Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts on Quilt Shows and Road Recap

If I had my way I'd probably live at a quilt show. No, not really beacuse then it would become commonplace and not as much fun, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to get to 3 or 4 big shows a year. This year I've been to Road to California and have hotel reservations for Long Beach in July. I'm thinking about Chicago in April and PIQF in October. That ought to cover the year pretty well!

Why do I enjoy quilt shows so much? I think it's a combination of all the friendly people (quilters really are the nicest people), the gorgeous quilts on display (lots of inspiration), fabulous vendors with drool-over new products and just getting away from the daily grind. I love that I can go alone, but not feel alone. At lunchtime I generally choose to sit at a table with others instead of at an empty table, even if one is available.
Yes, I'm back from Road to California and I had a terrific time! I was actually there 2-1/2 days and next year plan on 3 days. It doesn't take 3 days to see the show, like Houston, but by being there longer I was able to participate in 2 of their "events" and spend a day chatting with lots of people while demo-ing at a booth.

I went up with two friends on Thursday and saw the quilts and the vendors. We had dinner at Marie Callendar's (go early, there are long waits after 6) and then went to an event called Party Time. It should be called Laugh Time because we all had so much fun! There was a chocolate fountain (new this year, I heard) and lemonade and each table had a mysterious paper bag as well as numerous piles of fat quarters and party favors at each seat.

Carolyn Reese was the hostess and she started us all laughing by reading us a story. Each person started with a fat quarter and everytime Carolyn said "left" we passed our fat quarter left, "right" we passed right. It got faster and faster and we're laughing so hard.

We also played other games including Price It Right and a dice game. Each person also had a number from 1 to 10 and periodically Carolyn would call out a number and each person with that number could go up to the table up front and select a prize.

Oh, I didn't mention prizes? There were terrific prizes: books, charm packs, yards of fabric, patterns, paints, rulers, etc, etc., and lots of chances to win. Everyone went home with at least one prize plus an assortment of fat quarters and their party favors. Lots of fun and more than worth the cost of the event.
Friday I went to the Bead and Button show in Pasadena. What a disappointment. The beads were mostly the big necklace kind and very few buttons. The wearable art was the flowy Bohemia type that someone has to be stick thin to wear well and definitely not my type of thing. There were some beautiful necklaces etc. all made up but I could begin to afford the ones I liked. I did find one vendor with smaller beads, but it was hardly worth the trip.

I left early and went over to Road again since I had a 4 day wristband. It was less crowded on Friday (or maybe it was because it was afternoon and some of the buses had left) and I was able to see inside the booths more instead of just peering over shoulders. Friday night I went to Roundabout which is a sampler-type event. You get to sit (yay!) and watch demos which are restarted every 10 minutes (they have a whistle) so you know when a new one begins. Of course you may leave early or stay if you wish. More cool ideas and there was a booklet with a handout from each demonstration.
Saturday I demoed in Embellishment Village's booth. I was quite nervous about this since I had never met Betty and had no idea what she wanted me to do. I demoed Angelina fibers and film and had a blast! Everyone was interested and she told me to give away the samples I was making. After awhile I got bored of just making sheets of "fabric" so I started cutting them up and combining colors. It was so much fun to play with someone else's stuff and not have to pay, LOL! I also received many compliments on my jacket and handed out quite a few business postcards. I will definitely do something like that again.

My daughter was at the show and had a great time. I was a little worried because she's not a quilter, but she enjoyed running the cash register and she loved it that so many of you came by to say hi! It made her feel quite welcomed. Thank you!


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