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Quilt Gardens and Amish Country

Join Stitchin' Heaven and friends on a 5-night Adventure through Indiana!

June 23 - 28, 2015


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Dear Friends,

Join us for this fabulous journey through the Quilt Gardens of Indiana and through Amish Country.  The Quilt Gardens are 17 different locations where gardens have been planted in the style of a quilt.  Along with this, many of the locations also have large quilt murals on the buildings outside. But the Quilt Gardens Tour is only a part of our adventure.  We will also experience the Amish life visiting historical homes, talking to the people there, and tasting their incredible cooking.  We will have demonstrations of cooking and gardening from an Amish perspective as well a visiting some well known Amish quilt shops.  In addition we will have quilting classes and lectures from quilt artists – even an Amish Quilting Bee!  One of the highlights of our trip will be the Annual Shipshewana Quilt Festival!  For more information on the Quilt Gardens visit http://www.amishcountry.org/things-to-do/quilt-gardens.

Tour Highlights:

Visitor Center• 5 nights deluxe accommodations in Elkhart, Indiana – the heart of Amish Country

• Luxury motor coach transportation and area tour guides

• Trip T-shirt

• Includes breakfast each day, 4 dinners, and 4 lunches

• Visits to various gardens on the Quilt Gardens Tour

• Annual Shipshewana Quilt Festival

• Delicious evening meals in the Amish tradition

Reflecting Garden• Professional Broadway theatre performance

• Admission tickets to all events including:

Shipshewana Quilting Festival
Amish Quilting Bee
The Alka Seltzer Home
Amish Acres Tour 
The Broadway Musical Theatre

We look forward to our next adventure together with you!

Overview Image


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Tuesday, June 23 (Dinner included):

We leave Chicago and head out to Elkhart, Indiana, where we'll have dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. Legendary for their food and service, we'll sit down in this family-friendly restaurant and enjoy their hearty hand cut steaks, fall off the bone ribs, made from scratch sides and dressings, and hot, freshly baked bread. Alcoholic beverages are available to purchase on an individual basis.

We will then go to our host hotel, check in and get a good night’s rest to be fresh for our next exciting day!

Tuesday, June 23 (Dinner included): Image

Wednesday, June 24 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included):

After breakfast at our hotel we will head out to the Amish Country Visitors Center where we will begin with a brief overview about the unique, one-of-a-kind Quilt Gardens Tour. We will then explore the beautiful, handmade works of art by fiber artists Diana Bennett and Lina Zerkle.

Quilt GardensAfter that, we are off to Wellfield Botanic Garden.  The Gardens accepts as truth that mankind is inseparable from nature. Therefore, the Gardens will provide a shared natural and man-made environment of unique beauty that attracts, inspires, and educates in a setting dedicated to the celebration of nature and art.  The Gardens is situated on 36 acres including 18 acres of water, six blocks north of downtown Elkhart on a historical piece of property known as the North Main Street well field. This site has been a source of hydraulic energy and drinking water for the City of Elkhart since the middle 1800s. Currently the City's Department of Public Works operates 13 wells on the site and Wellfield Gardens is the city's largest source of drinking water.  Enjoy the “Star of Hope” Quilt Garden dedicated to Breast Cancer and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research while on site.

We will enjoy the Quilt Garden at Elkhart City Central park before we stop for lunch at Stack's pancake house. Stack's is known for their huge portions, including sandwiches, salads, and even a breaded pork tenderloin!  They will, of course, also stack up flapjacks as high as you want.

After lunch, we will make one more stop by the Quilt Garden at Linton's Enchanted Gardens and then we will head toward Shipshewana, known as “the trading place of America”. 

We will enjoy the Quilt Garden at Elkhart City Central park before we stop for lunch at Stack's pancake house. Stack's is known for their huge portions, including sandwiches, salads, and even a breaded pork tenderloin!  They will, of course, also stack up flapjacks as high as you want.

After lunch, we will make one more stop by the Quilt Garden at Linton's Enchanted Gardens and then we will head toward Shipshewana, known as “the trading place of America”. 

Yoder FabricsOur first stops in Shipshewana will be the Menno-Hof Amish/Mennonite Interpretive Center Quilt Garden and the Quilt Garden at Farmstead Inn.  After that, we're headed to Yoder’s Department Store for a bit of shopping. Since the old days when Ora Yoder started his dry goods business in the 1940's, the Department Store, Hardware Store and Grocery have expanded to 50,000 square feet. Over 12,000 bolts of fabric, 2,800 pairs of jeans, overalls in all sizes and 10,000 pairs of shoes and boots can all be found here. Yoder's features a large selection of men's, women's and children's wear, hardware and tools, house wares, linens, home accessories and gifts, hard to find items of all kinds, and groceries including locally produced sausages, noodles, preserves and even flour. Old-fashioned. Simple as that.

Davis MerchantileWe'll visit the Davis Mercantile, featuring over 24 shops located on 4 floors, easily accessible by elevator, Lolly's Fabrics, and you can even stop in for a hand rolled Jo Jo's Pretzel ... a Shipshewana favorite. While here, we will go to the Amish Quilt Heritage Presentation. Rebecca Haarer, known across the nation as a collector of vintage indiana quilts, will discuss the history of Amish quilting in a format she describes as "quilt museum on the road". She will display vintage Amish quilts and discuss how they have been influenced by the Amish culture and how changes in society have affected the Amish and their quilts.

Thursday, June 25 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included):

After breakfast, we hop the bus, and head to Goshen to visit the quilt murals and garden, ending at The Old Bag Factory, a quilt shop featuring original and unique contemporary designs that provide for breathtaking quilts. You'll meet owners, Dave and Shirley Shenk, who will explain their philosophy, technique, and showcase their unique copyrighted original designs that showcase quilting as an art form. Then, we'll shop in the artisan complex of The Old Bag Factory complete with pottery, furniture, candles, unique gifts and handiworks.

We will visit The Calendar Garden nestled within the River Preserve County Park in Benton, IN. The centerpiece of this captivating garden-- a pond filled with lush pink water lilies. And just like the seasons, the views in the garden are ever-changing. Time spent in the Calendar Garden will be time well spent, time for all seasons and time long remembered. It is truly enchanting.

Amish AcresThen, here we come Amish Acres, Nappanee.  The 80-acre restored Amish farmstead, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the focal point of Amish Acres. This heritage resort echoes the simple life of Amish society through historic interpretation, dining, lodging, theatre, countryside tours, baked goods and 10 different shops.  We will have a Salisbury Steak hearty lunch here complete with all the trimmings followed by a Professional Broadway musical production in the Round Barn Theatre.

Amish TravelOur last stop of the day will be at Benedict's Nursery, which is a bit like stepping into a scene from a fairytale – tiny, remarkable plants that make ordinary plants seem huge in comparison fill garden racks and specially made containers.  That’s because Esther Benedict specializes in alpines and other unusual species that are seldom seen in a garden shop.   It may seem curious that an Old Order Mennonite woman living in Nappanee, IN, is knowledgeable about species that manage to survive in high altitude or harsh desert terrain, but it’s her hobby.  Esther can tell us all about these amazing, slow growing little plants.  She also makes and sells the rugged, rock-like hyper-tufa pots ideally suited for these hearty miniatures and gives classes on making our own.

We will have an evening on your own tonight to relax and recuperate.

Friday, June 26 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included):

After breakfast, we will depart for Wakarusa, where we will visit the Quilt Garden here and also enjoy shopping at the Wakarusa Dime Store, home of the Jumbo Jelly Bean.

We won't want to miss shopping at Calico Point, located in Wakarusa. This locally owned Amish fabric shop features 3,000 bolts of fabrics, and is found in the heart of the countryside.

Then we will enjoy a catered box lunch under the covered pavilion at historic Krider “World’s Fair” Garden and take in the colorful view of their Quilt Garden. Be sure to allow time to stroll the grounds of this unusual garden that blends a wide variety of plants, shrubs, trees and waterfalls with area history. The gardens were originally designed by Krider Nurseries for display at the 1933/34 Chicago World’s Fair. The community restored those original gardens elements for future generations to enjoy.

We will then visit the Quilt Gardens at Dutch Country Market where we can shop for Amish noodles, jams, honey, and jellies. We can watch as homemade noodles take shape right before our eyes, observe honey bees at work in glass hives, and shop for natural real honey and other behive products, jams, salsa, popcorn, and more.

Quilting BeeRise and Roll Bakery is our next stop where we will find a family bakery that offers the tastiest pies, cakes, cookies, and rolls around! After that we will head to Guggisberg Cheese Haus where we can watch skilled Amish cheese makers producing world campion cheeses and sample any of them at the factory gift shop.

Elaine Jones at The Carriage House has invited us to join her and her friends in an Amish quilting bee. The ladies will first serve us a delicious home-cooked, 2 meat, traditional Amish meal, also known as a Haystack supper.  Then we will pull up a chair around 4 original quilt frames filled with hand pieced Amish quilts. They’ll demonstrate how to piece, mark and get the quilt ready to sew.  Then we’ll sit beside them and participate, watch, learn or just chat as these ladies lead the quilters in an old fashioned quilting bee.

Saturday, June 27 (Breakfast, Lunch included):

Today, we will begin with the Annual Shipshewana Quilt Festival!  This show will have a special guest speaker (TBD, optional) and will feature over 200 quilts and several vendors.

Lunch will be at "b" on the River. Sit by the stone fireplace or take in the RiverWalk view from the patio at this delightful bakery café and gift store.  Enjoy a beautifully prepared luncheon salad or specialty sandwiches made on flaky croissants or artisan breads. The tempting desserts are pure bliss!

After lunch, we will head to Ruthmere Museum in Elkhart. Mr. Albert Beardsley who helped in founding the company that created Alka Seltzer is the founder of this beaux-arts style house named Ruthmere after his deceaesed daughter, Ruth. Here you will see a fine art collection including Tiffany leaded glass, Rodin sculptures, velvet window coverings, hand painted walls, and imaculate woodwork.

Quilt GardenNext, we will visit Linton's Enchanted Gardens. Step into a magical world at Linton's Enchanted Gardens.  A world full of color and inspiration!  Voted as the best Garden Center in Indiana, as well at being honored as one of the "Top 100 Revolutionary Garden Centers" throughout the entire United States. It has over 50,000 square feet of indoor shopping filled with creative displays which will spark your imagination, as well as over 9 acres of outdoor displays.  You can explore the many themed gardens of this large garden center including the Japanese Tea house, Southwestern Garden with Mine Shaft, Victorian House, Dutch Gardens, and Grist Mill.

Our next stop will be Essenhaus for the evening.  While in Essenhaus, you can browse the quilt shop where you can discover handmade quilts from the area as well as supplies for those who prefer to do it themselves. Be sure you stop in and browse the other village shops located here and take in the beauty of the quilt garden and mural located on site. Then, we will enjoy another family-style dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Indiana's largest resteraunt with 1,100 seats!

Sunday, June 28 (Breakfast):

Our trip is almost over!  We will check out of our host hotel and head toward Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.  Please make travel arrangements for 1PM or later. 

The Ship

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The Ship


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RoomCost Per Person (Double Occupancy)Cost Per Person (Single Occupancy)
Regular Room$1,095$1,445

There is a $200.00 deposit per person due at registration which will secure your price and availability.

Travel Information

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Travel Information

Arrival and Departure Information:

Tuesday, June 23
You will be responsible for getting to the airport (or restaurant) on June 23rd. Our motorcoach will depart from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport promptly at 3PM so if you are delayed you will be responsible for your transportation to Elkhart. 

Sunday, June 28
We will return to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.  Please plan for transportation departures from Chicago Airport after 1:00PM.

Travel to and from Destination

You will be responsible for getting to and from Chicago's O'Hare Airport. 


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