Fremont County held its fair last week, and as usual, the temperatures soared into the high 90's and pushed 100. When I was growing up and in 4-H, I entered items in the fair every year, but as I aged, that desire faded and, sadly, so has the fair.
My knitting group urged all the members to enter items made with natural fibers to draw interest to the local wool industry. I didn't have much to enter because I give my knitting away, but I did have a pair of basic socks that I had kept and hadn't worn. I also quickly knit a baby hat from some reclaimed wool.
I added the required hanging sleeve to the back of the quilts I recently finished. Thus, I entered four items in the fair: Duluth Stars, Scrappy Spools, a wool baby hat, and a pair of wool socks.
I was bitterly disappointed in how all the quilts were hung this year. Normally, the quilts are suspended and showcased in the middle of the large armory building, so the fronts and backs are visible. This year, the entries were hung along the sides of the building. Fair officials were concerned that the number of entries were down, so they hustled and found some quilts to hang for "Display Only." These "Display Only" quilts and wall-hangings were the ones showcased in the center of the building.
You can see how high the entry quilts were hung, too high to appreciate the quilting and impossible to see the backs or even the names of who made them. My quilt is the first quilt on the left, above the black-framed wall hangings. Note that some odd reason, the name tags of the quilts on this wall are covered by the folded-back corners of the quilts. Of course, at the height the quilts were suspended, it would have taken binoculars to see the tags if they hadn't been covered.
My other quilt was displayed in the same manner. Even the table runners that are hung below these quilts are too high to appreciate the work that went into them. I voiced my disappointment to the Quilt Superintendent and to the Assistant Fair Manager, but I think my complaints fell on deaf ears. I hope that others complained, so the quilt entries next year will once more be showcased in the center of the building. I doubt that I will enter any quilts next year, but who knows, I may get another one finished.
It wasn't until I got my items home that I discovered a blue ribbon pinned to the Duluth Stars quilt. The ribbon was on the name tag, and thus, under the folded-back flap on the quilt top. It was a winner, and I didn't even know it.
I earned $29 in award premiums, two fat quarters, and a $5 gift certificate for fabric at the local Ben Franklin Crafts store for my meager entries.