Trip to Fabric and Quilt Country

Reported by Susie Ziegler

Mothers Day was coming up and my mom and I decided that for our celebration, we needed a getaway to a place we love where we can wallow in traditional crafts and foods. Our place is a few hours outside of Chicago in the Northern Indiana Amish country around Shipshewana, Indiana.

We deposited the husbands and kids at the hotel pool (not everyone there is Amish, after all) and we set off to begin our adventures at the local general store. Amish goods are available here for the locals:

For me, the real draw is all the fabric. Tons and tons of fabric! Mom was looking for a cute traditional cotton to use for curtains in a guest bedroom. There were almost too many choices!

*Gasp* I’m in heaven! There are a few large fabric and quilting stores and I took a lot of photos to show you.

This little corner of batiks is like stepping right into a rainbow. Look at all the finished quilts on display!

I love the saturated large scale prints by Kaffe Fasset:

This is a literal boatload of fat quarters. A fat quarter is an 18″x24″ rectangle of fabric and is a very convenient size to collect:

These fat quarters are folded into these cute star packages.

Fabric manufacturers, particularly Moda, offer up a whole collection of fabrics in these Jelly Rolls. You can sew up a lot of cool projects with these collections of 2.5 inch strips.

Way down on a lower shelf, I discovered these tea towel panels. I’m pretty sure these were a nice linen/cotton blend.

It really is easy to get overwhemed by the choices. In that case, you can just pick up a quilt kit.

In the shops we went to, every quilt on display on the wall was available as a kit or pattern.

Here are some little doll panels to sew up.

Some quilters and stitchers are ready to branch out into other fibers. We found this gorgeous hand-dyed wool felt:

We found beautiful yarns in a little shop we hadn’t seen during our previous trips:

Shipshewana has one of the best antique malls around. Look at the vintage linens available:

Here is a vintage granny square wool blanket. Granny squares sure are hip again!

I love the fabric yo-yo’s used here on this applique coverlet. I reviewed some yo yo makers for Craft Critique HERE:

This vintage quilt store is one of our favorites:

I loved this needlepoint pillow:

Then there are all the tools and notions! Look at all the hand quilting templates. You lay these down on your quilt top and mark it with chalk, disappearing marker, or a light pencil and hand quilt to your heart’s content:

Many of the quilts we saw for sale were hand quilted, probably using templates like these.

You can also hand quilt in straight lines. Hand quilting is very meditative. I have finished just a few hand quilting projects, but I have since switched to machine quilting.

These looked like some very cool looking rulers:

Doesn’t every crafter have a button and ribbon collection?

We saw all of this in just one Saturday! We did take a couple breaks to have coffee and pie, and we picked up the rest of the family for the family-style chicken dinner at one of the local restaurants.

Where do you go to sample the local handcrafts and traditional artistry in your area?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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15 Responses to Trip to Fabric and Quilt Country

  1. Avatar
    Lola G. June 5, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    What a wonderful outing. I don’t even sew, but I always love to see those Moda jellyrolls — talk about eye candy!

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    Jan Castle June 5, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Ohhhh, Ahhhh, oh my! Great pictures too!!!! Thanks for sharing. We locally have yearly quilt shows…a delight for the eyes! However, I think your little trip tops anything I’ve ever seen in quilting!!!!
    Jan Castle

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    Cherie June 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Oh my gosh! Great pictures of the stores! I would have been in hog heaven & I rarely sew anymore & I don’ quilt! I still drooled alot! Thanks for wonderful pics!

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    rush8888 June 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    wow! you happened upon some of the best kinds of stores! when i lived in ohio, we would travel to amish country in northeast ohio. here in greenville, north carolina, quilt stores are far and few between. sometimes we will take a tour to visit a select few.

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    April June 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    My mom and I love Shipshewana. We make a day trip every summer to go.

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    GrammaR June 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Love Shipshe. I have an aunt who lives a few miles away. Whenever we visit, Shipshe is on the schedule!

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    Audrey Huffman ( June 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Shipshewana is only one of the great Amish places to visit in Indiana, but I think you’ve hit on a great place there. I have family that lives near South Bend, and yep, you’re right, got to make that trip for fun, a learning experience, and loads of love too. Enjoy your next trip too.

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    bermudabluez June 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Hi there! Had to comment on this article!! We stayed in Shipshewana last year for a couple of days while passing through on our way back from MN to NY. I LOVED all those stores you have pictured and I’m positive I was in exactly the same ones you mentioned!! I wish I could have stayed longer!! Even though I do not sew…their items are so impressive!! And Yoder’s is amazing!! Hopefully you got a chance to check out Yoder’s Meats & Cheese!!

  9. Avatar
    Amy June 6, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    Wow! Picking my jaw up off the floor! My goodness, look at all that fabric…
    Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Avatar
    construction_julie June 6, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Thanks for sharing your great weekend outing. And all the fabric, the pictures… I almost felt dirty looking at them the way I was!

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    Dee Tollaksen June 6, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    OMG I can’t believe this place exists! I’m packing up the car right now for a road trip!

  12. Avatar
    IamSusie June 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    I was afraid my article was a little bit picture heavy, but oh my! There are so many things to see in Shipse!

    Yes, Bermudabluez, you bet we went to Yoders Meat and Cheese! We also got the homemade pretzels at the famous shop in town and we ate twice at the little Wana Cup restaurant.

    Sometimes, if we get there earlier in the week, we have time to investigate the neighboring towns and countryside. Everything is closed on Sunday, so we only had the one day to see everything.

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    Christy June 7, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    When we lived in Indiana during the grad school days, we would go to Shipshewanna every 4th of July. Fun times! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  14. Avatar
    The WoodLand School June 7, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    Thanks for this awesome post! I’m road-tripping up to Shipshewana next week and can’t wait!

  15. Avatar
    The Craft Addict June 8, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.