Road2Ca2016 Recap

So…

We flew out to southern California a couple of weeks ago to vend for a second successive year at the Road to California Quilter’s Conference and now it’s time to give you a recap of the show!
Road2Ca2016.1First of all, the view flying into the Ontario, CA airport this year was nothing short of spectacular! There was absolutely NO snow on these mountains last year at this time, so I hope this might be a good sign that the drought conditions that have been plaguing southern California of late are losing their grip.

Road2Ca2016.3Besides, I think it’s SO neat to be walking under palm trees while wearing short sleeves and ALSO seeing show-capped mountains in the distance!

Road2Ca2016.4Here’s a shot of the beautiful Ontario Convention Center, and speaking about the weather, it was nothing short of amazing! Who can complain about seventy degree daytime highs, especially when it was sleeting and snowing back home?

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And here’s the new booth layout which we detailed for you in a recent post.  As you can see, we pushed our connected grid walls back into the side corner of our booth while angling the first wall inward just a bit. This provided just enough of an opening for us to enter and exit inbetween the bag display area and the gridwalls, and I REALLY liked this. I found it SO much easier to assist customers in the selection of their notions & zips, and it also gave me a better angle in reaching bags to demonstrate to customers. PLUS, the little folding table we brought (covered in purple fabric), worked out beautifully as an elevated sales station.

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And what would the show be without the QUILTS?… Which without a doubt were stunning this year, like the one above which was a favorite of mine, called “Peacock #1” and created by Katherine E Jones of Australia. (We’ll detail more of our favorites as well as the big winners real soon in a future post so stay tuned for that?)

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And new for this year’s conference was the Road2Ca Handbag Contest in which I was asked to take part as a judge. Here’s a collective picture of ALL the entries and believe me, judging this contest was MUCH more difficult than I ever anticipated, but also FUN! (I’ll fill you in on more details and share pictures of the winners in a future post, so stay tuned for that as well?)

Road2CaBooth2016b

But of course the “main event” for us is the MarketPlace where we can sell our patterns, hardware & zips while interacting directly with our customers, which is a BIG treat for us, and just like last year the crowds were impressive , enthusiastic and knowledgeable!

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I always find it interesting to see which items are “hot” at each show (because it doesn’t seem that any two shows are the same). The pattern which was the overwhelming favorite at this show was the HipBag Hybrid, and for the 1st time ever, the most popular zipper color was our tan & white ministripe.

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But here’s the deal…
between the wonderful weather, the lively crowds and the excellent competitions, our week in California literally FLEW by! Before we knew it, it was time to pack it all up on a pallet and head back to the reality of winter and an ice-covered driveway in North Carolina!

For our next show, which will be AQS Quiltweek Lancaster, PA we’ll be officially introducing our brand new red & white mini-striped zippers.
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And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

If you were also at the Road 2 California show I’d love to know what your impressions were and even if you weren’t, it might be fun to compare notes on what you enjoy MOST about attending Quilt Shows in general. Is it the quilt competitions, the comraderie of attending the event with your friends, shopping in the vendor malls, taking classes from sewing professionals or something else?

And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave them in the space provided below.

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6 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. This is unrelated to your post but I have your Gadabout pattern and it seems very complicated. I have scanned the directions and not found where it says what zippers to buy. I am an accomplished sewer having made many bags. Is there a video tutorial on how to make it? I have several of your patterns and found them the same way. So far, haven’t made one. I am interested in the Gadabout for a particular fabric.

    • Thanks for commenting Carol and you’ll find the complete material list (including zippers) on the back cover of the pattern. If you have additional questions for us we are always glad to answer them, but would suggest that the best and most effective place to handle specific pattern-related questions is not our Blog, but rather by email or phone. Please feel free to contact us either way.

  2. I am from Arizona and this was my first time at the Road to California show. It was amazing! I can’t believe how huge it was. I loved meeting you after enjoying your daily posts and seeing (and buying) your great products in person! I can’t wait until next year! P.S. Although there were huge numbers of people, everyone was friendly and polite. I went to an event the next week and it was a whole different atmosphere.

    • Well! I’m so glad you enjoyed the show! Road to California is a fabulous show both for the attendees AND the vendors. We really love mixing it up with our customers and it was great to meet you! Come back next year? 🙂

  3. Hi Kat,

    Just wanted to tell you that your new backdrop fabrics in lavender/purple are absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

    This look seems so much more inviting than the black that you have used in the past.

    Love your products.

    • Well actually, Road to California supplies those royal blue curtains as well as the blue table drapes. This saves us the expense and weight of shipping these items to the show cross-country. The AQS shows supply the curtains but not the table drapes and we just take whatever color they give us. The Quilt Market supplies only white curtains and since you can see through them to whatever the next-door booth is displaying, we bring our own curtains which are black. The curtains are expensive and very heavy so we don’t bring them unless we have to. 🙂