Oregon State Fair

My quilting buddy Pat and I headed down to the Oregon State Fair yesterday. It was a perfect day for it. We drove down to Salem, about an hour south, and had breakfast first. Then, we went to the fair. Fortunately, everything we were interested in was housed in one large expo center, and so we didn't have to do a lot of walking. So I'll just get right to it!  I have lots of pictures!

When we walked through the main door of the building, the quilts were off to the right, and so we headed in that direction first. The most prestigious ribbon winners were the first quilts we saw. This one won for Best of Show (or Judge's Choice...or something big like that...can't remember what it was exactly). The quilting was really fantastic.

I've seen these vegetable cat blocks on sale individually, but I really liked how this quilter had pieced them together.

I've seen this embroidery motif...I might even have it in my collection...and I liked how it was pieced with these traditional blocks. They were labeled, and most of them represented states in some way.

Love this colorful Elsie the Cow.

We turned the corner from this first walk of quilts, and what do you suppose we saw waaaaaaay down there in the corner?

What a delight to see my own quilt with its pretty red ribbon.

It was hard to get a handle on how the quilts were judged or what the judges were looking for. There was almost no information on the ribbons or quilts themselves beyond Division, Lot and Level of experience. Some quilts that were sort of so-so (in our opinion) were pinned with blue ribbons, while quilts that seemed more impressive went begging. Not knowing more than just numbers of divisions, lots, and levels made it hard to know what the judges liked or didn't like. I'm hoping that when I pick up my quilt, it will have more information.

But I digress. On with the show. This next quilt was was fabulous for its details and embellishments.

These next two images are for you, Padsworth.

I loved the dimension and texture on this next quilt.

This next quilt was elaborately machine embroidered and embellished with hot fix crystals.

Pat and I had to agree that this was a very brave quilter to take on all of that machine embroidering using metallic thread. S/he deserves a blue ribbon for perseverance, if for nothing else.

I liked these wonky houses with their wonky traditional blocks.

Some of the quilts were hung way up high, which made them hard to see and photograph. Still, look at the piecing in this next one.

Someday I would like to try a Baltimore Album quilt, but first I'd like to learn to do needleturn applique. Maybe I'll learn one Baltimore Album block at a time.

Here's another one for you, Padsworth.

Cute chickens.

Someday I'm going to make a chicken quilt just so that I can quilt chicken wire onto it.

Honestly...where do some people get their talent and patience? Especially, patience!

This next quilt was some sort of "Anne of Green Gables" challenge. I never read that book growing up, nor did I ever read Charlotte's Web. It might explain a lot about me. In any case, I still liked the quilt

and its details. Seeing this goat made me think of my brother-in-law who had some property that included an apple orchard. He and his wife were "earth muffin" types and they had chickens, goats, etc. running around on their property. The goats would steal the apples from the trees, and my sister-in-law would run after them to shoo them away. The goats knew precisely how much time they could spend in pursuit of apples before she would reach them, and they took every last second before running away from her. Naughty goats.

This next one was also excruciatingly detailed. Each little ripple in the water, and each little plank in the dock, and each little leaf was cut out and pieced individually. Amazing.

The quilt was three dimensional with a back and everything.

There were lots more quilts, but our eyes were just about full of quilts by this time. We sort of wandered around the rest of the exhibition hall and saw lots of things. These ladies were spinning thread. I've seen the woman on the left at the Portland Farmer's Market where she sets up a booth each Saturday.

Another woman spent quite a long time convincing us that we had the patience and temperament for bobbin lace (sorry I didn't take a picture), but neither of us was buying it. It was still fun to hear her explanation of how it was done. I explained that I would need to be in a quiet room with no distractions to be able to do it, and she said something like, "Oh no! You'll be sitting chatting with a group in no time at all." (Guffaw!) She seriously overestimated my ability to learn and to concentrate.

Here was another beautiful but tedious art...basket weaving with pine needles. Incredible, but not something I could ever have the patience to do. 

There was a display of crocheted and knitted items. Being a sucker for anything sock monkey, I loved this hat and doll.

Then we saw the cake decorating. Fabulous, although many of the cakes didn't really look edible. The frogs were well in attendance at the fair. Here's another one for you, Padsworth.

What mother hasn't seen this classic baby pose? (And may I just say that I seriously need a grandchild.)

So we'd had just about enough after wandering around for several hours. 

When I got home, I received the most wonderful package from a dear friend from high school. Marei (pronounced "Mary") and I were friends from about 7th grade on, as I recall, and even into our first two years of college. Although I don't remember this, Marei reminded me that when there was a football game, these "spirit ribbons" were on sale for kids to wear around school the week before the game. Our school colors were red, black, and white. Our mascot was a panther. So Marei put together this little mug rug/doll quilt for me made up from spirit ribbons she's kept all these years!  Not that Marei and I are that old, you understand.

She sewed the ribbons to the fabric using a zigzag stitch, but I was hard pressed to tell where the ribbon ends and the fabric begins. It feels like a solid piece of fabric. And I love the way she quilted it.

It came with this pieced card. So cute.

Thank you, Marei. What a thrill!

So today I'm all back to what passes for normal, although after seeing my quilt with a ribbon, I'm suffering from a bad case of a swelled head. Maybe "suffering" is too strong a word. It's the kind of "suffering" one might experience after winning the lottery. In any case, it's the highlight of the month, if not the entire year.

I have a few little things to do today. I need to do a little bit of housework and I need to check the tomatoes and the plums. The poor birds haven't been fed in days. It's been raining here off and on, but mostly at night. It means I don't have to water the plants, but I never like trudging out into the grassy field when its been raining and the grass is wet.

Smitty is positively despondent over the change in the weather. He loves being outside, but he doesn't like getting his feet wet. Ugh.

Nothing to do but stay inside and kill his friend, feather boa on a stick, over and over again.

(It's not actually a feather boa. I just don't know what else to call it. It's his favorite toy. He alternates between humping it or killing it.)

Also, I finished up the last of the embroidery on the Wonky Houses wallhanging. Next week I'm going to sandwich and quilt it. It's a small piece, and so it won't take long.

Then this afternoon, I'm going to get started on my August NewFO. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. You would never do that, would you? I'm going to start on the first block for the Wind in the Whiskers BOM.

I'll be starting with the center of the quilt...the block with the clothesline in it. It extends to where the tree trunk is and then to the left where the cat is hanging on the boxer shorts on the clothesline. Some of the applique pieces overlap other blocks, and you can see that the clothesline extends through the three center blocks. (That is added when the quilt is completely finished). I was looking at the pattern last night, and this will definitely be the most difficult and complicated applique I've ever attempted. I seriously hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew.

So that's it from this end today. I hope you have a great Thursday.

24 comments from clever and witty friends:

beaquilter said...

LOVELY quilt and congrats on the ribbon...

KatieQ said...

Congratulations on your ribbon. It was fun following your progress as you made this quilt. Seeing it displayed with a winning ribbon is the icing on the cake.
Thanks for sharing the quilt exhibit photos. It's always fun seeing what other quilters are producing.

Elizabeth said...

A HUGE Congratulations on winning a ribbon at the State Fair!!! It's such a rush going to see the quilts and finding one on your quilt. Last year when Jacob's Jungle won at the county and the state I was just elated! Enjoy your "swelled" head. You've earned it!

I, too, love taking pix of other favorite quilts and ribbon takers. It's fun to see what others have done. And I also agree that it's also puzzling sometimes how the judges select the winning quilts. Monday I'll be taking four of my quilts, along with entries for several other women to our Kansas State Fair (about a 3 hour trek for me). I'll know next week how I/we do.

I've seen your new applique pattern several times and don't think I'm up to that level of a project, but am looking forward to watching your progress however long it takes!

Congrats again!

Jeanie said...

Congratulations! It must have been pretty thrilling to see it actually hanging there with all of those other great quilts! And to Smitty.... maybe a catnip fix?

WoolenSails said...

There are a lot of beautiful quilts, didn't expect that at a fair and of course yours looks beautiful hanging up on the wall. I got a feather toy for ours, they love it.


Patrica said...

Thanks for the fair tour I missed our fair this yea and so enjoyed yours all the more. So glad your quilt was down low enough to get a good picture. The new projects is a lot out of my depth but you should have no trouble after all you're a prize winning quilter now!

Kirsty said...

Yay!!!! Congrats again. You deserve it! Must say, I am a bit jealous seeing such a huge array of quilts on display but thank you for taking great pictures and enabling the rest of us to be there in spirit if not in person. It seems like forever since I saw such a good showing. I sometimes think about what I would do if I won the lotto (probably should buy a ticket one day, though). Imagine winning so much money that you could take care of friends and family at home and give to a good cause, then spend the rest touring the world's quilt shows. Bliss!

Lynne said...

Congratulations on your win! It must feel more real now you've seen the ribbon! I always feel too full of quilts when I've been to a quilt show so I understand what you mean! That "Wind in the Whiskers" pattern is too cute!

Marls said...

Nice photo of you with your quilt-glad you dressed as Pat instructed!! What a great display of quilts-thanks for the photos.

Brown Family said...

The quilts are beautiful. Did you check out the canned goods for nest year? The cakes are interesting, but I agree, Are they eatable? I remember those spirit ribbons! they were a dime apiece! WE had pin on buttons , probably 2.3 to 3 inches across, to hand them from, My school colors were black and red, too! WE also had white ribbons! I think there are some in a scrap book somewhere. We were the Mavericks! That is a sweet gift your friend made!

Smitty has more sense than Kirby. He does not mind playing in the rain!

Hopefully my 'Wind' kit will come this week. I will be suffering with those tiny pieces, too! If I keep up with a block a month, I may do the same block you are doing.

Tami C said...

I saw the picture of you standing by your quilt at the State Fair on Pat's blog! I'm Very happy for you. It's a really fun quilt! Thanks for sharing the pictures of the other quilts. It's nice to go along with you the the fair. I've never been to one! There really were some lovely quilts there. I knew exactly what you were talking about with the spirit ribbons! We had those in out high school too. That was such a sweet thing that Marei made for you. I too have the first block for the Wind in the Whiskers BOM. I'm sort of nervous about starting it. It looks very difficult. Maybe I'll just sit it on the shelf and try something a little easier first.

Michele said...

Oh my all those quilts you shared are absolutely jaw dropping. I don't know how many of the makers do it either. The pine cone thing is very interesting too. I've never heard of that before. Enjoy your weekend. I hope you get lots of sewing time.

Dana Gaffney said...

Those quilts are beautiful, thanks for the pictures. I read a while ago that one of the reasons to enter a show is that you'll get a written critique from the judges, I hope you get it when you pick up the quilt. Were you tempted to just hang out by your quilt and listen to comments from people?

Diane Wild said...

Wonderful pictures of the Fair quilts. I weenied out of going to the fair with the heat index at 105. Maybe next year.

Marei said...

Love the picture of you with your quilt. Congrats again. Glad you like the ribbon "thingy". :)

Crickets Corner said...

Congratulations on winning a ribbon, how thrilling was that! I don't think I've ever seen so many beautiful quilts at a state fair. Thanks for sharing with us. The first quilt, Vintage Rouge, is on my bucket list. I am enthralled with it but don't know if I could live up to my own expectations of it.

Cricket is like Smitty when it comes to wet feet, she hates it but she loves the rain, go figure. I guess she just expects me to towel her and her feet off when she comes in.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I remember spirit ribbons well. Somewhere I have some from both jr high and high school. I don't think Smitty would help you properly, if you tried making lace. He'd have fun trying to take out all of your mistakes, though (and most of what you got correct, too).

knitnkwilt said...

I was there and I saw your quilt. Yippee! I've liked the photos, but of course it looked finer in person!

LethargicLass said...

it looks like it was a wonderful fair! And although I am Canadian and should plug Anne of Green Gables, I am going to tell you to read Charlotte's Web... it is one of the most wonderful books ever and can still make me cry :)

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for the trip through the quilts! My bones do really appreciate not having to walk myself around them. lol There are some wonderful quilts there at the fair.

Poor Smitty looks almost like Flat Stanley in that first picture! Just absolutely deflated by the weather indeed. I have been melting in the nasty heat & humidity here this week. I know that I could never live where this is the 'norm'. ugh.

Dar said...

Wonderful quilt show and congratulations on your winning quilt. I have never sent any of mine to our state fair, but may do that next year.
Loved the baby butt cake!!

Kate said...

Congrats again on the ribbon. Thanks for sharing some of the quilts, they were fun to look at.

Kate said...

Congrats again on the ribbon. Thanks for sharing some of the quilts, they were fun to look at.

Valerie Reynolds said...

One thing is for sure...quilt shows are awe inspiring! Congrats on your win!!