There are two annual A & H (Agricultural & Horticultural) Shows in towns within a few miles of where I live, and they both include a Homecrafts Pavilion. There are many more of these Shows around Victoria, all over Australia in fact, and the biggest ones are in the capital cities, ie. The Royal Melbourne Show and the Sydney Easter Show. The Homecrafts Pavilions show all the usual items such as homemade cakes (decorated and plain), garden produce, dolls, scrapbooking and other paper crafts, needlecrafts, quilting and so on.
For the past three years one of my stitching friends and I have been entering our work just for the fun it, and we have won several prizes. This year I won five prizes at the Whittlesea Show, and even though the two First Prize awards were by default, it was still a buzz to see my work on display with those Certificates attached! By default, I mean that in one category my Biscornu was the only entry, so I had no competition. The other category was ‘cross stitched bookmarks’ and there were only two of us.
This is an indication of the decline in the amount of entries these Shows are getting in recent years. One of the stewards told me last year that if the numbers don’t pick up, they will be forced to close some of the needlecraft sections, because it is just not worth listing them if they don’t get enough entries. So I am telling all my stitching friends who live nearby they must get all their finished projects to me in October next year, and I am going to submit them all in the Show for them! It would be a shame to see these Shows stop showing our needlework, as there are so many of us who do such beautiful work, but it doesn’t go any further than our own four walls. So come on all you Stitchin Fingers ladies – find out where your nearest A & H show is, ask for entry forms for next year, and let’s show the world that needlecrafts of all kinds are still flourishing!
Ladies I have entered work in our local show all my married life. 27yrs...and rode horses at the shows as a child...So I enjoy it and I have witnessed the decline.
I think it goes in waves, the cookery went flat for a while now it is back due to the local secondary college putting lots of gingerbread houses and biscuits etc.
the needle craft is at its lowest ebb at the moment. We have many talented quilters and sewing women but they just will NOT enter.... If you win lots of prizes people grumble, if there is few enteries people grumble...just can't win. i think some of the catalogues are out dated and perhaps we need to change their style.
these crafts are seen as UNcool....and most defend themselves with they haven't the time....I say they just choose to use their time differently to me...I have to stitch or create...I don't have a choice it drives me silly if I don't do it..... I will continue to put things in....might even have a crack at royal Adelaide next year ...Will see
I know you are a children's tutor!!! You are my children's tutor! (Hooray!) Their school supports the children to enter work regularly in the Castle Hill Show... all those knitted rainbow gnomes and felted waistcoats from Lorien School make a great display if nothing else.
It's never really occurred to me to enter my embroidery etc... perhap because I've never considered it "good enough". Silly I suppose but there you go.
Christine McKenna said:
Gina, you'll be pleased to hear that in NSW the Castle Hill Ag. Show in north west Sydney still has a substantial needlecrafts section, also featuring quilting and lace making. THe NSW Lace Guild now uses this as its major display/comp. They stopped entering the Royal Easter Show due to hanging problems with fragile work and the Castle Hill show allows them to hang the work so no more damaged items. Well worth the price of admission to see the display. They also have children's sections for needlecrafts but I'd like to see more. So while we're encouraging our members to enter their local shows, let's also suggest the kids do the same or the shows will start deleting the categories. Can you tell I'm a kids' stitching tutor, VBG??