It’s easy to see why Kalona is considered the Quilt Capital of Iowa, with its rich local quilting heritage, abundance of quilt shops and sizable annual quilt show. Now, the town has taken its love for the art of quilting to a whole new level, incorporating larger-than-life quilt blocks into the sidewalks downtown.
“There are 42 blocks embedded in the sidewalk throughout the downtown area,” says Lori Mostek, owner of Kalona Furniture Co. and one of the local organizers. Each six-foot by six-foot quilt block was built into the sidewalk using a variety of 16 colors of bricks that have the color infused throughout each brick.
The art project got its starts as the town was working on a downtown revitalization plan. “The architect had drawn up some plans that we felt were like everybody else’s, nothing different,” Mostek says. Considering the town’s long connection to quilting, Mostek suggested they incorporate quilt block designs into the new sidewalks.
Mostek points out that a great deal of thought went into selecting the individual quilt blocks for the display. “We tried to find quilt patterns that were reminiscent of the Amish heritage and quilt blocks from people around here,” Mostek says.
Pick up a map and brochure outlining the Quilt Block Walking Tour at the Kalona Chamber office, 514 B Ave., or any local business.