Sunday, September 30, 2012

Autumn's Abundance

I  spent this afternoon walking around one of our many lakes here in Minnesota.  We are suppose to have 10,000 lakes in this great state and I know for sure I have walked around three or four (larger ones) in my lifetime so I have a way to go on that list. Not that I am actually counting....

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day, one to write home about.  Well, almost.  That why I am writing this. It was just picture perfect. Perfectly blue sky, 79 degrees, sunny, slight breeze and the trees are about 60-70% at their peak of fall colors. Which means we have about one more week to enjoy the beautiful transformation from green to "autumn".

A number of years ago I made a quilt called the "Blooming Nine Patch" from this book out of batiks.  I wanted it to have the feel of walking through the woods when the trees were at the peak of their fall colors. I was reminded of this quilt while I was out today so I pulled this picture out to show you.

Some of you may remember seeing this a number of years ago when I had a blog once before.  But it is one of my favorite quilts so I thought I would post it again!

I am linking up with Judy's Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times so be sure to take time to check out what others are working on this week.

Have a great week - thanks for reading....

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Great Minnesota Get-Together, Part 2

As you read in my last post we were at the MN State Fair yesterday.  So, in this post I thought I would talk about what I saw in the Creative Arts Building.  Of course this building is one of the places that I must visit when we go to the fair.  I believe my desire to quilt goes back to when I was a little girl and my Mom and I would go to the Indiana State Fair.  I remember seeing the quilts exhibited and being in awe of the workmanship and thinking, "Someday, I want to make one of those."  My mother was not a quilter so she didn't encourage me in that direction....but I went every year to see the quilts.  For me, that was what the fair was all about.  Quilts.

Anyway, there are always many beautiful things (other than just quilts) exhibited in this building.  As I was walking through I heard one teenager say to her mom, "There is no way this stuff is handmade - it's too perfect!" I agree....there are many things that you look at and think..."Wow, the hours and hours that must have gone into's just so perfect."

I really liked these Barbie wedding gowns - I remember those dolls too. :)

Here someone got creative with golf balls.  Notice the quilt behind and underneath.

We don't just have food on a stick - we also have quilts on a stick.  :)

 Again, because my interest is in quilts, that is what I am focusing on here.  Now, I am going to step up on my soap box at this point and say something that bothered me as I walked through the building.  I read that in 2011 over 2000 participants exhibited over 6800 items (over 2800 food/baking and special contest items).  That is a tremendous amount of items to display in an aesthetically pleasing manner and I felt that overall the items in the building were exhibited as such.  Many displays were done by theme such as bugs, up north, Christmas, spring, religious, halloween, animals, children, etc. 

As I show the pictures that I took I in no way want to discount the hard work that went into any of the quilts that I point out. I simply want to point out what bothered me about the displays.  I have never entered anything in the state fair but my thoughts are that most people who do are wanting to win a ribbon and hoping for their quilt to be visible to the public because they won something. And, they certainly don't think that their quilt will be damaged in the process of being displayed.  Quilts were used as props, backdrops, etc. and they were stapled, pinned, stretched, draped in any fashion to meet the need for the exhibit.  Often in the exhibits the ones that were winners were the least visible.

The above quilt is hand quilted/hand appliqued and looked to be about 36- 46" but I am not sure because I can't see all of it from top to bottom or side to side because of all the things pinned to it.  What a shame - it got two blue ribbons!

This was a fun and cheerful exhibit.  I really liked all the things shown here.  The quilt hanging in the back is a great quilt made from what looks like mostly Kaffe fabrics and just shouts FUN! Little children's clothing is hanging in there along with lady bug quilts at the bottom and a tiny one up in the right corner.  See the Lone Start quilt draped to the right of the picture?  Here it is close up...

Of the two large quilts in the exhibit this is the one that won a ribbon.  It is hand quilted and had applique in the corners (from what we can see) - but it is not the quilt that was given the most exposure in this exhibit. I think it also shouts FUN! Which one would you have rather seen?

I took this picture to illustrate that they are not at a lack of space to hang winning quilts.  None of these three were ribbon winners in any categories. They were all well made quilts - but why not put winning quilts here?

This picture shows the back wall of the building where they usually hang/display the outstanding works. Of the five quilts on the back wall only the second from the right was a ribbon winner the other winning quilts were on the far left wall and down in the far right corner, again, not fully displayed - when they had the room to completely display it!  The one in the middle I am sure got such prominence because of it being hard to interpret if not fully shown. It is made up of what looked to be finished half inch squares....It really was very unique.

If I am wrong about anything I have posted here - please let me know.  I don't want to offend anyone.  Thanks.

OK, enough of my gripe session.    I want to leave you with something positive.  These two life size ladies tickled my fancy.  They reminded me of my great aunts that used to come and visit at my Grandpa's house and sit in front of the fireplace and gab....

Funny thing is now I am a great aunt and I wonder if I look that old to my little great nieces.  :)

Thanks for reading...have a wonderful holiday!

Added later:  I have had several wonder when the items are judged.  Before or after they are displayed? I don't know the answer to that question, do you?  If you know would you comment please?  Thanks.

The Great Minnesota Get-Together, Part 1

Yesterday, Ukester and I went to the Minnesota State Fair, the second largest in the United States.  Our fair is actually the largest in average daily attendance but we come in second to Texas because their fair runs twice as long...everything is bigger in Texas.  But, we don't like to drag things "awn, and awn, and awwwnnn".  However, in the horse barn, where the cow girls hang out there was a T-shirt that said you can fix things with a little tequila and a whole lot of hair spray.  :)

We have been going to the fair for many years and this year chose to ride a shuttle bus from a transit station which makes getting back and forth so much easier. We arrived early in the morning before the crowds began and so we were able to get breakfast (a fantastic turkey sandwich) and then we climbed the  DNR fire tower.

Here we are facing the Grand Stand building and as you can see the crowds of people haven't started.  Below is a picture later in the day.....that's Ukester at the far right.  He picked up a free wooden back scratcher from somewhere, remember those?

Some fun things just never go out of style.  The Giant Slide has been a permanent ride at the fair for many years.  Ukester says he has memories of flying down this as a little kid.

Even Santa was there...I was too shy to have my picture taken with him.

I think this was the first year that we did not do some of the things we normally do like tour all the barns, buy Sweet Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookies (you can buy them by the bucket and they are delicious!), watch a show or two, etc. But it was a fun, hot day.

My next post is about what was in the Creative Arts building.