I’m in! When I first signed up for classes at the upcoming Road to California, I was waitlisted for 2 of the 3 classes. I recently got an email letting me know that my number was called and now I’ve got a full set of classes. I’m excited and my room reservation has been made.
I’m taking the Sashiko/Boro class with Carole Ziogas, Wool applique with Catherine Redford, and Sue Spargo’s Flower Garden. I’m thrilled and excited about the event.
My favorite show is back. It was a much smaller turnout than previous years and I’m not sure the vendors are too pleased. But as a quilter and long time attendee I was thrilled to get back.
I took 3 classes Thursday – Friday and spent Saturday romping through with a couple of friends.
Thursday – I couldn’t take the full day off so I left late around 2’ish. Checked in to my hotel and then headed to the show. I was able to walk the vendor section with a friend and make mental note of things I liked and things I would potentially buy. I had an evening class with Catherine Redford on “Intro to Folk Art Embroidery”. We learned did 5 basic stitches. I knew most of them but it was nice for a refresher. The new to me stitches were the wrapped stitches. They were fun.
On Friday, I took Annie Smith’s Aurifil Thread Matters Class. It sounds like it would be a sales pitch for Aurifil. As a tried and true Aurifan, I didn’t see it as such. This was a chance to try all the types of thread that Aurifil has to offer. We were provided a Bernina 570 to use and basically stitched sample stitches onto fabric using the different weights, needles, and decorative stitches on the machine. We put all of our samples into a binder to keep for reference. I think everyone should do this whether you like Aurifil, Superior Threads, Wonderfil, etc. First, different weights use different needles and different weights in the bobbin. And each combination produce different results. Everyone has their own preference and doing this allows me to choose which combination I want to use to produce the result I want to produce on any given project. I’ve always used 50w on top, 50w on the bottom and mostly use a 70/10 needle, sometimes 80/12 and sometimes 90/14. For me, this is fine for piecing. The needles I used was whatever was in my machine. I generally changed it to 90/14 because I have a TON of them. A lifetimes worth really. But those are bigger needles meant for thicker thread like a 12w or 28w. I really loved playing with the 12w lana (wool) and I may have to invest in all the colors Aurifil offers in this weight.
Friday evening, I ended it with Catherine Redford’s more intermediate class, “Dimensions of Folk Art Embroidery.” We learned about 6 more stitches that were a bit more complicated. You had to have known how to do a chain stitch and it surprised me that there were a few people who signed up who didn’t know how to do a chain stitch and were beginners. I can only guess they didn’t read the class description.
I enjoyed myself immensely at all three classes. I’m getting really hooked on hand embroidery and am getting an itch to finally start a crazy quilt. A couple of ladies in the friday night class told me to start now. It’s a long term project. That doesn’t surprise me. It seems all of my projects end up being long term. The hand work more so than any other.
If you’ve ever been to Road, it generally took up 3 main areas. The main room, with some quilts for show and mostly vendors. The second ballroom, with most of the quilts for show and no vendors (all though I believe this just started in 2020 or 2019, I can’t remember). And the third place – the tent, with food, some tables and more vendors. This year, we didn’t have the tent with the extra options for food. Instead, all the vendors were in the main room. And it was not cramped. There were still open booths where chairs were placed allowing attendees to sit and rest. So there weren’t as many vendors. There was only one booth selling a large selection of Aurifil and no one was selling cones. Where before, there would be 3+ vendors selling the same stuff and there was only one booth with items. For example, I was looking for a stripology for a friend. Only one booth (Quilt in a Day) had it. Really, they were the only booth with Creative Grid rulers. There were 2+ other booths with rulers but different kinds (ie. Quilter’s Select, etc.). So not as many options. I hope next year, our world is in a place where more vendors and attendees can come out.
This quilt is exceptional. It’s hard to see al the mini details but it’s hand done and quilted. Outstanding!
This crazy quilt is my favorite. I want to make one also with embroidery stitches all over it.
I’m still looking at pictures from Road to CA last January. You can see all the winners here.
I noticed a lot more shiny quilts made up of silk blends. They produced quilts that looked like they were glowing. Here is The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn. I believe there is a post about it on Road to CAs site. The description of the quilt did not say that the fabric was silk so I’m not sure where I got the idea that it was made of silk. I believe that the white glover or other onlooker told me that it was made of silk cotton blend which is what gives it that glowing quality.
The Value of Violet by Margaret Solomon Gunn
Here are some close ups.
The Value of Violet Margaret Solomon Gunn
The Value of Violet Margaret Solomon Gunn
The Value of Violet Margaret Solomon Gunn
At this show, I was attracted to the various edges and bindings that finished quilts. I took a lot of pictures so I could remember the different ideas.
You can see all the winners here. But I plan to post pictures of my favorites.
I really loved the Masterpiece Winner.
Road to California 2020 Masterpiece Winner “Crazy Four Ewe” Janet Stone
This one was my favorite. Janet Stone won Best of Show last year and the quilt is similar in style. It reminds me of a cross stitch sampler. I wish I had taken close ups of some of the individual blocks. I thought I had but in going through my phone, I did not. Isn’t that always the case?
I’m still recuperating so my post recapping the event and my weekly updates will have to wait. In the meantime, here’s a pic of the Best Of Show Quilt
Christmas in St. Andrews
Make/Quilter: Marilyn Badger of St. George, UT
Pictures never do a quilt justice… can you see how the plaid lines up throughout the quilt? There are also crystals strategically placed to make it shine. At first glance, it’s a beautiful quilt but upon further inspection the details is what truly makes this an outstanding quilt.
I spent an hour or so last week perusing the class selection for Road2CA next year and figured out what classes I wanted to sign up for. This morning at 9am PST the registration site opened up and I was able to get all the classes I wanted to. I was a little worried as I had heard horror stories last year about how quick the classes filled up. The recent news about QuiltCon 2017 and their registration issues didn’t help. But I was able to get my picks relatively easy. I did spend more time at the end when I realized how much everything added up to so I had to remove a class here or there to bring down the price. I was disappointed that one of the items I looked forward to last year was not included. I mentioned it when I went to Road and it was a lecture/tour of the quilts that won and the reasons that they won. Our guide went into detail as to what judges look for and what goes into deciding what wins. I really enjoyed it. I hope that as we get closer to Road this gets added to the program.
I signed up for a couple of long arm classes. One with Innova and another with Gammill. I wish they had an APQS class too as I think I’ll be ready to purchase a long arm at the next Road. I’ve decided that I like to long arm but my Bailey is just not cutting it. It was a great entry level machine to get me hooked and learn that I will use it pretty regularly. But I’m ready to start working with a machine that has BSR. I would love to get a machine with a computer but my budget will probably not allow me to do that. So ideally I would get a machine where I could at some future add a computer. I am using these classes to get some real playtime with the machines. That’s why I would have liked to play with an APQS machine as well.
My local shop sells the Bernina long arm but that’s way out of my price range. I know that there are discounts at Road so I’ll have to check those out anyway and, if I am open to the price, see if my local shop would honor those discounts. I heard that they did last year so we’ll have to see. I did talk to someone at the shop when I picked up mine and the girls sewing machines this week so hopefully I’ll be able to play with the machine a bit this year to try it out.
In regards to QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah. I enjoyed QuiltCon in Pasadena but it wasn’t as big as Road so at the time I wasn’t thinking about going to Savannah next year. With the cost of airfare and lodgings, it didn’t seem worth it. However, I enjoyed my brief time in Savannah a couple of weeks ago and would love to go back for a longer stay. Going during QuiltCon might be interesting and fun. Not to mention the added benefit of getting to meet a bunch of #twilters planning to meet up. I’m still debating this in my head so… I may decide to do this at the last minute or not. I’m still thinking about PIQF in October 2017 too so… decisions will need to be made.
I’ve been a little slack in my posting since returning from vacation. I have been a little disoriented, lack of focus, uncertain as to what to do. I thought unpacking and getting myself organized would help but it hasn’t. Every project I tried to get into was started but then quickly abandoned for one reason or another. I forced myself to get back into quilting Moon Glow last night and I hope finishing the quilting will spur me past this.
It took me awhile to get this up and next week it’s already QuiltCon. But I wanted to get this in here before I forget. I kind of want a refresher when I start looking at classes in July.
First, I enjoy shows and I love taking classes.
I hope I can make this an annual event for me. I debate between Road and PIQF every year. I don’t think I could afford to do both and I want the consistency of attending the same one year after year. Well, I believe QuiltCon West will be in Pasadena every other years so maybe I can go to PIQF the years we don’t have QuiltCon. I’ll have to check if my budget will allow me to do this but I definitely want to do Road every year.
Here are some guidelines for next year:
#1- Definitely staying at a hotel near the area is a must. I enjoyed not to having to drive back and forth each day. I enjoyed the feeling of community with the other ladies staying. This year I stayed at Ontario Inn and Suites. it’s not within walking distance of the convention center but it’s only about 1-2 miles. So it’s a fraction of the cost of the hotels closer to the show. I still have to pay for parking but between hotel and parking, it’s still cheaper than staying anywhere closer.
#2- Ask anyone at my guilds if they want to go too, we could share a room and/or carpool.
#3- Once I’m parked at the show, Uber to and fro if I need to. For example on Thursday, my class schedule was classes in the morning, a long break, and then an evening class. I had to leave the show to check in at the hotel, and then get back to the show for the evening class. That meant I paid twice for parking. I thought about Ubering from the hotel to the evening class but I’m not familiar with the area and whether there would be an uber nearby at 10 at night. I didn’t want to risk it. Afterward, I figured I could have left my car at the show Ubered to the hotel to check in and a short nap and then Ubered it back to the show before the evening class. Well, I would have to get the fare estimate to see if that method would be cheaper or if paying twice for parking would be cheaper. But it’s an idea.
#4- Stash a cooler in the car. We can’t bring outside food into the convention center but I could always leave and eat in the car. This would save me a ton of money I’d rather spend on quilty stuff. I know, there were still ladies who brought outside food inside and I guess I could do that. We’ll see if I have the gumption to do that when the time comes.
#5- Take technique classes, not necessarily project classes. I enjoy taking classes but I don’t want UFOs. So, I look for techniques I want to learn. Register early for classes!
#6- Take classes where I can try different long arm machines .. this year, I tried the HQ Avante this year and would like to try others next year. I don’t know if I’ll be in a position to seriously buy one next year but I’d like to do my research.
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I was at Road2CA this week and I’ve already posted that I spent a ton of money. As I was going through the days, I spent money on parking, food, etc. They were non quilty related but related to being at the show. That totaled to being $353 for the week. That’s most of my Road allowance. It’s nice to know this info so I can budget more accurately for next year but I’m not adding it to my craft expense for the year. I am adding class fees and material fees for the classes I took and ALL the shopping I did. And for the week the grand total is $1489.50. WOW! Don’t tell the hubby. Anyway, the bulk of it was due to the SewEZ table and the batting I purchased. Both of which I’ve been eyeing for quite a few years. They’re not impulse buys. So, the SewEZ table is a one time expense and the batting will last me a good while.
Spent this week: $1489.50
Spent year to date: $1504.22
I also didn’t buy more yarn, And I didn’t finish anything yet.
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And for Slow Stitching Sunday with Kathy at Kathy Quilts, I’m going to continue working on Raining Cats and Dogs. Last week, I worked on embroidering the the gray embroidery of the cats’ eyes and wording. Today I’ll work on the black embroidery.
I got to spend a day playing with this baby learning about longarming. The class was an intro/beginner class. We learned about loading a quilt on the frame, batting, thread, tension, etc. Since I have my midarm on a frame I knew a bit already. But I wanted to know more. I’m not sure I learned much. I did learn what floating means. I learned how loose the quilt should be on the frame. I learned how to lock when starting and ending. But the best part was talking with the ladies and playing with the machine. I enjoyed it. Compared to my Bailey, the long arm is so quiet and smooth. It has a needle up and down button and a bunch of amenities that the Bailey doesn’t. The Bailey is a very simple machine but it works. As much as I enjoyed playing with the Avante and the show prices are phenomenal, I kept my head and stuck with Bailey. He can do what I need right now. He’s not perfect and I have a lot of trouble quilting with it right now but I want to continue to try working with it before I completely give up.
Until the next Road, I’ll try to work with Bailey. And while I’m trying, I’ll research the other machines so I can be prepared next year.
And I met up with Dori of Hobbies up to Here for lunch. She’s just as lovely in person as she is on the podcast! I can’t wait to meet up with her and Katie at QuiltCon.
I ended the day with a final bout of shopping. Tomorrow (Saturday) is my last day at Road and hopefully, I’ll be too busy to shop. I made sure to get everything I wanted today so that tomorrow I can concentrate on my activities. I’ll be attending a couple of lectures in the morning. In the afternoon, I’ll be working my Guild’s table selling raffle tickets for our Opportunity Quilt. Then I’ll be meeting with a friend to walk with her as she checks out the quilts. My friend is not a quilter but she enjoys coming with me to look at quilts. She’s more of a knitter and but maybe I can talk her into quilting with me. 🙂
Today was a long day. I woke up at 4am to get myself ready and drive from San Fernando Valley to Ontario by my first activity at 8am. My first event was a tour of the winning quilts by an experienced judge, Cathy Wiggins. She took us around the show before it started to look at the winning quilts and explain what made them winners. I enjoyed this tour a whole bunch. While I’m not making quilts to win shows I am constantly trying to perfect my technique and it’s interesting to hear what the judges look for in show-winning quilts.
My next activity was a lecture about batting. I enrolled in this lecture because I do not understand what the different battings are and what they are used for. My first quilt instructor told me to use 100% cotton and that’s what I’ve always used. She probably told me why then but I’ve since forgotten it. Anyway, it was a sales pitch for the batting company but I learned about scrim, needle-punch, that cotton is natural, breathes and is warm in the cold weather and cool in the summer. Polyester is not natural but is soft and lofty. Apparently a lot of quilters use this. Wool is natural but you have to be careful with how you wash it so quilters don’t use it a lot but may do so if they want a warmer quilt. Then there is bamboo which is natural, antibacterial, really soft, and breathes like cotton. Then there are the blends. I still can’t tell about the blends but I guess it’s to get the best of both worlds. The Cotton/Poly blend gives the natural cotton with the loft and softness of the Poly. The Cotton/Bamboo blend gives the antibacterial and the cotton. I fell in love with the bamboo and ended up buying a whole roll.
Then I had a long break where I went through the entire quilt show… lingered in the areas that I missed and went through all the vendors. If you’ve never been to Road to CA, there are 3 pavilions. There’s the main exhibit hall, a smaller ballroom but still has at least 5 aisles and then a tent that contains an eating area and a lot more vendors. The put the quilt exhibits in the exhibit hall and ballroom and not the tent. There were a ton of vendors. I bought some cool stuff but I went over my budget. I’ll talk about that on Sunday when I report on my budget. But I got a fancy thimble, more glass nail files because I keep giving mine away, marking tools, etc. I didn’t buy fabric or kits! I’m very proud about that.
My last class was hand quilting with Carrie Fondi. I enjoyed this class much more than I thought I would. I was afraid that it would be a repeat of the applique class from Tuesday. So just a bit of background, I started quilting 10 years ago with traditional hand quilting. My first teacher taught me how to create templates with the plastic and hand piece all 12 of my blocks. It was a sampler and we did simple blocks, a bit of applique, a dresden, hexies, etc. Then we hand pieced the blocks together and then put the borders on (which we did by machine), basted it and hand quilted it. It took me FOREVER! You can see a pic of the finished quilt here. Anyway, I took the class because even though I hand quilted that entire quilt, I didn’t feel like I was very good at it. I wanted to improve on it and I wanted to take a class to help me practice and become confident in it again. I enjoyed hand quilting when i was doing it. I just didn’t like having to do such a large piece. I can see myself working on a small project periodically. It was great. I re-learned how to do what I already knew and learned some new stuff to make what I was doing easier. In addition, I learned how to use the tool “aunt becky”. I’ve had it for a while (since PIQF in 2013) and I had brief instructions when I bought it then but never figured out how to use it. Carrie showed us how and she looked at what I was doing. I didn’t feel comfortable using it at all. But it seems that I’ve got the technique (kind of) I just need to keep practicing it until I feel comfortable and my stitches come out evenly. All in all, it was a great class. 🙂