Tuesday, July 31, 2018

County Fair Results 2018

Thanks for your patience (a whole 24 hours)...here are the results of my entries to this year's fair:

1. Knitting: Socks

An auspicious beginning...a first place for my socks.

I couldn't find them in the displays for a long time and was actually starting to worry that they went missing. But the displays were just overcrowded and they were sitting on top of a quilt entry. (I rearranged the displays a little later in the evening to make room for all of the entries.)

I didn't see any other socks for the category which is astounding to me. Where are the other sock knitters, because I know I am not the only one!

2. Knitting: Vest - Child

Another first. I don't think there were any other entries in this category either. :)
3. Knitting: Doily or Table Topper

Oh my...another blue ribbon. I doubt there was any other competition in this category either. (I didn't look closely, but I don't think so.)

To be honest, I had hopes this might get the Grand Champion, but that honour went to a sweater knit in a bulky variegated acrylic. (There was a much nicer lace cardigan up for Grand Champion too; I can't imagine how the sweater beat out the cardigan, but I didn't get to listen in on any of the judging.)
As I was rearranging some of the displays, I noticed there was an empty rack and put my shawl over it. It displays the shawl better and it made more room for the other items to spread out on the tables.
4. Knitting: Hat, Scarf and/or Glove/Mitten Set

No ribbon on this one. It is fun they had the head to model it on. The cowl isn't very well arranged so I fixed that later too.
5. Knitting - Any Other Not Listed

No ribbon on this one either. Since it's a miscellaneous category, it's hard to know what it was competing against. I know I saw a nice shawl with a blue ribbon so that would have been one of them. (Since there's no shawl category -- what?)
6. Quilts: Full, Queen, King Size - Machine Quilted, Pieced

No ribbon. I saw a little bit of the judging when they were looking at this category. They liked it, but there were five entries so someone has to come in last.

The quilt was hung right beside the door so it got some attention as people walked out. The volunteer desk is right there so I got to hear some nice reactions. Most of the time, I mentioned that it was my quilt and that led to some nice conversations. It's a little awkward, but I figure it's more polite to let them know before they say something they may not want overhead. :)
7. Quilts: Twin Size, Pieced

No ribbon. I didn't hear any of this judging. I know the piecing isn't fancy but the quilting is quite detailed.
8. Quilts: Wall Hanging, Appliqued (180" & smaller)

No ribbon. Remember my comment about the applique pieces not being sewn down? Yah, well, the judges didn't like that. You can see a note hanging from the quilt in the picture - it's an explanation that they liked the design but since the pieces aren't sewn down, they didn't judge it.

I guess they didn't find another category to move it into. Usually the volunteers try to move entries around if they don't work in the category they were submitted in.

9. Quilts: Mini Quilts (96" & smaller)

Blue ribbon here. I saw a little of the judging for this one. I think there were only about three entries, but they really liked my little mug rug.
10. Quilts: Table Topper/Runner

No ribbon. There were five or six entries in this one. The judges didn't like my quilt much. I think I overhead one judge say something like "I don't like this fabric at all." I left a note that I had painted the fabric, but I'm not sure they got it.

But the other entries were great and deserved the ribbons so I'm not trying to say mine should have won.
11. Quilts: Quilt Block Contest

Honorable Mention. (It made it on the quilt.) Remember my worries about the additional fabrics and using the purple upside down? They held it and another one to the side for a long time and I heard a few of the fair coordinators talking about it on an off. But in the end, they let the blocks in.

There were at least two other blocks with the purple fabric used both right side up and upside down. (And the other ones ended up in the top six.)

12. Color Photography, Head or Figure

Second place. I wandered by after the judging was done and the volunteer in that department let me know that the judge really liked the picture. It was nice to hear.

You can see the first place and third place photos in this category to the right and left.

And that's all of it! It was a fun day on Saturday. Tiring, but fun. I like my judges in the canning department and I'm getting to know more of the other volunteers as I see them year after year. The judging in the other departments was done fast, though; I didn't get much of a chance to observe any of it!

As usual, I worked the desk in the Home Arts building on Monday evening. I'll be there again Wednesday evening and Saturday around lunch if you want to stop by and say hi.

Buy a ticket (or 6 for $5) for the raffle quilt you can see hanging behind me. These are the blocks from last year. (And my block happens to be in the picture...the paddler in the bottom row.)

Before I was due at the table, Troy and I had a walk around the fair.
We stopped to watch a dressage event; they were putting the horses through their paces.
We also took a walk through the rabbit and chicken barns. From very small birds,
 to the very large:
This rooster was fantastic:
even in the more literal sense of the word.

Rabbits, too, come in tiny sizes,
 and large:
We always like seeing the satin breeds because that is what we had. The one above looks just like our "Red". Speaking of large, there was only one flemish giant that we saw and we think it was a juvenile because it was not as big as most.

We capped the evening with a delicious ice cream from our favourite truck, "Good Dips". They weren't in the same place as previous years and we fretted that they didn't come back. But with persistent looking, we tracked them down. It was worth it!

Friday, July 27, 2018

County Fair Entries 2018

Check-in for the Cass County (MI) Fair is tomorrow. I'll be helping in the canning department again. I missed last year and I'll be happy to be able to say hi to my judges again. It's the same ones each year and we get friendly in that I-only-see-you-once-a-year way.

Without any further ado, here are the entries I'll be submitting this year: (Click the link in the description if you want more information on any of the projects.)

1. Knitting: Socks

These are my "Jeans Socks", knit with yarn harvested from a sweater and then dyed. I have not worn them since they were finished (end of October) so that they would be in tip top shape.

2. Knitting: Vest - Child

This is the vest I knit for Wool-Aid.

3. Knitting: Doily or Table Topper

Because there is no shawl category (I know!), I am putting my Celestarium shawl in the Table Topper category. It's round like a doily, I guess. And I have thought that I may spread it out on a bed sometimes, so I guess that's almost the same thing.

4. Knitting - Hat, Scarf and/or Glove/Mitten Set

I've had this set done since last fall (and really enjoyed it over the winter), but never got to a photo shoot and so it hasn't been on the blog yet.

The cowl looks a little funny, but I really like how it wears. Here is a post about a similar set that I made a couple years ago so you can see how it looks.

5. Knitting - Any Other Not Listed

I'm submitting my skowl, but I'm just labeling it as a skirt because I really don't think I could explain a skowl.

6. Quilts: Full, Queen, King Size - Machine Quilted, Pieced

I am submitting my Cardinal Nine Patch. The size for this category is anything over a 320 inch perimeter. This quilt is 384" around.

7. Quilts: Twin Size, Pieced

This category is for quilts 181" to 320". My red and yellow Kaffe Fassett quilt fits in at 288" around (72" square).

8. Quilts: Wall Hanging, Appliqued (180" & smaller)

This is the "Homecoming" wall hanging I could have submitted last year. I think I had it done just in time, but decided to take home to our family campout to show it off to them instead.

There's a chance it may not gain any points with the judges because all of the applique is done just with adhesive - none of the pieces are actually sewn down! But once again, I make it how I like and submit what I have; I don't make pieces just to do well with the judges.

9. Quilts: Mini Quilts (96" & smaller)

This is another project I haven't shown on the blog yet; and apparently I don't even have a picture of it finished. (Which it is, with a blue binding.)

This is a little mugrug for a swap that was organized in the Quilters Knitting group on Ravelry. I'm planning to write about it after the recipient has received it. It's a semi-secret swap.

I will tell you that it was English paper pieced (surprise, surprise!), hand sewn, and hand quilted.

10. Quilts: Table Topper/Runner

I'm turning in my Watercolour Roses quilt for this category.

11. Quilts: Quilt Block Contest

I wrote about this recently. This isn't an updated picture, but yes it is 12.5" now.

12. Color Photography, Head or Figure

I'm submitting one photo this year - a cropped version of this self-portrait.

You can no longer submit a picture in each class - you have to choose only one colour and one b&w - so the number of entries is very limited. Gone are the days when I bring in a bunch of pictures! (I think nine was my highest number.)

This was the first year that I went to the fair office ahead of time and pre-registered. I've always been kind of curious about how that works, but it's never been easy to get in while I was working. I think it makes it easier on the fair organizers, but I don't even really know.

I hope you get a chance to check out the fair. It's open July 30 through August 4. Check out their website for information and click here to buy tickets online.

My coworkers used to make a game of trying to find all of my entries. Good luck on picking out my dozen! :)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hanging at the Shipshe Quilt Show

I've shown you a bunch of quilts from the Shipshewana Quilt Show and this post will be more specifically about my experience at the show.

I took the opportunity to go to the awards ceremony on Tuesday evening. Anyone who has a quilt entered is allowed to go. I had no expectations of getting an award, but I like to go because I think it's part of the experience and because it's a chance to look at all the quilts before anyone else!

After the snacks and the presentations, I walked around looking at everyone's quilts and looking for mine. I found it in a corner:
It did not garner a lot of attention because you walked up the aisle facing the fancy one on the right. Also, the lighting was bad. Unfortunately, it was bad for a lot of quilts.

I learned that it is hard to take a selfie with a huge quilt!
My next event was a workshop on Thursday with Pat Sloan called, "Scrap Happy Trash Bag Quilts". First off, she is an excellent teacher. The class had a good pace and a proper amount of structure.
Chatting before class got started.
In the morning we did exercises in "making" fabric from scraps. First we did strips - pick a colour or set of fabrics and put strips together. Later we would use this fabric in a block.

Then we did "slab blocks" when you sew smaller pieces of fabric together to make squares or chunks that you can then cut up as if it were just a piece of single fabric.
I have no idea if I was trying to get
a picture of something specific or
just a general view of my work area.
The sewing machine was on the right.
I made two blocks because it is easier to work on alternating blocks than to have to cut your thread after each seam.

After the allotted time, we gathered together to show our blocks and then hear and see what was next.
And that was curved strips. I won't get into each step, but you sew some strips together with wavy seams,
 and you end up with pieces like this you can use:
You might think of them as wonky stripes.

The final exercise of the day was to make a star block out of our new "made fabric". The strip sets we started the day with were for the star points and we could use what we wanted for the centre square.
Some used their strips sets also for the centre; some used their slab blocks; some used a solid square; and I used my new wavy strip pieces:
With a little more time, I would have been more careful about stripe placement, but it's still a pretty block. I may finish it into a wall hanging; it would match my Crossed Canoes on a Starry Night.

That evening I went to a lecture by Jinny Beyer on Color Theory.
I was very interested in all she had to say, and of course, the quilt samples are the best part.
She showed these three quilts early in the evening and had us vote on which we liked best. They are three different colour choices for the same pattern.
At then end of the evening, she explained the choices in each one and it was very illuminating. The bottom line is that if you follow the common advice to pick a fabric with colours you like and then pick other fabrics to match it, you are not going to get the best looking quilt.

On Saturday I was able to visit the show floor again, this time with my sister. Having someone with you means you get pictures of you and your huge quilt. :)
As we were walking away, this couple approached my quilt and the man touched it. This is a serious no-no at quilt shows.
I commented on it as something funny (I was not upset and did not intent to report him or anything) and my sister says, "Just think of it this way. He was so compelled by your quilt, he could not help but touch it."

As a bonus for the day, my sister and I ended at Make South Bend to make some stamped rings.
Knit Purl Repeat / Sometimes it's bigger than me
And we may have done a little goofing around for the camera:
That wraps up a fun week at the quilt show.

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...