Saturday, September 24, 2011

Handwork at a Rural Fall Fair

Last year I posted the picture above, of a spectacular mend- a patch on a sheet being used as the background for the cabinets where the annual Fair competition entries are displayed. Like this (note that everyone who entered the Maple Syrup competition has the same last name):

Well, here is the same sheet this year! It must wait in the Agricultural Society barn all year.

And Jude's students might love to see these woven paper entries in the 'paper placemat' competition:

It surprises me how little handwork there is on display, and how little variety there is in the canning and produce competitions. Fifty years ago women and their kids canned a much greater diversity of fruits and vegetables than today. Even ten years ago there were stacks of quilts, though most machine sewn. Fifty years ago women would have displayed much more- tatting, crocheting, even garments. And hand sewn quilts. I talked for a minute with a woman who used to show her "quilts and things".

Things change, of course, and trends to 'saving time' sweep away hand work. But things can also change in response to all of the pressures that force us to 'save time'. Maybe we can just have the time to go slow.


  1. I've enjoyed reading through your blog and admiring your textile work. I especially appreciated your post on the used clothing industry of the West that sells stuff to Africa, etc. I included some comments on it in a post not too long ago, too. My fabric stash is pretty much flea market finds in Tunisia. I like your work for Jude's classes as well--very lovely.
    best, nadia