August 21, 2009

White ribbon at the county fair

Posted in Cross Stitching tagged , , , , at 1:18 pm by Lauren

Cate and I went to the Arlington County Fair last night, and I’ve given the whole story away in the title of this post already! Cate kindly indulged me by going to see the needlearts competitive exhibits first so that I could see my cross stitch piece.

The needlearts competitive exhibits have grown so much in relation to past years, that where they once needed just one or two tables, they now take up two thirds of the width of the gym. For this reason, I didn’t see my stitching right away, and my paranoia set in – mainly that someone had stolen my cross stitch. But it came into view soon, and I saw the white ribbon on it, and I had to get a little closer to see that a white ribbon is third place. There it is!

CIMG0772 - Copy

I would be lying if I didn’t admit a little disappointment, as I had dreams of the blue ribbons and then the champion and reserve champion ribbons that blue ribbon winners can win and further the grand champion ribbons those winners can move on to…but a ribbon is better than no ribbon, even if it is third place out of three! (This is actually just the kind of experience I need to have more in order to tamp down my competitive side a bit.) The judges wrote some positive comments on my tag: “Nice stitching, especially the basket [which was eyelet and satin stitched to look like a basket]. Was the antiqued look intentional?” (And yes, it was. That comment made me wonder if perhaps they weren’t familiar with overdyed linen or variegated flosses; none of the other entries had either.) The feedback actually made me more excited than the ribbon because I hadn’t realized that we would get any!

We spent a long time looking at the other stitched pieces on the table (including the other needlearts: knitting, quilting, etc). Unfortunately, we never found the blue ribbon winner in the class I was entered in (cross stitch, framed picture). The two in the picture with mine were entered in different classes. We did see the second place (red ribbon) winner, and it was a different style of cross stitch and framing than I do, which also in a way made me feel good about my white ribbon. It was a winter scene, the fabric almost entirely filled with stitching, framed with a mat under glass.

There was less competition in the other classes of cross stitch – less than three entrants, I mean! – I actually don’t remember any other red or white ribbons (which probably also means I should enter a wider variety of pieces next year). Cate and I actually met one of the other entrants and chatted with her for a bit; she had entered items in about five different classes, and she had many blue ribbons and a purple (champion or reserve champion, indicating the best of the cross stitch category) to show for it. Again, I was somewhat soothed by the fact that her pieces weren’t the style (like the red ribbon winner in my class) that I would choose to stitch. Chaqu’un a son gout. The exception to this is actually in my picture above: I love the dandelion piece, and I actually recognize the designer to be The Drawn Thread, whose pieces I have stitched before. The verse reads: “With locks of gold today, Tomorrow silver gray, Then blossom bald behold, Man, thy fortune told (the dandelion)”

After our long foray into the needle arts, we inspected some of the other divisions, wandered around the exhibit hall, and finally ended the night with purchases of local honey and a couple of snowcones.



  1. grandma said,

    congrats–once again, i am proud of you! keep on truckin’!

  2. Alan said,

    So wait, did you design the artwork on your own, or was this a kit that you did?

    Nice work!

    • Lauren said,


      It’s a pattern by Blackbird Designs. I did adapt the colors though.

  3. […] Pains of Love is a pattern I’d never have purchased from just looking at the chart, but when I saw the colors in a stitched model, I was hooked. When I set this one aside, it was for Caroline’s stocking and to finish the piece that I entered in the Arlington Country Fair. […]

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