Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thoughts Turning to Quilt Guild

Ladies, have you missed me?  I've missed you and can't wait for our new year of quilt guild to start.  I always think I'll sew in the summer but instead I pick weeds, visit with friends, have relatives stay, travel, and garden, garden, garden,
I have had time to find four new books for the guild library.  Hopefully you will sign them out.  My thoughts are to use most of the library budget this year to find a more user-friendly way of storing the books so that you can access them more easily.  I also want to track which books are being borrowed most to try figure out if we need more books on specific topics.
Here are the four I bought:
 The next one looks great for those of you who have embroidery machines and for those of you who love creating art quilts.
 The following is a goldmine of stitches and designs for crazy quilts.
 The last book definitely gives new ideas for those beautiful, bold prints that you are afraid to cut into.

Minnesota State Fair: August 23rd, 2012

 Bob and I only got to one State Fair this year, but what a wonderful one it is.  We spent a day at the Minnesota State Fair and while Bob was checking out the midway, I was checking out the quilts.

The display of the quilts was interesting.  Many were behind glass as the first one shown here is.  Others were on this story board type of thing which is shown below.  You turned the quilts like you would pages.
 Now that would have been fine if you were the only one looking, but lots of people were trying to look at once.
 Consequently, most views of the quilts were like the one shown below.
 The quilt below was the grand prize winner for hand quilting.  Everything about it was truly magnificent.  I didn't get a good photo of the one which won for machine stitching as it was all white and beige so didn't show up.  It, too, was amazing.

 Let me show you some more of the quilts:

 Another thing a bit strange about the displays was that in many cases the quilts, even if they were winners, were used as backdrops for other fair entries.  How would you like to make a prize-winning quilt, and then have a dress pinned to it?
 Or a dress and a teddy bear pinned to it and a needlework picture hung over it?

 The next three are miniatures.  Someone made a green cat!

 I loved this piece and the quilting of it ... so well done.

 I hate snakes, but this next one was one of my favorites at the fair.  These snakes look both quizzical and cute.
 This quilt didn't win and prize.  It was absolutely massive; I'm sure it would fit a California king-size bed.  It's from a Thomas Kincaid picture and lots of the squares in it are 1/2"!!!
 Here's a detail of the bottom left area:

 I love nativities and this one was lovely.
 The quilting was so suitable; you can see that in this detail of the lamb.
 However, Jesus looks a little too old to be newborn, doesn't her?
 I assume this quilter made her own pattern to do this ferris wheel.
 This next one was very imaginative and heavily embellished as you can see by the next two photos.  Is the theme taken from a fairy tale?
 The animals are playing instruments.

 The challenge competition for the fair was very creative.  You know how fair foods are on a stick?  ...corndogs, candy cotton, etc.  Well, the challenge was "Quilt on a Stick" with the theme being "Minnesota Legends."
 There were lots of good entries.
 My favorite was Paul and Babe.
 Here's the winner!  Maybe the guild should come up with a prize and steal this idea for the Weyburn fair.  Entries could be open to us and anyone else.  It would help out the fair's home craft area and be lots of fun.
 Now moving away from quilts ... I have to show you this art entry.  It's, of course, a chef's jacket, but it's art, not a wearable piece.  Do you love the buttons?
 Look closely.  They're actually the letter wheels from those early electronic typewriters!
 This next photo has a beautiful quilt in it, but that's not what I'm showing you.  Someone handcrafted the wooden kayak in front of it.  What a work of art!  Definitely my favorite entry at the fair.
 Those who followed my blog of state fairs last year, might remember the weird foods we spotted.  Here are two from this fair.

 And you might remember that a few of the fairs had life-size butter sculptures of cows.  Well, this one has an artist creating busts of the queen and princesses of the fair.  The day we were there, the artist was doing one of the queen.  They are in a heavily air-conditioned, revolving area and people can gather around and watch the process.  In some cases the process takes eight hours.
 We weren't the only ones at the fair that day ... over 107,000 were there that day!  Yup, at times it was almost human gridlock.