“I made this quilt to submit to the Minnesota State Fair in August 2014. When I saw the 2014 commemorative poster by Emily Taylor in June, I knew that I wanted to create a quilt based on that poster. So first I bought the poster and contacted the artist for permission. She referred me to the State Fair people who selected her artwork. When all was approved, I went about designing the quilt. I enlarged it a bit from the original size, but for the category I entered – mixed media wall hanging, senior (65 and older) division – I had to limit the circumference.
First, I went to the fairgrounds 2 months before the fair and took a bunch of pictures of fair buildings. I got a map of the fairgrounds to help me with placement. Like the original art, I spread the fair across the whole state, with the city of Minneapolis on the West and St. Paul on the east.
The quilt is a mix of landscape piecing, needle-turned applique, pressed on applique, photos of family members pressed on in various parts of the state, and embroidery, such as Paul Bunyan and Babe and Split Rock Lighthouse.
I had so much fun picking out fabrics farms, fields and fair, lakes and rivers, sky and background, etc. I think my favorite fabric is the sheep farm in the Southeast corner of the state. Our granddaughters are pictured on that farm and also with the prize pig and riding in kayaks on a lake. I hand-quilted the entire quilt, and I really enjoyed creating quilt designs that would flow with the fabrics.
The quilt was very challenging and involved a lot of problem-solving, especially creating all the Fair buildings and the midway! It was like putting a puzzle together. But as it all came together, I got really excited about it. And the frosting on the cake? It won a blue ribbon and it was my first submission ever!”