Hoping This Will Post

This blog might just disappear overnight – my host/server will not contact me so I’m going to post as many short posts as I can – while I can.

The Fair – I’m just full of “good” news this morning. Reed’s quilt was awarded a blue quilt but it is NOT going to the State Fair!!!!! I simply could not/still cannot believe it. There were little paper entries that maybe took one hour to make and yes, they’re going to the State Fair. A photograph in a plastic sleeve is going to the State Fair yet Reed’s quilt that he worked on for over 6 months did not qualify! Can you hear the disappointment in my voice? I don’t know who the judge was nor do I know if she made any comments. I’m hoping to follow up on this but the good news is that the day the fair closed Reed, Myra and Nolan flew with their grandparents, Ed and Cheryl, to their condo in Florida. I got a picture of the three kids parasailing! I’ll bet they’re having such a good time – maybe the sting of not going to the State Fair has faded. It hasn’t faded for me but along with a horrible month of July, this was just one more disappointment.

52 thoughts on “Hoping This Will Post

  1. Barbara A Wegner

    I have grandkids in 4-H & they get blue ribbons etc…not all get a State fair trip…I was told of the system used to determine who goes to the State Fair. I can’t explain it but apparently there are factors that (make no sense to me) & that is why some winners do not get a trip to the State Fair. Reed can be proud of the blue ribbon! Most first entries do not get blue ribbons! Just be happy and start another quilt!
    closed 4 ads!

  2. Gayle Shumaker

    Your blog came through without any problem. There were 8 ads in it that I closed, that’s an all time high #.
    That is too bad for Reed. I hope that experience doesn’t spoil his interest in continuing to make quilts.
    It is sad that that man can even own a dog. Grrr……

  3. Paula Philpot

    Mary I think you should find out who the judge was from someone and contact him/her. I think as a former shop owner and his teacher you have a right to know . Keep us posted. Paula in KY

  4. KathyG from Oak Creek

    I’m so sorry for Reed. I hope he doesn’t feel discouraged enough to give up. It does seem there should be more to the story there. I hope you learn more about how the judging is done.

    Just a consideration regarding your blog. Could the issues have something to do with the ads? Other people I know who have blogs with ads also have lots of issues. I don’t have ads on my blog and I never have issues. It just made me wonder if that’s where the problems lie.

  5. Jan from TN

    So sorry for Reed but let’s not forget that he DID win a blue ribbon!! That’s fantastic! Something tells me you’re more upset than he is/was. True? He shouldn’t be discouraged as this is an important lesson tho an unfortunate one at best. He’s learned that real like doesn’t always make sense; that county fairs are not always fair; that having a quilt judged is not for the easily insulted, etc. I’m with the quilter above who doesn’t enter quilts in fairs due to the judges. I just don’t enter my quilts in quilt shows, fairs, or anywhere! I make my quilts for me, my family or charity comfort quilts. I do not care if they are “perfect” (in whose eyes, by the way?). My guild members always say to me but “don’t you want to know how you can improve?” No, I don’t! I know what I do right & what I could do better but their comments pointing it out to me aren’t really going to help anything or anyone, including me! ‘Nuf said! Off my soapbox. Sorry! I’m so glad to see you can post even without pics! i Also was able to close 5 ads today! Take care!

  6. Linda Baker

    Just read the dog story and the Reed story. Both make me sad. Had a ton of ads, so closed every last one of them.

  7. Sandi McGuire

    Mary I am so sorry for all the problems you are having. I want you to know that your blog is the first thing I look for when I turn on my computer and check email. I would certainly miss it if you have to close the blog. I’m feeling so sorry for Reed. Can’t understand since he got a blue ribbon why it wouldn’t be going to the State Fair.
    I’m sending prayers for a “blog recovery” as soon as possible.
    Try to have a good day!
    Sandi McGuire
    Santa Rosa, CA

  8. Betty Klosterman

    This is Blog 43 posted at 11:30 AM MDT. Mary thinks that it will disappear. Oh, for computer problems.
    Betty Klosterman.

  9. Betty Klosterman

    Reed just learned one of the big parts of life. It isn’t fair! BUT he is a perfectionist and is very careful to match every point and put the quilt together the very best he could. He knows he did a great job with the quilt. AND others who see it will know it, too. He is also very lucky to have you, Mary, for a friend and mentor to show him how it should be done, picking out colors and everything that goes into making a very nice quilt. Sometimes I wonder if people give awards and praise to the ones that need a boost or ones too which they have connections. ALL of these are for the wrong reasons. A friend and I judged an Eastern Star craft contest. First we decided that everybody needed encouragement and that some were much better than others. Our hope was they would all be filled with excitement to work at it and get better every time they tried. Everybody got a ribbon and comments. We also decided we’d never judge another show again!!
    It is going to be so much fun to watch Reed grow up and see what he will decide to do with his life. He is a perfectionist which may or may not help, but it will be a factor in his always doing his best. Good going Mary.

  10. Dianna

    Great to read your news again. Congratulations to Reed, he does beautiful work. He knows he worked hard, more ribbons and hopefully state fairs are in his future. My 11 year old granddaughter is coming to sew this week, we are both excited! Tomorrow we are making dinner for 16 of my quilting friends while they are at a retreat near us. Introducing her to the world of awesome fiber artists. Thanks for your inspiration.

  11. Mrs Goodneedle

    Ridiculous! I am w/ you, I would be furious. I have a county fair story that still burns me up a decade later, it’s why I don’t put my quilts in fairs and it has nothing to do with winning a ribbon but has everything to do with who judges the quilts!!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Mrs. Goodneedle – yes, I am furious because I am sooooo proud of his wonderful quilt! I think that’s the problem – the judge thought an 11 year old just couldn’t have made that quilt himself but he did and I sewed no part of it!

  12. Nikki M in Tx

    Congratulations to Reed for Blue Ribbon!!!

    Mary, in checking out judging of quilt & filing a complaint show them pictures of his sewing the quilt.

    At the Jack County Youth Fair a denim square quilt tied with yarn won over a Ohio Star quilt that was machine quilted…when I quizzed the County Extension agent I was told the (machine pieced) denim quilt was Hand Tied which was more work!!!!! Half square triangles..beautifully matched seams didn’t seem to count for anything! I later learned that the denim quilt belonged to the extensions agents daughter!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – ugh! I didn’t see that coming but I am very upset about this. If I don’t know what the judge found wrong with Reed’s quilt, how will I be able to help him make another one? The system is flawed at best!

  13. Kris in Naperville

    So sorry your July has been so sucky… praying that things are looking up for you…. I know it must have been a bad month because you are usually so upbeat and resilient…. love hearing about your life and all the goings on, for better or for worse…. be kind to yourself and know that we are all in your corner, rooting for you…

  14. Sue in Marion, IN

    I feel your pain about Reed’s quilt. My daughter was in 4H for ten years and mostly did well, but sometimes there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the judging. I entered the adult craft and hobby show one year and was so mad about the quilt judging that I never entered again. I entered a small quilt, and I did get a ribbon, but that wasn’t the issue. There was no “quilt” category (!) because the judges couldn’t agree what constitutes a quilt! Idiotic! So the category was “bedcovers”. It included everything from elaborately crafted quilts to two layers of fabric, tied. Stupidest thing I ever heard.

    I sincerely hope your posting troubles resolve as I love your blog and would truly miss it. I sympathize with your frustration…one issue with my computer and I’m completely flummoxed, not a clue what to do, and it’s maddening!

  15. Katie in Gilbert, AZ.

    Glad to get your Blog ,I look forward to your sharing…
    Sad about Reeds quilt, does the fair have entries for children ?
    I hope August will be a nice month for You…
    Thank u for all the do with pets, sad stories about dog owners…

  16. Kathy in western NY

    Reed knows he spent a lot of time learning to make the quilt and follow the wise words of you to be happy with the results. That’s the take away from this experience I guess. Having a 4-H background, I never grasped the judging process rational. Please do let us know the comments the judge should have shared. Does your state still award cash prizes for ribbons and for state fair?

  17. Sue in Oregon

    Reeds quilt is just so beautiful. Fair judging is often biased and so unfair. I’m glad you are going to investigate it.
    Also, I can’t believe they didn’t find something wrong at the Apple Store. A horrible mystery, that’s for sure.
    Maybe you should try that Geek Squad thing the others have talked about. I have had similar experiences with my computers with good results but have never tried the Geek one.

  18. Vickie Devore

    Sometimes things at local fairs happen–that should not. I love with the fact that this is God’s problem and stop dwelling/thinking abut that kind of stuff. Reed knows in his mind and heart how fantastic he did. I am always amazed at what Reed does!!

    Computers are helpful but a pain at times. I wish I could help you. Best wishes!!!!

  19. Jill in NE Iowa

    Hi Mary –
    I was a 4H Leader for many years and 4H mom and still a 4H mom. I learned many things over the years. Fair Projects are suppose to be judged if the 4H’er can explain what their ‘goal’ was. This also includes their write ups. We found it useful to take pictures during the process of making the project and include them in the write-ups. This helps shows that they did the work. I always told the kids in my group to make sure to make eye contact with their judges. And yes — the judge should have filled out an Exhibit Evaluation sheet. I would be interested in the comments written by the judge. Receiving a ‘blue’ ribbon is a great accomplishment. I do understand your frustrations when it comes to this as I have been there…
    Sorry to hear you did not get any answers at the apple store. And it at least eliminates your Ipad being the problem. An answer will turn up. I will pray that it does. Take care!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jill in NEW Iowa – we know how important that book is and Reed’s was filled with photos and explanations of every step. His goal was learning to make a log cabin quilt for his bed. Sounds pretty straight forward to me.

      1. Jill in NE Iowa

        Hi again. When all efforts are made, then I am very interested in the judges comments on the Exhibit Evaluation sheet. Also — I feel that some judges forget how this all works and they allow their own personal feelings take over. So — I can understand your frustrations.

  20. Patricia

    Got your post!
    So sorry for Reed, hope this does not cause him to stop quilting.

  21. Diane, Squeak's Mom

    5 ads to close:) Good to hear from you even if just briefly. Here is another Nana who has been disappointed by the fairs. Sometimes they are not! Reed made a beautiful, precise quilt which did deserve a blue ribbon and more. I, too, hope they are having a great time in Florida and that he does enter next year.

  22. Joyce from NY

    Your post came through just fine today. So sorry about Reed’s quilt. Life can be so unfair sometimes. Hopefully this won’t discourage him. I closed 6 ads today.

  23. Kathy Hanson

    Jerry and I were so sorry that we couldn’t come down and see Reed and You and his quilt at the fair. It was so beautiful and well done, I surely don’t understand why it wouldn’t go to the State Fair. I do know, however, that the judges are not objective when they are judging, always subjective, may not like the color combination and it could be that the judge doesn’t think that a boy, at Reed’s age, didn’t do it himself! Hopefully the judge did give some information about what he/she thought. So glad that Reed and his siblings had a good time with the grandparents right afterward that helped some. We have been thinking about him a lot. So glad that you are still sending your notes, the pictures were so nice but hearing from you is the best!!!

  24. Judy

    Blog about Reed’s quilt not going to state came through. Sure do share the disappointment!

    7 ads to close.

    Raining again in Texas-that is a BiG deal! We are grateFULL!
    Judy in Texas

  25. Penny C Maryland

    We are all still so very proud of Reed! He is a one of a kind and an all around winner to me!

  26. Peggy

    Sorry about Reed’s entry. When my girl was taking home-ec she came home with a project that I made her redo and the next day the teacher made her redo it again because she didn’t believe she had done it herself just because she new I did a lot of sewing. Hope you can get your blog going as I will really miss it. Thanks for all your time spent doing this.

  27. Carolyn Boutilier

    Sorry about Reed’s quilt. that has to be a disappointment for both of you. I have a friend that has judged at our fair for years as she is very knowable about crafts as she done all of them and appreciates the work that goes into making crafts. She is a very fair person. This year she was not asked to judge and I am anxious to see how new judges judge these exhibits. Reed is fortunate to have you as a teacher and these lessons will last his whole life. I did not get any ads. Hope you get the blog straightened out as i would miss your blog. Carolyn B

  28. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Mary, 6 ads, no X button to push, sorry.
    That does stink about Reed, I bet they didn’t think a younger child really made it himself! Or… the judges’ children entered…. facts of life, tough to take. My kids were always into the arts, they both now have MFAs (no money but educated!)… that always happened to them. Mrs. So and So’s kid enters a piece, she volunteers at the school so he has to get a blue ribbon for a coloring book page of a cowboy while my son does a watercolor of an eagle flying over snow capped mountains. The story was, no child could ever get that perspective right. News flash: this adult could not get that perspective right!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol at Pin Oak – oh, you are exactly right! The judge didn’t think an 11 year old could possibly have made such a nice quilt. This has happened to me several times and I gave up on the fair. Then this year I wanted to get involved again because of Reed’s quilting. I don’t know if I want to again in 2020 however.

  29. Jan Frank-de Ois

    I’m so sorry for Reed, but glad that he has
    a great trip to enjoy! I’ve often wondered about 4-H judging. I didn’t think the goals reflected reality or practicality. I’m saying that as a former 4-H mother and a friend of a frustrated 4-H leader.

  30. Deb Harrison

    That is truly is BIG misjudgment of his quilt! He did the work, absorbing the lessons you gave but doing it himself! Maybe time for him to publish his own kids quilt book and show that judge what he/she missed.

    1. Nancy Wines

      Congrats on Reed’s blue ribbon. I’ve always thought 4H was a great organization but some decisions that are made don’t make any sense. This is obviously one of them. Please let him know that your readers think he did a Fantastic job and not to get discouraged. I closed ads for you. Sorry the technology is causing you so much stress. We love your words as much as your pictures so please hang in there.

      Dog sitting is time consuming and obviously stressful in July. Your kind heart and generous nature were taken advantage of by this thoughtless owner. I’m sure the dog appreciated all your attention. Hang in there!

  31. Brenda

    Could Reed enter his quilt in the open class at the state fair?
    Think we need another option.

    1. Marlene T in upstate NY

      I heartily agree with Brenda. What an insult to someone’s hard work and determination to create such a beautiful quilt and not see it go to the State Fair for more people to see and enjoy. Reed’s quilt is such a huge accomplishment for a young person to complete and appreciate the journey. Just wondering if his name and age were posted on the information tag. When I have a quilt judged at quilt shows the label on the back has to be covered so the judges don’t know who made it.

      Hopefully, he can enter his quilt another way so he can get the recognition he deserves. What a great job.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Brenda – yes, he could have entered it in the Open Class at the State Fair but that would mean driving to Des Moines twice – once to take it and another to pick it up. Also long walking from parking lot to quilt building and I can’t walk well these days.

  32. Anne Graham

    Lots of ads to close today at my end. So sorry about Reed’s quilt. I understand – one year my granddaughter submitted a wonderful scrapbook in the fair but the granddaughter of the lady who ran the judging won the grand prize and went on to the state fair. Checking the two scrapbooks, my granddaughter did a far more superior job – she knew hers was better, but it still hurt! Hopefully he’ll try again next year!

  33. Sandra Goddard

    Mary glad you have posted. Sorry for all the problems with the technology. My grandkids are just finishing up fair here. Can’t say I can understand a lot of the judges selections here either for state fair. A lot of pictures were selected yet sewing the grandkids did aren’t. Don’t follow their thinking but enough of nana whining Reed did an excellent job and we all know it.

  34. Jane Dumler

    Oh my Mary I would be very disappointed too about Reed’s Quilt. I bet the judge will,tell,you it wasn’t made by a child and he perhaps owned it but didn’t piece it. He does beautiful work and is such a perfectionist in his piecing. I judge occasionally and see a lot of work from young people. Some is outstanding and some just so-so. Keep us posted if you talk to the judge. The blog came through fine with just a few ads that I closed.

  35. Ellie

    Not ready for your blog to disappear! What a disappointment about Reed’s quilt!

  36. Elaine

    From past experience, maybe the judge secretly did not believe that he did all the work himself. It was so perfectly well done. That is so sad that a personal feeling might have crept into the final decision. I am sure this will not deter him from making more beautiful quilts.

  37. Sharon Lowy

    That stinks! Maybe the judge thought his quilt had a lot of help from an experienced quilter! That is a beautiful quilt and he should have made it to the State Fair. He is an amazing child as are his siblings and you are a fabulous neighbor for them.

  38. Sandie

    Great to receive your blog again! Sorry there have been so many issues with it. That’s horrible that Reed’s quilt is not going to the state fair!!!

  39. Marilyn

    Hi Mary, got your post this morning sorry about not making state fair for Reed. Hope the reason wad minor and he can go again next test. Enjoy your Sunday

    1. Diane Bauer

      So sorry to hear Reed will not be heading to the state fair with his beautiful quilt. Happy to hear he was awarded a blue ribbon though!

      And I am so sorry to hear you haven’t been able to get resolution from the blog host and are thinking of closing it down. You cannot imagine how much it would be missed! Are there other hosting services that might be options?

      Enjoy your Sunday!!

  40. Carolyn

    Oh I hope your blog doesn’t go away, I love seeing your daily news! May you find happiness and good fortune in the coming days!

  41. Lois Ann Johnson

    Mary: Your blog came through but no X’s to use to close the ads today. Sorry about Reed’s bad experience. That has to be a huge disappointment for all involved. I know how hard he worked on his quilt project.

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