Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Piece together a quilting excursion

Take a colorful excursion into quilt country with special events, exhibits and attractions. For more than 40 years, Kalona’s quilt festival has brought the quilts of its local Amish crafters together with other examples from past and present for a large quilt show and sale. This year’s event is April 27-28, but don’t worry, if you can’t fit the festival into your schedule you can visit The Quilt and Textile Museum and local quilt shops throughout the year. In downtown Kalona, the idea of a “quilt walk” is given a whole new twist, with 42 quilt block designs embedded right into the sidewalks.

In the Amana Colonies, quilts and other textiles served a utilitarian purpose in early communal life, while the skills of 19th-century colonists inspired future generations of artists. Today visitors can purchase antique and contemporary quilts and quilt supplies at several shops in the seven villages. Tour the Amana Heritage Society museums for a look at exhibits, artifacts and living history settings interpreting the unique communal lifestyle that developed here.

With East Central Iowa as the starting point for your quilt quest, consider embarking on one of Iowa’s many barn quilt tours to see barns and farm outbuildings painted with oversize quilt block designs. Grundy County was one of the first to develop the barn quilt tour; now there are similar tours in Washington County, Butler County, Sac County, Humboldt County and others.

Mark your calendar for the Living History Farms Quilt Show in late September or an exhibit of Civil War Commemorative quilts at the Grout Museum of History and Science in Waterloo now through September 1. “Comfort and Joy” is the theme of a holiday quilt show and quilt block walk during Creston’s annual Christmas festival. Create a patchwork of memories – start planning today.

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