Quilters, Come Visit Winterset!

One of my community’s joys is welcoming visitors to our picturesque little town. Collectively, we love to share the uniqueness that is Winterset and Madison County. Annually, in May, we embrace hundreds of guests for the John Wayne Birthplace Celebration, thousands in October for the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival.

We open our arms every day in smaller ways as well, whether by giving directions to tourists looking for our covered bridges, pointing out our beautiful gift shops and other independently-owned retailers that line the square, or greeting quilters and quilt lovers who enter the Iowa Quilt Museum.

Soon, my town will be opening its arms to a special, limited group of quilters. The September 13–15 event, titled “At Home with Marianne Fons,” has been organized by my longtime friend Marlene Ingraham, who waxes poetic about Winterset and the event here. Personally, I’ve been describing the weekend as a “quilting spa,” because once participants hit town and check into their accommodations, everything else is provided—fabric for my full-size quilt, “Darling,” (plus an additional project) sewing machine, special tools, instruction, snacks, lunches, dinners with local wines, and, of course, camaraderie. Mega quilters Paula Nadelstern and Victoria Findlay Wolfe will be in town for the kickoff. Iowa’s own Linzee Kull McCrayTony Jacobson, and Diane Tomlinson have much to share as well. The whole thing will be like a soothing quilt massage.

For years, in the popular “Tip Table” segment of “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting” on public television, I invited viewers to send their tips to a PO box in Winterset, Iowa. I encourage anyone who’s curious about the place I call home to come experience my stomping ground in a very quilty way.

6 Responses

  1. Patricia Biggs
    | Reply

    Marianne, how do we get more information about “At Home with MF”? Sounds like a fun time!

  2. Evelyn Louise Pedersen
    | Reply

    Marianne, what a surprise I had when I walked into your Museum and saw you behind the counter, that early morning in Winterset. Visiting your little town with my husband on our motorcycle, was definitely one of the highlights of our trip around the US. We rode 13,000 miles in 3 months. I was welcomed home to my growing sewing studio, of books, fabric and notions, I had bought along our trip. Thank you for the encouraging words and delightful conversation on being famous and staying down to earth friendly. I sincerely enjoyed the visit. Fondly Evelyn Louise

    • Marianne Fons
      | Reply

      Evelyn, you are nice! Thanks for visiting Winterset and for your kind words.

  3. Cindy Kraft
    | Reply

    I attended “At Home in Winterset”. The town is delightful! So much more that what I expected. We visited the Iowa Quilt Museum and the Iowa Theatre. Shopped at Ben Franklin and Pieceworks Quilt Shop. Dined at local restaurants and a winery. And of course sewed! I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie. Thank you so much for sharing Winterset and yourself at this event.

    If you are looking for a relaxed and charming place to visit, spend a few days in Winterset, Iowa.

    • Marianne Fons
      | Reply

      Thank you, Cindy for spending the weekend in Winterset. Please come back!

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