I love attending county fairs. I make it a point to attend my local county fair every year*. I also work hard to enter something. It’s not like I have a shortage of *ahem* quilts to enter. Also, if you have ever entered a quilt show, entering the county fair is a breeze. It is also really, really cheap, unless you are entering your quilts in the art section.
This year was no exception, though it was a very close call for me. The fair was changed from August to June a few years ago and is usually held the week of one of the major Library conferences I like to attend. As a result, I almost didn’t get to attend AND I almost bailed at the last minute. I was enjoying hanging around the house in my pajamas.
I like the Fair, and most all county fairs, because it shows what is going on in the community. It is a place for regular people to show off what they are making or growing or tending in the privacy of their own home. It shows off what the local organizations are doing. And there are the bizarre vendors (and not so bizarre, too).
I am sad, because my local Fair gets smaller and smaller and more and more expensive to attend. Here is a breakdown of costs:
+$22×3 entrance fee
+$36 for lunch
+55 carnival wristbands
That is a lot of fabric! I didn’t pay that much however, because the Young Man and I both entered exhibits we each got two free entrance tickets. We also got two parking passes, but I only used one since I can only drive one car at a time. My nephew paid for all but $5 of his carnival wristband. Our cost for the day was $71. I did take two teenaged boys and had to feed them. Still a lot for a day at the fair and out of the reach of many families with a few kids. It is definitely worth the money to enter exhibits. Even if I don’t win, I get $54 worth of entrance and parking right off the bat.
Last year I won a ribbon and was pretty excited about that, but this year I won 4 ribbons! Yes, 4!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled when I saw the first one on the A-B-C Challenge quilt I did with BAMQG. I was ecstatic when I saw another ribbon on the Petrillo bag and practically jumping out of my skin when I saw the big, fancy ribbon on Cheerful Baskets. Then I saw the last ribbon on FOTY 2011. I forgot I entered that quilt and couldn’t believe it got a ribbon. Thrilled doesn’t even begin to explain how I am feeling right now. Thisis not a feeling I could ever imagine dealing with nor did I ever imagine I would win a ribbon. I have won two ribbons in the past, an Honorable Mention and a Judge’s choice, but not in the same year, at the same show.
I know some of you are thinking “Sheesh, it isn’t Houston, what is she getting worked up about?” I know this is a little show with a few hundred quilts and not Houston. I am still excited.
After looking at my quilts, I went back and started looking at all the quilts in a very orderly and calm manner. A couple of the local guilds use the county fair as their guild shows. This saves money and enhances the quilt exhibit at the county fair. There are separate designations and categories of winners for those guilds only. I believe the judging is separate as well.
There were a lot of nice quilts at the show. I enjoy seeing all the different quilts of all different levels. I took my own advice and looked for something in each quilt that I liked. It wasn’t hard as the quilts were so good. There really was some interesting about almost every quilt I saw there.
The above quilt is by a local longarmer. She also has a hand in organizing the Fair’s quilt show. I liked this one for a few reasons. First, it is very similar to the EPP piece on which I am working. Second, it looks like the Spin Wheel project for which I am hunting and gathering.
It also has great vintage fabric. The quilt was huge, thus the weird picture.
The above quilt is part of a SFQG challenge called “Chocolate”. I like this one a lot. There were a number of different renditions of the imagery of chocolate. I didn’t see any raspberries. I think that there is a lot of opportunity for creativity in a challenge about chocolate.
The above quilt is such a fantastic layout. One of the reasons I like it is the way the nine patches go out into the border. I also like it because the crosses are not cut off; they are complete.
It is easy to see from this layout how part of the nine patches really are a border. The parts of the nine patch and the blue create the illusion of the nine patches going into the border.
One of my favorite parts of the fair is the building that houses the kid exhibits. Entering that building is an explosion of colors, movement and exuberance. Everything is a little wonky, but all of the art has such life. If you have no quiltmaking mojo left, the Kids Building is where you need to go. Where else can you see a tin foil dinosaur?
*2012 visit is chronicled as is 2009. I didn’t go back farther, but you can search in the search box, if you want.