Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Quilt Festival

by Jaleta Clegg
reporter at large

The dust has finally settled. The Senior Center is finally clean. All quilts have been claimed and returned to the loving arms that created them. The contestants have resolved all police charges. It was just another quilt show at the Annual Harvest Fair & Festival.

It all began two weeks back, when the Fair opened. No one knew who would judge the quilt show. The position of a judge is a highly coveted job, though it involves no monetary gain. Bribery is strictly forbidden. Quilt judges have the distinct honor of awarding the most coveted prizes at the Fair. Because of revenge visited upon previous judges, all identities for this year’s judges have been disguised.

Prospective judges are equipped with bags, generously donated by our local airline. At the signal, all prospective judges hide their faces in the bags. The select few are secretly tapped. Only they know their true identity as Quilt Show Judges.

This year’s entries ranged across the spectrum, from the humble offerings of beginners (ages 7 and 11) to the long-awaited entries from venerated grandmothers (ages 98 and 103). The judges were impressed by the utter lack of quality exhibited by the workmanship.

Maisy Dimpleton explained her quilt this way, “Well, me mum, she had these boxes of old fabric left over from the war that she was given by the GoodWill Ladies the summer I was born. Inside was these absolutely loverly fabrics. I couldn’t resist working them up into me first quilt ever.” Maisy Dimpleton, 7 years of age, lives in a small cottage near the Coast of Despair. Her eleven siblings share three beds between them. Her older brother, Pat, said, “It’s ugly as a black dog, but it keeps us warm even when the wind blows through the gaps in the north wall. Maisy can sew me a quilt any day.”
Mrs. Beatrice Alma McDuffy, age unlistable at her request, has been quilting since 1934. “I was only four years of age, an itty bitty thing at my great-aunt Gertrude’s knee. She put a needle in my fingers. After I stabbed it through my thumb, the rest is history. There’s blood in every quilt I ever stitched.”
Beatrice’s eye sight is failing. Her quilt, an abomination of a Cathedral Windows pattern, was nicknamed the “Holy Quilt” by the judges. Not only does it describe the quilt, it is a brilliant play on words.
The most controversial piece was a strange conglomeration of soft sculpture and quilting created by Clementine Spiffledorfle titled “Edna’s Face should be on a Quilt”. Edna McBrighamduff, the intended subject of the quilt, was mightily offended by the lack of similarity between her own face and the quilt. She launched herself at Clementine, pulling her hair with both fists. Clementine responded with a full body slam, learned in her days as a professional gelatin wrestler. The two women rolled across the floor, wreaking mayhem on the quilt displays. The owners of the other quilts joined in the fracas, beating on anyone in range with their purses. The constables were summoned but were not in time to save the children’s flower arrangements from total destruction. Tears and assault charges followed. The constable’s office is happy to report that all fines have now been paid and all charges resolved.
Clementine Spiffledorfle claimed in her defense hearing that she meant the piece to be flattering. Edna McBrighamduff was not amused.
Newcomer Rainbow Sunshine Butterfly, of Cloverdale in the Shire, entered a strange piece entitled “Artsy Fartsy”. The judges were extremely puzzled by the stuffed denim rear. Rainbow’s explanation is not suitable for all audiences and had to be removed from this post.

And now for the part you have all been waiting for: the winners.
The second-place ribbon was awarded to Miss Nancy Newcomb for her Kaleidoscope quilt. “I’m so overwhelmed,” she gushed as the ribbon was awarded among the rubble of the riot caused by Miss Clementine and Miss Edna. Police ringed the judge’s stand, batons at the ready to stop any further rioting.

And now, the piece-de-resistance, the winner of the Quilt Show. Drum roll, please.
Mrs. Lacey Abtwittle of Dahlia Lane, Fernwood on the Moor, for her piece “Sadie in Repose”, a lovely concoction of piecework and appliqué sure to impress any aficionado of the gentle art of quilting.

And so, we close another year of festivities, glamour, livestock, and matronly arts. We await next year’s offerings with bated breath.

Jaleta Clegg, reporter at large

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