Which quilt do you plan to enter in the county fair where you live? What? Do you not have any plans to compete in anything? Participating in a local county fair as an exhibitor is a rewarding experience for all quilters, including those who dislike the feeling of pressure that comes with being competitive. There are a number of compelling arguments in favour of taking such action.
To begin, it helps to support your local fair. Have you ever been to a fair that had a surprisingly small number of exhibits? People eventually lose interest in taking part in the activity. When there are no participants in the craft show, there are no spectators. It’s not too hard to understand.
Second, there is a chance that you will win a cash prize…or at the very least, a ribbon. Some community fairs offer participants monetary compensation in exchange for the opportunity to display their quilts and other handmade goods. Inquire to find out whether or not your fair does.
In addition, if you quilt for a living, you absolutely must submit a project to the local county fair. You don’t need to be perfect or take first place to be successful. Simply maintaining your status as a quilter in the eyes of the general public is sufficient to qualify as free advertising. Oh, and if the participants in your fair are compensated for their time, you can even earn money while you are demonstrating your abilities.
Your quilt entry may encourage someone else. If a neighbour comes by and sees your display, she may decide to talk to you about getting started with quilting herself. Perhaps both of you will enter something in the county fair the following year. If your community’s annual fair isn’t for a few more weeks, you could try to talk a child into making a quilt for the competition. They are free to submit it as part of the children’s craft category!
Entering a project in the county fair also gives you a chance to have your work critiqued by professionals. They will look at stitch length and count, overall appeal, and other considerations. Getting this kind of feedback occasionally can make us better quilters.
These days, quilting can be such a private hobby. We quilt in the privacy of our own home after dinner. We carry a tote bag with us to the dentist office so we can work on a quilt as you go project. Gone are the days when groups of women gathered frequently to quilt together. In a way, participating in the county fair gives you a socialization opportunity. While visiting the displays, you can meet fellow quilters, share tips and techniques, and maybe even forge new friendships. Learn about quilting guild opportunities in your area, quilting and sewing classes, and reconnect with your community.
If you are interested in entering a quilt in the county fair, check with your local fair association to find out rules and regulations. Most of them have handbooks that specifically outline their rules and regulations. Some require that entries be made within the last year. They may require specific entry times. Be sure to read the fine print.
When you read the regulation booklet, you may be surprised to see just how many quilted items could be displayed. Some split the crafts into a number of categories — quilts, quilted wall hangings, quilted pillows, quilted toys, quilted clothing, quilted table runner, quilted place mats, quilted handbags, etc. You really have a lot of options if you want to make a quilt to enter in your county fair! Most fairs will allow you to enter multiple categories, sometimes even multiple entries in the same category. Again, check the entry particulars to know what your fair allows.
In addition to all the above reasons, entering a quilt in the county fair is one way to support good, old fashioned fun. You have fun quilting, while visitors have fun as they enjoy looking at all the quilting entries. Who knows? You may just walk away with a hand full of blue ribbons!
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