Quiltfolk Issue 02: Iowa

For Quiltfolk Issue 02 the team traveled to Eastern Iowa. Braving subzero wind chills, we explored an integral piece of America’s quilting culture. Iowa has more quilt shops per capita than any place on earth and a reputation for being rich with quilting history. Even with high expectations, our trip did not disappoint. The people were friendly, the places were picturesque, and the quilts were bold and incredibly beautiful. Take a look below at just a few of the stories we explore in this issue.

164 pages, offset printed and perfect bound, full color on uncoated paper.

Original printing February of 2017.

The Encore Career by Marianne Fons

Marianne Fons is a woman who needs no introduction. But beyond things you may know about her work to date, she has a seemingly boundless energy for making new and exciting things happen. We couldn’t wait to get to Iowa to find out all about it, but we didn’t expect her to share her work in her own words. We are very excited that she has written a special feature just for the Quiltfolk community. You won’t want to miss this!

Heritage Designs: An eye for the uncommon

Don’t let the gray walls fool you. Shop owner Chris Davies has renovated this old barn in historic Amana to be the home of her destination quilt shop. But due to a local ordinance, businesses can do very little in the way of signage to dress up the outside of their buildings. We take you inside to look at some of the most colorful fabrics (and personalities) we have seen yet.

Hen & Chicks Studio: Hospitality at its finest

When we walked into Hen & Chicks Studio on a January morning, we found a cozy refuge from the cold. A bell chimed as the heavy wooden door shut tightly behind us, and we were immediately greeted by Heidi Kaisand, the owner and heart behind behind the quilt shop and retreat center.

Judy Martin: Gracious & gifted

Judy admits to being a perfectionist, and her logical, mathematical reasoning shows  in her work. But she’s perhaps best known for her nuanced, imaginative quilt designs — a dichotomy not lost on her. “My family is one of creatives and scientists,” she says. “My sister is literally a rocket scientist.”

Tony Jacobson: At peace at Piece Works Quilt Shop

You might be surprised to see Tony “manning” a quilt store and, frankly, you wouldn’t be alone. “If people don’t know who I am and they come into the shop, they will ask me if there’s anyone else who can help them or they might gravitate to the ladies in the shop. Then they are very surprised when those ladies come and ask me what the yardage is.”

Frond & Delve: Where fine art is for everyone

“To see how we’ve grown in the last five years seems a little beyond me sometimes,” Stephanie says. “If you’d told me a year ago that our showroom would be where it is, I wouldn’t have believed you.” This showroom is Delve MIY (Make It Yourself), part retail shop, part testing ground for the wide array of Frond products.

Behind the blanket: A look at The Amana Woolen Mill

Still producing after 160 years, the Amana Woolen Mill provides intricately woven blankets, garments, and other handmade goods to markets around the world. The mill was established by early German settlers who pioneered a communal living lifestyle in the Amana Colonies. We take you inside where local craftsman continue to innovate and expand upon the traditions set forth by their founders.

One year young: Exploring the Iowa Quilt Museum

Winterset, Iowa, is home to one of the most charming city squares in all America. But it’s particularly loved by quilters, since a one-block walk will provide visitors with everything you could possibly need for a day of fun. Quilts by designer Tony Jacobson hang in the local café, Tony himself manages Piece Works Quilt Shop down the street, and if that wasn’t enough, the stunningly beautiful Iowa Quilt Museum is right next door. We take you inside each one.

Sandy Gervais: Designer Q&A

“When I designed greeting cards I had a little ‘studio’ set up on the back porch of our home. It was basically a card table in the middle of the room, but it served its purpose. I would send the kids to school then I would paint like mad, getting as much done as I could before they arrived back home. After the children went to bed, I would return to my studio for more painting.”

Nolting Longarm: Made in America

Pulleys, axles, gears, and wheels. CNC machines, extruded aluminum, and big, burly men wielding welders that shoot sparks across their workstations. This isn’t the kind of scene and story you expect to see in the pages of a quilting magazine. But then again, there has long been a relationship between machines and makers. Quilters are no exception.

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