Friday, August 18, 2017
At the State Fair 2
Today was opening day at the Kentucky State Fair and I was in attendance, which I haven't done in several years. Yes, I would go out three days in advance to judge the textiles, but not show up for the actual festivities. This year reminded me of what I have been missing, and I loved my favorite pastimes of watching the border collies herd ducks, observing the animal judging and eating a pork chop sandwich.
I guess this is the natural culmination of the quilt police mentality that has always reigned at state fairs and similar venues -- not only will the QP judge you on the number of quilt stitches per inch and whether you sewed your mitered corners shut, but now they want to see inside! I think it's sadly appropriate that in this class you get to see more of the back than you do of the front. After all, who cares about design, composition, color or artistic vision as long as those seams are beautifully pressed in the right direction?
Here's the first place quilt, of which I would have liked to see a lot more of the front and a lot less of the back:
And a couple of more in the same category, all beautifully pressed.
And here's one that you can probably deduce wasn't going to get a ribbon:
If you want my opinion, the skill of the quilter in constructing a quilt top is pretty damn evident from looking at the finished quilt. When that one just above is quilted, for instance, you're going to detect lumps where the seam allowance flipped from one direction to another. You don't need a separate category in which people are going to be obsessing over trimming the fraying edges off the back of the quilt (the big difference I could see between the blue ribbon winner and the also-rans).
Because what good is it to trim the fraying edges out of the inside of your quilt? Other than winning a ribbon, that is? I'd much rather the state fair encouraged people to obsess over important things like how the quilt looks when it's made up and hanging on the wall or lying on the bed.