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Rollin’ Rhonda Reports on PIQF

The bus trip down to the Pacific International Quilt Festival was an absolute pleasure. I’m still a little overwhelmed by the whole experience. I feel like every moment had purpose and goodwill. There were more smiles than can be counted and so many lovely works of art and labors of love.

Due to great excitement I hadn’t slept well the night before. This is a big deal to me, to be so far away from my Man for so long, and even though surrounded by 50 or so of my ladies, I still had anxiety about it. We arrived at the bus pick-up near the fairgrounds exactly as required by our Fieldtrip leader Melissa T. As soon as I laid my eyes upon my beautiful ladies my fears were yesterday’s news and the utter joy was fully overflowing in my heart. Then I saw my friend Amie and there was some sort of leap in my chest and then some wetness in my eyes.

My man carried me up the bus stairs to my seat then whisked my wheels to the undercarriage of the rather plush Preferred Charter bus and the loading began. Amie and I were “seatmates”. It was so much fun to greet the guild and friends as they each entered one by one. The lovely Loyce with her sweet smile is one of my favorite faces. Then Christopher Robin and his wife Ann, then Genie, then Phyllis, and then three of my favorite Lindas. Next came Cora and Joni and Suzanne and so on until everyone was on board. Then we all settled in for what turned out to be one of the slowest commutes…maybe ever!

Fortunately, Melissa has been down this road before and with microphone in hand she regaled us with the what, where, when, who and how of it all. There were funny stories and games and prizes of chocolate and fat quarters and thread. In the end, we each walked away with some of each, having chosen our favorite. In the in-between times, Amie read to me of the adventures of Ramona Quimby and we colored in a dot-to-dot book. It was a fun way to spend the next three hours.

Matt did a great job driving – I didn’t have to correct him even once (it’s that back seat driver manic thing that I have). The Santa Clara Convention Center is galactic in size, several football fields to be sure. I had arranged to meet my girlfriend, Edie, at the convention center, alerting her of our arrival about 25 minutes from our destination on Melissa’s cell. Neither of us had arranged the “where” at the convention center so, essentially, I wore myself out just trying to find her before I ever saw a single quilt. I finally decided to sit still and she decided to call Melissa’s cell and within a few more minutes we saw each other after seven years. It was so much fun to introduce her to my “peeps” as we passed each other moving through the show. Edie, too, is a crafter. Her work is beautiful. I think she enjoyed the show as much as I did. The inspiration we were surrounded by was a little overwhelming, like diving into the deep end of a pool – complete immersion.

I found that there must be many embellishers out there in this world who feel as I do: ‘If Some is Good, More is Better’. I am in good company. With regards to fabric art, I can see that the sky is the limit. I am liberated and I am in very fine company indeed.
The quilts and “wearables” were fantastic. There must have been a thousand. We wound and circled and circled and wound again. I hope we can do a slideshow sometime. There are no words I can convey that a photograph won’t put to shame. Diana Roberts, The Pointless Sisters, Vicki David, Judy Mathieson, Nancy Parmelee all had exhibits in this show. These ladies held their own in competition with the best of the best.

Edie went home around 3:30 and I found myself again with Melissa and Amie. We spent the last two hours at a more leisurely pace, making final purchases, resting in the entry, gabbing with Sandy Mc – where we discovered we have mutual friends. Amie braided and re-braided my hair so many times I thought for sure the rats would never come out. Amie entertained Pat K and me with some gymnastics, striking poses as if in a photo shoot, then more hair styling. I got back on the bus with a Gibson girl style makeover.

We re-boarded the bus on time as directed by Melissa. Tons of loot was stashed and stowed, atop and a-bottom of our grand chariot. The ride home was quicker and the dark helped pass the time. There was more chocolate and conversation and coloring. My thumb has a blister and I feel like I just participated in an Iron Man Marathon but I am happy and will do this again next year…when my quilts are in the show.

Thank you Santa Rosa Quilt Guild!

Rollin’ Rho

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