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?
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!