Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Fairs and Quilt Parades

One of my favorite things about this season is the local fall fairs. I love this community tradition and want to see it continue, so I usually try to enter two or three of my favorite fairs every year. I am also a certified judge and this year I was a judge at two fairs. 
This experience leads me each year to reflect on the judging process. It's always a difficult task and every year I seem to have at least one conversation with someone who is quite hurt and/or angry about the results of the judging. I try to tell them that the award decisions are a combination of 1) the category in which the item is entered, 2) the competition within that category, and 3) the experience and preference of the judge. Some judges use a numerical equation to calculate the awards, and some judges have a more visual and intuitive approach. It doesn't really matter at the Fall Fair level where the prize money doesn't even usually cover your entry fee and gas money to get there and back! You're definitely not going to get rich entering fall fairs!


For example my favorite hand quilted baby quilt was a 1st prize winner in one fair and yet didn't win anything in another. 
Same experience with my version of Orca Bay, which I call "3 Sisters Grace". 
It won first prize in the category and a special award for machine quilting at one fair, and nothing at another.
I'm happy if I win, and happy if I don't. 
Because I love a fall fair, and my quilts always enjoy an outing! 


In addition to entering my quilts, I like to enter the huge Paris Fall Fair Photography competition. It is an amazing display of photographs and I am always delighted to win a ribbon there. This year I won a first prize for this photograph taken in Montreal.




And my favorite win this year is a 3rd prize ribbon for this black and white portrait taken of my brother in Port Elgin.


What could be better than a fair?
A parade!
Pam Buda is having a Quilt Parade over on her blog. She is sharing the versions of the Market Day mystery quilt that her blog readers have made. It's always fun to see the same quilt made with different fabrics and layout changes. I added another border to my quilt. This is my mini version of her quilt and it won a ribbon at the Fergus Fall Fair! Thanks again Pam for such a fun mystery quilt!

18 comments:

  1. love the quilts you showed, and your right it really is up to the judge and their likes.
    some choose to further their quilt style preference, some really do choose on a merit point system which I prefer…
    Kathie

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  2. I only enter our local fair in town. I have won ribbons for crafts and some for pickles but do better at crafts. Congrats on all your ribbons!

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  3. I went to a Quilt Show last week and I would have never picked the overall winner the same as the judge did. I think it is all in the eye of the judge. But, there were too many quilts that were fantastic for me to make a decision. because down every aisle, my comment was "OH! That is the most beautiful! congratulation on your wins.

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  4. Yes, congratulations, Kathy, they are both really beautiful quilts. Nice photos too!

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  5. We don't get any premiums for our Ribbons. Only the Youth get $$ for ribbons. I love your version of Market Day. It's not easy being Judge...

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  6. You are so right about the judging. I help in the Home Arts of our local fair and sometimes I have to bite my tongue as the judges discuss the quilts. We aren't supposed to say anything to them, and that can be hard when you really don't agree with their assessments. : ) It is very subjective at this level.

    Love your photography--congrats on the ribbons! Great photo of your brother! Very poignant.

    Wasn't your Market Day in today's parade?

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  7. The last time I put quilts in a local fair I got this comment on a watercolor quilt. "shows sun damage, shouldn't have been accepted". Talk about out of the loop :)

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  8. I have never been brave enough to enter a quilt in a competition. I was there once while they were judging quilts at our local fair, I think that scared me off. Congratulations to you on your ribbons!

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  9. Congratulations. I always wonder how judges judge quilts. Some I have seen that they have given first place to I would never have. So interesting.

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  10. Definitely category you enter makes a huge difference in the competition you're up against! Glad your fondness for fairs keeps you entering and seeing some ribbons!

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  11. One of the fun things about the new town we've moved to is they have a fall fair. Next year I am SO GOING to enter something!!!

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  12. Thank you for your thoughts on Fairs. I am entering a quilt for the first time in November and to be honest it is a bit scary! What will others think of my work? will they criticise the design, the fabric choice, the skill or lack of it? I have only been quilting for a year but if I don't start entering now I never will.

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  13. congratulations on both the win and 3rd place, I have seen quilts getting prizes at a show and then none next time as you say it depends on the others entered and the judges

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  14. My take on this is that there were smarter judges at the fair where you won! :)

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  15. Congrats on the quilt and photo wins. I've only once entered a quilt and photos in our local fair. There wasn't much competition in the quilt category, but there was in the photography category. I was surprised to win first in a category where My Guy's much better photo to my mind didn't even place. I guess there's a lot to "it's in the eye of the beholder".

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  16. 1. One of your previous posts (Probably 3 years ago by now) prompted me to support my county fair by entering quilts.

    2. Just curious (& I assume the answer probably depends on the fair/show) but if only 1 quilt is entered in a category, does it automatically get a blue ribbon?

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