Yesterday was the judging for the Wisconsin State Fair. :) Always a wonderful, relaxing, me day, and this year was no exception. The weather was beautiful, but not too hot, which was important because they don't run the A/C in the expo center on judging day (for some dumb reason!).
The only thing that was a little annoying was that they made an announcement at the start of the day saying there would be no lunch break this year - the judges would stagger their lunches in order to keep going and get done with all the categories as soon as possible. So I left at about 11:15 to go eat lunch at the McDonalds across the street from the fair grounds. I rushed the whole time because even though I was confident they were going to do all the categories I entered at the end of the day, I like seeing all the other stuff people enter in the Home Furnishings categories that are judged in the same area earlier in the day. I got back just as they were beginning the cross stitch "original design" categories. I'm so glad I rushed, cause I really wanted to see that category. Then at 12:30p, they broke for lunch just like they have every other year. So there was no need for me to leave and miss anything. That was really annoying - but I don't think I missed any of my favorites, so whatever.
Oh, and another rant - the woman who won the 35sq. in. or smaller category in "original design" did not really complete an original design! The design was Lanarte's Day Butterfly Fairy. She did it OVER ONE on MUSLIN! Very impressive and tiny - but not an original design. She could have easily won the blue ribbon in the 50 sq. in. or less from a pattern category - and that is where it should have been entered. I suspect she entered it where she did because the original design categories usually have far fewer entries - but as I said it was very good and she very likely would have won the pattern category. The judge explained that the state fair allows you to enter in the original design category if you change at least 3 design elements in the piece. Because she changed the size so dramatically and changed a color or two and added some blending filament, technially she was within the rules to enter it in that category. I just don't agree with that - but whatever. The local EGA chapter awards a best of show every year chosen from all the first place winners in the needlework categories and she would have been a contender for that - but I suspect several of the judging members were sour on her entering it in the original design category and picked something else without really considering her piece. Had it been entered in the pattern category, there wouldn't have been ruffled feathers about it and they might have given it more consideration.
So how did I do? The best I've done so far, and I'm so tickled! Emma's Garden took 3rd place in the 50sq. in. or less category. First place went to someone who did an exquisite job on Indigo Rose's "Catherine Agnes". There were a lot more specialty stitches and they were all done to perfection - so it was a clear winner for the category. 2nd place was a well executed bouquet of flowers that used a few metalic threads in the pot the flowers were sitting in. In my mind it wasn't anything special and I liked mine better and thought it was more difficult - but what do I know! I was very pleased to come in 3rd anyway! :)
Some of you will remember that I completed a box top using a portion of Just Nan's Common Ground awhile back. I entered this in the "counted cross stitch, anything other than a framed picture category" and took 2nd place. 1st went to the same woman who stitched "Catherine Agnes" and hers was also a boxtop, but I didn't catch the design - it was a sampler type, might have been another Indigo Rose.
AND Drumroll please!!!! Chatelaine's Sampler Mystery II took 1st place in the 150sq. in. or greater category. I have never won the large category before and only placed one other year (3rd), so I was just thrilled. 2nd place went to someone who did Lavender & Lace's Angel of Mercy without the child. I was too excited and happy to remember who won 3rd and 4th. :)
I was beat out of the EGA Best of Show by the winner of the Counted Canvas category. I don't know the name of her design but it was all creams and whites with lots of different stitching techniques and was quite beautiful.
I just love going to the judging each year. The judge tries to comment on as many pieces entered as time allows and she always has good constructive criticism as well as nice praise when warrented. I've learned a lot by going and it gives me a chance to meet others in the area that stitch and see what they are working on and what they like. Of course I get to do that on the internet with all of you too - but it is even more fun to do it in person - albeit for only one day a year. :)