Personal Skills – Needlework

Welcome to the Durham Fair Needlework Department. We invite you to visit us at the Needlework building near the center of the fairgrounds to view our beautiful exhibits and experience this fantastic fair tradition.

The Durham Fair Needlework Department exhibits knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing, cross stitch, embroidery & other needlework crafts. With over 900 individual entries, these exhibits make up one of the largest displays of needlework exhibits across country fairs nationally. We are proud of the talented crafters that exhibit their projects with us, and each year we look to expand participation with new and creative exhibitors, and even new categories. In addition to our exhibiting activities, we also hold an annual charity drive to support our community.

New for 2024

The Needlework Department is adding a new category called “Sustainability – Upscaling.” This year our exhibitors are thinking about sustainable sewing, and changing their mindsets from toss to reuse, and from buy to recycle. A beautiful skirt might be reclaimed from an otherwise uninteresting dress, an old pair of jeans might be turned into a purse or basket. Come see what our exhibitors have created!

2024 Challenge Class

This year’s challenge class theme is “On the Move.” This is an added category which allows our exhibitors to enter an additional item as long as it ties in with the theme of the year.

2024 Community Service Projects

The Durham Fair Needlework Department has had a long tradition of supporting the community by holding a donation drive each year at the fair. This annual Community Service Project not only helps those in need but has also become a source of pride in having won an AIFE Award of Excellence for this program. We will be collecting items for veterans, the homeless, and children in crisis. Make sure you check out Art Bra which supports “After the Storm.”

Please consider making an item to enter in this year’s fair, or get together with friends, church groups, or community organizations and donate them. We will be collecting them and displaying them at the fair. Although an exhibitor can enter only one item per category, participants in our drive can donate as many items as they want.

After the Storm
The winning art bra creation will have their entry in the 2025 Art Bra Runway Show where it will be auctioned to raise money for breast cancer survivors. In addition, the winner will receive a Budvase for the Durham Fair Art Bra Award 2024.

Quilt of Valor
The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national organization founded in 2003 by “Blue Star” mom Catherine Roberts. With a son deployed in Iraq, a ‘Gunner’ sitting atop a Humvee she felt “only 10 seconds away from panic”. She had this vision of a post deployed warrior struggling with his war demons at 2 in the morning. She saw him sitting on the side of his bed wrapped in his quilt. The quilt not only comforted him but warded off the demons. Thus, the QOVF was founded. The Quilts of Valor Foundation’s mission is to cover ALL combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. QOVF celebrated another award milestone recently by awarding the 350,000th Quilt of Valor to a former Army Ranger and Bronze Star Recipient. Without the support of our members and the many individuals, guilds, and organizations, we would not be as far along in our Mission of wrapping our military veterans and service members in comforting quilts.

  • The Quilt of Valor Quilt Block will be used by QOV State Coordinators to help fill outstanding requests for a Quilt of Valor not covered by local groups and will ease the waiting list of requests.
  • The 2024 Quilt block square is: The Ohio Star Block.


The following activities will be held at the 2024 Fair:

  • Sewing Demonstrations from American Sewing Guild
  • Children’s Craft Activity
  • Quilt of Valor Demonstration

Join our Needlework Community:

Patterns from the Needlework Dept:

Patterns for Prayer Shawls/Veteran Shawls

If making a Veteran’s Shawl you can use the same patterns listed below, but in a patriotic color.



Needleworks Exhibits

Updated: 3/26/2024