The Quilt Gardens, the Indiana Tourism Association’s Best Festival or Event in 2017, is back for another outstanding year, thanks to the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

You’ll marvel at the 18 new quilt patterns rendered in jaw-dropping blues, reds, oranges, yellows and other vibrant colors. While each of the 18 sites throughout Elkhart, Goshen, Nappanee, Wakarusa, Middlebury and Bristol are the same, this year’s patterns are all-new, and feature everything from a mermaid and giant tulips to a modern-day take on a log cabin and a puzzle.

The Quilt Gardens open officially on May 31, 2018 and are free and open to the public until the close of the season Oct. 1, 2018.

As warmer weather finally sweeps across the area, the dozens of volunteers who plant and maintain the Quilt Gardens have been getting the flower beds ready. An estimated 200-plus volunteers put in more than 2,000 man-hours planting, weeding, watering and tending the gardens through the season.

The annuals which will be planted to form the dazzling designs are being nurtured in greenhouses. Delivery of these flowers will be taking place in late May, with volunteer teams planting them shortly thereafter.

The end of May will also see the debut of three new Quilt Mural designs among the 21 that are on display. Each of the new murals were painted by Nappanee artist Jeff Stillson. The new murals bring a jolt of energy with their colorful and captivating designs.

Community partners love being part of the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals displays, as they contribute greatly to the natural beauty and quality of place in Elkhart County.

Amanda Gobble, the site manager for the Old Bag Factory Quilt Garden in Goshen., discovered her love of flowers and gardening while working at a local garden store as a youth. Now also a merchant at the artisan market complex, Gobble loves being part of a major community event.

“Right now … we are really looking forward to playing in the dirt, getting flowers in the ground and using our experiences from last year both good and bad as a learning tool,” said Gobble.

2018 marks the 11th year that the ECCVB has sponsored the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals. One of the original Quilt Gardens in our 2007 test year — Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury — now proudly maintains the largest garden of the 18 at more than 2,700 square feet.

“The arrival of the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals always means the start of another great summer,” said Diana Lawson, chief executive officer of the ECCVB. “Every community in Elkhart County has embraced this one-of-a-kind project as a signature attraction. Our visitors know how much hard work and creativity that our volunteers invest here. It shows in how beautiful and well-maintained everything is.”

The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official tourism advertising/marketing and public/community relations organization for the Elkhart County hospitality industry. The ECCVB advances quality-of-place initiatives in our downtowns and rural spaces, parks and natural environment, arts and culture, and events, festivals, groups and activities that help forge social connections.

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For more information, contact Terry T. Mark, director of communications of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, at 574-262-8161 or