Hot In Iowa! 7-25-21

RAGBRAI started today with 15,000 riders in 90 degree heat. Roy, Joe and several of Joe’s staff members are riding several days. Here’s Day 1. This event has been taking place in Iowa since 1973.

Regular readers of this blog might recognize the name Tanya T. from Houston and yesterday she and her husband Lee stopped by the farm on their Midwestern road trip. She brought all the Country Threads books she owns for me to sign – we had to sit outside in the shade because both are allergic to cats and dogs. Can you imagine? I just can’t and from my point of view it would be one of the worst things that could happen to me!

I am thankful I have no allergies. We talked about the very tall corn so I went across the road and stood in the field.

“The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye and it looks like it’s climbing right up to the sky!” Sing along with me!

As soon as I get a picture I’m happy with of my succulent garden I’m going to have it blown up to poster size and framed so I can enjoy it in the winter.

Reader quilts:

Hazel and I visited Pam and her puppy named Ava.
The Tilda fabrics I’m working with – aren’t they beautiful?

The fair starts next week and I’m loaning quilts to hang for display only in the textile/gardening open show building. It’s only going to be 95 degrees or so the day we have to hang them. Ugh.

Wish I could haul this planter to the show – it’s never been this pretty!

29 thoughts on “Hot In Iowa! 7-25-21

  1. Tanya Tullos

    Absolutely a wonderful visit! I think our husbands had as much fun talking as we did! It was like reading Alice in Wonderland and then being able to visit Wonderland! You go, Oh, there’s Hazel! Oh, there’s the barn! Etc., etc., etc.! Thanks for a truly happy visit! We had a blast!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Tanya Tullos – so glad you came! Did you see Jo’s comment that she met you at Quilt Festival? We’re quite a connected group, aren’t we?

  2. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Mary, do you know how to crop your photos? Take a bunch of photos of your succulents and if you can’t crop one yourself have your tech helper do your favorite one for you. I crop my photos all the time.

    I love the Tilda fabrics! I have the Maple Farms fabric washed and ready for the Tilda leaf quilt, and I have Garden Life, I think it is… the fabric line you’re working with, and have a quilt planned for that.

  3. Sherrill

    I remember a few years ago, a couple of friends and I were heading to Taos, NM from Pagosa Springs, CO. We passed a BUNCH of bike riders, some in larger groups and some in smaller groups or singles. We were WAY UP (like 10,000 feet) looking at a herd of elk when a van pulled in the turnout. They were one of the ‘equipment’ vans that have spare parts, etc for the bikers. It was so interesting hearing all about the annual ride and I just could NOT get over the MOUNTAINS they were riding up and down. There is NO WAY…HA!!

  4. Jo in Wyoming

    I met Tanya in Houston at the quilt festival…she is delightful. She wrote the introduction to your book, A Country’s Call.
    That corn is amazing!! Does Tim plant some sweet corn for the neighbors to harvest?
    Your plants are spectacular. My husband brought in 4 ripe tomatoes today…the earliest I can remember. And they were so good at supper.
    This has been a very busy year for longarm quilters. It’s good as I have been able to help my kids financially during the lockdown. But I’m ready for a break. 2 more jobs and I’m free till September.
    I pray the crowds attending Frontier Days don’t spread the virus. I’m masking up just in case. Yuck
    I can’t wait to see what you’re creating with Tilda’s fabric. It’s so pretty.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jo in Wyoming – no, Tim does not plant sweet corn for the neighbors – we all plant our own. He’d need a small planter to do that – no such thing around here! Haha!

  5. Sandy

    Hi Mary, wow, your plants are fabulous! I don’t have green fingers just tatty fingers from hand quilting! One more week , and my family from taiwan will be out of quarantine and l get my first covid jab on 4th August, take care everyone, best wishes from sandy

  6. Margie from Ohio

    Wow! Your pictures of everything are beautiful! I have never heard of Tilda fabric until your posts. Very pretty. Corn is so tall. Ours is pretty tall here too! Your plants are beautiful. I planted something and I don’t know what it is. It has gotten very tall and now it looks like it has little tassels so not sure it is going to flower! I am pretty sure they aren’t weeds. Time will tell.

  7. Angie from Baltimore

    I hate hot weather but love the crops that it brings. At. Our fair the quilt and rug hook display is air conditioned so it was pleasant to demonstrate and we got a close parking spot. I loved looking at all the quilts and rugs as well as the sewing etc. such masters. Just stay hydrated
    Had to put my cat to sleep on Friday and no more kitties too painful to lose them

    1. Lynn in Scottsdale


      I am so sorry for your loss. May pleasant memories bring you comfort.

      We had 2 kitties but lost them in 2001 and 2004 due to old age. Since we struggled with allergies, we did not adopt more.

      We always enjoy our kitty encounters, however. We used to love visiting Country Threads to buy fabric and pet kitties.

      This week we are kitty sitting Pickles, our neighbor’s 25 year old kitty. She is very outgoing and eats well.

      1. Mary Etherington Post author

        Lynn inScottsdale – I’ve never heard of a cat living for 25 years!

        1. Diane and Squeak

          Our cat , Fluffy, from my childhood lived to 22 1/2. My mom was so upset, she wrote each of us a letter rather than call.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Angie from Baltimore – I am so very sorry your lost your kittie!!! It’s very hard and most of mine are in that 15-18 age and I know when I start losing them, I will be heartsick. I’m sorry you won’t get another because I know there’s a rescue out there that needs you.

  8. judy

    Ragbri will be coming through our little town tomorrow. Alden. Best town by a dam site.
    The town has been very busy for several months getting ready for this event. All buildings in the down town have been up dated with new siding windows etc.
    A benefactor has paid to have all new sidewalks put in. and the downtown road paved with new blacktop.
    The beautification that has been done along the river will make for enjoyable viewing for the ragbri riders. and everyone traveling there.
    Thanks again to the benefactor all ditches have been mowed and all trees trimmed between Iowa Falls and Alden.
    It looks amazing!
    Something I have never seen done in my 75 years of living here.
    There is new access to the river from the main street. The camp ground will be expanding — so I hear.
    It is a wonderful transformation for our little town.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Judy – that sounds like a real make over for your little town and somebody paid the big bill? Wow! RAGBRAI is quite the incentive to make your hometown beautiful and I know the riders enjoy seeing all of Iowa. All those New Yorkers have to be jealous when they ride through the countryside!

  9. Launa

    Great photos! Having Monday morning tea …still here in Idaho! Looking forward to Levar Burton on Jeopardy today! Saw new Botanical Journal fabric online this morn…quite beautiful. When I sit out on the deck Hummingbirds zoom near me and pause if I have on a colorful top! Have some stray flowers the Elk n Deer haven’t eaten yet! Your poster idea is great.

  10. Glenda Fletcher

    Hi Mary, Very nice pictures that you have been sending. Tim’s corn reminds me of my younger years on the farm in Iowa. Rain sure helps it grow. The Tilda fabric is new to me also. Will look it up so I can see it. Also anxious to see what you do with it. RAGBRAI went through Marcus when I
    was there. Pretty exciting. My son was working on his house in Marcus yesterday and heard the ambulance go out. Then heard the helicopter come in. He heard it wasn’t good. So hope it was just a rumor. RAGBRAI was going by south of Marcus. Working still on the same
    quilt as we have been spending a lot of time outside. Yesterday no, Getting too hot out. 93
    today100/104 the next 2 days. We have big cracks in the back yard! Like your idea of taking a picture of your garden area for a picture. It looks so nice.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Glenda Fletcher – good photos are easy to come by this time of year and my phone is always in m pocket!

  11. Joyce from NY

    Mary your pictures are gorgeous! I haven’t heard of Tilda fabric either, it’s so pretty! Your succulents are so beautiful, wish I could get mine to look like that, you have the right touch. The quilts are so great as usual. Did some weeding this morning & now I’m being lazy, having coffee on my back porch, a nice breeze!!

  12. Vintage Quilter

    Your Tilda fabrics are just gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what you make with them.

  13. Sue in Oregon

    Your planter with the sweet potato vine is gorgeous! I love the green color of it. It did not do very well for me. I think it likes more heat. I have some eating kind of sweet potatoes growing in tubs in the greenhouse where it’s hot, and they are doing quite well. Can’t wait to see if we get some.
    Very cute photos of you in the cornfield. Sure is lots taller than you. lol
    The DDs are wonderful. Good job, ladies!

  14. Jeanie S, Central Illinois

    Mary, this was a wonderful post! I assume Joe is Connie’s son, as he looks just like her. Your flowers are thriving; they must really love the heat and humidity.
    The Tilda fabric is stunningly beautiful. I have been trying to whittle down my stash. When I next go to a quilt shop, I could be dangerous. 😂
    I was so glad to see Launa’s post, as we have been wondering about her fire situation. 😊

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jeanie S – I’m so sorry – I thought everybody knew Connie has three boys – Andy, Joe and Dan.

  15. Jane of MN

    Dawn B in NY you have a stunning quilt and the quilting is amazing. So very colorful.

  16. Diane in Maryland

    Mary, your planter is beautiful! I always love your pictures! I have a hanging planter with maroon potato plant, dark and light pink impatiens. It’s a nice contrast but I like the lime green potato vine better. The Japanese beetles are bad this year and I did resort to using some Sevin to keep them from eating the potato vine.

    Dawn, your quilt is stunning! Love the colors, the twisting stars, quilting and the border! Each finished #3 is lovely. I haven’t even started mine yet and only a few days left in July. It’s like when we had homework from school, if you get behind it’s very hard to catch up! Lately I’ve had days of being busy all day with nothing to show for it!

    Angie in Balt. – you are so lucky to have air conditioning for your fair. I am in Kent Co. and our fair was the 15th – 17th when the temps were dreadful. Our old exhibit bldg is not air conditioned. Hopefully we can get a new bldg in my lifetime with a/c! I didn’t go but the rest of the family did. Our grandson was exhibiting and he is a 4th generation 4H member in Kent Co. All indoor exhibits were down but the fair had the largest crowds ever even in that heat. There was no in person fair last year and families were glad to be able to get out and do something. Will you exhibit a quilt at State Fair?

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane in Maryland – no state fair for me! It’s two trips to DM, 5 hours each and I have nothing I’d be willing to have judged anyway.

      1. Diane in Maryland

        I won’t be going to ours either. I just don’t drive in that city traffic anymore. We do have a gal who volunteered to take projects and pick them uo from the fair for anyone. Very nice of her as there can be long lines to enter projects and it’s always hot. Stay cool! We dream of warm summer days during winter but dreams of this heat would be nightmares!

  17. Linda

    Love the pictures, the corn is amazing. I would like to start a succulent garden, but need to read up on it. Love the planter, colors are so pretty.
    Have a wonderful day

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