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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quilters on Vacation: Shipshewana, IN

Shipshewana Here We Come Again!

Karen & Rose travelled to Shipshewana, Indiana again, for their 2nd Annual Quilt Festival in June. The trip there was relatively uneventful, unlike last year when the 5 ½ hour trip took about 10 hours, and that was with a GPS! This year we made it just in time to register by 5:45 and attend a lecture by Moda Fabrics which included a treat, a lovely ‘turnover’ – and that was free fabric!! We learned about ‘layer cakes’, jelly rolls, cinnamon buns and cupcakes. We also found out that Moda has FREE patterns on their website to learn how to ‘bake’ with these fabric packs. We then went off to a wonderful gourmet supper at Subway, the favourite hangout for the young Amish residents. After a lovely evening the heart of the village, population approx. 500, we went off to our hotel for the night. We notice that there was some ‘heat lightening’ in the area and turned on the TV to see what was cooking. An unscheduled adventure was about to unfold for this particular Quilt Festival. There was a tornado warning for the area---in fact there was a tornado pointed in our general direction! Wow! An evacuation for all guests was issued and we all huddled in the hall in front of the ice machine. A wonderful way to meet some of our fellow quilters. We’re still not sure how safe that space was, but we were spared!

Morning brought sunshine, bright skies and Eleanor Burns!

There she was greeting all of those who had come out to hear her talk about American Barn Quilts. The presentation was as zany as Eleanor and worth the trip—what a great way to start the day! After a lovely lunch in funky little retro cafĂ©, off we went to the quilt show. Bigger than last year and we were allowed to take pictures!

What a great show and as we rounded a corner---there was Eleanor. She appeared and mingled with everyone and was willing to take the time to chat with anyone who stopped to do so. Around another corner lurked Rose’s favourite friend who seems to appear wherever we go—Sunbonnet Sue!


That evening we were treated to a talk by Rebecca Haarer on the origin of Amish Quilts. Beforehand we had expected to hear about the history of Amish Quilts, however, we found the talk to be more…it bordered on the spiritual nature of Amish people. It captured the essence of the region and its people. It was totally wonderful and gave us both a new perspective and Eleanor Burns was there to, taking notes, so we’re looking for a new publication from her perhaps reflecting some of the things that we experienced in this talk.

Now it was time to shop!!!! A merchants’ mall AND shop hop. The first shop we went to—we ran into Eleanor again. How great is that?? We managed to fill our shop hop card – nine shops.

1,000 pillowcases were just down the road in LaGrange proudly displayed at the County Court House lawn. We wonder if we can match that??

There were pillow cases everywhere and there were 2 pillowcases on every clothespin.
After a wonderful day of wandering around the countryside and visiting shops and sites we had a great supper with the Amish at what turns out to be a favourite Amish haunt on a Friday night for all you can eat fish n’ chips. We were in the minority, and it was a wonderful experience. After dinner we sat on the porch and watched the town slowly roll up the carpet for the day.

It was time to head back---you know there were more tornado warnings and we had to out run them.

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