Many beautiful items won blue ribbons in last year’s open class division.Ahh the month of July and the 4-H county fairs are in full swing. The hard work of making projects and tending to animals comes to fruition as exhibits are judged and ribbons awarded with the hope that it may also be shown at the State Fair for the 4-H youth. In the vendor tent I was drawn to the ladies who used “liquid embroidery” tubes to decorate linens. I never fell for it. Being a lefty-I knew my project would never look as good.

4-H County Fairs are conducted by each county’s Purdue Extension office in partnership with the fairgrounds board and committees. The extension offices offer programs to families, business owners and community leaders and publish informational publications on thousands of subjects. When the small town of Henryville was devastated by a tornado in March 2012, it was the well-coordinated efforts of the local extension office that made a huge difference in the town’s recovery time.

The 4-H County fair exhibits are not just for kids and teens anymore. Starting in 1983 in Allen County people 18 and up can exhibit and receive ribbons in the open class categories. Categories range from decorated cupcakes to houseplants to basket weaving to photography and of course-quilts! The quilt categories include hand quilted or machine quilted pieced, appliqué and embroidered, baby quilts, miniature quilts and quilt blocks.

There are few rules to enter. Your piece must have been completed since the last fair, you may only enter two items per category, and there is a $1 fee for each entry. Every entry is a winner as all receive a ribbon.

On Wednesday July 24, the Extension Homemakers Association will host Home and Family Arts Day at the fair in the Home and Family Arts building. I am honored to be the first speaker/demonstrator of the day at 10 a.m. where I will discuss how to revitalize quilts after completing a “Quilt Crime Investigation (QCI) including an autopsy. This is an opportune time to bring out that quilt you want to know more about or how to bring it back to life. Following my program will be “Abraham Lincoln’s life” with Jane Gastineau of the Allen County Public Library. After lunch Dare to Dream Ranch which rescues abused and neglected horses and brings them together with children giving them the opportunity to experience the ranch and develop life skills.

After a rousing performance by the Hoosier Gentry Quartet it’s time to top off the day’s events at 3 p.m. with the pie baking contest and auction.

Throughout Thursday – Sunday you may be inspired by the beautiful quilts created by members of Sisters of the Cloth Quilt Guild also located in the HFA building.
Take note: Wednesday is also Senior Day. Anyone 55+ pays only $3!

Head’s Up! This weekend July 19-20 is the Celebration! At the Quilter’s Hall of Fame located at the historic Marie Webster house in Marion, Indiana. There will be an honoree to induct (Meredith Schroeder) classes to attend, exhibits to view, famous quilters to meet, and a merchandise mall to explore. I plan to be there on Friday with my friend Robin. Hope to see you there! For more information go to:
Lois Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts, a restoration studio and quilt gallery located at 4005 South Wayne Avenue. She may be contacted at 260-515-9446 or through the WD News.