Shipshewana Quilt Festival expected to draw hundreds of quilters to Amish country


June 16 – SHIPSHEWANA – Over 500 people were registered for the Shipshewana Quilt Festival when early bird registration closed last Friday. There is, however, room and time to sign up and learn a new skill from some of the many quilting experts who will be attending the four-day weekend festival.

“It’s an opportunity for quilters to come together,” said event coordinator Andrea Henderson.

The Shipshewana Quilt Festival will take place from Wednesday to June 25 and will feature dozens of speakers and high-profile topics.

“The clientele is different this year, so there’s always variety,” said Andre Yoder, owner of the Yoder Department Store which organizes the Shipshewana Quilt Festival. “We try to balance it with different types of quilting. Every year there’s something different.”

Weekend talks include Robin Pickens, “My Journey into Fabric and Quilt Design”; Melody Miller and Devon Iott, “Discover the Ruby Star Society”; Amanda Murphy, “Planning Your Quilt”; and Mary Miller, “Mary’s Stash of Comedy, Music & Inspiration.”

“There’s just a lot to do,” Yoder said. “On the first day there are lectures all day. Some people come for specific things but others come for all types of things. There are lectures on Wednesdays, quilting academy on Thursdays and Fridays , there is a workshop There are so many different things Many people who come like to do all they can instead of just staying an afternoon.

Workshops are Devon Iott and Melody Miller of Ruby Star, “The Fabric Design Process”; Toni Steere “Panels at Work”; Penny Haren, “Tips and Tricks for All Skill Levels”; Natasha Somerville, “Demystifying Color”; Rebecca Haarer, “Amish Quiltmaking Heritage of Shipshewana”; Toni Steere, “Quilting Concept”; Maria De Groot, “Creative Gifts and More”; and Robin Pickins, “Precutes Please! Why I Love Precuts and How I Use Them.”

There will also be activities including a quilt bee for the full range of skills, from beginners to experts, to try their hand at hand-quilting an Amish quilt at a Shipshewana home. The cost to participate is $28 to $30. Reservations are required, but the activity is available during the Shipshewana Quilt Festival as well as other times of the year for groups of eight or more. The Carriage House is located at 5280 S. 500 West, Topeka.

There will also be a special exhibition, “Quilts of Iceland”, by Gudrun Erla, originally from Iceland.

Presenters Robin Pickens, Amanda Murphy, Ruby Star Society, Toni Steere and Maria DeGroot will also be giving talks and demonstrations at Yoders Department Store and Cotton Corner on June 23 and 24.

There will also be a mall at Farmstead Inn, 370 S. Van Buren St., from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Entrance fee is included for registered participants. Daily passes are $6 and weekly passes are $9 each, with children 10 and under free.

On-site registration begins Tuesday. The $15 processing fee will be charged regardless of when a person registers for workshops and conferences. Remember that workshops require supplies, which will need to be planned in advance. Programs range from $21 to $39

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Dani Messick is the education and entertainment reporter for The Goshen News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 574-538-2065.


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