I just returned from the Lake County, IL fair.
I entered 16 pieces and received the following ribbons:
1 – 4th place
2 – 3rd place
4 – 2nd place
9 – 1st place
Of the 9 1st place finishes, 3 of them were also awarded a division champion ribbon.
I will post better pictures of all of the pieces with their ribbons once I get them back home, but for now I will show you the three division champions:
Quilted Flag was one that I hoped would score high, and it did. There is one male stitcher that does amazing counted canvas work, and wins the division each year, but this year he took 3rd place.
The Round Robin pillow winning Division Champion was a surprise to me. I had also entered one of Mark and Karen's hardanger wedding pillows which I though would score higher than one that was just plain cross stitch. The hardanger pillow did win a first place ribbon, though.
This snowman ornament winning a Division Champion ribbon was also a surprise! It is over one stitching, but I just didn't think it would do as well.
All in all, I am fairly pleased with the results. I am a bit disappointed in the judging. I thought Cinderella's Castle would do better than 3rd place. The second place piece in that class was big and on black fabric, but the stitches were very uneven, and I didn't think it was that great. I was also disappointed that the Windswept Santa stocking only got a 4th place, it was by far a more complicated piece and better executed that the other stockings, but it was in the "Craft" category as there is no "stocking" division in the Domestic Arts category.
I spent some time chatting with one of the superintendents, and asked her about the judging process and the qualifications of the judges and was very sad to hear her say that the judges are friends of the two superintendents and there really is no criteria for picking judges. She did say that some of them are home economic teachers, and one of them knew a bit about cross stitch, but there really weren't any qualifications that the judges needed to have.
So there you have it! My first Champion ribbons! Now....what should I stitch for next year?