Wednesday, August 6, 2014

County Fair Raffle Quilt: Underground Railroad (2014)

As I have explained before, this year's County Fair Raffle Quilt was based on the Underground Railroad quilt. You had to make one of the 15 quilt blocks designs. They were a little worried at check in last Saturday because three of the first four blocks were the bear claw design!! But don't worry, they started to see more variety after that. Here are the winning squares that will end up in the quilt.
Here is a close up of the top six blocks:
I was not the only one to note that the winner was a log cabin block. The easiest block to make (in my opinion), especially as you can trim the block after each piece is added. I am dying to listen in on the judging to fathom what their reasons are for their choices. Enough said on that I guess.

Here are the six pillows that people could bid on:
I really liked the top centre one, even if it is simple. I find it really striking. I also like bottom center Jacob's ladder.

And once again, here are the reject squares, mine being the bottom centre one.
There were no judges' notes on the card. I thought the silver lining of being a reject was that I would at least get to take my block home. But when I went to get it on Sunday with the rest of my stuff, they said that they had auctioned them off. They've never done that before. (And in fact I saw one of last year's reject blocks submitted this year in the sewn pillow category. When I mentioned that to them, they didn't know what I was talking about.) Oh well.

Here are the other Carpenter Wheel blocks in case you want to compare them to mine.
This one placed sixth. the maker made the same colour arrangement that I did except switching the green and blue.
This one was on the quilt and the maker added a contrasting colour. (You were allowed to add one new colour.) I like how she made the outer shapes echo the inner star by using two colours, but I don't think the new colour improved the block.
This one was also on the quilt. The red in the outer shapes was a different fabric. It was also stitched down with a zigzag stitch. I don't know if they appliqued it on to cover something else or if that was supposed to be decorative, but I really didn't like it. Also, what is with the green/tan split blocks in the outer border? That definitely didn't fit the pattern as given and in light of that I don't think this block should have even qualified.
The final Carpenters Wheel was made into a pillow. I think this was my favourite. I like the blue and red in the middle (same as mine), but this maker made the points a contrasting colour in the outside shapes. (This was the option I said I would have liked to have tried after I finished mine. Here at the bottom of the post, if you want proof!)

So that is a lot of Carpenter Wheels and maybe I would have been better off with a different pattern. (Seriously, I would have been better off if my square would have measured a solid 12.5". That's all on me.) Certainly there were other blocks that were the only one of a particular design, and well done as far as I could tell, that didn't make it into the quilt. Once again, I would love to listen in on the judges...

One thing I did get to listen in on was a fellow quilter checking in her things, including a quilt block. She was complaining that they told us to make certain blocks but didn't provide the pattern for any of them. I'm thinking they're all made with squares and triangles...pretty easy to calculate. She said she was rescued by a quilt store owner who lent her the book with the patterns. When I got a look at her block, I saw she had made one of the circles. Like, literally, you could trace a bowl or plate from the kitchen to make the pattern! I just had to shake my head.

I'll finish with a look at last year's blocks, now all made up in a quilt:
Mine is the second one on the bottom row. Simple, but with a little fussy cut bird in the "hole" that I thought was really cute.

And next year? Next year the theme is "Up North" and the fabrics are really dark and dreary. We'll see what I can do...

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