Kristin Rutten

American Girl Doll Cowgirl Outfit - County Fair

Summer Time in Montana = the County Fair!

It’s county fair time in Central Montana! The fair means carnival rides, farm animals on display, food on a stick, rodeos and night shows, and my favorite … lots and lots of exhibits!

I love to enter my own handiwork in the fair. It’s a great motivator to get projects finished and to do a good job because I know that if I do, I can display them for my friends and neighbors so see. It’s also an easy way to share a bit about myself with others. People get to see a side of me they may not normally see in regular life.

American Girl Cap and Gown Blue Ribbon WinnerPlus, it’s fun to win ribbons! There’s always a bit of nervous anticipation as I visit the Trade Center for the first time after the judging is over … it’s a bit like Christmas when I discover a ribbon on one of my entries! I was especially happy to find a blue ribbon on my Graduation Cap & Gown made especially for other American Girl dolls like me.

But even more than the ribbons, I love walking around and looking at the work of the other exhibitors at the fair. I always come away amazed and a bit surprised at just how much talent there is to be found in our small community!

My favorite exhibits are the photography entries, especially the ones which include people from our community in the photos. And of course, I enjoy looking at the needlework entries. It’s fun to find others who share my interest in crocheting, sewing and the other textile arts.

Sometimes I even spot a project that makes me want to try something new! For instance, I saw a really cool rug that used an old-fashioned technique but with a modern twist. I forgot to take a photo, so I need to go back to the Trade Center and take a closer look!

What’s your favorite part of the fair? Have you ever entered a project into competition? Maybe this is the year to start! If you’re not sure what you might be interested in trying, make a trip to your local fair! You’re sure to be inspired by seeing all of the interesting and amazing things that your friends and neighbors are doing. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a talent you didn’t know you had!


About Kristin Rutten

Kristin Rutten is the creator, owner and operator of Matilda Jo Originals. Born and raised in Montana, she first learned to sew on her grandmother's antique Singer sewing machine by cutting out and stitching a simple nine-square pillow. Other projects soon followed and she has been crafting and sewing ever since. In addition to sewing and pattern design, she also enjoys crocheting, scrapbooking and designing WordPress websites, including sister company She makes her home in Central Montana with her husband and four children, ages 9 to 22.

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