Thursday, January 25, 2018

Visiting Road2CA 2018

I live in northern California and the Road2CA quilt show is held annually in southern California at the Ontario Convention Center. My daughter went to Harvey Mudd College less than 10 miles away, a 15 to 20 minute drive, yet I never, in her four years there, managed to get to the show – until this year. My daughter is now sixteen years out of college, married, with two children. The show is in its 20th year. I finally made it. It was total quilt immersion. There were many, many quilts hanging from the rafters and walls along the hallways and displayed in vendor booths that were not even official judged show entries.

The show took up three main areas: the Exhibit Hall, the Ballroom and an expansion into an air-conditioned tent area called the Pavilion. I counted about 300 quilts, ten columns of about thirty quilts each, in the twelve page show guide. The following composite picture is too small too read but it still gives a feeling of the extent of the official entered quilts.

Here are just a few of my favorites from the official entries.

Here are some of the details in Family Tree.

A stop at the Handi-Quilters booth yielded me a purchase of this compact circle template ruler. I have a sit-down Sweet Sixteen so it will come in handy. The lengthier all-in-a-row format of the larger rulers is hard to handle while moving both fabric and ruler at the same time. Hopefully this smaller more compact format will be easier. The large batting scissors are offset and have one recessed blade tip to cut batting right off the roll without snagging. At another vendor I bought a round dial of straight pins numbered 1-20 that will be helpful in assembling rows and columns of blocks. The price was steep but my husband claimed he could use them for his train layout as well. Double duty means half the price, right? He was a gem accompanying me throughout two days at the show. He is proud to declare himself the CEO which stands for Carries Everything Out. The final item, inset at the lower right, is a pair of stubby handled screwdrivers. These will make getting into tight places a breeze plus I will not have to steal borrow my husband's tools from "his" garage.

Also in the tool category was this 4-pice set of zippered clear vinyl and nylon canvas organizers. I had bought a set a few years ago from Rochelle's Fine Fabric and Quilting and liked them a lot. They were great for attending classes. Larger yardages would fit in the biggest bag. Blocks would go in there flat also, without having to be folded. I'd wanted a second set of the organizers but every time I went to a show, the vendor, who has no brick and mortar and only does shows, was out of red. Finally at the Road2CA show, they had red in stock and I bought my second set. Yes, using ziplock bags would be cheaper but the vinyl is a nice heavy gage, the nylon colored portion is sturdy, and the zipper is a good quality that all work together to give the  pouches a stiffness and rugged feel to them. I pressed them into service during the trip - the smallest for my receipts, the largest for my tools and big patterns, a medium size for most patterns and show literature. They all fit gathered flat and organized in my suitcase.

Peeking out from inside the largest case is my first – and I think my favorite – purchase from the show. It is a girl cat and a boy cat printed on velvet from France. A sample of each was made up at the show and they were so soft and cuddly I could barely put them down. I had to have them.

Rather than the front and back of a kitty, Paulette and Gaston are awake on one side and asleep on the other.  Here is the picture on the upper left corner of the packaging blown up. They are truly adorable.

There is sort of a complacent mental misconception that makes you think once you have bought the pattern, you have made the item. Here is a list of items I have already made in my dreams. My oldest granddaughter wants an apron for when she cooks with her mom. She swims in an adult size. I was going to figure out how to downsize one for her but I love this one with all the ruffles and pockets; and the size is pre-calculated for me. But of course I cannot make an apron for her and not one for her little brother, hence both the female and male pattern options.

I liked this girl's dress pattern because it has a very full skirt without all the bulk of gathering at the waistline.

I have a weakness for quilts with houses and I loved the sample I saw made up in a monotone of soft blue hues just like the pattern image. My husband has been wanting me to make a quilt for our kingsize bed. I keep making wall hangings or lap size quilts but I think the different shapes of these buildings will sustain my interest for completing a bigger size. Our mattress is 72" x 84" and this pattern is 53½" x 66" without any borders. I think I can add another row of houses with a border to make it large enough. I need to add about 20" in both width and length, plus an overhang.

I know it is past Christmas, and Easter is not yet upon us, but I still liked these seasonal patterns. The bunny with carrots will be a favorite with my son all year round. The balls on the tree have pockets for trinkets but I think I will skip the pocket portion and just add numbers or a set of numbered buttons I already have.

I bought these two placemat patterns more for the technique than anything else. The one on the left had a flip and turn method which adds that nice, thin-lined, red accent look. The pattern on the right was only $3 and it is a nice tutorial on how to make those mitered corners when the binding is in effect the backing fabric brought to the front. I made a Minky baby blanket with a similar wrap to the  front technique. Three of the corners came out perfect and one was wonky and crooked. I could not figure out what I had done wrong on the fourth corner so I hope this helps. Beside it uses fat quarters! I think I have more than a few of those lying about.

This final pattern makes a three-dimensional star ornament out of fabric with a puffy stabilizer. My husband says, "What do you do with it when you are done?" I replied, "I do not know. How about all those design show pictures where folks have a bowl of hollow straw yarn balls? These would be more interesting. Beside I want to learn how to make them! It's all about process, not product." "Whatever," he shrugged, unwilling to argue.

Finally! I am to the point in this post where I showcase the fabric I bought at the show. I managed to make it all fit in a backpack that could be carried on the plane for the flight home. Going through security at the airport I got stopped however and had to have it opened for inspection. The density of the closely packed fabric was unfamiliar and suspicious. We quilters are a dangerous lot aren't we? It was indeed very heavy but my husband carried it for me. What a guy! I owed him a long back rub when we got home.

So here are my fabric purchases from left to right starting with three bundles of flannel, containing four half yards each. There is enough here to make a dozen burp cloths. And they are in boy colors. I have a grandson due to be born in April so some, if not all, will go to him.

Here is each stack refolded as I do my half yards, ready to go into my flannel drawer. My favorite was the green tones with animals and houndstooth

Then there was the bright orange stars, versatile stripes, and novelty pennants combination.

I initially was going to stop at two stacks but this one was my husband's favorite so I caved and got all three. Those elephants and owls really are cute.

Next there is a fat quarter bundle of grunge dots in the newest color palette. The vendor had custom packed her own selection omitting any browns and blacks and other dull colors so it really appealed and will be 100% useful to me.

There is a stack of 15 fat quarters of a burlap looking cotton I bought for $20 from Connecting Threads. I love that this fabric has texture yet is still a solid. My husband has already used the black burlap as a background for photographing some of his model railroad boxcars so only 14 fabrics are in the next photo. The last fat quarter is actually a deep charcoal.

The final stack I bought is the type of fat quarter bundle I was trying to avoid buying. The birdie prints, far left, were too cute to pass up though, as were some bright cheerful leaf prints, in the middle. I also like the rounded rectangles in the light white and dark gray colorways on the right.

Here is a closer look at the featured birds that were such a draw to me.

Luckily, when I opened up the packs, I found the other coordinating fabrics within to be very versatile. They are interesting mini-prints that will go with other bolder prints without fighting them. They are not novelty prints which, once bought, are often hard to incorporate but rather are a range of geometrics. The blue and gray pencil like ones, far right upper row, will combine nicely with similarly colored circles on a string, far right lower row, to make some snazzy bindings.

I came across a dog and a cat panel that had a certain flair and whimsy to them that I liked. I read the selvage and learned they were a Stacy Iest Hsu design. No wonder. I have a real tendency to gravitate toward her designs and so far have bought all her panels. I have made Lil' Red (3x), Coral the Mermaid (3x), Hansel and Gretel (1x each),  Howdy Lil Cowboy Westly and Howdy Lil Lady Madeline (1x each). See 5/17/17 overview post for pictures. I still have to make up her Mama Animals and Spring Bunny Fun (also shown in 5/17/17 overview post). So at this show I bought her newest dog and cat ones. I couldn't ruin my perfect score of collecting all of her panels.

I cut and pasted panel images to get them all on one photo but did not show the backs. MEOW has two adult cats and four kittens.

WOOF WOOF has two adult dogs and four puppies.

I am just now learning not to make duplicates of these panels for each grandkid. Making Lil' Red and Coral the Mermaid three times each got old. Certainly I should be able to divide the twelve stuffed items from these two panels between two households in a fair and logical manner either along canine/feline lines or along parent/baby lines. I will figure it out.

The oval red dots with tiny birds are from Second Chance Fabrics, a vendor that sells previously owned fabrics. They will go well with a chair seat in my living room that I re-upholstered.

The following are random one yard pieces I bought from bargain bins. The turquoise tone houndstooth has a male flair but I do not have a plan for it yet. The houndstooth with the pink and green has a feminine flair so maybe it will go in an apron? Pink stripes will probably go into a binding.

Pineapple Fabrics was a new vendor to me.  I bought one yard of an interesting red.

They also had one yard of an even more interesting yellow. At first when it was folded up I thought it only had white circles with colored dots inside and buds on a stem that looked like mini-pineapples. I was thrilled when I got home and opened it up further to find kitties and little birds romping among the plants. This is a definite contender for an apron. Though it would also make four cheery placemats.

I bought a jelly roll of ombre fabrics. I have a wavy bargello type pattern that I think would possibly go well with these blends.

Here is that bargello type pattern that I already own and is made from a layer cake or jelly roll.

At the far right of the back pack photo, at the very top of that jam-packed plaid back pack, were two pillow type kits. I actually escaped this show without buying any quilt kits! This owl kit contains all the fabric shown to make a family of three.

The sample pillow made from this Fox kit was so squooshable I just had to have it to squeeze. The fox kit came with cuddle fabric and a pattern that makes other animal faces as well. My son's tribal name when he was in a father-son club called Indian Guides was Quiet Fox, ironically because he talked so much. This pillow is planned for his son-to-be. It has a cute tail that adds fun and interest and potentially a sort of carrying handle. By the way, my husband's tribal name in the father-son club was Sleeping Lion.

Novelty fabric? Ok, ok... I could not get away scot-free without buying some although my intent was to resist the urge. I bought one yard of this quilt themed print and I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with it. You can only have a limited number of quilt backs.

My usual vendor for the bamboo batting I use, Winline Textiles was at the show with a full display of buttons. I had a hard time deciding but this is what I came home with. They were $3 a pack which I though was very reasonable. I got bicycles, umbrellas, trains, owls, and pirate ships.

I have encircled the walls of my sewing room near the ceiling line with fabric license plates of vendors and shops that I have visited or from whom I have made purchases. To add to my collection lined up like a wall paper border, I bought these three.

Thanks to a friendly passerby I have a photo of my husband and me at the show that is not limited by the arm's length distance of a selfie! I am wearing my bobbin necklace and my husband is wearing his Harry Potter shirt made for him by our daughter. We do get into our hobbies.

Now I have to find space to put away all of my treasures, newly purchased from Road2CA! But first I will link up to Let's Bee Social # 213.