Quilts at the San Mateo County Fair

For the first time, my kids and I submitted quilts to the San Mateo County Fair, which ran June 9-17, 2018. The Creative Home Arts exhibit hung nearly 400 quilts and the Youth division had a few more. An air conditioned building with over 400 quilts!? Why haven't I been coming for years?

My kids each submitted their Kids Quilt Round Robin quilts: R's animal themed quilt, My Animal Quilt, and G's sports themed quilt, My Sports Quilt. Since they were both in the age 5-8 category, each of their quilts received a special award ribbon.


I submitted five quilts, and two of mine won ribbons! I thought readers might find it interesting to view the feedback I received from the judges, so I have included photos of my judge's evaluation forms (omitting the judge's name and scribe's name for anonymity). Judging occurred on June 1, 2018. I've also typed the comments below the photo of the form to make them easier to read.


The first two were mini quilts in the Modern Quilt division: i Mini and Not So Mellow Yellow. I am really proud of i Mini which I made for issue 3 of Curated Quilts. Not So Mellow Yellow was created for the Mellow Yellow Project Quilting challenge and I included it because of my scrappy binding.

"Strong visual impact. Pattern design makes this quilt pop. Matchstick quilting motif adds to overall impact. Facing very well done."


"Use of color in this quilt enhances the overall effect. Strive for accuracy in piecing. Improv piecing adds visual interest. Pieced binding well done."


My Island Batik Color Wash mini was in Specialty Quilt Techniques in the Raw-Edge Appliqué class. This was my March Island Batik project. (It still needs a finished blog post of it's own!)

"Well done! This quilt is beautiful. Piecing is precise, quilting is beautiful, and thank you for paying attention to arranging your fabric composition by perfect value. It paints a beautiful portrait."


My Wonderlust Ombre HST received Honorable Mention in the small quilts class of Pieced Quilt/Machine Quilted. This pattern is based on my popular Ombre HST tutorial, originally designed with solids in mind. I like how I was able to use prints (well, blenders) to achieve the ombre look by considering their values.

"Rich use of color. Placement of light and dark fabrics creates intriguing composition. Quilting design adequately supports quilt but doesn't add to overall visual success of quilt."


In the division for Quilt Top Made by One Person/Professionally Quilted by Another my Meadow Mystery quilt won first place in the large quilt class. This was a mystery quilt designed by Cheryl of Meadow Mist designs. The pattern called for four colors. I'm most proud of my fabric choices, all pulled from my stash and scrappy within each color. Tami of The Quilted Lemon quilted it with Modern Curves. It's such a happy quilt and it reminds me of the Marin retreat I was on with SCVQA while I finished piecing the top. :-) I love how projects can bring you back to a time and place.

"The piecing on this quilt is absolutely accurate. Well done! The quilting is beautiful. I'm not a fan of reverse binding, but it's well done."


It was so nice to view the show. I enjoyed seeing so many quilts made by friends and guild-mates. Here are a few!

Mel Beach's Spinning Stars won first place in Large/XL Modern Quilts as well as Best Modern Quilt.

Joelle Lambert's Line Dance won third place in Small/Medium Modern Quilts. I love this quilt that Joelle made for the Spring 2018 MQG Riley Blake Challenge. It was a treat to see it again in person.

Jaye Lapachet's Planned Improv won an Honorable Mention in Large/XL Modern Quilts. Jaye began this quilt in my Planned Improv: Scrappy Squares workshop last Fall. I love Jaye's color choice for this project.


After viewing the quilts the kids and I enjoyed the afternoon at the fair, with tasty food, the magician show, the acrobat show, pig races, and the kids science zone!

10 thoughts on “Quilts at the San Mateo County Fair

    1. sarah

      Post author

      Thank you, Shirley. I'm sure it's a lot of work, both in training and in the actual judging. Valuable feedback can be very helpful. I definitely have some things to keep in mind for future work.

  1. It sounds like the fair was a big success; I really love getting to go to a fair and seeing quilts makes for an added bonus. I personally always look forward to a snowcone treat when I visit my local fair. :)

    1. sarah

      Post author

      Thank you, Yvonne. We never ended up with a cold treat... my kids were angling for icees, but that didn't happen. ;-)

  2. Johanna

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful quilts and the judge comments. Beautiful work and I love the colors. Inspiring!

    My dad took us to the San Mateo County Fair every year while we were growing up. It was the only time of year we got corn dogs and cotton candy. Do they still have that big Hall of Flowers? Congratulations to you and your children on your well-deserved ribbons!


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