Saturday, January 27, 2018

Road to California--2018

Quilts hung in the Atrium at "Road" tell you exactly what show you are at. These quilts are from  the Long Beach Modern Quilt Guild--it's a special honor for a guild to be invited to hang their quilts in the Atrium:

Road to California is a big quilt show held annually in Ontario, CA. For those of us East of the Mississippi, this show is not one we are very familiar with, although it's been in business for more than 20 years. This show is to the West, what Paducah is to the East. More than 40,000 visitors come from all 50 states and several foreign countries. There is big prize money so the quilts entered in the judged show are top-notch. More than 230 vendors make shopping easy. Classes are taught for a week by 50 well-known, and a few not-so-well known teachers.

Here is a link to the Show Guide: 2018 Show Guide. I took very few photos. Here is the Best of Show, Fractal by Claudia Pfeil, of Germany, $10,000:

At Preview Wednesday night, I made a point of finding and photographing this quilt, made by my friend Sarah Ann Smith, of Maine. It won First Place, Naturescape, $1000, and Sarah was eager to see it hanging:

The other quilt I wanted to see up close was this stunner by the amazing Sherry Reynolds--we made a point of finding each other for a quick hug Wednesday at Preview, which was packed, even though it is only for the quilts, vendors are not open that night. Eternal Beauty won a Special Award, Outstanding Large Quilt, $5000:

Now for my story. When I booked airfare last Summer, it seemed reasonable to fly from Nashville to Phoenix to Ontario, 2 flights, not 3 if I flew from Huntsville, and "safe" winter cities. Who knew Nashville would have a snow/ice storm overnight before my flight:

Lights from inside appear to be outside but you get the idea. My husband dropped me off just after 6 a.m., we had stayed at a nearby hotel. He then endured a 4 hour treacherous drive home to increasing snow and ice, a trip that should have taken 2 hours.  Once we were de-iced, a step you don't want them to skip, we made it to Phoenix an hour late. Two hour layover made that no problem for me. I landed in Ontario in the early afternoon local time to this:

I was there to teach four full days of classes and my wonderful roommate, Pepper Cory, invited me to come in a day early. Good thing because Wednesday travel from AL,  TN, GA, MS, TX, you name any city in the South, and there were problems.  Wednesday I walked across the street from the hotel to the Ontario Convention Center and saw this, flowers in bloom in January:

CLASSES: My Thursday and Friday classes were full with 20 students each. Many teams, mother/daughter, sisters, friends who reconnect at this show every year--it really is a destination event for quilters.

Thursday Antique Rose Star by Machine:

Wow--what fun fabrics!

Thrilled to have the young Lacey in class--we must encourage younger quilters 
Stripes add interest
Student alternated tip/center units--wonderful!

Traditional, love the plaid
Friday Smitten--this class filled in 4 days.

 We start with an easy block:

Elegant fabrics

Love words on fabrics

Bright and clean colors

Second block with more pieces. Love the bright orange background

Second block has more pieces and steps. Great fabrics!

Traditional Fabrics work too
Merci with her Day of the Dead blocks--she kept pedal to the metal all day to get four large blocks done

Saturday and Sunday: Two-For-One. Funny story--I was surprised anyone would sign up for a two all-day class at a big show with a teacher they never heard of, but 15 people did. It is my most popular class and one I love to teach. At the show I was told by the show operator they had made a mistake--the cost was $155 but the first students were only charged the $80 one-day fee. They decided to make lemonade from lemons and announced this was TRULY a two-for-one, take two days for the price of one. The class was close to full and all was well. And we had fun:

Cindy with beautiful batiks

Mary and Lorna Pumphrey from Arkansas, great traditional colors

Yvette and Yvonne, or is it? They saved me with cough drops and Throat Coat
Diana with a fun selection of fabric

Julie from Houston, wonderful Fossil Fern Fabrics

Funny story: This student took her machine back to the hotel Saturday night to sew. The machine plug got stuck, firmly, in the lamp base, no one, including maintenance, could remove it. So she just brought the lamp to class Sunday, minus the shade and bulbs. Quilters are clever:

Lovely fabrics

Traditional fabrics work too

Beautiful Metallics that might become a one-block wallhanging or table topper
Teaching was wonderful--and the evaluations blew me away, really. Some were suitable for framing. In each class someone said I spoke too fast--I guess my Yankee comes out at times. I'll be more aware of that going forward.

Getting sick was terrible--Saturday morning I woke up coughing and got by with cough drops and Throat Coat tea from students. I did a 2 hour Roundabout presentation on Saturday night when I should have been resting my voice. Sunday more coughing. Managed to fly home Monday without too much coughing and saw my doctor Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday. Lots of meds, four shots, finally feeling better today, a full week later, though I am definitely not well enough to be around anyone--I postponed two classes this week already.

So long to Ontario, CA:

Ontario, CA airport

The best view of all:

My own Bed
Let's Quilt!



  1. You had a great trip despite your wows. Love your bedroom quilts. So pretty!

  2. Glad we have you back here with us :). Beautiful pics and projects by your students.

  3. Sounds like quite an adventure! I am impressed that you roomed with Pepper Cory! I love her Drunkards Path book.
    Not surprised that your classes were in demand. Just from your blog it is clear you are a good teacher. Though I live in the west, I will probably never make this show, so I doubt I will ever get the chance to take a class, but it would be fun.
    The lamp story made me laugh. :)
    Glad you traveled safely and are finally feeling improvement.

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed your time in Ontario - our neighbor city. I love it here except in July and August when the temps are mostly over 100. Our salvation is the humidity is low. Hope you are better now.

  5. Well, I hope you are feeling better by now! The woman with the hotel lamp cracked me up! How in the world did she get home??!! So happy it was a very successful teaching gig.

  6. I hope you’re feeling better! I loved traveling vicariously with you to Ontario. Beautiful quilts, and I enjoyed your classes. The lamp story is the best - oh my! Your own bedroom quilts are fine treasures of art!