Avoiding the Polar Vortex at Road to California 2019

I picked a great two weeks to be in Southern California! Of course I didn’t make a random choice… I’m here to work (!) but it’s certainly a good time to be here while everyone back home is posting screen shots of Antarctic weather forecasts and pictures of just too much snow…

I flew in last Tuesday. The flight was delayed due to an ice storm at Midway that closed the airport while we sat on the plane, but we made our connection, and it felt so good to be warm as we crossed the jet way at Ontario.

My classes at Road to California didn’t start until Thursday so I had booked a bus trip on the Wednesday. One hundred ladies on two buses. We visited a quilt shop, Orange Quilt Bee… (lots of shopping happened)
Then on to the Purl Soho warehouse where I was too busy shopping to take pictures followed by a lunch stop at Souplantation (no clouds in sight)…The highlight of the trip was the stop at Hoffman Fabrics in Mission Viejo. We enjoyed a tour of the warehouse where there is a huge library of samples of every single piece of fabric Hoffman has ever produced,and a lecture about the history of the company and a video about their batik production in Bali. This was my favorite of the tjaps (produced chops, used for putting the wax on the fabrics) that we were shown.The trip was well organized, I met some fun people at the back of the bus and got to see some of the surrounding area in comfort.

We were home in plenty of time for me to go to the faculty meeting back at the Convention Center before a quick look on the show floor.

My friend Valli Schiller was on the plane from Chicago, heading out to teach at Road for the first time and also to see her quilts on the show floor. Here she is with her enormous quilt, Spin Cycle which received a well deserved first place ribbon in Large Quilts, pieced.
Time for those classes! Sheila arrived late Wednesday to help me out. I wasn’t very sociable but we managed to get it together to leave our hotel by 7.30 on Thursday morning. The sun was still shining. (I was told it was snowing in Naperville!)I had a full class for my Wool Appliqué Butterflies class but no pictures 🙁 You will have to believe me that lots of wool butterflies were started!

I tried hard to pace myself because I also had a class in the evening…

Another full class for Bold Hand Stitching as Your Quilting Line. I used my camera/projector for a close up view.

Students bring a small pieced quilt to stitch on. There was some good progress on this little black and white piece.The bright green 8 weight Eleganza perle cotton showed up well for a nice bold line! Did you notice the french knot running stitch combo at the bottom? It’s actually a morse code combo that spells out a hidden message 🙂

The hotel restaurant was closed by the time we packed up and went back so we enjoyed (?) a packet of Chex mix from the vending machine each…

If it was Friday morning it was Pretty in Paisley, hand embroidery folk art style on my printed paisley panels. Another full class.
The colors are a bit faded in this picture but you can admire this lovely wrapped and beaded chain stitch…No time to stop!

The room was full for Walking Foot Quilting on Saturday.
Working hard!Free Motion Quilting on Sunday…Mussels and pebbles for the win…Five classes in five days… I did squeeze in a little quilt viewing. They were amazing!We enjoyed the sunsets on the way back to the hotel in the evenings (apart from the time I went to get my phone out to take a picture and realized I had left it back at the Convention Center…)

Now I’m back at Sheila’s house for a few days before we head north to Paso Robles to the Almond Country Quilt Guild. We went to her guild on Monday evening and visited with the Appli-Queens yesterday. Today I need to finish packing my bags to make sure I have everything for my lecture and class. We’ll be trying some wool appliqué on Saturday, stitching my Little Flowers design. Sheila has sat through the class several times!

Here’s her finished project from Houston, made into a pincushion and posed for a portrait in the sunshine.Back home in Illinois it’s been down to minus 50 wind chill. I’m very grateful for some great timing from Road to California and the Almond Country Quilters that has kept me here in the sunshine. We are expecting some rain on Friday… I think I’ll take it 🙂


P.S. The lovely ladies in today’s featured image took three of my classes!


  1. lynn bourgeois said:

    So glad you are enjoying both the weather and the activities. you’ll need a good rest when you return home.

    January 30, 2019
  2. Gabi said:

    Sounds like ur having a grand time, Catherine! Lots of work mixed in with some fun time! And sunshine!!!! Enjoy the resting ur CA stay! Keep well!

    January 30, 2019

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