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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quilter's Rest Stop ~ Really?

A year ago as I was traveling home from Iowa along I-80, I happened to stop at one of the hundreds of highway rest stops and was quite surprised to find all kinds of quilt blocks all over the facility.  I knew I had to stop there again and - yes - show you photos of a highway rest stop.  I can hardly believe I'm writing about this either....but take a look!

This rest stop is located along a portion of the infamous Underground Railroad.

This plaque tells the Underground Railroad story to travelers.

The building is loaded with quilt blocks and other symbols of the Underground Railroad and its quilted path.  Kinda neat, huh?

As soon as you walk in the door.....

All of the Underground Railroad blocks are inlaid in the floor. 

Inside, the route for safe passage is depicted on the floor, too.

A colorful tile quilt brightens the room.

Well, I don't know about you, but I thought it a very nice surprise, and a wonderful tribute to a piece of American history and the part quilting played in it.  You can find it at mile marker 270 as you travel eastbound along I-80 in Iowa.  

Happy stitching!  Pam 

Please note: It has been brought to my attention that, in recent years, quilting historians have disspelled the role of quilts/quilt blocks regarding the Underground Railroad as myth not fact.  It was never my intention with this blog post to either promote or disspell their role regarding the Underground Railroad, but merely to talk about a most unusual highway rest stop.  To read more about recent findings regarding the Underground Railroad,
Click Here


  1. How very cool! I would have to take a longer than normal rest stop at that place!

  2. While it is always fun to see quilts in unexpected places, this rest area is an embarrassment to those of us in Iowa who are serious quilt historians as this display perpetuates the Underground Railroad quilt code myth.

  3. Thanks for sharing Pam!

  4. How awesome! I need to find somewhere to go from St Louis that would take me near that stop! lol
    Maybe a nice summer weekend trip?

  5. What a lovely rest stop! Considering that I just drove from San Antonio to Dallas where the rest stops are basically a place to pull over, I would have loved to have a rest stop like this. Gorgeous eye candy.

  6. This is WONDERFUL.....thanks for posting it. (I found your blog from Nancy who posted above.)

  7. Really nice rest stop! Thank you for sharing.

    Have a super great day.

  8. I live in Iowa and love this rest stop. Every time I am there I discover something more special in all the quilt blocks and the building. Iowa has many treasures throughout the state.

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