32.7 Bridges and Quilt Shops in and Around Des Moines

October 31, 2013


The day after the quilt show in Des Moines in October was one of fun, driving, shopping at quilt shops & enjoying nature & bridges. SO much fun!

Here’s hoping that after a month, I can remember all the different names of all the different shops. I wasn’t the driver or the navigator, so I am going back on memory here. A bit.

Actually we started the day with bridges & ended the day with bridges.

First, the walking bridge down one of the main rivers in downtown Des Moines. This bridge is a looker & fun to walk.


The center beam is actually “in the center”


And near the walking bridge is the Robert D Ray Asian Gardens.

Look at the marble handrailing detail!


From the back, so pretty.


And since we could see the botanical gardens, I asked if we could go see!


The dome from the inside (quilting design?)


Bananas! Can you see them?


And then we drove out to our first quilt shop of the day.

Quilter’s Cupboard


A drive to the north, but worth it. The store was so cute & as you can see, a converted house, which made the knick nack & fabric viewing fun & interesting.

The back open room was busy.


Halloween fabric down the hall towards the front.


Another little room of fabric & goodies


The front room where the sewing machine sales happened.


And after seeing this, I wanted to make a chalkboard lap quilt.


We next found the fons & porter warehouse store. Found some great fabric deals for the duration of the Quilt week quilt show.

No pictures however.

Creekside Quilting

This is the store where we saw the veteran’s quilt.

Lovely store, I loved the metallic laced fabrics the best here.

Picture 1229

Above the notions wall behind where they cut fabric, are the tiniest little quilts high on the wall!

Picture 1231

Another view into the store from an angle.

Picture 1235

And then we drove towards the winterset area, on the west side.

Adel Quilting

Also a residential shop. So cute!


And this shop, also being a house, didn’t have the same access to backrooms & such. the shop seemed to be only the very large front room. Packed with lots of pretties.


And the bunting on the wall is made of the chalkboard fabric. So the bunting message can change!!!


Still packed with stuff. The far right of this next picture is a bed post set surrounding the fabric bolts. What a good idea.


At this time, we had just enough time to get to Fons & Porter in Winterset before they closed, but we would be cutting it short. So south in Madison County we drove.

Fons & Porter Quilting


The shop for Fons & Porter is so small compared to the massive empire that has become Fons & Porter. That sounds like I mean it in a mean way, but they are so popular with quilters, but the shop itself is a normal downtown small town quilt shop. The link above is to the ’empire’ & the name, and doesn’t have that much of the local small town Iowa feel that the base quilt shop has.

But there is the warehouse closer in Des Moines that is larger.


Back to Winterset.

Apparently up the stairs of the shop is where the magazine was/is(?) put together. Notice the quilts of valor inspired flag in a shadow box on the wall. Fons & Porter have been known for their support of Quilts of Valor.


And the shop!


We talked a little with the shop employee about a few things.

One: Maryanne still lives in/around Winterset. She doesn’t do much with the store, but occasionally comes in.

One time the employee saw Maryanne leave the shop after being in there for a while, and some customers 5 minutes later asked if Maryanne ever visits.  I think they missed each other just a bit.

Two: There was a quilts & wine exhibit that ended about the same time as we were in the shop at one of the “covered bridges winery”. This county is Madison County, famous for its bridges, and even there was some kind of movie with that name as well. I never saw the movie.

Anyway, the guy who was at the covered bridge winery was a quilter of his own and he had his own quilts up for display. Too bad we missed it, it would have been nice to see a quick little outside show.



But I learned more things about Winterset.

First, they still have a Ben Franklin’s. I got a new pair of fuzzy socks. 🙂

Next, Winterset is the birthplace of John Wayne.  He has a statue & a plaque at the tiny house he grew up in.


Third, they have a city park where they completely relocated a covered bridge. It was the first of 3 I saw up close.


And back in the city park there is a very windy narrow road that leads to a tower!


Getting some Quilters Health Check by climbing those stairs & scary ladder.


And lastly the  Winterset city park had a hedge maze. We got a little tangled up in the maze, but it was fun! There is a sundial in the center but we were starting to lose the sun.


And then we went to find more bridges.  This one was moved off the road, but still on the creek.


And the last bridge before the sun went down.


Speaking of losing the sun. End of the day in Des Moines! Some of the last time out & about on my vacation in early October.




  1. You must have had such a great time. And, with your wonderful photos, we get to join in just a bit. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for taking us on vacation with you! Fun pics–looks like you had a great time.

  3. Such a great vacation! Interesting about the Fons & Porter shop.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: