Tag Archives: Tanana Valley State Fair

Tanana Valley State Fair, 2010

select image to enlarge, or check out my Flickr site

iPad case – made from an old daybook. I removed the insides and covered it with some fabric I’d previously used as curtains. The velcro strap keeps it closed, and there are two small pockets inside to keep the iPad from sliding out.

Trio of black quilts – each tiny quilt is made from silk samples purchased many years ago; I got a whole bag for $8.00. Little experiments in embroidery and beading.

Hearts to Sleep By – made from scraps left over from a big quilt. I wanted to play around with embellishing by machine.

Irish hat – I did all the embroidery while I traveled through Ireland in March 2008. All the buttons and embellishments were purchased on my trip, although the seed beads came from my stash at home.

Green flowered hat – I found this really fun flower fabric and couldn’t resist cutting out individual flowers. They are edged with a very tight buttonhole stitch, completely done by hand. I found both the ribbon that makes the flower stems and leaves, and the lining fabric, at Value Village. Serendipity!


Tanana Valley Fair, 2009

Well, I was surprised to round up seven things to enter in this year’s Tanana Valley State Fair, and even more surprised to get two class champions, three firsts, three seconds, and a third. I also won the Bob Hage award for the most unusual piece of needlework in the Needlework Division.

There are larger images on my Flickr site, if you’re interested…

Dinosaur’s Garden

Flowers were drawn freehand and colored with wax crayons, then embellished with simple embroidery. The grass is a silk hanky, separated into a single layer, covered with netting, and embroidered. The green felt at the bottom is stitched onto the quilt, covering the edges of the silk hanky. The tiny dinosaur at the bottom right corner is a commercial applique, as is the dragonfly. The butterfly-gosh, I can’t remember what it really was; a pin maybe? This was just a fun little experiment with crayons on fabric. Made in 2007. Class champion and first place in the art quilt division.

Blue Fish Reef

The block print in upper right corner was made in a print making class at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1992 or 1993. It’s my own design, and I’ve used several variations of it in different quilts. The kelp bed in the lower lefthand corner as well as the print fish, are embellished with ribbons that are folded, embroidered, and beaded, with some buttons attached. The small fish and the star fish are entirely hand embroidered. Made in 1998. Third place in the quilt division.

Photo box

I found this field box in a pile of junk at work, and kept it for a couple of years before figuring out what to do with it. I think it was originally used for taking field notes; data sheets were stored in the box and it was a good surface for taking notes and filling out data sheets. I liked the rough weathered finish, so I didn’t do any re-finishing of the wood but just washed the dust and cobwebs off. I used the peeling bark off birch trees in my yard to cover the sliding cover, gluing them down with a lot of diluted acrylic gel. There are two small clothes pins, painted a flesh color, to hold a mounted photo. Made in 2009. Second place in the reduce/reuse/recycle division.

Embroidered pillow

The pillow cover was constructed several years ago by machine. The folded fabric flowers are based on designs found in Fabled Flowers by Kumiko Sudo. The design and placement of the flowers and leaves is my own plan. The flowers are embellished with chain stitches and french knots; the leaves are embellished with feather stitches, and cotton and metallic threads. The stems are feather stitches in three shades of green cotton embroidery thread, or chain stitch and back stitch. Made in 2003. Class champion, first, and winner of the Bob Hage award in the needlework division.

Black lace hat

This hat was an experiment to see if I could make a full-brimmed hat that was stylish and comfortable to wear. It was a challenge to make the brim stiff enough so that it didn’t flop into my eyes! I used a discarded skirt, and a bolero vest I found at the transfer station. It’s based on a baseball cap, and I drew the brim pattern to fit the cap pattern I’ve used on many, many hats. The seams on the crown are covered in ribbon and embroidered with black feather stitches. The lace drooping off the edge of the brim was the hem of the skirt. I purposely left flowers off, as I couldn’t decide which ones to use! Any color that compliments the outfit worn with the hat will work. All the stitching was done by hand. 2009. First in the sewing division.

Needlelace hat

I’ve written about this hat earlier; it was entered in a competition in England two years ago, but didn’t garner any awards then. I made it in 2007. This year it placed second in the needlework division.

Bra bag

I found this black lace bra along my road while walking the dog; it must have escaped from someone’s laundry basket. And who’d want it back? But it was too pretty to just throw away. I added some Chinese style black on black fabric to the top, lined it with white cotton fabric, and embroidered small leaves and flowers on it. I also added a couple of silk flowers. The drawstring handle fits over my wrist, dangling alongside my leg. All the stitching was done by hand. Made in 2009. Second in the sewing division.

Tanana Valley State Fair 2008

Well the fair has started! and now it’s over. I’ll be picking my entries up this afternoon. Rain, rain, rain-it rained every day at the fair. Didn’t seem to keep people away though. I didn’t spend as much time at the fair as I usually do, because I was busier at work than usual-Skip’s going to Russia to do some field work, and I was helping him get ready, so I couldn’t leave early to go visit the fair. I must admit though, that the fair is boring. It’s the same old thing, year after year. I know exactly where a booth will be, how the fair is laid out, and what I will see before I ever get there. It hasn’t changed in the twenty years I’ve lived in Fairbanks. There is a certain comfort level in the sameness… but I pass over stuff that I might spend more time looking at, if it was unexpected.

refashioned sweatshirt

I have five entries. The sweatshirt is my sister’s; she sent me the materials and sweatshirt to refashion about a year ago. My sewing table is a huge mess, and that’s my excuse for not starting it sooner. She very kindly did not bug me about it. I’m really pleased with it; I would like to make one for myself now. It got a second, with a very nice review from the judge.

cell phone holder
The cell phone bag is a purchased felted bag that I embroidered with my own design, using silk ribbon. It placed second. More

Dragonfly quilt

Dragonfly quilt

And this little wall hanging is a small paper pieced crazy quilt square, set into a black background. It was a birthday gift for a friend last fall, and she was gracious enough to let me borrow it back and enter it in the fair. Happily this entry placed first and was also class champion.

The outside lid

Of course I put my sewing basket in the recycling section. I was really disappointed to only get a second with it, but apparently considerable weight is given to re-purposing an item, rather than just refurbishing something. The first place entry (which I searched long and hard to find) was an old gallon tea jar with a spout, turned into a planter; pretty much no work at all. Live and learn! More

Needle felted jeans
The jeans are my practice project from a felting class I took at A Weaver’s Yarn. Unfortunately I’ve gained a few pounds since making them and they’re not currently wearable. But they did place first in their class, so I have more incentive to lose five pounds. I really enjoyed doing the felting and dressing up the pants, and I’ll be felting on more garments and maybe even a wall hanging or ?? More

Tanana Valley State Fair

It’s Tanana Valley State Fair time! The theme for this year’s fair is “Diamonds are Fair Ever”, to celebrate 75 fairs. It’s not the 75th anniversary, as there were a couple of years during WWII that the Fair wasn’t held, and I believe there is also one year the Fair wasn’t held due to funding issues.

I helped with entries to the quilt division yesterday (Saturday, 7/29), which was… interesting! It was either very busy, or else dead quiet, but I still didn’t get to see all the entries. Organized chaos describes entry day perfectly!

Today I helped judge the needlework entries. What a thrill to go “behind the scenes” and learn about that process! If you want to learn what makes a good entry, judge at the fair! I will be much more meticulous about my fair entries in the future.

small crazyquilted bag Flat Pennie white ball cap Key to My Heart embroidered magnet

I managed to enter six different items in the fair, in five divisions.

  1. Needlework Division, naturally (in a different class than I judged, of course!), with a small crazy quilted bag
  2. The bag was made as a class sample, for a crazy quilting class I taught at A Weaver’s Yarn. It’s tiny, about 4” x 6”, I think, with a zipper at the top. I sometimes use it to hold a selection of embroidery threads to take along to meetings or other sit-still opportunities. The bag placed first in its class, and I was also awarded the Bob Hage Award, given for the most unusual combination of stitching and materials.

  3. Handcraft Division, with a small embroidered magnet
    I purchased three bags of magnet makings from the local thrift store, and just had to make some magnets, which I took to the craft fair a few weeks ago. I think I got a first in the class.
  4. Doll Division, with a flat angel
    Couldn’t resist making another angel! I hope she gets to travel with a Fair award! Placed third in her class, against some very stiff competition! Two much larger, much more complicated dolls won first and second.
  5. Sewing Division, with a matching ball cap and bag, that went into seperate lots, made from a prom dress rescued from the transfer station
    The prom dress bag was supposed to be my Whipup entry in the bag contest, but I finished it an hour and a half after the contest closed, and I wasn’t perfectly happy with it at that point anyway. To make the bag, I took the bodice of the prom dress, removed the zipper and boning, lopped off the point in the front, and then embellished the bag with poetry dog tags and ID bracelet alphabet beads, listing qualities that are the keys to my heart. I used Peltex as an interfacing, but it didn’t quite make it all the way to the handles. The idea originated when the ex made the off-hand remark, responding to something I said about needing a key, that he needed the key to my heart. So there it is, spelled out for him! If he’d ever take the time to read it… yeah, right!
    The cap matches the bag, although I opted not to put the poetry tags on it. Figured they’d be too noisy, so close to my ears. The bag makes a lovely jingly noise though! The flowers and butterflies on both bag and cap were transferred with graphite paper, colored with crayons, and lightly embellished with simple embroidery stitches. Placed first in the class with the cap; the bag didn’t win anything.
  6. Quilting Division, with a quilt I made for my ex-boyfriend (yes, he gets it back!)
    The quilt was made several years ago, and I do have a photo of the unfinished quilt, but I never got around to the finished quilt picture. I made it as a class sample, for my very first teaching experience with the Community Schools program in Fairbanks. It grew and grew, and depicts the strong interest my boyfriend at the time and I both have in the outdoors. There’s a picture of him and his son (on my first moose hunting trip with them) at the top, and a very tiny photograph of me near the bottom. Lots and lots of fabrics, beads, and buttons that carry out the outdoor theme embellish the quilt. No fair ribbon for this one; I still don’t have a picture of this yet.

I will get pictures after the fair is over! Done-almost!
My next project is another hat, for the Fair. Every year the Fair staff provides the base for a theme-related project. Last year’s theme was “Feast or Salmon”, and they provided a salmon to decorate. I’ll have to take a picture of my theme entry, a styrofoam box, covered in fabric, embroidery, beads, buttons, and poetry tags. The inside has… well, I’ll get that photo and put that in a seperate blog entry!

So, this year’s theme is “Diamonds are Fair-Ever” and you’re supposed to “Redesign Fair Royalty”. In other words, take the baseball cap given to you and turn it into a crown. Mine is going to follow the theme via a “queen bee”. I’ll post the entire story and photos as soon as I get the hat finished! Fair colors are red, purple, and silver, and I am planning on making one awesome bee hat! Return soon to see the finished product… Here it is! I almost won, according to the woman I spoke with, when I picked up the hat. Darn! well, there’s always next year!

Queen Bee hat Queen Bee hat Queen Bee hat