Making Your Way Around “The Floor”

One of the highlights of Road to California are the quilts. And 2014 will be no different. There will be more quilts on display than ever before. New and antique; traditional and contemporary. Contest entries and winners along with formal exhibits. Something for everyone to see and enjoy.

Road displays their quilts differently than other shows. According to Carolyn Reese, “Most shows organize their quilts by category. We use the ‘artistic approach.’ We hang our quilts by themes.”exhibits__i4c6113

The layout for the show floor begins six weeks before the event and is overseen by Phyllis Morrow. Photographs of all the quilts to be displayed are put in a binder. Initially, Phyllis does a quick look through to get an idea for possible themes. She attaches Post-It-Notes with possible themes to the pictures to form groupings. Then, in the following weeks, she’ll review the binder six or seven times, arranging and rearranging the photos to create the flow for the floor. It isn’t until Phyllis actually sees the quilts in person, right before the show, that groupings are finalized. “Setting up the floor is all about ‘feel’” notes Phyllis. “I want the show to have a certain ‘feel’ and not be all chopped up.”exhibits__i4c6087

The real challenge in putting the floor together comes at 4:00 p.m. the Tuesday before the show begins.  That is when judging has been completed and the winning quilts are determined. The winning quilts need to be removed from the original groupings so that they can be displayed in their place of honor at the front of the hall. The remaining entries are readied for display, making sure that those quilts that have both sides to be viewed are put on the ends.exhibits__i4c6088

About twenty volunteers work through Tuesday night hanging the quilts, putting out information sheets about the quilts and the exhibits, attaching the award ribbons, and setting off the viewing areas with chains and saran wrap. During the show, there are around 35 volunteers on the floor at any given time, answering questions and standing guard to make sure no one accidentally touches the displays.workers__i4c6015

Besides the main show floor in exhibit halls A and B, attendees will also find quilts displayed in adjoining ballrooms as well as this year’s new pavilion area.

Wear your comfy walking shoes and take your time. There is a lot to see at Road 2014!!!



4 thoughts on “Making Your Way Around “The Floor”

  1. Kathy McNeil

    Road is my favorite show of all the places I am lucky enough to enter my quilts and teach. Everyone is so organized, so full of energy and enthusiasm. It the place to be every January. Kathy

    1. Caryn Payzant Post author

      Yes, for personal use only. Also, if you use a flash, it needs to be an electronic one. Natural light is preferred. But if you are interested in getting the best pictures of all the winning quilts, you might consider purchasing a DVD on the Road to California web site.

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