Quilts At The Fair, 7-22 – 23

I took more quilts than there was room for! The two young men from the Fair Board were very cooperative with the forklift considering this took over 3 hours and they have a million things to do. It’s not perfect but most people won’t even stop to examine it. To be seen well quilts should be hung straight out completely but that’s just not possible here.

I’ll get some better pictures during the fair. The judging is at 1:00 Wednesday – none of my quilts are being judged – they’re for display only.

See that back wall? Next year we’re just going to hang quilts there – no more hanging them from the ceiling rafters. Too much work!

Bought a new hand sprayer yesterday and I broke it in this afternoon. It worked perfectly and I think it cost around $12. Now why would I struggle with an old sprayer that was nothing but trouble when $12 made my life much easier?????

83 thoughts on “Quilts At The Fair, 7-22 – 23

  1. Teresa in Indiana

    Mary, what a beautiful collection! I cannot pick a favorite. I love them all! 💗

  2. brendalynne1

    well at least they wont be over handled hanging up there. very kind of you to do this.

  3. Marsha from Kansas

    Oh, Mary, what a beautiful display of your quilts! Such a nice variety of patterns, colors, and designs. Regarding spray bottle, just like why do we (I) struggle with a dull rotary blade so long when it obviously needs replaced? We’re just that way. I have a friend who says, depression era mamas. Get every last ounce of goodness out of it.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marsha – haha! Yes, rotary blades are a good example!

  4. Marie C

    Your quilts look great. Wish I was close enough to see them. I like to get every bit of life out of things before I buy something new, especially when the prices can be so expensive. Not looking forward to the heatwave that is heading toward those of us in Iowa. I’m going to harvest some things from the garden so I don’t have to water them any more.

  5. Chris

    The quilts look wonderful, Mary, and I’m so glad you had cooperative helpers. Next year it should be a bit easier. Maybe you wont need as many quilts either. Congrats on the new sprayer.

  6. Betty Klosterman

    When you were in business, did you hang the quilts for the fair? Do they know how lucky they are that you have so many quilts to display? I’m curious about hanging them from the rafters. Do you clean the dust off before hanging the quilts? And last year the fire department did the hanging.

    You have a lot to show for a great accomplishment. Good job.
    Hope it isn’t too hot for the fair. I don’t think that Iowa is the place to be in the summer…….! For the life of me, I don’t remember hail storms – just blizzards and tornados.
    Betty in Rapid City

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Betty – no, the open quilt show started since we closed our business. The rafters are thick with dirt as you might expect. I did take old towels along and they sort of wiped them off but the dirt flew all over everything! We all just had to laugh about it. The gal in charge, Barb, will help me put them all through the dryer when the fair is done. I have many quilts just stacked in piles doing nothing – what am I saving them for? It makes a nice display and an inviting walk-through for fair goers. And remember – they’re not gold, there are more quilts where those came from! And since I hate making big quilts, I can make all new ones for the back wall by next year! No, the fire department did not hang them, the fair board did last year, too. And the forecast is for very hot days next week.

  7. Jo in Wyoming

    That is a beautiful display of quilts.
    You are very generous to drape your quilts across those , I’m sure dirty, splintered rafters. I wish I could see it in person.

  8. Lynn Haines

    How lucky the fair attendees are to be treated to such a spectacular quilt show.

  9. Mary Howland

    The quilts are beautiful – I’d love to see them in person. Our local fair – Orange County Fair – opened this week. All of the guilds are assigned days so we send members to sit and talk to the attendees. We answer questions and spread news about our guilds and quilt shows.

  10. Linda R Thompson

    Oh, Dear, Mary. Your quilts will be a stunning addition to the fair scheme! Does Hancock County have any girl 4-H exhibits. It’s been years since I have been to our Fair. RAGBRAI and Fairweek is always the same. We are staying home this year, those dasterly temperatures would have killed us oldsters not biking. We took two to Sioux City tonight to ride part of the week. Two may go down for the concerts in Ames and Des Moines. We thought of camping someplace in northern IA or way up in Minnesota, and the temps all run the same…way past Iowa normal hot!

    But, Mary, I had the perfect photo for your coffee table book; but, I forgot to take it. We went into a restaurant at Sheldon and sat down, noticing the van with two bikes sort of diagonally parked in two spaces very awkward to explain. It was really haphazard. I turned to my younger friend, and asked, whatever was she thinking. Her reply: there was two parking spaces between two pickups, and she wanted to park between them. Just what she sort of did! The line centered perfectly under her car—sort of.

  11. Teresa from Port Coquitlam, BC

    Your quilts are a beautiful addition to the fair. I wish I lived closer to go and see them in person.

  12. Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts

    Wow! That is a one-woman quilt show for sure! Your quilts look fabulous Mary, what a great contribution to the Fair! I love it when Fairs have lots of quilts. I’m sure this will make a lot of people very happy.

  13. Erin

    It’s a shame there isn’t more room to see each of your quilts as a whole, but you are so kind to loan them out. They’re all beautiful!

  14. Maureen Mullarkey

    Your quilt display looks wonderful, what a great addition to the fair!

  15. Kathy in western NY

    Harvey and Frankenstein show up so well hanging up on the back wall that it will be nice having that space to put quilts next year and to think of new ones to add. I like to see the whole quilt for visual affects, just like a whole painting so looking up at them folded on the rafters doesn’t do your lovely creations what they deserve. The bullseyes stand out to me. You are an Iowa treasure for sure to do this for their fair. More for attendees to see.
    I understand when churches hold quilt shows and drape the charity quilts over the pews which gives meaning to me that they’ve been prayed over too. I’m always amazed over all the various kinds of lap and kids quilts provided.
    Heat is high this coming week so everyone please be well.

    1. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy

      Because many of us were brought up with Depression Era parents who taught us to be thrifty and careful with our money, that’s why you struggled with the old sprayer. We do the same😀.
      Your quilts are stunning! I am going to study them after I send this. The people of Iowa are lucky to have such a beautiful quilt show. It was nice that you had good help.
      Nice this AM.

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Diane, thank you for the sweet birthday card! I was thrilled to receive it.

    2. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – since Bullseye is sort of our most well known quilt and the one most copied, I asked that it be the exception and the guys did it. Wish I could hang a huge sign on it – should have made it before we hung it.

      1. Kathy

        Mary I am glad they accommodated your request for bulleyes as it does deserve to be seen. I can see why your readers make more of them as it’s stuck a striking quilt to view.

  16. Pamela Dempsey

    Oh my, Mary! You have a ton of beautiful quilts! I’ve been zooming in better to see them. What caught my eye is the Kansas troubles? one in pinks/mauve. On my list! 😻 To think of all the time you spent on these. Very well done! Yes, please take pictures of the fair 😻. Our Texas state fair is surrounded by a very dangerous crime ridden part of Dallas so haven’t been since 2007. My cherry tomatoes have just about had it with the heat so will need to pull them out soon. They have blessed us so much this year 😋

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Pamela – the quilt you mentioned was one I made for mom when she lived at her lake house. I think I was matching her curtains or something. Don’t know how you’re surviving that heat!

  17. Kris in Naperville

    Love your quilts hanging all over the place… makes the area so festive! Quilts really are artwork.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kris in Naperville – my quilts are more utilitarian than artwork really. I love to piece but hate handwork.

  18. Rosalie

    I know you are busy but either return the sprayer or contact the manufacturer. They need to know the stuff doesn’t hold up.

    Beautiful quilt display, but yes a lot of work!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Rosalie – I’m sorry I didn’t explain – the sprayer was old and simply wore out with use. So many weeds in the country – in the spring I forget what July and August look like – ha!

  19. Linda in central IA

    -The quilts are a marvelous tribute to one of the many aspects of you life – just fantastic.
    Old sprayer – new sprayer; old knee – new knee?
    This week’s heat will be very hard for me; but my seewing room is a big room in the basement – and it is my happy place.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – haha!! Yes, everything needs replacing in time. The heat will be hard on everyone at the fair, especially the animals – think of those poor chickens locked up 3 to a little cage. I can’t even go look at them!

  20. Donna Albright

    I love your quilts on display! Looks like your area for quilt hanging is an older one – my favorite. The Guthrie County Fair built a new building for the quilts and ag a few years ago. Last year they were worried that they wouldn’t have enough to fill the quilt half of the building, so several of my friends and guild members loaded them up. It doesn’t say in the rules that you have to be from this county to enter quilts in the fair so 2 of the people were from the Des Moines area. It was beautiful and I don’t think they will ever say they don’t have enough quilts again! We filled it to the brim and it was one of the most visited buildings at the fair. Of course I am prejudiced about our fair. We call it the Guthrie County State Fair:) When I first moved here, I thought it was really weird that we have the fair after the state fair – Labor Day weekend.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna – tell me how you display the quilts – yes, this is one of the original old buildings which I love because of that curved roof. The 4-H building was the roller skating rink when I was a kid. Oh, how I loved going roller skating!!!! I have to look up where Guthrie County is. Becky and I like to go to the Spencer (Clay County) fair in September.

      1. Donna Albright

        Ours is a Morton type building and they have rods that hang on the sides to hang the quilts on. We also have display cases for baked and canned goods, crocheted and knitted items, china painting, sewed items, etc. There is an island in the middle for flower displays and a large photograph display area. If they keep getting more and more quilts, I don’t know where they will put them. My thoughts are that they should put the flower displays and maybe the canned goods in the ag part of the building. They don’t usually have nearly as much displayed there. There are some classes in the quilt area too that take up a lot of space.

          1. Donna Albright

            I believe they fold them over a dowel type rod and hold them with clothes pins.

  21. Bobby Sutton

    Mary, your quilts make a wonderful backdrop for all the others that will be entered and judged. Yours also give people inspiration to begin quilting and/or continue. It certainly inspires me to get back in my sewing room!! Thank you for showing. Our small local County Fair had a several quilts for judging , but the numbers of all entries are down from the last few years. Are County Fairs a thing of the past? I hope not. The 4-H kids do such a wonderful job with all their crafts and animals. I love going each year.
    Bobby in Md.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Bobby – they’re popular in Iowa yet because of 4-H and FFA. I will take more pictures next week when everything is in place. This building also includes the flower show and arts and crafts. They’re going to let me sit there and sell Oh, Susannah! books which is agriculture related, don’t you think? I am really looking forward to next week now that this major job is finished.

  22. Linda in Michigan

    I wish I could walk under those quilts and just stare and stare. What a beautiful display!

  23. Cheryl from Niagara Falls

    OMG!!!!! That is a lot of quilts! Just beautiful. Where on earth to you store them all in your home? I am running out space and I can’t imagine having that many. Lots of work but wow, does it look nice! Great job guys!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – I have a big house with little storerooms under the eaves that are filled with quilts as well as the entire quilt shop and classroom. I have too much room really because I can save everything! Haha!! The real work is carrying the quilts all the way downstairs.

  24. NancyTD

    A very nice display for everyone to enjoy! Thank you for all your hard work.

  25. Shirley Andersen Smith

    Love your “quilts at the fair”.
    Is this the county fair where you live?
    You do a great job lugging these over to the fair. I bet the community loves seeing all of them.
    Have a great day Mary.
    Shirley from Oregon

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Shirley – yes, this is my hometown county fair that is now a district fair and a really good one! It’s good because, as with anything, it takes a village to do it.

  26. Cheryl Nesbit

    Oh Mary, those quilts are beautiful! They really add to the atmosphere of the fair and are lucky to have you add to the festivities. What a job to get them hung.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Cheryl – thanks- but next year we’re not going to hang over the rafters – I’m too old to haul that many quilts!

  27. Diane Deibler

    I love my galloon sprayer. Just the right size to tote all over my yard.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Diane – I use mostly 2-4-D. Roundup only on my parking area. How about you? How’s your hubby?

      1. Diane Deibler

        He’s making progress. Still is not driving so I can trust him alone for a couple of hours. Takes lots of naps and is still on seizure medicine which I hope they take him off of when he sees the Dr. In August. Speech therapist for some memory issues but he has mowed the yard for 2 weeks
        now. At least he feels like he is accomplishing something! Thanks for asking. Don’t work too hard in this heat!

        1. Mary Etherington Post author

          Diane – that’s good news!! Mowing the lawn is a huge step and I do know how hard it is to be a caregiver since Rick had his hip replaced in late June. Don’t YOU garden too much in the heat either!

  28. Kim from Wi

    How nice that you had some super help hanging all those lovely quilts. Makes the building interesting to tour. I recently bought a small sprayer for some of my yard work and I love it, only 1 gallon and easy to tote. Hope you have a great time selling your book.

  29. Jan Smith

    Wish I could see those quilts in person! Happy that you’ve shared the photos. So much work to hang quilts.

  30. Cynthia from SW MN

    Mary! Your quilts on exhibit at the fair are so wonderful and inspiring! I love the Bullseye quilt probably the best! It looks huge! It is inspiring to see all the quilts you have on display. You deserve a One-Woman show at the Iowa Quilt Museum! Think of the visitors this would draw! I am going to get the binding sewn down on my Bullseye quilt from your sew along. I have three projects I am working on but better get this one done first! Thank you for your generosity in bringing your quilts for display.

  31. Barbara Firesheets

    WOW!! Spectacular display of your beautiful quilts! I’m sure they will be appreciated by the viewers who spend time in there.

  32. Sue Hoover

    Your quilts look spectacular even if they aren’t hung to be fully appreciated. Glad you managed to scrape up the $12 to make your life easier. Hahaha!

  33. Renee Arnett

    Mary, your quilts on display is a spectacular site for all to enjoy! You have a very kind heart to share them with the fair attendees. They will love them!

  34. Chris in Alaska

    WOW!!!! What a spectacular display of your beautiful quilts ! Wish I could visit your fair in person 🙂

  35. Jane from St Marys IA

    Our county fair starts this week & I feel for those with livestock. It’s going to be brutal out there.
    As for the sprayer…I had to break down & buy a new one as well. Then my hubby got the brilliant idea to find me a smaller sprayer that can go in the back of the Ranger. He’s got a big one that he uses on brush etc but it has chemicals I don’t want to use around my yard. This one will plug in where his plugs in & has a wand so I can drive right up to what I want to spray & then move on. I can load the bigger sprayer in the back…fill it up & away I go. No more handling the smaller tanks & wearing out my wrists!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Jane – Rick has one with a boom that he pulls but he’s very careless and I have banned him from my yard! Men spray with the same accuracy as they use the toilet I’ve decided. (Please no hateful comments in response to that opinion!)

      1. Jane from St Marys IA

        Truth!!! However…with the wand you have a little bit more control….

  36. Wonda Myers

    Your quilts are beautiful and people can’t appreciate the work put into them hanging from the rafters!! They need to be where you can get a good look at them. I’ve been to fairs where they hung them like that.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      It’s a one gallon sprayer that you carry in your left hand and hold the nozzle in the right hand. I’ll post a picture tomorrow.

  37. Carolyn from Ohio

    Love your quilts by the wsy. Lucky folks too be able to see such a display. You are a real Iowa treasure!

  38. Kathy Zuehl

    My favorite part of the fair is seeing your quilts, and the quilts of the participants…and the photography! I didn’t make one this year to be judged, but maybe next year.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Kathy – what can the open show officials do to make this quilt show more popular for more entries? I would seriously like to hear!

  39. Pam in NC

    Mary, your quilts make a beautiful display! So generous of you to share you time and talent for others to enjoy!

  40. Linda from Georgia

    Mary, a wonderful display for all to enjoy! Even though it’s lots of work I know that you get a great pleasure showing off all of your wonderful treasures. We never tire of looking at quilts.

  41. Susan K in Texas

    What a beautiful display of quilts. Thanks for sharing pictures of them. It would be fun to see.
    I got back Friday evening from my 4 day trip with my four sisters to the Hill Country. The days were hot but the evenings were cooler. We sewed and talked and laughed. We saw hummingbirds, bats, deer, cattle, butterflies, and birds. It was wonderful!

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Susan K – Hill Country is so wonderful! I haven’t been to all that many places but I’d take Hill Country any day of the week!

  42. Sharon G.

    Wow! That’s a lot of quilts! Years of hard work made with love. What a hot job that must have been working in the rafters! Will you include photos of the quilts that are judged on Wednesday?
    Spent this hot weekend in a cabin in the woods. Went to the farmers market in nearby small town. Saw a momma deer and her twins walk by the cabin. They were so stealth and quiet we wouldn’t have noticed them except my sister’s dog barked at them!
    Thanks for sharing your blog about nothing.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sharon – yes, I’ll try to show some of them. Depends on how many are there, I guess.

  43. Beamer's Mom

    I ALWAYS look forward to looking at your quilts at the fair. THANK YOU as always for the energy and effort it takes to pick out, load, hang, take down, haul home, and put back away. The building is much more attractive because of all your efforts. I know many, many people appreciate your efforts each year.

  44. Sue Bowers

    Ha! Mary I just bought a new sprayer too. My old one was leaking near the trigger. Spent an hour taking it apart & putting it back together only to have it still leak. I could buy a new trigger for $8 or a new sprayer for $12. So, out with the old, in with the new. I hate it when I can’t fix something. About your crumb quilt… I “made” some fabric from crumbs. I’m going to use that fabric to make some zipper pouches.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Sue – so fun to hear from you! How’s Natalie? I love making crumb fabric – all those little pieces being put to good use, right? Oh, I love my new sprayer – ha! It’s the little pleasures in life, right? $12!

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