Fair Play

It was a day of many miles yesterday. I needed to pick up my quilts at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, but pick-up didn't start until 1:00 p.m. That gave me some time to fit in a little quilting before I left. 

The Vintage Tin quilt is about 2/3 quilted now, but it's highly doubtful that any more will get done until we're back from our trip to Moab on the 20th. For yesterday's session, I was able to finish three of the six smaller embroidered blocks. For the speed limit sign, I did a large pebble motif within the bounds of the sign, and then a sort of loopy scrolling thingy around the outside embroidered borders.

For the motorcycles, it was hard to know what to do, and so I just outlined them and the word "Motorcycles" and added some spoked circles in the middle. There's one on each side, but the bright lighting makes it hard to see the one on the right.

After that, I moved on to the license plates. I stippled inside the borders of the license plates, around the letters and numbers, and then outlined the embroidered boundaries of each.

At that point, I had just a little time left. I told myself that I should stop because I was sure to mess up if I went ahead. Then I'd have to take it out, because goodness knows, one cannot walk away when there's frog sewing to be done. (Ripit, Ripit.) I should have listened to myself because I had about half of this block stitched when I realized that my old tension headaches had resumed. Indeed, I had to sit and take out about 2/3 of what I'd done. Oy. All that's left of my quilting on this block is what you see in the image below.

And that's probably where it will sit until we get back from our trip.

Next up I needed to drive down to Salem and pick up my quilts. I was pretty happy with what the judges said about them, and I think I've learned some things. Here are the quilts I entered along with the judges' notes about them. First, A Gardener's Journal:

So the comment about keeping my "inner border lines straight" was consistent on all my quilts. Of course, it depends on who's doing the looking, and these same judges made notations about all the borders. No one has ever said that in previous entries, but apparently it's something I need to work on...although, I'm not sure what to do about it. Any ideas you all have would be greatly appreciated.

Next was the Psycatdelic quilt:

I love the comment about the rambunctious cat not being able to be contained by the sashing. This is a person who apparently doesn't know that cats will not be contained...quilts, or otherwise. And there's that comment about the "small purple border should appear straight".

Next was the Hello Moon quilt, which didn't win any ribbons. Nevertheless, their comments were very kind.

Interestingly, they didn't say a single word about the tension problems on the back. I was using a Bottom Line thread, and it gave me nothing but trouble. About 3/4 of the way through the quilting, I switched to a plain cotton thread, and my tension issues disappeared. And that's the second time I've entered a quilt in a show and had the comment that my "binding hand stitches should be closer together". Huh. I guess I'll need to pay more attention to that. How far apart are your stitches? Mine are probably a little less than half an inch. What is the ideal distance?

Finally, the Blooming Sunflower:

And there's that "inner border should appear straight" critique again. Okay. Got it. Now, what to do about it?

Okay, now speaking of fair play...Remember how I was ticketed for making an illegal left turn on the day of the fair? And remember this picture of the intersection? If you missed that whole story, you can read about it right here in the form of my letter to the court attempting to get my fine reduced. But if you're in a hurry, you can just look at the picture I took of the intersection that day.

Yesterday, I drove through the very same intersection and took a picture. Notice anything different?

So, apparently the suspicion many of you articulated, in agreement with my own thinking on this, is that the City of Salem set up the intersection to generate revenue from unsuspecting visitors to the fair. I have just one word to say about this: A$$holes. 

I'm going to keep quiet about it until I get a response to my letter from the court, but then I have every intention of contacting the Salem Statesman-Journal to see if they'd like to report on this. There have been stories in our local newspapers about red-light intersections with cameras that catch those who run red lights (indeed, a dangerous offense). Nevertheless, it's been shown that the timing of the yellow light at some of those intersections is shorter than intersections with no cameras. 

Okay, so appropriately incensed, I came home, dropped off my quilts, and then took off in the opposite direction to pick-up our CSA share. Pretty much all of this week's share is going to our petsitting neighbors, but I did pull out some of the red tomatoes to make one more batch of diced tomatoes.

Today is going to be packing, packing, packing. I still have a few food items to cook up, but most of the food is done. Then I'll be packing up my clothes, toiletries, electronic devices, camera equipment, magazines, needlework, and pretty much everything that isn't a cat. We're not doing any particular sight-seeing on this trip, but driving straight to Moab. This trip is definitely about the destination rather than the journey.

As much as we hate traveling the interstates, it is the quickest way to get from Point A to Point B and back again. The objective of this trip is to ride our ATV's in Canyonlands and around the general vicinity, and so that's where our focus will be.

My laptop is coming along, and so I will be blogging and posting pictures along the way. You can come along too, if you like! Next time you hear from me, we'll be on the road.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

That's neat that you got to see the judge's comments on your quilts. The only time I entered a quilt into the LA County Fair I didn't get anything back (except a very dirty quilt!). As to your inner borders, maybe starching the fabric before cutting & sewing them?
Wishing you safe travels & lots of fun on your trip!!

Sher S. said...

The comments are good to know. Love the quilts. About the ticket, I'd raise holy H_LL about that change where they took the sign down....what's up with that? It definitely needs to be brought to the attention of their paper.....heads should roll!!!

Quilter Kathy said...

Hey... I just lost my comment half way through...start again...
It was interesting to see the comments.
Maybe stitch in the ditch around the inside of the border before quilting free motion designs near it? Looks straight from here...

crazy quilter said...

Well there are some judges who love to include at least one negative comment on every quilt they judge. I think that is what she did here! I do not see crooked borders and if she did then that could be caused by the way they hung them for the contest. As far as the binding stitches, I have entered many a quilt in shows and usually they complain that I did not sew the miners shut on both sides of the quilt. Guess she wants your stitches 1/4 inch apart. Pfft, it is all subjective anyway. Congrats on all those ribbons! She must have liked them a lot! Lol

AnnMarie Cowley said...

Skip any border and that will solve the issue (kidding).
Congratulations on the ribbons.
Volunteering at the Fair, I learned that the judges were not looking at the back of the quilts and were interested in the fullness of the binding.

AnnMarie Cowley said...

Skip any border and that will solve the issue (kidding).
Congratulations on the ribbons.
Volunteering at the Fair, I learned that the judges were not looking at the back of the quilts and were interested in the fullness of the binding.

Betty said...

From where I'm sitting your borders look fine. I have heard that quilt judges are supposed to include at least one constructive criticism comment in their report.
I usually stitch in the ditch around the accent border to secure it before quilting the blocks. I also like to stitch in the ditch around my blocks. Not sure how much of a difference it makes, but something to consider. When hand stitching my binding, I take small stitches of less than 1/4 inch, probably closer to 1/8.
I look forward to seeing pictures of your trip. Y'all have safe travels and an awesome good time!

Kate said...

Darn, I was going to crack the same joke as AnnMarie - best way to fix the border is to not use one! ;) And I'd raise holy heck about the sign. I caused an accident involving two other cars (not my finest day, obviously) and my ticket was less than yours.

gayle said...

Safe trip and happy trails!

Beth said...

I'm wondering whether your borders are straight but appear wavy because of how they are hanging. Perhaps the answer is that the quilts should be weighted at the bottom. I think it's interesting that the comments consistently say that the borders should "appear" straight--not that they should "be" straight. Could be that they are straight, they're just not hanging straight. Just a thought.

The sign situation just keeps getting more infuriating, doesn't it? Even putting the best spin on it possible--that the city was trying to avoid accidents during a very busy and confusing time and had determined that limiting that intersection to right turns would do that--giving out tickets there, with such poor signage would not be in keeping with a public safety motivation. Well, if they thought this was going to slip by unnoticed, they were underestimating the public. (And quilters...everyone underestimates quilters.)

I'm looking forward to trip pictures. If you happen to zoom through Pocatello, I'd love to see a glimpse. :) I spent my junior year of high school there. Such kind, friendly people. I made friends who are still dear to me--imagine, high schoolers welcoming a new girl into their midst in the last two months of school, just sliding over and making room for me. Before we moved there I knew about the satisfaction of belonging, of having a closed circle. They taught me about the joy of being non-exclusive, which was unusual for high school girls. I guess I'm rambling again. I'd blame it on the late hour, but it's really just me being me.

Enjoy your trip! Thanks for taking us along.

Sue said...

I don't think they were trying to generate revenue- signs are put up like that in anticipation of the increased traffic that comes with an event like a fair- just trying to keep everyone safe!

Lou said...

What stinkers with the turn only sign!!!! Glad you got pictures so you know you weren't wrong even if they do!
Judging is very opinionated and they each have their things that they look for or are against!
One of mine had nothing wrong but the handwork quilt got beat by a Jenny Haskins machine embroidery quilt??? what???? No comparison... oh well.... the other was the Science Fair quilt and I did bias binding on all the top and bottom hexies and it was a bear... of course I knew I would get marked down on that but I got 2nd in quilting category:)
Am working on a hand pieced Hexie diamond quilt for the show next year... I just remind myself they are just opinions:)
Your inner borders looked fine to me... maybe they had a crick in their neck:) ha ha!!!

Safe travels!!!! I know the fur babies will miss you!!!!

I will def be riding along on your trip:) Have never been there so am excited:) I would meet you there but have way too much quilting to do:) And I am in Texas:)

Judy1522 said...

Enjoy your vacation! Unbelievable (well not really) that they would put up that sign only for the fair. I wonder how many Salem residents got tickets because they are not used to no left turn there. I would love to see the response from the police department if it hits the Statesman Journal.

I don't get the comments about your borders not being straight either. Maybe that was the syndrome where they have to put in one negative thing even if they have to make it up and this year they decided on the border comment.

Kate said...

Oh how frustrating, the sign's not there now. I'll bet if you follow through with an investigation they'll tell you it's for traffic control. Hope you are able to get your fine reduced.

I don't get the border comments either, but at least that was the only thing they didn't like about your quilts.

Brown Family said...

I have seen signs like the right turn only one show up on our streets when there is going to be a big event (Plano Balloon Festival, Fourth Of July Fireworks). They put them up for traffic control to keep traffic moving. They also have traffic police directing people. Does not make it right!
But, if you are not from our town and are not use to those things, they are easily missed. I understand why you should protest this to the fullest!