Marianne Fons and Liz Porter, owners of Fons & Porter Quilt Supply in Winterset, Iowa, laughingly admit, “We’re probably the only two quilters who never fantasized about owning a quilt shop!” But quilters who visited Madison County often made a point of looking up Fons & Porter’s mail order office. “For years, we let people in, though we didn’t even have a cash register,” Liz explains.
When a quilt shop on the south side of the Winterset town square became available early in 2003, they were delighted to open a retail store, and move their growing magazine and mail order business into the building as well. Now, quilters from all over the world visit the shop to purchase fabric and Fons & Porter items: patterns, kits, magazine back issues, and tote bags. Autographed Fons & Porter books are available, always priced at a 20 percent discount.
Shoppers may catch only a glimpse of Marianne or Liz dashing upstairs between editorial meetings and planning sessions. However, when they’re available, they will happily autograph a tote bag or stand in for a photo. Liz adds, “We can even tell visitors how to find a covered bridge and John Wayne’s birthplace!”
The two-story building provides space for a retail shop and mail order business on the ground floor and Love of Quilting editorial offices upstairs. The second floor conference room windows provide a grand view of the Madison County Courthouse.
Fabric choices at Fons & Porter Quilt Supply always include a selection of batiks, brights, and tons of fun, novelty prints for the “quilty” tourists who stop in from throughout the USA and beyond.
54 Court, Winterset, Iowa
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May – October: Monday – Saturday 10-5
November – April: Tuesday – Saturday 10-5