Road to California

On Saturday, I drove down to Ontario, CA to work with my friend Lynn Douglass and Suzanne Earley, in Lynn’s A-1 longarm booth at the Road to California Quilt Show. We had a blast in the booth, playing all day on these beautiful machines. Although I have a Gammill longarm, and I do love my machine, I harbour a not-so-secret longing for an A-1!

While I was supposed to be working, I did slip away a few times to shop the show and visit with some friends. Andi Perejda, one of the $100,000 Quilting finalists was there, as was Vicki Anderson of Meander Publishing. A real treat, and a lovely surprise, was meeting Judy Laquidara, whom I have known for several years online, but have never met in person. She is as sunshine-y as her company name, and she was at the show to sign copies of her wonderful Nine-patch Extravaganza quilting book. There were many more online friends stopping by the booth, particularly Karen, and Sharon , who graciously schlepped a large bag of embroidery floss as she knows that I am always a panting recipient of threads, strings, and ravellings–thanks again, Sharon! I got to hug my hometown quilting buddies Sherry and Millie, but missed Debbie and Joey of Quilt Ventura. It was a jam packed day!

Although I was supposed to be working, and I did, I did….I still managed to zip through the vendor mall! There were temptations all around, but I did not succumb to much. I feel like I have more than enough commercial fabric in my warehouse studio, especially since I prefer to create my own fabric for my artwork.

I did buy some wonderful patterns from Park Bench Patterns.


These are simple to sew patterns that really lend themselves to fiber art. I asked Mary Lou Rankin, the designer, to model some of the tops so that I could get an idea of the fit, and they are terrific! The fit is very easy, yet flattering, and I plan to give my new serger a workout very soon. These are patterns that will NOT be thrown in a drawer, never to see the light of day!

Speaking of light, lately I have been feeling like I’m sewing in a cave when I sit at my Pfaff. I’m sure it has nothing to do with my ageing eyes, and everything to do with that corner of my studio getting darker and darker. I bought a cheapo clamp-on light, but unless I bring the head right in front of my face, it casts weird shadows. I end up banging my head on the silly thing, and it’s become frustrating.

Dream World offers a wonderful, albeit pricey, solution.


The small light attaches to the side of my sewing machine, bending over my sewing area without getting in my way.  I put a longarm bobbin and a DSM bobbin in the photo for size comparison.   I admit that the $50 price threw me on my first walk through the vendor mall, but I think I made a wise investment after all. I’ll post an update on how I feel about this light in a week or two.

I’m getting tired just writing about this busy day! Lynn, Suzanne, and I closed up the booth at the end of the day, and we all piled into Lynn’s car, with her knight-in-shining-armor husband Scott at the wheel. We headed off to try to meet up with Sherry, et al, but ended up bringing In-N-Out burgers and milkshakes back to the room.
We chatted into the wee hours, since we rarely get to talk face to face, and it’s been almost 2 years since all 3 of us were together! After a quick breakfast, the girls went back for the last day of the show, and I made my way back up the coast to take care of the other zillion things I had on my agenda for Sunday.



1 Comment

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One response to “Road to California

  1. Jan Thompson

    Sounds like you and the girls had a wonderful time. I am always fighting the lighting situation, also, so please let us know how this one works (you be the $50 guinea pig!!). Off to check out the patterns now……

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