Iowa State Fair

Our big day at the fair started with a big mistake – we left home too late and we just happened to go on Senior Day!  We waited in traffic 1 hour and 50 minutes to enter the fairgrounds!  We were having State Fair Rage!  Car after car zoomed around us and crowded into our line of traffic – infuriating us!  Good thing we didn’t have a gun!  (just kidding)

And it was HOT!  Very hot!  And we felt rushed because we had lost 2 hours waiting in traffic so we walked fast and looked fast.  And then we were further disappointed because evidently the chickens had gone home as well as the goats and the draft horses.  Darn!  

We were so hot we didn’t even do the fair food justice – we only had a milkshake, a ribeye sandwich,fries, a lemonade and a beer.  BUT —- we saw so many great things!  I was too busy looking and forgot to take pictures.  I loved this Indian corn and these gorgeous bunches of decorative grasses tied together.

And the vegetables were so beautiful – look at these tomatoes!

And how I wish I had taken pictures of the houseplants and the succulents – I was too busy looking.

Here is the butter cow.

And then there was the birthing center – baby goats, calves, piglets, chicks, ducklings, ostriches – all born/hatched during the fair.

We found Susan and her friend Shel at a watering hole while their men were at the tractor pull so we had a cold beer with them.  I could have sat there for 6 hours in the shade with the breeze, watching people on the main concourse and drinking beer and chatting and laughing but we had to go home.

After my first post this morning entitled “Who the Heck is Jill Fisher?”  two friends immediately located her.  I know it’s her because the quilts I showed you are on her blog.  At the fair I also noticed a Scrap Vortex but I could not see the name – you guessed it – Jill Fisher.  And here is another picture I took and just this morning I noticed the name – ha!  Jill Fisher once again.  

I think she’ll become my idol.  I am going to read her entire blog tonight – it’s called pielady quilts and I love every quilt on it – would love to visit her and see her quilts.  The talent that she has with color cannot be taught – it comes from within.

Seeing her quilts was worth my whole trip to the fair.  Becky and I will be much smarter when we go next year and we will go earlier before all the animals go home.  I’m really sorry Rick can’t walk good enough to go with us and he refuses to ride a scooter so he’ll stay home with the animals again.

That’s enough about my day off – the lawn mower is calling me.

15 thoughts on “Iowa State Fair

  1. Midge H

    Why couldn’t Rick walk the distance? I thought he had new knees. I am asking because I will get my second new knee in October and I plan on being able to walk my dogs for much longer than I can now!!

  2. Louise

    Thank you Mary for bringing Jill and her quilts to our attention.
    I love her quilts, obviously another Gwen fan but with her own flair.
    Our county fair is going on as well. Lynden, Wa. Thanks for the pictures.

  3. Brenda archambault

    Glad the mystery has been solved. Those tomatoes sure look wonderful. The biggest disappointment in moving to Arizona is the terrible tomatoes. I guess there’s nothing like the ones grown above the Mason-Dixon Line and look forward to some big red ripe ones when I go to CT next month.

  4. Launa Peters

    Lovely to see the fair pics…and I also Googled Jill Fisher because her quilts are fabulous ……I look at Pie Lady blog occasionally so guess I’d best add her to my favorites.
    It’s 3 PM here in the valley and we are so hazy from fires…….the sun is blocked and it seems like near 6PM outside due to lack of direct sunshine.

  5. Diane

    Thanks so much for sharing the fair pictures! It was too hot to go to the Ohio State Fair this year. The Jill Fisher quilts beautiful. I’ll check her out.

  6. Lee

    Mary, just love the fair! In North Carolina the fair is in October….it can still be warm but not hot. I love love looking at the plants. In the spring small plots of dirt are given to applicants. They have a theme every year something different. The plot is planted and cultivated until the fair. Then they are judged. There’s always a list of the different plants they use. It’s my favorite part of the fair except for the quilts , the cakes, the crafts, the veggies and…….
    Love the fair.

  7. Carol

    The butter cow made me laugh! In a Buffalo NY the big thing at Easter is a butter lamb! It’s just not Easter without a butter lamb! My husband and I are dairy-free but I still buy one! you just can’t mess with tradition! Another funny thing, a company here has gone into production of….butter lamb soap! Guess who is buying them for the kids’ Christmas stocking!?

  8. Jill Fisher

    Thanks Mary! I hate to quibble, but the things that make the fair worth attending are the peppermint ice cream bars from Bauder’s, the honey lemonade from the bee producers and the giant pumpkins. 😃 I am so glad that you found the quilts at the fair and me on the internet. I entered 3 quilts last year and had such a good experience that I entered 10 this year (for $5 you can enter up to 10 items). I am so glad I did. Thanks again!

  9. Linda

    I have a State Fair story for you: Years ago when I was at your quilt shop, I bought 12 squares to embroider and turn into a quilt. They were old-fashion-looking flowers. Four or five were already embroidered. When I saw them, I thought some little old lady probably has started them and her eye sight failed or maybe she even died before completing the blocks. I thought SOMEBODY should finish them for her, so I bought them and brought them home…..and put them in a drawer….for several years. When my sewing room began to overflow, I decided I needed to get to those UFOs. I finished the squares and brought them again to your store to look for material for the backing, sashing and borders. A lady in the store came up to me and exclaimed, “You were the one who bought my squares!!!!!” What we’re the chances of running into the lady YEARS later at your store who had started to embroider those squares! When I showed the finished quilt recently to my daughter, she said I needed to enter the quilt in the MN State Fair this year. That was NEVER EVER remotely a thought that I had, but she finally convinced me.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda – what a wonderful story! I can’t believe the lady was in the store when you were – now we really must see a picture and hear an update from the fair. Thank you for writing!

      1. Linda

        I thought I already sent this reply this morning, but maybe I did something wrong. Please forgive me if this is a duplicate.

        My husband and I are sight-seeing in IA for a few days, and this morning my daughter called to tell me I got a 2nd place ribbon in the MN State Fair. Unbelievable!!

        I THINK the lady who I bought the squares to embroider from, must have worked at your store, for me to run into her twice there. IF I remember correctly, she had dark brown hair, but I may be way off, as it was years ago. Maybe when I show you pictures, the squares might ring a bell for you. I will see if I can figure out how to get the pictures to you.

  10. Jan (Mozzie's Grandma)

    We were at the fair on Thursday, and it was hot and humid. Our family was there for the Century Farm award presentation. I did get to see all the beautiful quilts, and my they were beautiful. I know my quilting skills have a long long way to go. But, I am satisfied with what I have made and I have decided that is the most important part for me. I never will be perfect!!!!

  11. Jane dumler

    The pie lady quilts are so fun. Jill is doing a service to the modern quilt movement. Her straight line quilting reminded me or you, Mary. Thanks for pointing her out.

  12. DangitAnge

    I love the Iowa state fair! It’s the best state fair in the land! I moved to Wisconsin over ten years ago and finally last year planned a trip back during the fair so my youngest two could do the fair. We had a blast.
    As we stood in the quilt building admiring all the pretties, I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen since I moved away. She was the only one I ran into all day that I knew and it happened by the quilts. 🙂

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