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Pacific International Quilt Festival

The Pacific International Quilt Festival, also known as PIQF is held annually in October at the Santa Clara Convention Center off the Great America Parkway off Hwy. 101 south. I seldom miss this large and outstanding quilt show. One of the largest on the west coast. Over 700 Quilts and Garments are on display. This year it is held October 11th (Thursday) through October 14th (Sunday) Wednesday evening is preview night for pre-registered participants.  The Mancuso Show management team is located in New Hope, PA. and is charge of putting on this big quilt show, and many others throughout the United States. There are over 60 workshops and lectures with special activities with instructors classes going on throughout the day and into the evening hours.  Visit this site for more info:

I personally like to get a room at one of the many hotels in the area and stay for a few days at the show. Saturday Night Show and Tell is great!  But, even one day of the show traveling down on the guild bus is not an opportunity you want to let slip by!  So, get signed up for Melissa’s bus trip soon!  It’s a bargain, and so fun!

I remember one year when our mini group, five of us,  decided we would  travel to Palm Springs the one year that Mancusco Brothers couldn’t get into the Santa Clara Convention Center. That year it was held in Palm Springs during a very hot dry October. (isn’t it always hot in Palm Springs).  Any way we had to convince one of our mini group members, "Jane",  who was terrified of flying to get on the plane with us! She did fine on the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, but what she didn’t realize, nor did we at the time, is that we would be transferred to a "Puddle Jumper" type plane to fly into Palm Springs. This small plane hit some of the worst turbulance going over the mountain range and dropping down into Palm Springs that some of had  experienced. "Jane" cried and kept her eyes closed tightly the whole time! Knuckle white hands gripped to the seat, and we were a scared too, but couldn’t let her see that!  Quilters will do anything it seems to get to a Quilt Show!

Once we arrived at the the wonderful Hotel we had booked rooms into, we all calmed down, and decided to take a walk—and since the Convention Center in Palm Springs was only 4 blocks from the hotel, why not mosey on down and see what the place was like so that we knew where we were going that evening for the preview….right.

Somehow we hadn’t taken notice that is was 2:00 in the afternoon and the the streets were deserted—or that it was 105 degrees outside. We did get  very hot and tired on the walk to the convention center. But, we did O.K.—on the way back to the hotel "Jane" started complaining about being tired and dizzy and proceeded to faint from the heat! We did manage to find a cool spot under a small bush and we poured our water bottles all over her. Sputtering and wet she revived and felt better and we trudged slowly back to our hotel. .  We realized at that point that going out in the middle of the day and walking around Palm Springs is not like going out in the middle of the day walking around Santa Rosa! That the lack of anyone besides ourselves outdoors should have been clue number one that walking to the convention center was not a great idea! We took a cab for the remaining days we spent going to the quilt festival!

We had a blast! The show was wonderful as it was held in this building that has wonderful mosaics on the walls, so along with the fabulous quilts we had the added enjoyment of viewing the art work and the beauty of the building and  Palm Springs. Palm Springs really comes alive in the cool of the evening with a lot of great dining spots and gift shops to visit. Many evening activities and mingling with the "beautiful people" that frequent Palm Springs.  Gorgeous golf courses—too.

Our next adventure in Palm Springs with "Jane" happened as we were about to leave and come home…We had a mini ‘show and tell" of our many purchases at the show! We gathered in one of our rooms the evening before we were leaving to show off what treasures we had found to buy at the show! Spreading out our many  patterns, kits, threads, fabrics, gadgets & tools galore!  Each of us had brought along extra suitcases and totes for stashing our stuff to take back home! We were having a wonderful time showing our stuff—–and then "Jane" heads for the closet and brings out her super bargain! A large oval hoop on a stand with carved legs hand quilting frame! We ooohed- and aaahd! The wood was so beautiful and it had this great scrolled base—and "Jane" told us she got a super deal on it—it was the last one! Only she had to take it right then!  We are all thinking "wish I had seen that vendor"…..whatta a deal!

Then—the light bulb moment!!!!—-We sort of looked around the room staring at each other— and then one of us finally said " Oh-oh! "Jane" dear, how are we getting this home on the plane"?????

—Long Silence—-and then "Jane" cleverly announced that we would take it all apart. down to the last small piece of wood or screw and that each of us would carry or put into our suitcases or tote a part of the frame! She even had the screwdriver that she had somehow got from the maintence man at the hotel!—-  And that way we would get it home safely—piece by piece! The only part that we couldn’t figure out how to make "smaller" was the actual 18" wooden hoop…. it was decided that "Jane" would insert her upper body through the oval opening of this section like she was carrying an over- across the shoulder strappy sort  of a handbag- thingy, the rest of the hoop would go down into a large tote bag at her side!  

If you remember the Lucy & Ethel episode with the imported cheese on the plane (it was supposed to be Lucy’s baby) —Well that was us!—sorta,  only it was large quilting hoop instead. "Jane" was so determined to get this bargain back home, she entirely forgot about her fear of flying (thankfully)! and we boarded the small plane with various pieces of wood sticking out here and there from our tote bags. Giggling at Jane’s ingenuity!  No one ever questioned us about the "wood"  and we just smiled and proceeded on to Los Angeles and on to San Francisco—and home!

Nothing got sat on or broke, or lost in the process! A wonder!  We got it assembled  at our next mini group meeting.  "Jane" loved her hoop and used it for many years and produced many beautiful handquilted projectsI

I just wanted to share this memorable story, one of many adventures we have had going to Pacific International Quilt Festival in past years!    Don’t miss the opportunity to go to the upcoming  PIQF in October!  If you have never been —it’s a treat you won’t soon forget! :o)

-PS. some of us are also seen playing Strip Dominos in the hotel lobby at PIQF late at night! — but—that’s another story—



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