The Iowa Quilt Museum welcomes quilters, quilt lovers, history buffs, and all appreciators of American art and culture. Our mission is to promote appreciation of the American quilt and the art of quilting through displays of quilts and information about quilt history.

Located on the south side of the town square in historic Winterset, Iowa—birthplace of John Wayne, county seat of Madison County, home of the Bridges of Madison County—our unique space occupies a storefront that was for many years a JC Penney local branch. The museum offers changing exhibits—three to four per year—of American quilts both vintage and new.


Carissa Heckathorn will begin as director of the Iowa Quilt museum September 1st.

The Iowa Quilt Museum is pleased to announce that Carissa Heckathorn has been hired as the museum director effective September 1st. Megan Barrett, current director of the IQM, will conclude her tenure there on August 31st.

Carissa is a business professional with her Bachelors degree from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and her Master’s degree from the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She brings an abundance of marketing experience and community involvement to her new role.

Carissa began quilting in 4-H as a child, and has never lost her passion for the art. She cares deeply about the link that quilting provides to the past as the craft continues to evolve and attract new quilters.

One of her favorite business successes was raising over $20K with one email through merging marketing efforts and collaborating across entities. Carissa’s most recent accomplishment was starting a real estate business right before the pandemic and still being able to produce $3 million in sales.

In her role as Museum Director, Carissa looks forward to working in the community and expanding the opportunities to collaborate with other local businesses and continue to build the IQM brand.

A recent transplant to Greenfield, IA, from Poulsbo, WA, Carissa and her family purchased a farm and look forward to a homestead lifestyle in the coming years. In her down time, Carissa quilts and raises her son Max with her partner Brad.

Carissa is going to be a wonderful addition to our business and tourism community. She has excellent qualifications for the position, plus great enthusiasm and creative thinking. We’re very excited to be adding Carissa to our team,” says Randall Parkin, president of the Iowa Quilt Museum board of directors.

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