The Roundup -

Ugly Fabric Challenge, Roosevelt County Fair


March 20, 2019 | View PDF

Cherry Colgan of Poplar earned Grand Champion last year with her entry into the Ugly Fabric Challenge at the Roosevelt County Fair. (Submitted photo)

For the second year in a row, Dar's Designs of Culbertson and the Roosevelt County Fair are bringing the Ugly Fabric Challenge to Roosevelt County residents. People in Roosevelt and the surrounding counties are encouraged to bring their ugly fabric and challenge another quilter or sewing enthusiast.

Those wishing to participate had until March 12 to find a yard of the ugliest 100% cotton quilting fabric and bring it to the Fair office. A blind exchange took place and the fabric was placed in a paper bag with a coordinating piece of fabric donated by Roosevelt County Fair. Participants receive a completely different yard from what they brought. A second wave exchange has been set with the date all fabric has to be in by as March 31. The names of the new owners will be picked April 1 and the fabric must be picked up by 5 p.m. Depending on which run they entered with, participants will have four to five months to get their entry ready for the 2019 fair.

According to the official rules of the challenge, participants have to create a quilt, wall hanging, table runner, tablecloth or any flat article that is bigger than thirty-six inches. The Ugly Fabric must be noticeable and other fabrics can be used but cut pieces must be larger than an inch. Items can be sewn by hand, machine or commercially, participants can use a pattern or not and it does not have to be quilted. It is a good idea for participants to explain their Ugly Fabric. The top two entries in both adult and youth open class will be given awards. The Grand Champions will be awarded $50 and the Reserve Champions will get $25. All entrants will receive a premium no matter what. Any Roosevelt County residents ages four and up may participate.

Fair Manager Angela Miller first heard about the Ugly Fabric Challenge in a Park County Fair guide. Angela said, "They had done one and it sounded like fun. I know there are a lot of quilters and sewing hobbyists around here, so I wanted to do something to spark creativity." Last year's challenge was the first one for the Roosevelt County Fair, but Angela felt the entrants needed more time for projects this year. The project was entered in the IAFE (International Association of Fairs and Expos) Contests for 2018 and received a first-place honor at the annual convention. Many fairs in both the IAFE and RMAF (Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs) are following the idea this year.

The Roosevelt County Fair will be held at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds 512 8th St E Culbertson, Montana On August 7 through the 10. The projects in the Ugly Fabric Challenge will be displayed in Exhibits Building C.


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