TROY — A new category at this year’s Miami County Fair will be visually appealing to fairgoers.
The Miami County Fair Barn Quilt, in its first year, saw five participants, which made fair board members extremely happy, according to fair manager Jill Wright.
“We’re very pleased with that many entries for the first year of a category,” Wright said. “But we hope to grow it every year.”
The barn quilts — actually painted on 4-foot-by-4-foot pieces of plywood — could be painted with a known quilt pattern, or participants could make up their own designs for the competition, Wright said.
“The participants came up with these beautiful barn quilts,” Wright said. “They will only enhance the fair’s exhibits this year with all of their colorful designs.”
The category celebrates the Bicentennial Barn Quilts, which helped to celebrate the county’s bicentennial, with quilt patterns being painted on barns throughout the county, according to Wright. Everyone from young to old is eligible for the category, she reminded.
Pieces were due to the fairground on July 23, prior to the fair, Wright said, for winners to be chosen and the entries to be properly displayed on the walls inside the Horticulture Building in time for fairgoers to enjoy them.
First place went to Cheryl Puthoff of Conover for her “Barn Star” entry. Second place was awarded to Danielle Bailey of Casstown for her unnamed piece, while Rhonda Burgess of Pleasant Hill took home third place with “Butterfly Garden.”
Puthoff said she was excited and surprised to win the inaugural year’s category.
“It’s always fun to participate — and win — but that’s not why you do it,” Puthoff said. “You do it to bring more people out to the fair.”
Puthoff, who lives in the country, said she has always admired actual quilts, as well as the barn quilt patterns throughout the county.
“But I’m not a quilter, so I was never going to make one. So I thought here is my opportunity to have one,” said Puthoff, who said her father was a 50-year member of 4-H and she is one of eight children in the family, all of whom also were involved in 4-H. “I love driving through the country and seeing the barn quilts on the barns, each one is just so unique.”
The family tradition continues with Puthoff’s three children, who all participate in 4-H with art and horticulture projects.
“I encourage the kids to be as involved as possible in the fair,” she said, noting that the family moved back to the area just three years ago.
Puthoff said they also will be participating in the Ohio State Fair this week with her children’s non-animal projects.
Wright encourages area residents to come out to not only view the barn quilt entries, but the hundreds of other animal and art and horticulture projects done by children and adults throughout the county.
“There is just so much to see and do, it’s worth a trip out during fair week,” Wright said.
Reach Melody Vallieu at [email protected] or call (937) 552-2131