Barn Quilts of Grundy County, Iowa

First Barn Quilt Tour of 2009
April 27, 2009, 5:02 PM
Filed under: Uncategorized
Thursday, April 23 proved to be an excellent day to have the first Barn Quilts of Grundy County tour of 2009!  The weather was perfect, not too warm or cold, slightly windy, but overall, great.  The small group of 17 ventured up from the West Des Moines Christian Church for a day outing. 

Our tour began in Conrad, where I met the group for a little shopping and investigation.  Most of the group was in the Conrad General Store when I arrived.  The General Store attracts many people all the time, coincidentally it is also the Grundy County’s ONLY quilt supply shop.  Hundreds of bolts of fabric cover the sides of the walls along with sewing equipment, antiques and gift items.  cgssigns

After a little browsing of Main Street Conrad, the group hopped back onto the bus and we began our day tour.  When tours are large enough for a step-on guide, I join them and lead them around the county and explain and maybe even show them some things they normally would not learn or see.  Our first brief stop was in Beaman.  We pulled over to see our first quilt block and take a group photo. 

West Des Moines Christian Church - April 23, 2009 - Standing in front of quilt block "Arrowheads"

West Des Moines Christian Church - April 23, 2009 - Standing in front of quilt block "Arrowheads"

After admiring a quilt block on a large and up-close scale, we moved on to Grundy Center.  The group had a tour planned at the Grundy County Courthouse.  The Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1891.  We met our tour guide, Mary Schmidt, County Auditor, and she led us around a couple floors of the building.  We saw the court room, recorders office, Board of Supervisors Meeting room, Auditors office and more.  It was a very informational tour.  A tour I plan on having other groups take in the future!   

A shot of the group from the Courthouse stairway.

A shot of the group from the Courthouse stairway.


After the Courthouse tour, the group had some free time to look around at many of Grundy Center’s downtown specialty shops.  After browsing it was time again to head back to bus and move on to our next destination.  Our next stop was in Morrison at the Grundy County Heritage Museum.  This is a key spot on each and every tour.  I love this place!  It is educational and just plain interesting!  This museum serves as the county’s environmental education center.  It displays a wide variety of artifacts from Grundy County’s cultural past and also includes natural history and displays of wildlife mounts and aquarium displays.  The museum is also home to a 90-foot long diorama that depicts the transformation of Grundy County prairie to farmland and also has a replica 1900’s farmhouse, barn and general store with all the furnishings!  If you have never visited, I strongly suggest you do!  For more information, call 319-345-2688 – Museum is open Tues-Thurs 8am-4:30pm or by appointment….and its FREE! 


The General Store

 After viewing the museum, it was time to take the hungry group on to lunch.  We traveled towards into Reinbeck where we ate lunch at Indulge!  Yummy!  Indulge is owned by Glenda Billerbeck  and she also owns The Fountain on Main.  We ate in Indulge and it was great.  Great atmosphere, plenty of room and I believe we enjoyed good conversation and food! 

A view of the group at Indulge during lunch.
A view of the group at Indulge during lunch.

After lunch they had free time to look around and then it was off again on the bus to finish up the day.  We toured the countryside that afternoon and saw many quilt blocks.  I believe the group saw 20 quilt blocks during their trip to Grundy County.  I do hope they learned a little while they were here and may suggest their friends and family visit us in the future.  The only part I wish would have been better was the speaker system…there was none besides my own voice!  I wish I could have explained more about the county and each quilt block we saw, but I didn’t want to scream over the noises of the bus and wind all day.  But all in all, I believe it was a good outing.  Thank you to the West Des Moines Christian Church for visiting us in Grundy County!