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Fan-tastic Quilters are Fantastic – Part II

This is what it’s all about! The Shipshewana Quilt Festival…

 

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Quilters from all over the world congregate at the Shipshewana Quilt Festival in Shipshewana, Indiana including members of the The Fan-tastic Quilters Guild of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee…

Even if you are not a quilter, this is a sight to behold. It takes dedication and perseverance to accomplish what our group does accomplish, and they deserve every bit of credit they can get. Again – I was AMAZED!

This year – 2013 – the Festival events ran from June 25 – 28. In addition to the traditional show and display of vendor’s goods, there were classes, presentations by well-known quilters, and shop-hops to keep you busy. Information for 2014 is a click away…

Allow me to share a few photos of what I experienced.  What you see above is a few of our ladies shopping at one of the many booths set up by vendors within the quilting community.  They shopped – I ran the battery down on my camera…

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A vendor showing how it’s done…

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Believe it or not – this is a quilt! I loved it!!!

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Not sure what it’s called in the quilting world so let’s just call it a “name plate” for the Bookcase Quilt above.

I could go on and on with tons of photos but think I better stop while I’m ahead. Don’t want anyone getting bleary eyed on me. There’s more to come…

Shipshewana is an experience in it’s own. Step back in time when life was simpler and all you had to do was decide whether to eat ice-cream or eat popcorn for a snack! It’s a place where 200 years ago, German & Dutch descendants migrated to the area so they could maintain their simple ways.

I’m a “City Slicker” from way back when, but I was ready to load the truck and move right in. Home to the third largest Amish community in the United States –  hand-sewn quilts, Clydesdales pulling plows and/or carriages, and pies made from freshly picked fruits is the norm. In Shipshewana and its surrounding countryside  you can smell the expanse of wide-open spaces and natural joy…

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Downtown Parking in Shipshewana, Indiana

Remember the nursery rhyme – “This Little Piggy?” Well – Guess What! They’re already there…13JUN-This-Little-Piggy-600

I’m not sure if they’re coming or going but they sure were cute!

There’s nothing like a good home-cooked meal to lift your spirits and make you forget about your aching feet…and – BOY did mine ever ache. I don’t know how these women can shop, shop, shop – but shop they did. I got tired just watching. Needless to say – a bit of nourishment came into the picture and we wanted it to be close to home – the Courtyard by Marriott in Goshen. Luck was with us…

The South Side Soda Shop which was featured on Food Channel’s Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives is in Goshen and no way were we going to leave Goshen without a stop. What better time than dinner? Do you think we made a good choice? You be the judge…hint – it’s already on the itinerary for our 2014 tour…

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Marilyn sure does love her ice-cream! Talk about a mess…

Quilts and more quilts were never out of the picture along with glorious quilt gardens. The Quilt Gardens are just so beautiful to see in person. A photo is supposed to be worth a thousand words but not in this case. Seeing those gardens close up and personal can’t be beat…

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Weaver’s Furniture Quilt Garden – Nappanee

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An Old-Fashioned Quilting Bee at The Carriage House in Topeka, Indiana

Quilts – Gardens – and fabulous FOOD! It doesn’t get any better than that…The photo above  was taken at The Carriage House in Topeka, Indiana. This is quilting as it has always been done before the onset of machines that can now do it all. Soon after learning what it was like to attend quilting bees, we were treated to a traditional Haystack Dinner prepared by Elaine Jones and her son. A specialty in Northern Indiana Amish Country…up to 12 items are prepared individually – meats, chips, crackers, cheese, veggies and rice are but a few of the layers – and you choose what you want and how to stack the layers on your plate.  Reminds me of a taco when it’s all done…if you Google haystack images, you’ll get a better understanding of what I’m talking about…the Amish – as a whole – do not want to have their picture taken and I respected their preference…

We had an eventful week to say the least! Our “farewell dinner” was a typical Amish Wedding Feast held at Miller’s Country Kitchen set in the beautiful countryside outside of Shipshewana. We arrived just a little late and there was not really time to take photos of their magnificent gardens and the rest of the spread. All I can say is – there was not a blade of grass out of place and flowers and shrubs acted as eye candy to those of us who appreciate landscaping.  I never wanted to enter the house – but then again I’m glad I did. It was unanimous – Esther Miller is a fantastic chef!!! Her bread stuffing won the award for best of everything…wish I could watch her make it…I know – wishful thinking…

After the feast, we were treated to a presentation by Rebecca Haarer – an avid quilt collector and owner of Rebecca Haarer Arts & Antiques in downtown Shipshewana. She brought quilts from the area dating back to  c.1890-1945 representing those made for babies, weddings, everyday quilts and friendship quilts. Again – we saved the best for last!

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Rebecca Haarer and two “Fan-tastic  Helpers!”

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Hand Stitched Antique Quilt…part of Rebecca’s collection

Our Fan-tastic Quilters tour has come to an end for 2013.

Next year – 2014 – is already to go.

Dates are June 23-28, 2014.

Get ready to join us! You’ll be glad you did!

Info and Day-by-Day Itinerary is but a click away…

 

thanks for your time…have a great day wherever you may be…

to be continued…

elaine j

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