Quilting Fun at the San Mateo County Fair

While attending the Peninsula Quilters Guild meeting back in January, I learned about the Quilt competition as part of the San Mateo County Fair.  Luckily I had several quilts available that met the entry criteria for the various categories and the entry fee was $3 per quilt was more than reasonable. 

When it came time to drop off my quilts, I learned that they were looking for a few more volunteers to help as scribes/handlers for the quilt judging process.  After completing a 2-day Quilt Judging seminar at PIQF, I was very interested in learning more about what is involved in judging quilts.  Julie and Gale, the two Creative Home Arts coordinators, did an expert job of organizing a well-organized quilt judging process.  There were a total of 8 quilt judges, each with a team of 4-5 volunteers of scribes, handlers and runners.  Each judge was assigned several quilt categories/classes, with the quilts already laid out flat and in order, ready for judging.  Each group of quilts was fanned to allow the judge to see the range of quilts.   

Several minutes were spent on evaluating the merits of each quilt.  Each quilt was rated on Design which included overall effect, pattern use/design, use of color and quilting design, along with Workmanship which factored in piecing, applique, quilting, binding, flat/square and backing/lining.  Being a handler allowed me to see each quilt up close while also hearing each of the judges comments.  I appreciated the consideration our judge gave to her comments for each and every quilt.  She was sure to highlight positive attributes of the design or worksmanship, especially any special details the artist may have included.  Constructive feedback was balanced, objectively stated and provided areas for the artist to grow/improve.

As a volunteer quilt handler, it was important that I remained quiet and maintain a poker face so as to not interfere with the judging process.  As the judge was looking over the quilt, I found myself comparing my own observations with her final ratings and comments made and was pleased that most of the time I noted the same details. 

I should note that none of my quilts were judged at my table (total coincidence), but on occasion I would see one of my creations being judged at an adjacent table...and I was able watch and listen from afar.  By the end of the day (almost 6 hours in total), the volunteers were dismissed allowing the judges and coordinators to determine the major award winners.  I saw one of my quilts sitting on the table of first prize winners...but would have to wait until I attended the fair to see what would become its fate!

Doug and I attended the fair, and met up with Sarah and her two kiddos, each of whom had quilts on display (several with ribbons/awards).  The quilt display was held in the large Expo, which was thankfully air conditioned as it was pretty toasty hot outside!  Upon entering the quilt display, I was immediately struck by how beautifully all 400+ quilts were displayed.  Kudos to everyone who entered their fabulous quilts and to the entire team of volunteers for mounting such a fabulous exhibit!! 

Just a few feet into the display, I immediately saw my Spinning Stars quilt displaying two large ribbons:  1st place for Large/XL Modern Quilt and a large purple Special Award for Best Modern Quilt...woo hoo!!
Spinning Stars Surprise Win!

Just a few yards down from Spinning Stars was my Sealed with a Kiss quilt with another purple Special Award for Judge's Choice.  Yahoo!!
Sealed with a Kiss

I was so happy to see several more of my quilts earn honors including:

Quilt Awards and Honors

Two more quilts on display (no awards/honors):  Peace of Mind and Pipe Dreams making for a total of 8 quilts entered.  I appreciated the judge's comments on each entry and their insights on ways I can improv my design and/or workmanship on future quilt entries.
Peace of Mind and Pipe Dreams

After checking out all the fabulous quilts on display (with quite a few made by fellow SCVQA members), Doug and I celebrated with some fried dough (aka funnel cake here in NorCal) and checked out the rest of the fair.  I was especially fascinated by a large display of Tapigami - creations made entirely out of masking tape!  If you've ever taken a workshop with me then you know just how much I love using Blue Painter's tape.  After seeing flowers, spirals, city skyscrapers and even the Millenium Falcon all made from folding and laying masking tape, I am even more appreciative of the versatility of blue painter's tape!!
Love of Tape

What a fun day at the fair!!  Many thanks to all the staff and volunteers who made this year's San Mateo County Fair such a success!