Road to California 2023

I’ve been home six days already. My bags were unpacked and the laundry done on Tuesday, I’ve been busy… but more of that another time. I need to catch up with the whirlwind that was Road to California 2023.

I took a Saturday afternoon flight to Ontario. The sun was already setting as we took off. We were early to Denver for our bus stop so I had time to walk the length of the terminal, (over a mile there and back again!) and buy some dinner to enjoy on the second leg of the flight.

It was raining when we landed in Ontario. We really couldn’t see much of anything out of the windows.I guess the pilot knew where he was going. I was happy to be reunited with my bags before meeting Sheila and Andy for a ride back to their home for the night. Jonathan and Lauren gave me some Apple AirTags for Christmas and they did their job of keeping me updated on the whereabouts of my luggage. I knew all my bags made it on the plane, that they stayed on the plane in Denver, and that they arrived at my destination. They will be traveling with me again!


I shipped two big boxes of class kits to Sheila’s earlier in the month. We loaded up the car with everything on Sunday afternoon to go back down the hill and get ready to start work early on Monday morning. Sheila spent the week with Richard in the Global Artisans booth, while I was looking forward to a full teaching schedule.

My first class was Fun with Embroidery… stitching on the beautiful batik panels from Turtle Hand. One of last year’s students stopped me on my way in to show me her finished project. Such a happy looking turtle!

I had seven classes to teach. I’m afraid I didn’t take many pictures but this is what thirty students look like, hard at work in that very first class!I taught morning and afternoon on Monday and Tuesday and then the show opened with preview night on Tuesday. It was fun hanging out in the booth and being mistaken for Sue Spargo… (who was in the building, but really? :)) Just remember Sue is the nice one.


New this year was the Handwork Learning Lab, an opportunity to sign up for a one hour class from one of the vendors and try something new! $20 bought a spot including a kit. Registration started at 9 am each day. I had been responsible for finding the teachers and now I needed to keep everything on schedule!

Here’s Bernadette from Wonderfil talking about hand embroidery on wool with Eleganza thread. There was a limit of 20 students per class and this one was full.

I taught a couple of the classes myself. Here’s my view of the 20 students making English Paper Pieced bowls in a workshop sponsored by Paper Pieces.It took a little while to get the word out to show attenders but once they got the idea I was greeted by a line at the sign up table each morning!Suffice to say the learning lab will be back next year!


One of the great things about traveling is meeting up with familiar friends. Patricia was on the cruise I took way back in 2014! She brought her friend Robert to the Shirt Lace Button class on Wednesday evening.


I made time to get a quick walk around all the quilts and the vendor mall. Again, not a whole lot of pics but I have to share a few from the Tree of Life Exhibit, sponsored by Global Artisans and stitched by the women of the Mapula Embroidery Project. There were twelve unique wall hangings, each one filled with the flora and fauna of South Africa.


The week whizzed by and all at once I was teaching my last class. Another full room of happy stitchers, the time all working on their Dorset Feather Stitchery needle cases.Time for a picture with Rachael and Jaimee. Yes, I am old enough to be their mother… they are the same age as Jonathan! We met in Long Beach last summer and it was super to see them again in more than one of my classes. At this point I need to add a picture here of a finished needle case, sent to me by Lee who took the class. I love the added initials, place and date on the spine!


All good things come to an end. We packed up on Saturday and headed back to Sheila’s to recover on Sunday… on Monday I was headed back East on a direct flight, landing in Chicago as the sun was beginning to set.It was a fun week. Very busy, but busy doing what I love. Thanks are due to all the people at Road who kept us all on track. I’m already looking forward to next year!

The weather could have been better… it wasn’t warm enough to sit outside this year, but it was still warmer than back home. It snowed Tuesday, that heavy snow that sticks to the trees and makes everything pretty.


Excellent weather to stay home and get on with things… I’ll try and post pictures of all the things tomorrow!

One Comment

  1. Sandra Hess said:

    Sounds awesome. Glad you’re safely back

    January 29, 2023

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