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Quilting Bus Tours

Ever since 2013, Road to California has used The Traveling Quilters to take guests on quilting bus tours around Southern California.

Quilting bus tours

Who Are The Traveling Quilters?

For the past 30 years, The Traveling Quilters have offered a unique tour service for quilters based in Southern California. Started by Pam Overton and Lynn Crawford, the company’s philosophy is: “As long as we’re going to a quilt show, let’s take 40 friends along with us!”

Lynn and Pam

The Traveling Quilters offer day trips to local quilt shows, quilting retreats in Temecula, California, and at least one “quilting adventure” a year. These extended trips are all over the United States. In 2019, their Midwest Quilt Adventure took them to Kansas City and Lincoln, Nebraska, home of the International Quilt Museum.

The Traveling Quilter’s relationship with Road to California first began in 1998 when they sponsored bus trips from the San Diego area, bringing quilters to the show. Then, in 2013, Road asked them to oversee one-day quilting bus tours during the show. These quilting bus tours traditionally took place the Wednesday before the show opened and on Monday following the close of the show. The intent was to give attendees something to do if they arrived early or needed something to do before returning home.

quilting bus tours

Road’s 2020 Quilting Bus Tours

For Road’s 25th Anniversary Show, quilting bus tours took off on Tuesday and Wednesday before the show opened. On both days, attendees had the opportunity to head south to the San Diego area to see Eleanor Burns and visit her Quilt in a Day.

quilting bus tours
Photo by Pam Overton

The quilting bus tour included watching Eleanor tape one of her quilt shows, a behind-the-scenes tour at Quilters Paradise where most of Quilt in a Day’s pre-fused, laser cut kits are made, and of course, shopping. Before returning to the Ontario Convention Center, the quilting bus tour stopped at one of Road’s vendors, Primitive Gatherings.

On Wednesday, an additional quilting bus tour was offered. This tour took bus riders to the Palm Springs area where they went to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and then shopping at Monica’s Quilt and Bead Creations (another popular Road vendor) in Palm Desert.  

What Travelers Were Saying

First in line for Tuesday’s quilt bus tour, was Sandy from British Columbia, Canada. A quilter for 21 years, Road 2020 was Sandy’s first trip to Road. She came to the show by herself. She had recently retired and had friends who had come in the past who talked highly of the show, so she wanted to come. As she was going through Road’s schedule, she knew a quilting bus tour was what she really wanted to do. “I’m a big Eleanor fan,” said Sandy. “I wanted to have fun and see the countryside.”   

quilting bus tours

The last people to board the bus on Tuesday were Mary and Kathy from Lincoln, Nebraska. Both have been quilting for 25 years and both were attending Road for the first time. “We heard it was a great show and The Traveling Quilters sounded fun,” remarked Kathy.

quilting bus tours

Leslie and Linda have been friends for over 50 years. Both nurses, they met in New York through mutual friends at the hospital they both worked at. Leslie is the one who got Linda in to quilting. They have gone to Road for the past 5 years and each year they have gone on one of The Traveling Quilters quilting bus tours. Linda said they chose the desert quilting bus tour because it fit in their schedule and “it sounded like a great trip.” Leslie said she was looking forward to “seeing something new.”

quilting bus tours

A quilting bus tour with The Traveling Quilters is one of Road’s popular added activities. If you like discovering new places plus learning about the Southern California area with its many quilt stores and fabric manufacturers, then planning to go on a quilting bus tour at Road 2021 is the right activity for you!! Registration for Road to California 2021 begins in July 2020.  

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