Friday, September 17, 2010

More Fair Pictures

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, the highlight of my year was entering quilts in the County Fair. I started quilting in 1983, and discovered the Fair when we moved to Tulare in 1985. I discovered the quilt guild in 1987, and the rest, they say, is history.

I loved to enter the Fair. The sense of anticipation that maybe, just maybe, I might get a ribbon? I have to admit that I've always been a sucker for competition. If you've ever been to the Fair, or to Best of the Valley, you know that the Valley quilters produce some AMAZING work.

But not everyone likes competition, and several years ago they added a new category for Professional Quilters. At that time, I did not consider myself a professional, but within a year or so I was.

Professionals are not allowed to compete at the Fair, in the way that Amateurs do. The work by Professionals is judged by the Danish system, each on its own merit. It is absolutely possible for 100 quilts entered by Professionals to receive 100 blue ribbons. Not so with the Amateur. The Amateur quilts are judged using the American system of judging, with each judged against the other, within a category.

The only competition for Professionals comes with the awarding of Best of Show. At that time, all the blue ribbon quilts are considered, and from them they pick the Best. I think I won once, as a Professional.

Why the disclaimer?

Well, I'm going to show you the quilts that I have hanging at the Fair, and I don't want you to think I'm showing them because of the ribbons. I'm not. As a professional, I EXPECT to get ribbons. After all, I've been quilting for 27 years (has it been that long?!!) and if a quilt is not up to snuff, I don't enter it.

One more thing: there are no premiums for Professionals, but there are for Amateurs. Not much, but some.

Anyway, enough about that.

Oh wait. You might notice that the quilts all say "Susie Kistler." Never in my life have I been a Susie. (I pronounce that "Sussie.") I've been called Suzie forever, but as a quilter? My name always has been and always will be Suzanne.

Now that I've got that straight...

"Fish Dance"
Suzanne Kistler 2010
Hand-appliqued, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted

on the left: "Tradition Visits Heidelberg Castle"
Suzanne Kistler 2009
Hand-appliqued, Hand-quilted

on the right: "Encompassing Tradition"
Suzanne Kistler 2007
Hand and Machine Pieced, Hand-quilted

This little corner is a lot of fun. The dog on the left is...I won't try to tell you what kind of dog it is because I'll get it wrong. He was made by Ann Hinman (I showed her Best of Show, Professional quilt "Heartland" a couple of days ago.) "Little Squirt," the dog on the right, was made by Debbie Van Fossen (I showed her Best of Show, Amateur quilt on the same day.) My two quilts are in the middle, with "Buzz - NotMyCat" and "Adam at Glencoe." Mine are both hand-appliqued and machine-quilted.

In contrast to my attitude towards entering quilts in the Fair, I always get a thrill of excitement when I submit something to a National show. Knowing what kind of work is out there, the thrill comes with having my work accepted.

Then again, sometimes - not often, but sometimes - there is an added spike once the show begins. Yesterday I got one of those spikes.

I went online, to see the results of PNQE, and found my name listed among the winners. Yay!!!

This was the last show for my 2008 Hoffman Challenge before retirement. It's been to a number of shows, but never been a contender. To say I was shocked to be on the list is an understatement.

"Window of Tradition"
Suzanne Kistler 2008
Hand-appliqued, Machine-pieced, Hand-quilted

And that's all folks. Do you think it was enough for the day?

oh wait! It's not all!!! hahaha!! You know how I said quilts at the Fair is not a competition for me? I just proved myself right. I had another quilt there, that I totally forgot about! I didn't look for it, I don't know where it's hanging, and I have no clue how it did.

I'm going back tomorrow, so I guess I'll look for it then...


Lisa Ellis said...

Thank you for sharing all your fabulous pieces. And well done on getting these blue ribbons. Highly deserved!

Nina-Marie said...

Wow!! Glad someone is getting some Blue Ribbons!! Way 2 Go!!!