Friday, September 17, 2010

State Fair County Blocks

With the new building at the State Fair they decided to have a display of quilt blocks to represent each of the 93 counties in Nebraska. The blocks are to be made 26" square and framed to 24" in black frames. The request was to have the name of the county a certain size and the theme is pretty much up to the maker. We could have anything that pertained to the county...history, industry, towns, etc. on our blocks.

I was honored to be asked to make a block for the county I live in. If we could get our blocks done by this past State Fair they would be framed and displayed but the final deadline is next year's State Fair. I am so glad of the longer deadline as I had the idea and had it sketched out, then broke my ankle so the work on the block stopped.  There were about 28-29 blocks done and hung this year.

I am glad to say that my block is now finished and will be mailed off to be framed to be hung at next year's Nebraska State Fair!

I fused the different elements to the background then quilted it all with clear polyester thread. My theme is a little history, a little nature and little industry. The Oregon Trail came through the county as did the Pony Express trail so depicted them on my block. The main industry here is agriculture and the two tall corn plants represents all the agriculture enterprises...corn, soybeans, milo, wheat, cattle, hogs, sheep, etc. Lastly I have flying geese in the sky as we are on a migratory route for geese and ducks, the blue on the bottom of the block is to represent the two rivers that flow through Nuckolls county...the Republican and the Little Blue. I quilted each motif down to keep it from releasing,  then quilted swirling circles in the sky to represent the winds that blow through here and the spiky quilting in the bottom section is to represent the grass lands in our county.

It was a real challenge to put a lot of meaning into the block and not make it too busy and I hope I accomplished that. I know there are areas I would probably do differently now such as the value of the corn and husks that tend to blend in with the stalk since they are the same fabric plus the ear of corn doesn't show up on top of the covered wagon but guess it is OK the way it is. Can't wait to see it framed as that will help it look finished and cover up the oops where I had to pull some of the fused wagon off the white background.

I enjoyed quilting this piece and am anxious to work on something else now...don't know what yet but an idea will come to me.  There are several UFOs I can pull out so if I can't think of something new I can work on one of them.



ytsmom said...

Love your block, it really 'fits'. A group of us have volounteered to make our county (Valley) but have not done anything yet. Great job!

Huskerbabe said...

I really like your block. I posted a couple of the blocks on my blog. I really liked the one for Rock County. And I noticed the one for Brown county had the wind turbines on it. I'll be curious as to what the Keith county block looks like.
I've lived in the state most of my life but this was the first year I'd been to the state fair. I was so impressed with the new buildings, and yes the ag buildings were wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Our little quilting group in Grant County was just recently made aware of the State Fair County blocks. We are "in the process" of creating one for our county but would LOVE to see other county's entries. If you have pictures, I would love to see them. My email is We did have a photo of your block at our last meeting. Very nice!

Thanks so much!


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