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The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Homeward Bound, Bonus: Woodin Wheel Antiques in Kalona, the Quilt Capital of Iowa

Woodin Wheel Storefront

Just around the corner and down the street from Stitch N Sew Cottage in Kalona IA is Woodin Wheel Antiques. It’s not a quilt shop, filled with fabric and patterns and quilting paraphernalia. It’s an antique and gift shop.

Marilyn WoodinWoodin Wheel is at the heart of the Quilting Community in Kalona. And the reason is a lady named Marilyn Woodin. Marilyn and her husband have been enthusiastic supporters of the Kalona community since their arrival fifty years ago. She soon established the first gift shop in the area carrying handcrafted items, providing an outlet for local women to sell their beautiful handicrafts. As she told The Kalona News, ““We started the shop because we saw women making so many lovely quilts and not needing all of them. . . . We hoped they would consign them for sale.” And they did. Woodin Wheel Antiques followed a few years later.

Marilyn was a founder of the Kalona Historical Society which established the Kalona Historical Village and also offers a variety of Historical Tours that explore the unique Amish and Mennonite heritage of the Kalona area. Her fascination with quilts led her to collect over 200, both new and antique, over the years. Though not a quilter herself, she is recognized as a quilt expert, is a sought-after lecturer in historical quilts, and established the first quilt seminar in the state of Iowa. Under her auspices, the Woodin Wheel became a major sponsor of the Kalona Quilt Show and Sale which has been held each April for over 40 years. And the Quilt and Textile Museum that is a part of the Historical Village had its genesis with Marilyn’s generous gift of 32 quilts from her collection. She now serves as the Museum’s curator and oversees the production of its ever changing exhibits.

Marilyn Woodin at the Quilt & Textile Museum in Kalona IA (photo courtesy of The Kalona News)(Photo courtesy of The Kalona News)

Katie at Woodin WheelSeveral years ago, Marilyn turned Woodin Wheel Antiques over to new owners Katie Karnes and Brenda Herington, who carry on her active sponsorship of quilting and quilters in Kalona with undiminished enthusiasm.

Katie welcomed us warmly to her shop. She started working at Woodin Wheel while she was still in high school, continued through summer breaks as she earned her college degree in business administration, and is thrilled to be able to share the bounty of the shop with visitors who come from all over the world. And there are treasures to gladden the hearts of quilters and non-quilters alike.

I was intrigued by this handcrafted spool caddy, made by local artisans. What a wonderful way to keep your thread close at hand when working on applique or stitching down a quilt binding!

Spool Caddy for Sale at Woodin Wheel

Next, a collection of Jim Shore Santas caught my eye.

Jim Shore Around the World Santas (photo courtesy of Woodin Wheel)(Photo courtesy of Woodin Wheel Antiques)

And, of course, The Quilt Shop Navigator’s latest directories were ready for the next traveling quilter.

The Quilt Shop Navigator at Woodin Wheel

Everywhere I looked, there were fascinating things to examine, a marvelous treasure trove of delights old and new.

An Ecclectic Collection at Woodin Wheel

And then there were the quilts.

Quilted Wall Hangings and More at Woodin Wheel

Quilts and more quilts.

Racks Full of Quilts at Woodin Wheel Antiques (photo courtesy of Woodin Wheel)(Photo courtesy of Woodin Wheel Antiques)

Piles of beautiful quilts in every imaginable style and all the colors of the rainbow.

Piles of Quilts at Woodin Wheel

And it’s easy to see why, as Katie told us, “Woodin Wheel is known internationally for its selection of handquilted American quilts both old and new.”

Plaques at Woodin Wheel

Just outside the door of Woodin Wheel Antiques is one of Kalona’s celebrated Sidewalk Quilts, an Iowa Star block.

Iowa Star Sidewalk Quilt at Woodin Wheel

And here’s the Mariner’s Compass from Stitch N Sew Cottage,

Mariner's Star Sidewalk Quilt Stitch N Sew Cottage

the Kalona Rotary Club’s Amish Stripes and Squares,

Amish Stripes and Squares Sidewalk Quilt Rotary Club

an Amish Basket Sidewalk Quilt from The Kalona News,

Amish Basket Sidewalk Quilt The Kalona News

and, my favorite, the Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company’s Blackford’s Beauty Sidewalk Quilt.

Blackford's Beauty Sidewalk Quilt Kalona Cooperative Telephone Company

From the quilts displayed in the Kalona Quilt and Textile Museum to the many Barn Quilts that adorn the surrounding countryside, from the world-renowned Kalona Quilt Show to the Sidewalk Quilts that grace the town, it’s easy to see why Kalona is the Quilt Capital of Iowa, and well worth visiting.

Next year’s Kalona Quilt Show and Sale will be held Thursday through Saturday, April 24-26, 2014. There should be between 200 and 300 quilts on display, about a third of them antiques and the rest new. Don’t miss it!

Website: woodinwheel.com

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Quilt Shop Navigator · Quilt Shops · Travel

The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Homeward Bound, Part 9: Stitch N Sew Cottage in Kalona IA

Stitch N Sew Cottage StorefrontFrom the outside, Stitch N Sew Cottage just looks the way a stereotypical quilt shop should, complete with primly neat flower boxes and a bench that invites you to “sit and rest a spell”, nestled snugly just off the main street of a picturesque small town in the heart of Iowa. In fact, Kalona is known justifiably as the Quilt Capital of Iowa.

Once you step through the door, Stitch N Sew Cottage doesn’t disappoint. You walk into a world of cheerful fabrics and pleasant, helpful people.

Grace at Stitch N Sew Cottage (photo courtesy of Stitch N Sew Cottage(Photo courtesy of Stitch N Sew Cottage)

Everything seems just as you could have imagined it. Delightful sample projects adorn the counters

Projects on Display at Stitch N Sew Cottage

and line the pristine white walls.

Children's Fabrics at Stitch N Sew CottageThere are very beautiful big quilts

Sampler Quilt at Stitch N Sew Cottageand delightful small quilts

Mini Quilts and Fabric at Stitch N Sew Cottageand all sort of quilts in between.

Quilts Above the Notions at Stitch N Sew CottageThere’s a collection of patterns and notions and everything a quilter could want for her creative endeavors.

And there are racks of quilts for sale, too, many of them designed and created by Amish and Mennonite quilters from the surrounding communities.

Shop Samples and Quilts for Sale

Mary (small) at Stitch N Sew CottageSince 1982, Stitch and Sew Cottage has been a family affair. We sat down in the well-lit classroom with Mary, whose sister Grace is the shop owner. Grace took over the shop from her mother-in-law Dorothy several years ago. All three ladies are quilters with a deep love of both the craft and of sharing it with the people who come to their shop.

Mary learned to quilt with her mother and her sister Grace. Twenty years later, she can’t imagine her life without quilting. “I never thought I was an artist,” she told us. “I couldn’t draw a stick man that looked like a stick man. But when I got into quilting, I discovered that I am an artist!”

And she loves to encourage others to find their own inner artist. When someone comes in for help with a project, she remembers how her mother would encourage her, “Let’s try a piece or two and see how we get along.”

Stitch N Sew Cottage sponsors a full calendar of classes and projects all presented with the same gentle encouragement and attention to detail that makes learning both fun and satisfying.

We talked about favorite quilting styles

and about what makes Stitch N Sew Cottage special. Each April during the annual Kalona Quilt Show, the shop provides a quilt top for the quilting demonstration that is set up in the local hardware store.

Several years ago, downtown Kalona underwent a major facelift, with new sidewalks, new lighting and planters installed. Mary told us about a unique part of the project, the Sidewalk Quilts.

I was thrilled to be able to purchase one of the Sidewalk Quilt books to take home with me. It was fun to see the various blocks appear beneath our feet as we walked around town. I can hardly wait to piece some of them as a remembrance of a wonderful visit to Kalona and Stitch N Sew Cottage.

Sidewalk Quilts Book at Stitch N Sew Cottage

Things to Know About Stitch N Sew Cottage and Kalona IA

Website: stitchnsewcottage.com

Facebook: Stitch N Sew Cottage

What to see and do in Kalona: Kalona offers an amazing array of quilt-related fun. Start off by visiting Kalona Historical Village. Wander through the Quilt and Textile Museum at the Historical Village. Pick up a brochure from the Chamber of Commerce and stroll through Kalona to see those amazing Sidewalk Quilts. Or spend a pleasant afternoon drive along one of the four Barn Quilt Trails of Washington County.

 Where to eat lunch: Mary suggested a stop at the Kalona Bakery (209 5th St) for fresh sandwiches, homemade potato salad, and delicious pastries and baked goods. While you eat, you can watch them make their hand-crafted noodles and then take home a package or two. Tuscan Moon Grill (203 5th St) offers a lunch menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes and is also highly recommended.

Libby Lehman

Libby Lehman Updates from Caring Bridge — 9-26-13

Libby ScarfTonight’s (9-25-13) update from Team Libby:

Today we received the expected but dreaded news that Libby no longer qualifies to be in the rehab program on the second floor of UP because she is physically unable to participate in the therapies. We certainly hope this is a temporary condition, and that she will be able to re-enter the program in the near future as her health improves.

For this next phase of Libby’s recovery, she will be moved tomorrow to the first floor of the University Place Nursing Center where she will continue to receive excellent care and when she is able, some limited physical therapy. We are thankful that she can continue in a comfortable and familiar environment, but she will certainly miss her therapists, nurses, aides, and doctors from the second floor. We all will.

All of the UP staff continues to demonstrate such dedication, professionalism, and true concern for Libby’s well-being – they have all been Blessings! One of the nurse’s aides named Gifty (from Jamaica) told me today, “I will miss Auntie Lubey! She is a person who touched my heart. I will visit her downstairs.” I told her Libby would love that, and I hoped to see her too.

Perhaps a more quiet room and less active floor will give Libby’s body and mind the opportunity to rest and to heal in the way that she needs. Lester has been communicating with all her doctors about what to do differently for Libby in order to get different and better results. Although they are “mystified” by her regression, they are discussing different options for treatment and medication. We pray they will be lead to good solutions which will improve Libby’s physical and mental state.

The first step will be to do a test on Libby by hooking up a machine to measure any seizure activity over a 24 hour period. During that test a family member will be present to push another button any time a seizure is suspected to be happening to Libby. Hopefully, the results will give the doctor information on the actual seizure activity and also whether it can be visually pinpointed by an observer. The results will help the doctors decide what steps to take next.

Libby continues to sleep most of the time now, with continued upset stomach issues and fidgeting, and with random moments of wakefulness and some feeble attempts at talking. We are all sad to see her weakened condition and are hoping and praying that she can experience improvement soon. We will all be sad to say “goodbye” to those upstairs tomorrow, but hope this will be a new beginning of better days for Libby in the future. May God continue to comfort and console Libby and all those who love her, including her many wonderful friends, students, and admirers. Good night to you all.

Please keep Libby and her family in your thoughts and prayers. Let’s hope that her doctors and family will be able to identify and treat whatever is causing her new difficulties.

Update for 9-26-13

From The Quilters Newsletter Blog:

On September 13, 2013, The National Quilt Museum released the new copy of their collection book. The book, entitled “Collection of The National Quilt Museum“, is updated every 3-5 years. The new book includes quilts that have been added to the collection since the last  publication and additional information on many quilts that were in previous editions. The book presents over 300 quilts from the official collection of The National Quilt Museum in a straightforward format that highlights the visual artistry and personal achievement of the quilters that created these extraordinary works of art.

One dollar from each copy of the “Collection of the National Quilt Museum” will be given to The Libby Lehman Medical Fund to help with her medical expenses. Libby is a longtime friend of the Museum and served on the Museum Board of Directors in 2012. As most of you know, Libby had a brain aneurysm in May of this year and is currently receiving daily care at a medical facility in Houston, Texas. The cover of the new edition features the work “Escapade” by Libby Lehman.

Thank you! to the National Quilt Museum for honoring a lovely lady with a beautiful book. I’m adding this title to my Christmas wish list.

Quilt Shop Navigator · Quilt Shops · Travel

The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Homeward Bound, Part 8: Thimbles in Lockport IL

Screen Map of Thimbles LocationJust about 30 miles west and south of the Chicago Loop lies the delightful town of Lockport IL. And there, at the corner of State Street and 10th Street, you’ll find the delightful quilt shop called Thimbles.

Thimbles Storefront 55

It’s a pleasant two-story brick building on a well-kept street. The front door gleams a gilded welcome, promising wonderful quilting treasures awaiting within.

Thimbles Front Door

And when you walk through it, you will find much more than a thimbleful of quilting pleasure.

Thimbles Panorama

There are quilts hanging from the beams that frame the authentic tin ceiling.

Modern Quilt at Thimbles

There are quilts suspended over the showroom display of versatile Bernina machines.

Bernina Machines at Thimbles

There are quilts in every nook and cranny.

Always Time for Quilting at Thimbles

There are quilts everywhere!

Quilts Everywhere at Thimbles

There are even quilts draped artfully over the shelves from the old general store that once occupied this light and spacious building.

Quilts and Fabric Adorn the Original General Store Shelves at Thimbles

Those shelves are also brimming with beautiful fabrics.

More Quilts and Fabrics at Thimbles

Oh, yes! There’s fabric!

Fabric at Thimbles

And more fabric.

Cutting Counter at Thimbles

Soon, other inviting projects catch your eye.

I Can Make That Bag at Thimbles

And the shop’s official T-shirt is sure to tickle your funny bone.

The Official Thimbles T-shirt

And in the midst of this glorious quilt shop, you’ll find the owners Tammy and Jane.

Thimbles Owner TammyThimbles Owner Jane

From their very first words, you can tell that they love quilting, love their shop, and love helping quilters.

Jane told us that their niche is teaching. The entire second floor of Thimbles is given over to a spacious classroom. They offer a full calendar of classes for quilters of every skill level. Tammy added that they also give quite a few impromptu lessons at the cutting counter.

The bus hop, otherwise known as The Awesome Autumn Road Trip, is coming up next weekend (Oct 3-6) and they still have a few seats available, so if you’ll be in the Chicago area, give them a call and hustle yourself right onto their rolling quilt party. Here’s the Ugly Fat Quarter quilt from last year’s trip.

Bus Trip Quilt

It just goes to show that there really is no such thing as a fat quarter so irredeemably ugly that it won’t make a wonderful quilt.

Things to Know about Thimbles and Lockport IL

Website: http://www.thimblesquilts.com/

Facebook: Thimbles Quilts

What to See and Do in Lockport: Just a block down the street from Thimbles you’ll find the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery with its changing art exhibits housed in the historic Norton Building. Lockport is also located on the old Illinois and Michigan Canal with its bike trail, nature preserves, and historical sites.

Where to Eat Lunch: Tammy and Jane recommend Honeyfield’s Restaurant and Pancake House (984 East 9th Street) for its hearty breakfasts and enormous menu. Or, for good Italian fare, there’s Mamma Onesta’s (1100 S State St) just down the street. 

Libby Lehman

Libby Lehman Updates from Caring Bridge — 9-21-13

Libby with her Nephew's Family

Libby has had a difficult month. She’s dealt with both seizures and infections (most seriously, a MRSA infection in her sinuses) that have kept her bouncing between University Place rehab center and the emergency room and has derailed her progress.

Even so, Team Libby presses on. And Libby keeps trying her best. Here is her sister Ellen’s update from Thursday evening:

An upset tummy and a low energy level (possibly from the MRSA infection or feeding problems) are still holding Libby back from any major breakthroughs. Since the early morning regime of waking and getting dressed was making Libby feel sick and very tired, the therapists decided to try giving Libby her therapies in the early afternoon instead of the morning.

PT therapist Lynn and assistant Bola were the first on the agenda, and Libby managed to participate in a very modified and shortened PT. Lynn tried having Libby stand using the parallel bars and lots of help, with some limited success.Then Lynn did some stretching and strengthening exercises and asked Libby to lift and kick each leg several times while sitting in the wheelchair. Libby was pretty good with her right leg and at least tried to initiate the action with her left leg.

Lynn seemed to really know how far to push Libby and what her limitations were since Libby was shaking, kept her eyes closed, and was obviously in some distress.In my unprofessional opinion, Lynn did not ask for more than Libby could do but got the most out of Libby that she could do today. Thanks Lynn, Bola, and Libby, too!

After PT Libby was worn out again and after some anti-nausea medication, Libby was put back into bed for a restful nap. As she was drifting off she suddenly opened her eyes and looked around. I seized the opportunity to talk to her and asked her if it felt good to be back in bed. She mumbled, “Oh, God” and nodded her head “yes”. Then her trembling subsided, face relaxed into a peaceful pose, and she seemed at ease again. After a difficult morning, we are Thankful for her good rest. Sweet dreams and may tomorrow be a better day.

Please remember Libby and her struggles.

Update for 9-16-13

Libby’s latest lab tests came back negative for MRSA, so it appears that her infection has cleared. Unfortunately, she is still not doing well. From her sister Cathy tonight:

      Lester and Ellen took Libby today in her wheelchair in a University Place van to see her neurologist, Dr. K., and her neurosurgeon, Dr. Dannenbaum, at Memorial Herman Hospital in the Medical Center.  Libby’s condition is unchanged from the past few days – lethargic and not talkative or responsive, but no seizures or vomiting.  The doctors sent her by ambulance to the Emergency Room for a CAT scan and an x-ray (shunt-o-gram).  The results of the tests showed no change from 30 days ago.  (This is good news.)
The doctors want to run some more tests tomorrow, and because Libby is having some difficulty breathing and has been requiring oxygen the past few days, she will be staying over-night in the out-patient observation area of the Emergency Room.  The tests will include a spinal tap to check the pressure of her spinal fluids and some tests on her lungs.  If these tests do not help solve the puzzle of what is causing her this set-back, they will start to adjust her medications to try and identify the problem.  Hopefully she will be able to return to University Place tomorrow.
Please pray for wisdom and skill on the part of all of the medical professionals in helping Libby get back on track to the road to recovery.

Another setback for Team Libby came from Medicare a week or so ago. Because Medicare does not deem her progress to be rapid enough, they will no longer pay for her therapy. The progress she has made thus far has happened only because of the intensive therapy she has received. Without further therapy, the likelihood of her continued recovery is very small, indeed.

Please consider helping the Lehmans via the Libby Lehman Medical Fund. You can find the details here.

Update for 9-21-13

Libby is back at University Place and seems to be doing better. A new update today from Libby’s sister Ellen:

Saturday is a good day for sleeping late for most folks, and Libby was enjoying a lazy morning when my hubby Bill and I went to visit her this morning. She was wide awake in her bed when we got there and greeted us with smiles and what seemed to be pleasant greetings, although her conversations continue to be more energetic than comprehensible.

Although we can’t understand most of her words, Libby seems to enjoy trying to tell us things and even cracks herself up sometimes with laughter. We would love dearly to know what she is trying to say, but we are happy that she is trying so hard to communicate.

In any case, we are glad that she still seems to enjoy our “conversations”, even though its is quite possible we are talking about one subject and she is talking about an entirely different one. (I bet we have all had similar experiences before in allegedly “normal” conversations with some people with “selective comprehension” capabilities.)

While we were there Dr. Merkel, her psychiatrist came by to check on her progress and any problems. We asked him about the vomiting issues, and he said it is quite possible they are related sometimes to issues like infections or even just the healing and fluctuating internal brain pressures which often effect brain injured patients by making them sick at their stomachs.

Dr. Merkel also asked us a lot of questions about her condition and behavior and told us that it might take a couple of weeks to fully recover from the MRSA (or any type) infection and to regain all of the progress she had made before its onset. He was very pleased with her attempts at language and overall willingness to cooperate with her therapists. He did however prescribe an anti-anxiety drug to help with her mood swings and to help her overcome her fear of falling. Mostly, he seemed very encouraged by her progress, which is Always a good thing to hear from a doctor!

As we prepared to leave the nurses were getting ready to get Libby up and dressed and ready to do a modified PT session with Mita. Libby was smiling when we left and enjoying feeling the texture and holes in a small, soft afghan made by a good friend of mine named Irene. Irene had included a note with a sweet prayer for Libby, and what a Joy it was to give both the gifts to Libby today. Thank you God, for our many blessings!

Keep up the good work, Libby. Hang in there, Team Libby. We are with you.

Quilt Shop Navigator · Quilt Shops · Travel

The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest, Homeward Bound Part 7: The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus in Middlebury IN

Amish Buggy (the elkhart truth)(Photo courtesy of The Elkhart Truth)

Middlebury is in the heart of Indiana’s Amish Country. When you translate ‘Essenhaus’ from German, it is literally “eating house”, and Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury is indeed a restaurant. But Essenhaus is also an inn and conference center, a performance venue and concert hall, and a village featuring an assortment of quaint shops. And since Amish Country must also be Quilt Country, of course one of those shops simply has to be The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus.

Storefront for The Quilt Shop at EssenhausThe Quilt Shop shares a building in the Village with The Corn Crib, a fascinating gift shop well worth wandering. In fact, you’ll wander through The Corn Crib’s collection as you make your way to The Quilt Shop.

Entrance to The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

And when you walk through the door of The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus, you’ll see quilts. They hang from the rafters.

Quilts Hang from the Rafters at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

They cover the walls.

Quilts Line the Walls at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

They crowd racks that take up half the shop.

Quilts Made by Local Artists for Sale at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

And they are lovely. Remember, this is Amish country, so the quilts are generally handquilted with exquisite skill.

But chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’re a quilter yourself. And when you walk into a quilt shop, you’re looking for fabric, quilt patterns, notions, and ideas that you can incorporate into your next project.  Fear not!  There’s fabric at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus.

Fabric at the Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

And books and patterns enough to gladden the heart of any quilter.

Racks of Patterns at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

And, of course, the walls of the shop are adorned with lovely sample quilts.

Sample Quilt at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

Presiding over this busy, happy shop is Rosilynn.  Her cheerful enthusiasm infuses the entire shop with creative energy.

She gave me an impromptu lesson on how to construct an elegant table runner that was on display. It was very simple, really. Two long rectangles of unequal widths were seamed together, turned and pressed. When the edges were finished, the corners were turned back to form a point. . . .

Rosilyn Shows How to Do the Tablerunnerand then turned back again and fastened down with a button or other decorative embellishment. Magic!

And such lessons are not uncommon at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus. In fact, you might say it’s one of the shop’s specialties.

Quilt Magic boards are another unique feature at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus.

A Completed Quilt Magic Wall Hanging

A quilt block pattern is laser-cut into a foam core base. Then, using a special tool to tuck the fabric of your choice into the resulting slots, you can create a lovely “quilted” wallhanging without sewing a single stitch!

A Quilt Magic Board at the Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

The results can be spectacular. If you look up, you’ll see dozens of Quilt Magic examples mounted on the ceiling at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus.

Quilt Magic Boards Mounted on the Ceiling at the Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

I loved the patriotic LeMoyne Star quilt displayed in the picture above, too.

Rosilynn told us that when she was a little girl, not only did her granny quilt, but she was an avid gardener who took Rosilynn around her yard to examine the perennial blooms. Granny’s garden tours became quilting inspiration for Rosilynn.

When you visit The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus, you’ll have the opportunity to experience another form of gardening inspiration, The Quilt Gardens Along the Heritage Trail. Each year, businesses and organizations around Elkhart County plant flower gardens in the shape of traditional quilt blocks.

Quilt Garden Information at Essenhaus

When we were there in early June, the Dresden Plate at Essenhaus was not yet in full bloom, as you can see below.

The Quilt Garden Square at Essenhaus

Thanks to Sarah of the Speak Up Librarian blog who gave me permission to use her photos, I can give you a peek at the 2012 Quilt Gardens Along the Heritage Trail.

Here’s the Trip Around The World garden at Dutch Country Market.

Trip Around the World from Dutch Country Market 2012 - used by permission

And here’s the Miles Variation Garden at The Old Bag Factory

Miles Variation Garden at The Old Bag Factory - used by permission

And, my favorite (and Sarah’s too), the Peace and Plenty block at Menno-Hof

Peace and Plenty at Menno-Hof 2012 - used by permission

They plant different quilt blocks every year, so there will always be new and beautiful inspiration.

The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus is also home to an amazing Double Wedding Ring barn quilt block.

Barn Quilt Outside the Quilt Shop at Essenhaus

Essenhaus sponsors an annual Quilt & Fiber Show each August. Here is one of the award winning quilts from this year’s show. (Photo courtesy of Essenhaus)

Award Winning Quilt from the Quilt Show at Essenhaus 2013

Fabric, impromptu quilting lessons, quilts, quilt gardens, barn quilts, quilting inspiration, and friendly quilters — you’ll find them all at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus!

Things to Know About The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus and Middlebury IN

Website: www.essenhausquiltshop.com

Facebook: Essenhaus

What to see and do in Middlebury: Of course, you’ll want to pick up a brochure and take a driving tour of the Quilt Gardens. Another fun stop is the Dutch Country Market (1140 1 County Road 16), where you’ll find an abundance of local produce, homemade noodles, and honey fresh from the Lehman family hives.

Where to eat lunch: Das DutchmanEssenhaus, of course! Saunter right across the parking lot from The Quilt Shop for a hearty homestyle lunch. Sample their daily buffet, order from their ample menu, or sit down to one of their substantial family-style meals.

Coming Soon: The next stop on The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest — Homeward Bound is Thimbles in Lockport IL.

Thanks again to Sarah of Speak Up Librarian.  Go on over and read her blog. You’ll be glad you did.

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We’ll Be Right Back!

we'll be right back monkey (whall.org)

A series of family crises has diverted my attention from The Quilt Shop Navigator for the past month. Things are settling down now, and The Cross Country Quilt Shop Quest will resume soon. Stay tuned.