I'm SOOOO excited to share with you all that I won my first ribbon today; a First Place Blue ribbon for my "Happy Trails" quilt at our local county fair! :shock: :-D
I was also in considered for Reserve Grand Champion, too! Lost out on that one due to some of my machine quilting having uneven stitches where I experienced a little 'drag'. That's okay, as I'm just thrilled to pieces for the First Place Blue ribbon.
I received 5 Excellent ratings, 2 Very Good+ and 3 Very Good ratings on my Quilt Evaluation Form. The judge said this for my Best Feature of this quilt, "Outstanding workmanship on boots and overall design".
She praised many aspects of the boot itself, remarking in particular how difficult it is to get that piping in there just so. She loved the 3D pull tab on the boot top. This was my first real experience in applique, and as a result I did a lot of ripping and resewing.
Afterward, another quilter asked me where I got that boot pattern? I explained to her that my hubby designed that himself one day a few years back. He didn't much care for the generic boot on the picture of this quilt pattern that we never bought. He said, "You don't need a pattern for this, and besides, I'm gonna make my own boot block." Well, that he did. He plopped his own cowboy boot up on top of the dining room table, much to my consternation and starting drawing on a piece of paper.
Soon, he asked me for some cereal box cardboard as he was going to make some templates. A little while later, he presented me with six templates and said, "Here, can ya make me a boot out of these?" Well, I was certainly intrigued by his templates, but pretty much didn't have a clue where to start. I ended up using the Eleanor Burns applique method, then stitched each piece down. He wanted piping, just like his real boot, and the heel needed to be higher, too. I thought of using the black 1/4" fusible quick bias tape for the sole.
Next, we were off to the local fabric shop to find just the right fabrics for his boot. Hubby chose the suede looking Moda Solid for the lower part of the boot and the paisley print for the upper part. Pretty realistic, I agreed.
Hubby fussy cut the inner fabric of the wonky square in a square blocks from Robert Kaufman's "Happy Trails" fabric. I had purchased enough coordinating fabrics from this line to make this quilt as a Christmas present for hubby 4 years ago. So, I'm a little slow. :oops:
Hubby decided on the sashing fabric, the cornerstones as well the pieced backing fabrics, too. I must admit that this collaboration of two minds was not always smooth. Anything but, at times, throughout the making of this quilt. We both persevered, learning much about the others working styles after 25 years of marriage. In the end, I can say we've emerged more respectful of our differences, but even more importantly we've come to embrace the possibilities of collaboration.
I ended up using a shoe string around the label, coiled in lariat fashion on the corners.
This quilt was one of five chosen today by the judge as being one that I should consider entering both on the state and national level. WOW! :shock:
"Happy Trails" wins First Place
"Happy Trails" back side
"Happy Trails" label