In 2003, I made a machine-appliquéd art quilt, inspired by my collection of blue ribbons from the county fair. I thought that the ribbons were very pretty, and I wanted to showcase them in a meaningful way rather than having them collect dust. I knew that historically, crazy quilts incorporated ribbons, so I knew that it was technically possible to do, and I wanted to continue that tradition. The center panel is a county fair scene. The entire border is comprised of real blue ribbons I won over my years in 4-H in the St. Lawrence County and Hammond County Fairs. The quilt took me about a year to make. I used satin-stitch machine-appliqué to create the pictures in my quilt, cutting away the excess fabric with appliqué scissors. Each of the squares around the center panel represents a different 4-H project that could be shown at the county fair. For example, the dragonfly square represents an entomology project, while the jar of jam represents a canning project. I knit a little pink sweater to represent knitting, made a little pieced quilt top to represent quilting, and embroidered two samplers to represent cross-stitch and Brazilian embroidery. I used mostly cotton fabric, although I did incorporate other fabrics to make the animals more realistic. I used faux fur and faux sheepskin to make the rabbit and sheep. My favorite border square is either the sheep or the Brazilian embroidery. I paid homage to traditional quiltmaking with the red and white squares in the corners of the quilt. The patterns are (clockwise from upper left): Robbing Peter to Pay Paul, Milky Way, Corn and Beans, and Rosebud. After the quilt top was pieced, I used embroidery to add tiny elements such as the pie on the table under the red and white striped tent in the center panel. I used high-quality wall-hanging batting and a plain blue backing to sandwich my quilt. I added more fine details with the machine-quilting, such as the chicken wire in the horse stable and the veins in the sunflower leaves.
I showed the quilt at the Borderline Quilters 2003 biennial quilt show, and took the Viewer's Choice award for wall-hangings out of 175 other quilts and wall-hangings. Appropriately, I entered the quilt in the St. Lawrence County and New York State Fairs. At the 2003 New York State Fair, my quilt won a purple rosette. Supposedly, the art judges asked the fair superintendent if there was any higher honor they could give it. One of the fairgoers suggested that the State Fair should use my quilt in its advertising because it conveys the essence of the fair better than the current advertising. I also entered the quilt in the Creative Spirit Art Center's first annual Quilts and Fiber Arts Show, where it also won the Viewer's Choice award. The quilt was my final masterpiece in 4-H as I left high school and my 4-H club for college.
THE COUNTY FAIR APPLIQUE QUILT
4-H CLOVER • BRAZILIAN EMBROIDERY • COOKING • BASKETRY • POULTRY • CATTLE • ENTOMOLOGY
FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS • GOATS • HORSES • PRESERVES • CROCHET • HORTICULTURE • LLAMAS • PIGS
PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS • QUILTING • CROSS-STITCH SAMPLER • SEWING • SHEEP • SPINNING • MAPLE SUGARING
FLOWER GARDENING • KNITTING • TIE-DYEING • VEGETABLE GARDENING • WEAVING • WOODWORKING • RABBIT
Last modified: Fri Sep 5 00:54:23 EDT 2003