When I was a student in a beginning quilting class at the ISU Extension office on the Winterset square, I never dreamed that one day I’d be helping establish a quilt museum on a different side of the same town square.

Liz Porter and I were in our twenties and mothers of small children when we met in that beginners’ class. We learned the rudiments of simple patchwork and hand quilting in the four-week course. Soon, we were teaching classes in Winterset ourselves—at the Methodist Church, the Art Center, and, eventually, the Ben Franklin store, also on the town square.

Teaching locally led to writing quilting books, which led to teaching around the state, then around the country, and abroad. Always looking for ways to keep our free-lance careers afloat, we wrote more books, designed fabrics, lectured and judged at quilt shows, got ourselves on public television, and eventually became owners and editors of the largest-circulated quilting magazine, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting, in America. We’re both retired, now, but we both still enjoy making quilts as much as we did as young moms in the 1970s. The tools and fabrics are definitely better these days!

Marianne Fons and Megan Barrett
Marianne Fons with Megan Barrett, Director of the Iowa Quilt Museum

The Iowa Quilt Museum is an aesthetically beautiful and culturally valuable institution, not just for Winterset and Madison County residents, but for all Iowans, as well as for any visitor, U.S. citizen or otherwise, who finds his or her way here to the heart of the Midwest.

We invite you to visit in person!