Even though I've sewn just about all my life, I just started quilting about 5 years ago. And now I'm really hooked! I really love the challenge of learning new techniques and trying to improve my skills. I feel like I've made a lot of progress when I look back at some of my earlier projects.
I joined a quilt quild three years ago and being involved with so many creative woman has really taught me a lot. It was pretty intimidating when I first joined the quild, but everyone has been so helpful. Each year we've had a different project and my piecing and quilting abilities have improved with each project. I gained a lot of confidence and my skills have improved. It's been an enjoyable experience to be able to make so many new friends and I've learned a lot from them.
This year when it came time for the Eastern Idaho State Fair, I was encouraged by some of my quilting friends to enter some of my projects. I was real nervous about doing that because I'd seen the quality of quilts and needlework at the Fair. But I decided I'd give it a try so I entered four of my favorite items. . . the ones I felt were a good representation of my handwork.
I've been wanting to learn to applique, so I made this pillow to learn the technique. The center flowers, stems and leaves are needle turned applique, then I pieced the outside blocks and hand quilted the whole thing. I felt pretty good about how it turned out, so I decided I'd enter this pillow along with a table runner, a wall hanging and a quilt.
When I got to the Fair, you can imagine my surprise when I found out my pillow had not only gotten a blue ribbon, but was judged best in class. I was so surprised and thrilled.
When I found out my pillow had not only gotten a blue ribbon, but was judged "Best in Class", I counldn't believe it! All the "Best in Class" needlecraft items were displayed together in a separate section. There was a variety of quilts, crocheted items, clothing, rugs . . . and among it all was my pillow!
And then as I walked around, I found my table runner. It was my foundation piecing project called "Praire Land Village", and it had also gotten a blue ribbon.
I had loved making this table runner. It was my first really big foundation piecing project and I loved the variety of houses and building. It was also one of the first things I did stippling on . . so the whole thing was a real learning experience. I guess the judges also liked it!
About a week before the deadline to have items entered in the Fair, I decided I'd enter the quilt I made out of tee shirts that Kristi had given me. I worked hard to get it quilted and bound so I could enter it in the Fair.
And look at that . . .it got a red ribbon! There were quite a few other "memory quilts", and each one was so different. It was another fun project and it probably won't be the last memory quilt that I make. . . no two will ever be alike.
And finally, my favorite "Country Roads" wall hanging got a pink ribbon (4th place). It probably has been my favorite project just because I loved all the country elements on the quilt . . . the horse and carriage, the covered bridge and pig pulling a cart. I was pleased to get a ribbon at all because the wall hanging division was really big this year. It was nice to place when you have some really good competition and there were so many to choose from.
So all in all, it was a good "first time" experience for me at the Fair. It's a good experience to have someone judge your work because you learn what you need to improve on. The display of beautiful quilts and needlework was so awesome. I was inspired with lots of ideas for projects I may try to do during the coming year. . . . and then who knows, I may do it again next year!