Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Behind the Scenes at the County Fair: Judging Day and Setup

Today was Judging Day for Textiles! That's the bit that the entrants may fear the most. What if the judges don't like it? What if it doesn't win a prize? What if... what if... what if...

I'm luck to have some really good judges, two that are highly experienced, and one currently in training who has a good understanding of what to look for. I thought she'd be my hardest to find -- my sewing judge. Back in the stone age when I went to school, they taught Home Economics and there were lots of sewing teachers around to judge fair entries. Now with politicians pushing for more and more standardized testing, and budget cut after budget cut, there's no room in the curriculum for anything that's not on the test, and sewing class is ancient history. Fortunately my sewing judge sought me out, as she was looking for experience for her training. . What a great crew, and I found scribes for all of them who wanted to learn more about judging.

My judge for knitting, crochet, embroidery, and spinning has an amazing knowledge of textiles:

and my quilt judge runs a quilting shop and judges a lot (that's her scribe, actually, spreading the quilts out).

And oh, yes, the bit that all the entrants are interested in: the ribbons! The fair buys ribbons and rosettes by the case. We award first, second, and third place ribbons, blue rosettes for the Best of Class, and purple rosettes for the Best of Show for Textiles. Actually, I ordered two of those, one for quilts and one for the rest of Textiles.

While the judges finished, my volunteers got to work readying the display cases, putting in plastic drapes for the cases with not-so-pretty interiors:

And soon we set to work! My helpers filled the cases, while I set to work on the quilt racks, trying to fold them just right to display them well while fitting them all in!

All around, set-up was going on. The veteran's group set up their display of historical military uniforms.

The commercial booths and nonprofit booths all moved in today, and were still setting up late in the evening.

And here it is! One set of cases and a quilt rack:

The information table between the quilt racks:

One pair of display cases:

Another pair of cases:

And the back side of one of the quilt racks:

It looks so much better this year with plenty of cases to spread our entries out into, and plenty of walking room around them, so they can all be clearly seen and enjoyed!

Tomorrow is opening day!

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