Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet Corn and Ugly Pretty

Iowa is a happenin' state these days. What with the Iowa State Fair (August 11-21) numerous Republican presidential candidates hanging out in Ames for Q&A's and the Iowa Straw Poll (I've taken dozens of publicity and polling phone calls), and the Adel Sweet Corn Festival, you'd never want for something to do! To top it off, the weather has changed to downright marvelous. Partly sunny with a nice breeze and most importantly - low humidity. Iowans have every reason to be outdoors.

On Saturday, my FBB (Friend Before Blogging) Michelle and I went to the Sweet Corn Festival. I didn't eat a thing all day so I could stuff myself on delicious sweet corn. I did! I ate four ears!

There's quite a process for preparing 7-1/2 tons of sweet corn. It's hand shucked on Friday evening, the day before the Festival. Cleaned ears are put into yellow milk crates provided by Anderson-Erickson Dairy. Crates are placed on a platform and lowered into hot steam bath. The man in the white shirt is removing from under the steamer lid crates of steamed corn that he's then putting onto a conveyor (far left).

Steamed corn is dumped into a feeding trough! Well, that's pretty much what it is. That's steam rising from the hot corn.
Servers load your paper plate with the number of ears you ask for.

For dessert one might even have room for a creamy Anderson-Erickson ice cream cone!

Earlier this week I spent considerable time digging into two scrap bins, ironing and cutting pieces for three quilts, and cutting any remaining fabric into user-friendly sizes:

3-1/2" X 6-1/2" rectangles ("Loaves," as we call them in Stitchin' Mission.)
2-1/2" strips
2" strips
1-1/2" strips
and 1-1/2" X 1-1/2" squares - for a Leaders and Enders quilt

It takes so much cutting in this ongoing saga and seemingly unattainable goal of using up all my old cotton fabrics! With a personal challenge to empty just one of my 12 large fabric bins by the end of the year, I'm not feelin' the love... or much progress.

Still, it tickles me to no end to see how ugly fabrics play well together and result in a wonderful scrappy quilt. If I might say so, don't you think this Disappear Four-Patch makes into a pretty quilt top?
Disappearing Four Patch, 57" X 65"
It's easy to make. Use 5" X 5" squares to make 56 Four Patch blocks. Then, simply by making four cuts, rotating four pieces, and sewing them together again, you get  8" X 8" (finished) blocks to make this 57" X 65" scrappy quilt top.

Who would have guessed that a few 20 year-old calico type prints could look so good?

My tutorial for this Disappearing Four Patch is here, (or click tutorial tab above) in case you'd like to try making one yourself. It's also a block that would certainly be well suited to a group wanting to make a mission quilt. I'll be giving away this quilt after I quilt it trying a different all over quilting design.

Monday, Dan and I went to the Iowa State Fair. So much to see! Dan wore his step counter; we walked 9.6 miles (15 kilometers). I'll tell you more about it after a rest! Linda

P.S. My FAB Lee (FreshlyPieced) designed this fabric that has been accepted into a contest sponsored by Connecting Threads. If Lee is a winner she gets a monetary prize, and the design will be made into fabric sold by Connecting Threads.

This design is called "Flourish" (You can probably guess how much I like that name!) Let's help Lee win. Please go to this page to vote for Flourish. Thanks!


Jeanette said...

Love the quilt top. Gorgeous colours blending well there. Hugs,

Pokey said...

First- YuM! on the fresh corn! That is something we enjoyed while in Nebraska this past week.
Your quilt turned out great, uglies and all. I need to be more aggressive in my putting fabrics together, I still want controlled chaos, lol

Jenny said...

The sweet corn festival certainly seems like fun! They don't have this in NZ.

I love the disappearing 9 patch, but have yet to do one yet. Yours looks very nice, but lots of preparation, as you say.

Jenny said...

Oops, sorry, I misread what you wrote.

Your quilt is of course a disappearing 4 patch, not a nine patch.

Silly me.

KaHolly said...

I just love fresh, sweet corn! Your quilt looks great. And your friend is well on her way to becoming a winner!! I voted and scanned the rest of the entries and a lot of people like her design!! Including me!! I wish her good luck. ~karen

Deb said...

The quilt looks great. Maybe there is hope for me yet in using up my scraps -- I'm not very good at doing that. I was able to see the fabric and threads results at the Iowa State Fair online yesterday. It was good to see your name as a winner -- several times! Congrats again.

Sue said...

Love the scrappy quilt top Linda. A great idea to use up even more of those 20 year old fabrics!
Thanks for the Tute!
Your State Fair reminds me of my childhood, and what we called the A & P Show.(Agriculture & Pastoral)They were alot smaller than yours, in the little town I lived in.:-)


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