Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Last Thursday I escaped the work routine with a trip to the Iowa State Fair. I must admit the fair is something I can only take every few years but I was eager to revisit it after a three-year break. First stop was the Fabric and Threads area, which houses the quilt exhibit. Mary Shotwell, a very talented member of our local quilt guild, won Best of Show with this beauty.

Several years ago, I took a quilting class from quilt designer Froncie Quinn, who authored the historical quilt book, Enduring Grace: Quilts from the Shelburne Museum Collection. Perhaps you have it in your quilting library? Anyway, Mary also attended the class and shared her amazing quilt made with Froncie's fabrics. I took a photo of it and thought this would be the perfect time to share it. I happen to have yardage for a few of the fabrics—including the border—used in the quilt. If anyone is interested, I would be happy to email photos of them (or I might post them later if I get a chance). I will sell them for $8 a yard.

I also enjoyed this gray-and-yellow quilt by Margaret Beal, another talented quilter who happens to live in my town. This is one of my favorite color combinations. I wish they had space to display the entire quilt.

I was also captivated by this blue-and-brown LeMoyne Star beauty by Carole Livingston.

All that quilt inspiration made hubby and I hungry. Hee hee! So we headed over to enjoy our first food stop of the day. We'd heard about all the new food offerings but decided to try an old favorite first. This delicious fried cauliflower was our mid-morning treat.

Next we tried the new apple-pie-on-a-stick at this fun stand. Wow! This one was my favorite. The pie was light and flaky with a delicious apple filling. 

My hubby wanted to try the new garlic fried cheese curds, which were attracting quite a bit of interest at this stand.

I'm not too keen on cheese since I lack the enzyme necessary to digest dairy, but I have found I can tolerate the lighter colored cheeses like swiss and mozzarella pretty well. Luckily, these happened to be mozzarella. 

Hubby also enjoyed a foot-long corn dog.

As a sheep and wool lover, I had to check out the sheep barn, where I spotted this freshly shorn fellow enjoying a nap.

If my stomach weren't so full, I might have tried this Zero Gravity ride. Don't you love the pink, green, and yellow colors? I think it might have inspired a new pincushion design for me. Funny how inspiration comes from the most unexpected of places when you look at your surroundings with an open heart and mind.

To walk off some of that food, we decided to take in the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in downtown Des Moines after leaving the fair. Before we knew it, we were walking the streets of downtown Des Moines for a couple hours. We sure felt better by the time we were done. 

My hubby mentioned that I should have included a photo of my red polka dot dress that I wore to the State Fair, which I forgot to take, but you can kind of see it in the reflection of the sculpture that I took in the above photo. 

Many people have asked if the red dress is vintage and it is not. I continue to try adding vintage dresses to my wardrobe. My goal is for at least a quarter of it to be vintage 1960s. I wore my vintage 1960s dress with white platform wedges, pictured below, to the Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market on Saturday. I love how this dress is shapeless and conceals the waist and hips for a comfy fit. What really makes it special is the long bow that extends from the top of the dress all the way to the bottom. It was so windy that it wouldn't stay put in any of the photos my hubby took, so here is a self shot that shows it a little better. What I love about vintage dresses is that many are handmade and are better quality than today's clothes. I do have to carefully inspect them for damage but if you get one in great condition, I really think you have something special. I wish I'd lived through the 1960s. It must have been so fun.

If there's anything I love more than vintage dresses, it might be shoes. Do you like clogs? If so, you might want to check out the wonderful Swedish Hasbeens. They call them clogs even though they don't look like the traditional clogs one might envision. Below is a photo of my gray ornament clogs. Each shoe is handcrafted in Sweden from a single piece of lime tree wood. The quality is truly impeccable and the fit is great even for people like me with small, narrow feet. And NO, this is not a paid advertisement! I just love these shoes. I think I might have to start a Pinterest board for them on my Pinterest page.

And what pink-accented skirt would be complete without a pink phone purse? Couldn't resist this one.

I'll close with some photos of our dinner from Fair Day. We figured since we'd already indulged at the Fair, why not stop by our favorite Chinese food place on the way home?  

We also split this coconut bubble tea. I love how the tapioca pearls pop in your mouth, giving you a burst of fruity flavor.