Thought for a lifetime

Einstein made the very important observation that " Imagination is more important than knowledge ".

Saturday, February 2, 2013

On The Road to California

On a wet, rainy day my mom and I made our annual outing to the huge 
Road to California Show.
The show is a four day extravaganza of all things fabric with an emphasis on quilts.
We try to attend every year and it is always an inspiring, amazing, enjoyable experience.

Notice the antique crazy quilt behind my mom.
It is made from millinery scraps by a long ago relative.

The moment upon entering the Convention Center in Ontario, California you already know it's going to be a great show.

Great amounts of fabric,

Great demonstrations,

Great new ideas,

Great new products,

And great crowds of people!!

Hoffman Challenge 2012

Every year Hoffman Fabrics selects one of its prints and challenges creative types to make memorable garments and projects. Viewing the winning entries at The Road to California is always a highlight of the show. 
This lavender floral print was the 2012 challenge fabric.

Many ideas from one fabric.

Quilting techniques incorporated into a garment.
Best of both worlds.

This skirt is made from rows of selvage edges sewn vertically.
This new, novel use of selvage edges is becoming popular.

Feeling creative?
Here is the Hoffman fabric for the 2013 Challenge.
Go the the Hoffman website for rules.

The garments were a nice diversion but, lets get to the reason that thousands of people pack the halls of the giant convention center...
The quilts!

Tie One On

Many of the quilts at Road to California were impressive for the amazing skill and artistry. 
This quilt caught my eye because it is beautifully executed, my favorite type of quilt; a crazy quilt, I recognized it was made from ties and I love using ties in projects.
Then I learned the story behind the quilt...

This wonderful crazy quilt was made by this woman from her father's silk ties after he passed away.
It took her years to complete and I bet it was very comforting as she worked to think about her father.
She even included a photo of her father wearing one of the ties on the back of the quilt.
What a very loving, special tribute.

Some of my Favorite Things

There is so much to see at The Road to California and you never know what creative idea will grab your imagination. 

This is exactly like the metal dollhouse I played with as a child.
I love the idea of storing supplies inside and my parents still have
my dollhouse! Also love the weird creature. 
Another crazy, creative new friend.

An image that tugged at my heart strings since
my daughters were both little towheads.

Love the perspective and looks like
my favorite city, San Francisco.

I always love a good, abstract flower!

What Wowed Me

For me the animal quilts ruled the day at The Road to California. The images were artful and the execution was exquisite!

The composition of this image is what makes it so compelling.

Not only are all the fabrics pieced but, also the machine stitching
 done by the artist all over  adds to the visual interest.
Simple but, effective.

Simple and stylized with a story.

This is practically life size and the black and white really make an impact!

A photo just doesn't do the details justice.

This quilt is so innovative in so many ways. How the octopus is outside of
the blue background, the mosaic  quality of the fabric piecing,  the three dimensionality,
the movement and angle of the octopus.
 This may be be favorite piece of the entire show. 
The tentacles were buttons with a bead on top. 

Now for Something Different

Every year there are the innovators at The Road to California who try new techniques and new topics in their quilts. Some sre more successful than others BUT, that is just my opinion.
And that 's what is so great about the creative process- there is no right or wrong.

A very textural approach to quilting.
 More of a fiber art piece.

I have a feeling this person has a
science degree in their background.

A butterfly hatching at a nuclear power plant?

Is it just me or is it slightly disturbing to see a child
frozen holding his breath

Art deco? Samson and Delilah?
 Is soft porn coming to quilting?

The Winners

There must be 1,000 quilts submitted for consideration to be part of the Road to California Show. From that about 100 are selected to be in the show and out of those there are quilts that are awarded cash prizes and HUGE bragging rights ( my mom has been a winner and exhibitor in past shows ).
Here are a few of this year's quilts that were judged as exceptional.

Best Quilt from First Time Entrant $750

This is a small detail of the traditional quilt.
 This style of quilt is called a crazy quilt because of the piecing of the fabric but,
 I think it's also your mental state.
 I would bet this quilt easily took over 1,000 hours of work. 

Outstanding Innovative Quilt $1,000

This is an extremely poor photo of the Best of Show $5,000 winner.
The quilt was always surrounded by people gawking at it and
 I couldn't get a better shot.
 Personally, it wasn't my favorite quilt.

What I Couldn't Resist

The Road to California must easily have over 100 vendors selling everything you never knew you needed for fiber arts!
I swore I was not going to purchase ANYTHING due to the backlog of projects I have yet to complete but, some items really tempted me...

 Who wouldn't want a shiny new motorcycle?

Perhaps a new beautiful quilt? 
( actually not too tempted because anything there my mom could do better)

Thousands of bolts of great fabrics was impossible to resist!

And this is my final booty from the entire, huge Road to California. Two yards of irresistible cute bird fabric that WILL become a skirt. Two fabric flower brooches because I couldn't decide on just one. And the CUTEST little scissors in the shape of a fairy by Bohn.

A day spent with my mom is always a good day.
A day with my mom spending at the Road to California is a GREAT day!

Hope I see you there next year.