Ag Fair Entries 2021

A year ago, I thought I would have a lot of entries for the 2021 fair because we missed 2020 and I had the whole of the year to sew. Nope. It seems, despite the incredible amount of sewing I did this past year, I sewed very little that was enterable and I also managed to forget much of what I made. Go figure.

On the up side, each piece I entered this year had a story…..

Chocolate Pocket – In early July, the village held their annual Chocolate Weekend. My challenge for the weekend was to come up with something Chocolatey to share. I selected chocolate color fabric to make into a pocket. This gave me the opportunity to talk about pockets with visitors. This was a big success as we had many great conversations. The pocket itself was pieced together freehand as young visitors helped select the order and positioning.
Straw Cone Hat – I was able to talk about women earning money through sewing straw for two events this year: the Civil War Era and Novel Weekends. This often thriving cottage industry gave women the opportunity to support themselves and even their families for much of the nineteenth century.
While neither era I demonstrated would have made a conical hat we now attribute to being a witch hat, the skills are much the same. About a year ago, I started wondering if I could pull off making a good cone hat or witch hat. The shape itself wasn’t the challenge, it was the size and the consistency. This summer, I jumped in and gave it a try. I am quite pleased with the cone shape. It is consistent, the hardest challenge, and has a little attitude with its curve. The brim is a little narrow as I ran out of straw. Go figure. I may give it a little decorative edge in the future. The inside is lined with green silk and a little cotton batting, hand quilted of course.
Corded Sunbonnet – I suspect by now many of my friends knows I carry extra sunbonnets for particular events. If you’ve walked into the millinery shop during CW weekend, there is a row of pegs with sunbonnets hanging next to the door. If there aren’t, that means they are all in borrowed use. I love seeing those pegs go from full to empty.
This particular white sheer sunbonnet replaces one my little sister borrowed nearly a decade ago. That bonnet was one made from a leno weave white sheer. We aren’t quite sure what happened, but that bonnet went from white to polychrome. (I wish it had been kept so we could dye it.) For years, many years, I had replacing that bonnet on my list. This past year finally allowed for the time to do that. Actually, it took my a year and a half to cord this. I know, kinda silly. I can sew straw endlessly for hours for days. Plain sewing… on fabric…. um…..

The next few entries are Pandemic stress projects. I found small projects requiring short amounts of attention and nearly instant satisfaction were what I needed during 2020 and 2021.

A Bowl of Balls. – Yup. This bowl is truly filled with stress reducing balls. Each one of these are pin balls from the nineteenth century. Each one can be made in a day or in several days if sewing for a short time each evening. The corded ball, (center and 3pm) is they first project I introduced during my lockdown YouTube show. This became such a favorite with people, I offered it as a kit in 2021. These two are made with silk threads left over. The ball at the top is one of my pillow pin balls, the project that became my “recover project” after surgery a few years ago. This project has small amounts of sewing that is gentle on hands that have been injured or are otherwise weak. One pillow at a time keeps you from doing too much. As it turns out, one pillow is all the energy I had most days after school in September. My goal had been to make two or three for the bowl. The last three are my newest pin ball made from paper pieced triangles. This one gives me 5th grade flashbacks.
Elephant Pen-Wiper – I have developed a fascination with pen-wipers. I love how a utilitarian item can become such a playful item. When I saw the pattern for this elephant come up in my feed, I didn’t care that I had no idea what it said, I had to make it. After completing this elephant, which I think is way too adorable, I learned this is the design that started what became the Steif line of animals. Love that.
“Duffle” Style Travel Bag. – One July morning, I made a bag in a day. A conversation with a friend reminded me I had the materials of one of the duffle style bags. When I woke up in the morning, I decided to make a bag. This one is made from memory, having made one years ago with the Shooting Star directions, using a circle and a straight edge. I didn’t bother measuring a thing. It is entirely handsewn, first basted together, then back stitched. It is about 150% the size of my previous bag, which is closer to the “Plaid shawl cover” size from Godey’s 1871.

Published in: on October 2, 2021 at 3:01 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Congratulations! Love all your entries!

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