I can't believe it was almost two months ago, but it's my great pleasure to wish you a warm, if belated, welcome to the handicrafts tent at this year's Bingley Show. It was my first year in this Show - first in any other than the Sheffield Fayre (which, owing to diary clashes, I wasn't able to enter this year....waaaaahh!), but it was a good one! Let's join these ladies photographed kindly looking at my entries (at least the visitor in the foreground was), and take a look around some of the tent.
First let's look along the 'Piece of Counted Thread Embroidery' class displays. This was a really good class with plenty of potential for variety (as opposed to the usual 'piece of cross stitch' in many other events), and had a decent number of entries, of which 5 were mine.
Martin caught my stunned smile as it sunk in that the 'Sunshine and Flowers' sampler had not only won its second first prize, but also took the trophy for the 'most outstanding exhibit' in the handicrafts section!! Wow! 'Handicrafts' covers all fabric, paper and embroidered items as well as an 'any other crafts' class, but not yarncrafts, art, photography or, of course, junior classes, all of which have their own cup or plate.
You can see my 'also rans' here in the shape of the narrowboat cross stitch, the bellpull that took a second in Sheffield last year and the peach hearts hardanger cushion cover. There was one other piece of hardanger (see three photos up), which was commended.
Here are the entries in the freestyle class where my stumpwork bunny hopped off with third prize. Another lady won the first and second, as well as the third in the counted section and plenty of others. I saw her later on clutching a fistful of prize tickets from several classes and categories. A very skilled and productive rival!!! =)
Looking back now at this display, I notice that the prize winning items were all nicely framed and it makes me wonder just how big a contribution proper framing makes in the awarding of points. I hadn't formally framed my knot garden and goldwork viola pieces as they normally just live in my portfolio and I don't have any suitable frames for them (and don't really want to buy any - surprise, surprise!) Worth bearing in mind for future events though.
Above are many of the entries into the general fabric crafts class and the red scatter cushion in the back row is one of mine (and now on our sofa). We urgently needed new scatter cushions and the Show provided the impetus to get one made up quickly. I just love the colour co-ordinated pen roll in the middle of this collection.
Below are the five entries into the child/baby knits class. I didn't win anything here, but I'm not at all surprised. You see, I'd not realised until my friends, Emily and Wanjun pointed it out a couple of months before, but my purl stitches are twisted. I borrowed 'The A-Z of Knitting' from the Leeds Art library recently and from the photos in there, realised that I'd been winding the yarn the wrong way around the needle. No wonder every second row looked so skew! Next time I'll get it right. Just hope I don't forget and slip back into bad habits....
Here we have the top two entries in the 'Hand Knit or Crochet Group' and the yarncrafts section trophy was taken - for at least the third year running - by the same lady. She must be a real force to be reckoned with in the local yarncrafts sphere! Her knitted toys are delightful! I'd love to have a go at this type of work some time, but I'm hesitant to start at the moment as it would mean accumulating more yarns in several colours and I've recently reduced my supplies down to one scrap end and two part balls.
Bingley Five Rise locks (by the lady who took stacks of prizes, I think), a crocheted wedding cake, and owl and pussy cat in their 'beautiful pea green boat.'
This class also attracted a number of felted pieces, which were superb! When an e-mail from the Handicrafts secretary came out to all those who'd entered this year and asking for suggestions for classes, I suggested having 'Felted Item' as a separate class as there seemed easily enough entries to justify it.
Moving away from needlecrafts to the other side of the tent, and here are some of the paintings displayed.
And finally, next door to the horticulture tent where I just loved the juniors' fruit and veg animals
It was a great Show and a big success for me too, winning the handicrafts section trophy! At first I was almost disappointed at getting the biggest prize first time as it kind of felt like there was nothing left to strive for, but there is, of course. Not only do I want to defend it next year, but there are also prizes in other sections to aim for, especially the first prize in the freestyle and I'd like to aim to win something in the art and yarncrafts sections.
I also learned what wins trophies when it's a 'most outstanding exhibit' type, (as opposed to exhibitor with the most points, which can depend as much on sheer quantity of entries as anything). From looking at the prize winning entries across numerous classes I could see that pretty pieces, well worked win prizes, but if you want the trophy, you need a piece with the 'Wow!' factor. There were some truly lovely items displayed and all beautifully made by very skilled hands, but the 'Sunshine and Flowers' piece had that 'Wow!' effect. It had nothing to do with me really - beyond my not gaffing it up too obviously. It was simply the design that was the winner. So, if you're after a trophy some time, that's the formula.
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2016