Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mesa County Fair

I hadn't entered anything in the fair for many years, but this year I had two small projects finished in time to enter. The elk scene piece is 21" x 15" including the 2" border of brown moire taffeta (my favorite CQing fabric!). The block was pieced out of fabrics I chose in the stash dash at the last CQ retreat I attended in 2010 in Estes Park, Colorado, along with a hand-painted (by me) patch with an elk on it. Each fall, Estes Park hosts the Elk Fest, taking advantage of the many elk that frequent the town and surrounding area. The vintage crocheted butterfly was purchased from a vendor at the retreat (sorry, I don't remember who). So this is a memory quilt for me, even though most of the work on it took place over the 3+ years following the retreat.
I won a blue ribbon on it, and my friend Lauri, who was observing the judging, told me that it was one of five quilts in the running for Best of Show as well, but was not chosen.

The chicken piece's central patch came to me in a donation box that one of the local guilds shared with our CQ group. It appears to have been drawn on fabric with crayon; perhaps an original drawing, or maybe taken from a coloring book image. Nobody else wanted it, and the more I looked at it, the more it said, "Take me home," so I did. This took quite a bit less time than the elk. I pieced, embellished, and finished this one in just a few months, and it ended up being 15.5" x 14". It also won a blue ribbon! While Paul and I were at the fair admiring all the entries, we overheard an elderly gentleman comment on the proverb I stitched on it: Don't count your chickens... before they're stitched. He seemed to get a big kick out of it.

Hearts and flowers shower hearts

We had two ladies who were recipients of H&F showers this month. The one on the left went to Judy D., and the one on the right went to Alice M.
Alice is a very special person. One might actually call her "Looney." Go ahead, everybody does. And she wears the title proudly. She has a special building in her back yard for her crafting room, which she has christened, "The Looney Bin." Whenever anyone in our CQ for Newbies group has a life challenge, she says she's going to rattle chicken bones, burn sage, and maybe even sacrifice some virgins (I think that depends on how difficult the challenge is...or is it on the availability of virgins?). So for her heart, I tried to incorporate all three. If you look closely, you'll see a chicken skeleton rattling his own bones along a flowered path on the horizontal seam. The upper left seam is alternating volcanoes and virgins. The vertical seam on the right is done in sage green. And the hand-dyed lace motif was added because my daughter Michaela said, "Just because you have virgin sacrifice on there doesn't mean it can't be pretty."
Alice's response was, "I guffawed all down my leg..." which is exactly the response I was going for. They say laughter is the best medicine!