A Trip to Iowa and July OMG is Complete

I got it done! It felt impossible, but here it is, done ahead of time. This is my Tall Tales quilt.

Next up is to create a pieced backing from many of the novelty prints that I had set aside for this quilt. I only used little pieces of them, so this will help reduce the stash. I'll just do an edge-to-edge on this one since it's one I plan to use.

What should I tackle for next month?

My husband and I traveled to Carroll, Iowa, last week to take a maintenance class from APQS maintenance guru Amy Stuart. Want to see what APQS headquarters looks like?

This was the first time I'd been to Iowa. My impression was corn, soybeans, wind turbines, and trains. There were very few political signs, which I found very refreshing. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of wind turbines we saw. I did a bit of research since we spent many, many hours in the car. Wind power accounted for 57% of Iowa's power generation in 2020 and their goal is to be 100% renewable by 2050. I think this is totally awesome and I wish Indiana would make more of an effort. I also noticed a lot of trains. I found this juxtaposition interesting.
A train hauling coal with lots of wind turbines in the distance.

We did a bit of outdoor sightseeing as well. This is Elwood, the world's largest concrete gnome. He is housed in the Rieman gardens on the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

There was an exhibit at the gardens as well. Here are a few of the sculptures we enjoyed.

We took a trip to Audubon, Iowa, one evening to see Albert, the world's largest bull.

On our way out of Iowa, we drove toward Des Moines. This is a sculpture outside the library in Waukee.

We also visited the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. It was literally 100 degrees outside, so we walked very quickly around the block. Here are a few of my favorite photos.

Since we got back home in the middle of the night, we took a day to recover from the traveling. Then it was back to work for me. Here is one of Susan's quilts, quilted with More Square Drama.

Our carpet re-do part three was scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Monday they tore out the awful carpet from round two. Then we had some cleaning to do and also my husband had to fill lots of holes in the cement from the tack strips and the drill holes from who knows what.

They left fairly early, so I snuck in another quilt. This is Amber's, quilted with loopy meander. 

Yesterday was day one of the carpet replacement. I spent my time watching some Intelliquilter courses and following along with my tablet until the battery ran out. Then I cleaned and also worked on cutting a project I'm testing. The workers stayed quite late, 5:45 or so. They just snuck out without saying anything. Uh-oh, that brings back bad memories from round two. I sent my husband down to get some parsley from the indoor garden and he came back up and said it looks like they're done. 🤔

I went downstairs and it does, indeed, look like they're done. I don't see any hugely visible seams at the moment, but as you can see, it really needs to be vacuumed. So maybe this nine month nightmare is finally over. We'll see. If it all looks good, we can uncover the trim and finally get the slider door switched out and trimmed. And move our furniture back into the living room.

Out in the garden, things are looking jungle-like. My kids were supposed to water the veggies and harvest while we were gone. My son said he did the garden on Friday and he picked a cucumber. I went out Sunday morning and here is part of my harvest. I also had a few peas and a good handful or two of green beans. I'm like, "I thought you said nothing was ready." He's like, "I didn't see anything." I show him the harvest. Ummm....these things don't get this big in a day or two. LOL

My mother in law sent me a bunch of zinnia seeds. Here's one little patch.
Well, it's my birthday and I'm going to go do whatever I feel like. TBD. 😃 See you next week with next month's goal.


  1. Happy birthday, Anne-Marie!!! Interesting blog post! I have APQS and have been to the Des Moines HQ but not to Carroll, so that was interesting to see. Did you learn a lot of helpful things with the maintenance class? Was it worth it? Love the world's largest gnome!!! Oh, and your Tall Tales is great!!! I'll be watching to see what E2E you use.

  2. Congratulations for finishing your goal! It looks great.

  3. I haven't really visited Iowa but I've been through it multiple times, once spending the night on our way to WI. Des Moines isn't a bad drive from here--6+ hours--and with a son in Omaha (under 2 hours to Carroll), it kind of got me thinking so I mentioned this APQS training and all to hubs. I think we could make a decent road trip out of all of that. How was the class? Worth it? So glad to see your carpet in! I bet you enjoyed vacuuming it and I'm sure you're all moved back in, and life can finally go on! Still loving the tall tales quilt!