.  They’ve had three collections so far: Lion King, Wicked, and Van Gogh.  I have loved them all. Click to enlarge the above two photos.

The dates for next year’s Road to California are January 17-20, 2019.  Make plans now to come to a terrific quilt show!

Road to California Quilt Show, 2017

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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.  road2ca_unknown2

This was the gallery for the Art Abstract quilts, and yes.  They were abstract.  Sometimes it’s helpful just to see how they are laid out.
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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.”road2ca2017_jeanimpey

Jean Impey also made Dance in the Wind, started in a class with another teacher who “taught me how to look at something and abstract it, to see things in different colors.”road2ca2017_hahn

Birth of a Storm is by Betty Hahn, who used the “color and movement of the Doppler radar forecasts of tropical storms” as her inspiration.road2ca2017_beach

Orange You Glad I Got the Blues? is by Mel Beach, representing the “influence of improvisation within Jazz music.road2ca2017_blairknight

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.
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Cynthia England’s Reflections of Cape Town took a year to make and has about 8400 individual pattern pieces in it.  Detail of this is below.road2ca2017_england_2 road2ca2017_bianchi_1

This small quilt, probably 14″ by 18″ is loaded with buttons.  Beacon, by Susan Bianchi, represents her “impression of an antique lighthouse lens and prism.”road2ca2017_bianchi_2 road2ca2017_kona-yellow_1

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.road2ca2017_kona-yellow_2 sarahannsmith

Peony, by Sarah Ann Smith, is a stunning blossom interpreted in fabric.

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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 was very happy to see my friend Simone’s quilts hanging in the show (here and here), as well as other people I know.  Those friendships are what tie us all together in our quilting community.

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!

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks

Two Quilts_again

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks_front

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks
Pieced, Appliquéd and Quilted
57″ high by 53 1/2″ wide
No. 146 on my 200 Quilts List

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks_1I went up to my university’s botanic garden to photograph these two quilts, loving the contrast of the rustic against the brightly colored blocks from my beemates in the Mid-Century Modern Bee.

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks_detail2

I put out a call for a variety of blocks in 6″ or 9″ or 12″ sizes, and then as they came in, placed them all up on my design wall to see how they played together.  I used some of the ideas from these friends to create a few more blocks, following Carla’s lead when she created hers.  Like Carla, I also worked in the small signature blocks as part of the design.

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks_front heroic

One day I opened a card from Rhonda, another friend back east, and she’d made me a bird block to be added to my project, as she had read my blog and wanting to contribute to my modern sampler.  So that spurred me on to making a few more birds as well.

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks_detailThen I had to try some flowery blocks, two different kinds to go with all the other flowers, and a Dresden block, and once I got started, I also added a Road to California block (made four times so it would be big enough to add variety).  It’s kind of fun to try making all different kinds of blocks.  Finally I had enough, and the right size of blocks and I was able to sew it together.  Happily so, thinking about my good friends.

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks_back

I saved some of the smaller blocks for the back.

Sing A Song of Sampler Blocks_label

Two quilts_2015

Two quilts with flowers

Happy Spring!  Spring into some quilting!

Amish Quilt, in progress

AmishWithATwist2Top

Finished the inner top.  Put on two borders and still have one border to go this gigantic quilt (finishing at 105″ square).  What was I thinking?

AWAT-detail Jan_2014

I was thinking I loved the colors, the sparkle of the brights, and the use of solids.

Quilt Border Fail

This picture is titled Border Fail.  They sent me 2 5/8 yards of Blue Coal (it’s a nighttime photo, so all the colors are wacky), and after dinner I was tired but wanted to push on to finish the quilt.  So I came upstairs and whack, whack, whack started cutting crosswise strips to piece together for the outside border.  After I’d cut about half the strips, I realized they sent me enough to do a lengthwise cut for that outside border, which would really stabilize the quilt.  I slumped into my chair, and yes, got all teary about how dumb I was.  I was tired.  My husband said some “there, there, theres” and I ordered a new swath of Blue Coal from an online shop, which should be here by the end of next week.

Lessons learned: husband is a gem, mistakes can be made, especially if I’m tired, and beware of cutting after dinnertime.  I’d already put on the first inner border, and the little squares border.  Now that’s an exercise in frustration.  Those squares NEVER fit, so you go back in and stitch another 1/16″ of a seam on a few squares, inching it down to fit. If you want to see what I’m working toward, here’s a photo of Amish With A Twist–II:

AWAT2_someone else's

Here’s Amish with A Twist–Version I, and it’s really big, too.AmishWithATwist2011

Found this on the web when I went searching for ideas on how to quilt my quilt.  Which won’t be done until NEXT week now.

So the center of my version, Amish With A Twist-2,  is this lighter set of fabrics, so that would call out for beige or cream or light gray or something.  But then the outer is darker, so that indicates black or dark gray.  And I’m having this done by my long-armer, and to keep it affordable, I’ll probably do an edge to edge design.

AWAT1 quilting

This quilter had hers done in colorful variegated thread, which she showed on another page.  That’s certainly an option, as it does melt into the light-colored fabrics.  But I’m not too crazy about how it looks on the dark black.  My version doesn’t have that dark black thing, so maybe it will be okay.  What would you choose?  Road to California is coming up in a couple of weeks and I can pick up some Superior Thread there.  Any ideas?

Road to California Logo

And if you are going to Road to California, want to try for a meet up–say Friday, late afternoon?  That will give the out-of-towners time enough to get there, and by then, I’ll be ready to call it done for the day.  If you are going, leave a comment, and we’ll figure out a place.  Possibly near the ice cream cones.  Or cookies.

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Reminder: my blogging software will occasionally place an ad on this page.  It’s the way I can keep blogging for free, so it you see one, it’s for them–not for me.

Road to California Quilt Show 2013—part III

This is the final post on the quilts I saw at Road.

BuckleyQuilt

Fiesta Mexico was made by Karen Kay Buckley and quilted by Renae Haddadin.

BuckleyBack

The back was amazing, with all the colored thread.  Details of the front are below.

Buckleydetail1

Buckleydetail2

Chromaticquilt

Chromatic Transitions.  Rachel Wetzler adapted a late 1800s Minton tile pattern to make her quilt.  Four tiles pivoting on center makes one block and there are 25 blocks in the quilt.  She played with the placement of values to de-emphasize some shapes and empasize others.  Details below.

Chromaticdetail1

Chromaticdetail2

This quilt fascinated me by the way she appliqued it.  Some swirlies were turned-under (freezer paper method?) and then appliqued using a small zig-zag.

Chromaticdetail3

And then there’s this section which is raw-edge appliqued.  I love the combo of both in one quilt.

Cranes

Cranes in Motion was made by Gloria Gilhousen and quilted by Jean McDaniel of Oregon. So you’re thinking: nice birds, nice autumny background.  And then you realize that the background is all flying geese, set on the diagonal.  Clever.

Cranesdetail

Inspiration came while she was vacationing in Florida where “cranes are ubiquitous and sunsets are an extraordinary visual experience.”

Cranesdetail2

FantasyLandQuilt

Sheil Frampton-Cooper is the one who put together the Perspectives exhibit where you saw lots of landscapes yesterday. This is her quilt, Fantasyland.  She writes: “Created during an emotionally challenging time, working on this quilt was an escape to a fun place.  It was my ‘amusement park’ and regardless of what I had to deal with, as soon as I entered my studio and felt its vibrant energy, I was comforted and full of excitement.”  She is from California.

FantasyLanddetail
GreenMiles

I included this quilt because when was the last time you ever saw a cream and green quilt?  Green Miles was made and quilted by Peggy Kragnes of Minnesota.  She writes that it was made “using green fabrics gathered on a 7,000 mile road tip with patient husband.”  No kidding.  There are many different fabrics in here and the quilting is wonderful, too.  Detail shots below.

GreenMilesdetail1

GreenMilesdetail2

GuerreroConverge

Annette Guerrero made two solid-fabric quilts.  This first one is titled Convergence.

GuerreroConverge1

GuerreroIris

This quilt is titled Iris.

GuerreroIrisdetail

She included a quote from Emile Zola on her sign: “If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”

HexiesQuilt

Lily Pad, made by Patti Van Oordt and quilted by Cory Allender (both of St. George, Utah) is a paper pieced design that had its origins in a class by Claudia Meyers.  Since I’ve been working on a hexie-shaped quilt for eons, I was interested in how she displayed the pieced hexies against the rusty-orange background.

HexieQuiltdetail1


McTangerine

This little stunner, titled McTangerine Rose, was the 2011 Block of the Month patter by Sue Garman for “The Quilt Show.”  Lynn Droege, the maker, added an additional border.  It was quilted by Lisa Sipes; both are from Kansas.

McTangerinedetail

MiniLogCabin

For a change of pace, here’s a miniature quilt.  Kaye Koler of Ohio, “set out to see how small I could make a log cabin.” Each block is ONE AND ONE-HALF INCHES!!  Which means, my thumb (and yours) would just about cover one log cabin.  She used 172 different fabrics.  All of the miniatures were amazing, but because of the plastic tape, I couldn’t really get in to see them.

MiniLogCabindetail

Moose

Pam Hadfield, from California, saw a trivet in the airport, and used it as inspiration for her quilt We Moost be in Yellowstone.  I have a Christmas ornament similar to this from when I visited Yellowstone: a moose filled with designs.

Moosedetail

PowerSuits1

Another exhibit in the show was something called “Power Suits,” and each quilter used their own ideas to depict the theme.  I liked some of these very much.

PowerSuits2

Someday I aim to make a pineapple log cabin quilt!

PowerSuits3

The annual awarding of The Ugly Quilt came from this exhibit, but this year we had a tie.  You’ll find them at the end of this post.

rarebirds

Remember the swirly quilt above in yellows and blues?  Well, Rachel Wetzler did it again: Rare Birds is a quilt depicting the six of her friends in a their quilt critique group: (l to r) Denise Havlan, Rachel Wetzler, Annette Hendricks, Beth Gilbert, Ann Fahl and Robbi Eklow.  That’s quite a group!

Along the front wall of the ballroom was a Route Sixty-Six quilt.  It consisted of large panels with lots of small quilts adhered to the “road,” showing off the sights in the area of the cities along the route.  Here are some of the panels, with some close-ups of the mini-quilts as well.

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I included this one because my daughter used to live in Kingman Arizona, and I’m pretty sure the movie Cars was based on some of the scenery around there.

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We have a giant orange stand like this in Riverside, in our State Citrus Heritage Park.

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Rte66-quilt

Rte66

sleepingcats

Let Sleeping Cats Lie, by Cheryl Giovenco (quilted by Sheila Osbrink, both of Corona, California).  This quilt is made of 19 different batik fabrics, and was designed by Helene Knott.

starrynightquilt

Vincent–Haunted Genius was made and quilted by Danna Shafer of Temecula, California and is her interpretation of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”  She used fused appliqué, secured with monofilament thread; it was five years in the making. Detail below.

starrynightdetail

TeaPartyQuilt

This is for you applique fans.  Joan Lebsack made Welcome to My Tea Party, based on a pattern by Verna Mosquera.

TeaPartydetail1

ThelmaChildersFlag

The sign next to this quilt was wrong, so I have no idea who made it or what the title is.  It’s really lovely.

ThelmaChildersREDquilt

A couple of years ago (March 2010), there was an exhibit of red and white quilts in New York City, “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red & White Quilts,” which took us all by storm.  Thelma Childers made this quilt as an homage to that amazing show, but also as a way to show many different quilts, and how one might have obscured the other as a person walked through that show. I’m a fan of Thelma’s, so was really excited to see it in person, as I read about on her blog as she made it.

ThelmaChildersREDdetail1

The beautiful quilting is by Connie Lancaster.

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ThelmaChildersREDdetail3

ThelmaChildersREDdetail4

ThelmaChildersStarquilt

This is another Childers’ quilt: Two Score and Seven Stars, and it is quilted by Judi Madsen (both are from Illinois).

ThelmaChildersStardetail

TreeLifeQuilt

Tree of Life, by Allison Lockwood of California, was based on a trip to Thailand, where she was “enthralled with the color and sparkle of Thai Buddhist temples.”

TreeLifedetail


TwoCrows

What made this quilt by Gayle Pulley stand out for me was not only the coloring of her hand-painting on a whole cloth, but also where the color isn’t, and how the stitching fills in.  Two Tenacious Crows are certainly having their feast in a cornfield.

TwoCRowsdetail

And now I bring you my truly subjective category: Ugliest Quilt.  One is easy and you’ll probably agree with me.  This first one, however, may make you howl, especially if you loved this Award-winning Quilt.  I couldn’t find anyone who did, so I think there are more that might give me a thumbs’ up on my awarding of this quilt one of two in the Ugly Quilt category.

UglyFeathers

I like red.  I like gold.  I’m not opposed to feathers.  But I couldn’t make any sense of this one, other than it was one of those quilts that was just a show-off for technique, and not for design, or cohesiveness.  It’s made by a couple of big-name artists (I never reveal my Ugly Quilt makers), and while a lot of times I see their quilts up here on Winners Row at Road, this one just made me scratch my head and realize that my puny efforts will NEVER get in, if this is what the winning quilt looks like.

UglyQuilt

This is just all wrong on so many levels: the art, the composition, the appliqué wads of dyed cotton batting for hair.  It has nothing at all to do with the subject matter, just like the quilt above.

I guess I look for quilts that have some intrinsic beauty, when I pick out my favorites, or colorations or design elements that are interesting.  I also appreciate technique, but “over” technique is just as big of a sin to me as is “under” technique.

Other observations: The people that hang the quilt show still have that affliction of hanging subjects together, such as all the flowers together, all the birds together, all the zombies together (I didn’t show any but we did have some Halloween quilts) so that you don’t let the quilts interact in a more natural way.  Wish that would go away.

I think the show overall was better than last year (it could only go one way), but I was not as charged up about the vendors as I usually am.  Perhaps that’s just because I’ve gone too many times and seen everything that is brought to the show (or maybe I have just too projects on the back burner with too many yards of fabric home in the closet).  I did buy a bead bracelet (quilt shows are a great place for jewelry), and some solids from Ginger’s, but other than a few bits here and there, it wasn’t a Big Haul.  I think the group that we were with didn’t buy as much as usual, either.

I do appreciate having a quilt show nearby, and look forward to Long Beach the first week of August.  The best time of all was with my friends–both new and old–eating together, doing Show and Tell, taking a break. See you all next year!

And that’s a wrap for 2013.