Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 County Fair Raffle Quilt

The 2015 theme for the raffle quilt was "Up North". There was a wide variety of blocks this year:
The largest majority fell into the broad range of camping or "woodsy" (think bears and moose) and then there were a couple snow or ski blocks and a couple based on actual places in northern Michigan.

Here are the top six:
The bridge block (top right with red ribbon) was close to what I was first imagining doing. But I knew I couldn't pull it off without more time and effort than I was willing to give. But I'm glad someone did it! (And I'm not sure it would have been good to have two.) For those not in Michigan, it is the Macinac bridge in northern Michigan.

A lot of people were surprised the bridge block didn't win. Apparently the judges didn't like that the trees on the right of the block were too large in proportion to the bridge and the rest of the scene. I guess that's true once it's pointed out, but considering the first place block is a collection of scenes and not all of the items there are proportional to each other, it seems a little unfair.

Apparently we had new quilting judges this year. One of them in particular came very highly recommended for her quilting knowledge and a local expert quilter who was helping the judges (like I do in canning) said she learned a lot from just hearing her talk about the quilts. Now I'm hoping that if she returns next year, I'll be able to stick around and just listen in.

Here (again) are the six pillows, sort of a group of "also rans":
Mine is on the bottom left. I put the superintendent on the spot and asked if she remembered a specific reason mine wasn't on the quilt, but she couldn't remember. Some of these didn't use all of the right fabrics or their borders were unequal. Stuff like that.

My only serious question about the judging this year is how the square in the bottom right of the quilt made it into the quilt. It is a nice enough pattern (maple leaves) and done well enough, but the two additional fabrics they chose are the dominant colours and don't blend well with the main colours. (I don't know if you can see it in the picture above, but they are quite a jarring orange/brown and light/bright green.) But whatever...

There were three blocks that didn't make it into the quilt or pillows.
That was me last year. I know one of them didn't use all of the fabrics. I think one was sewn onto a stiff backing (strictly against the instructions). The one on the left was done from a picture of Tahquamenon falls (in the UP). It was well done from the picture, but I think the general feeling was that without the source picture, it was hard to know what it was. We don't think of falling water as brown.

Here is a picture of the completed quilt from last year's blocks (based on the underground railroad quilt):
The raffle winner gets to choose the colours for the sashing and borders. Every year it is great to see the transformation from loose blocks to assembled quilt.

And for next year? The theme is "Farmers Market" and here is a shot of the fabrics:

I'm very happy to see some brighter tones in there. (They got the message that we have had dark tones for far too many years.) And they chose four different fruit or vegetable fabrics in different dominant colours. So whereas I got a yellow corn fabric, other kits included a blueberry, a red (strawberry or cherry--I'm not sure) and a green (beans?). I think this will add a great variety to the blocks. Not only dominant colours differences but also different design ideas since you may not display cherries the same as corn, for instance.

The raffle winner for this year's quilt is pulled on Saturday night and I'll let you know if I win! :)


  1. I entirely agree with you about the lower right corner block, and I made it. A couple of ladies told me the judges said it was well sewn. I expected more people would do something Autumnal, and when I handed mine in, I saw that NONE of the squares that were already there had a bright autumn theme.

    I moved here recently after (so many) years down south, and I suspect many northerners take the fabulous autumns for granted.

    I love your bear block, and thought it ought to have been in the quilt. I noticed it was commanding some high bids when I visited the fair. Congrats on all the ribbons you won. You did a great job.

    1. Hi Tris. Thanks for commenting! When I add extra fabrics I also try to think of what others might pick and try to have mine blend. Some years it works and other years I'm out in left field! That's how it goes, I guess!

      It must be nice to hear that the judges thought it was well sewn. I know the two squares especially had some very small pieces! Well done.

      Did you buy a kit for next year? I'll look for your name! :)



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