2022 QUILT GARDENS ALONG THE HERITAGE TRAIL QUILTER’S CHRONICLES BRISTOL

“Snowball in Summer” - Elkhart County Historical Museum
SIZE: 29’w x 29’h

Elkhart County Historical Museum

Elkhart County Historical Museum
304 West Vistula Street | Bristol, IN
w: ElkhartCountyParks.org
p: 574.848.4322

Aloha Blue Ageratum
Pacifica Tattoo Blueberry Vinca
Dreams White Petunia
“Double Tulips” - Central Park

Visiting the Elkhart County Historical Museum Quilt Garden site gives one a chance to experience history inside and out. The museum itself was founded in 1968 as a partnership between the Elkhart County Historical Society and the Elkhart County Parks Department, using a building once used as Bristol High School from 1928 to 1966. The Elkhart County Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving and fostering appreciation of the history of Elkhart County and the surrounding region.

The museum offers exhibits for all ages. Today it houses 10 permanent exhibits, two additional rooms for special showings, and over 20,000 artifacts of local historical interest. Explore the past where the beautiful and the useful were never far apart. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and is free, although donations are always appreciated. The Quilt Gardens generate focus and interest in the quilting heritage of the local community, which the museum is especially prepared to further celebrate. The museum has a collection of more than 60 historic quilts and offer many quilting-related programming opportunities.

The museum staff has teamed up with a group of Master Gardeners to prepare and care for the Snowball in Summer Quilt Garden. The museum staff has enjoyed working with Michiana Master Gardeners and has appreciated their knowledge and energy on this project. Knowledge is important when flowers are expected to perform at their best in a Quilt Garden year after year. Testing the pH and supplementing/adjusting the soil to create an optimum growing culture requires time and energy but yields great reward.

Snowball in Summer is the name given to the museum’s Quilt Garden for 2022. This design was chosen because of the simplicity of its lines creating a beautiful pattern. It is a quilt block that is recognized in three different generations and titled with different names in each time which is common with quilt patterns. “The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns” by Barbara Brackman identifies this pattern as The Spirit of 1848 by Nancy Cabot. Household Arts by Alice Brooks released this quilt-block pattern for print in newspapers in 1939. At that time, Brooks named the block

This block is also a modification of the Flowering Snowball quilt block dated around 1965. The modification to the Flowering Snowball block reverses the trapezoid pieces to be on the sides of the block instead of in the corners, therefore making it the same as The Spirit of 1848 and Grandmother’s Prize. A quilt created from these blocks would have a diagonal appearance whereas a quilt stitched with the unmodified Flowering Snowball block would have a straight-line appearance.

An experienced quilter will be able to stitch this block using several different techniques. After determining the size of the center square, templates would be made for the trapezoid and corner pieces. The block could then be cut and carefully stitched either by hand or machine. An applique technique would also be an option for stitching this block; stitching the center square and corner pieces on a background square the size of the unfinished block. The chosen background fabric would then become the trapezoid-shaped sides. A quilter would need to make 120 9-inch finished blocks sewn together in 12 rows of 10 blocks each to complete a 90-inch-by-108-inch queen size quilt with a diagonal appearance!

 

2022 QUILT GARDENS ALONG THE HERITAGE TRAIL QUILTER’S CHRONICLES ELKHART

"Double Tulips" Central Park
SIZE: 33'w X 22'h
Central Park
Elkhart Central Park managed by the Elkhart Building & Grounds Department
Waterfall Drive & Franklin Street | Elkhart, IN
w: ElkhartIndiana.org 
p: 574.295.7275

Heart to Heart Burning Heart Caladium
Taishan Yellow Marigold
Celebration Electric Rose
New Guinea Impatien
Gemini Blue Isotoma

Elkhart’s Central Park recently underwent a major facelift. You’ll find the Quilt Garden located in a new part of the renovated park. The new band stage, sidewalks, benches, picnic tables and landscaping make this a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll or outdoor rendezvous over lunch.

Central Park adds to vibrant Elkhart County with its centralized location in downtown Elkhart. The Quilt Garden provides a colorful backdrop and adds to the ambiance of events. With the RiverWalk at their back, local walkers can enjoy stopping throughout the summer to watch the flowers and pattern  develop. The Civic Plaza is just above and a handy place to meet up before heading out into the growing Arts & Entertainment district with its many shops, eateries and pubs. The renovated Lerner Theater is the centerpiece of downtown Elkhart and offers musical and theatrical options to visitors and locals.

Downtown Elkhart is a vibrant, diverse and unique community. The Gateway Mile features a wide variety of amenities including four museums, beautiful parks, stately homes in the Garden District, boutique shops, fabulous restaurants, cozy coffee shops, architecture, and exciting festivals. The most important aspect of downtown Elkhart is the diversity of what it has to offer. Whether you are meeting a friend for coffee, going out for a night on the town, or looking for a family-friendly activity for the weekend, everything you want can be found along downtown Elkhart’s Gateway Mile.

After a very successful season in 2021, which utilized a unique design by a local artist, the Central Park team selected the Double Tulips pattern for 2022. This is a traditional quilt pattern that transcends the stereotypical straight-line patterns. It is dramatic looking, with the sharp points cutting into the background color.

In researching the Double Tulips quilt block, it was discovered that several different designs are named Double Tulips. This specific design is a variation of the popular Log Cabin quilt block and was found to also be called both Tulips in the Cabin or Cabin in the Tulips. This modern twist on the traditional log cabin quilt block is a fun and easy pattern to construct with fabric and offers an opportunity to create a very colorful quilt. Each tulip could be stitched using identical colors or a variety of colors might be chosen to make a scrappy appearance.

The construction of this pattern is the same as the log cabin block with the addition of a half square triangle stitched on the end of the strips. This quilt block design can also be easily pieced on a foundation for quick and accurate results.

The Central Park Quilt Garden team transitioned the pattern into a living and growing work of art, with vibrant colors and a dramatic black outline. A total of 1,852 plants were used to create this energetic, exciting, electrifying design. The Double Tulips Quilt Garden is a warm and colorful welcome to the many opportunities available to everyone visiting the city of Elkhart and downtown Elkhart’s Gateway Mile.

 

“Sunflower by Twilight” - Elkhart Environmental Center
SIZE: 52’w x 22’h

Environmental Center

Elkhart Environmental Center 
1717 East Lusher Avenue | Elkhart, IN
w: ElkhartIndiana.org/EEC
p: 574.293.5070

Cocktail Vodka Red Bronze Leaf Begonia
Pacifica Tattoo Blueberry Vinca
Bonanza Orange Marigold
Profusion Lemon Zinnia
Triple Curled Parsley
FotoFinish Red Petunia

The Elkhart Environmental Center (EEC) opened in 1992 as an environmental learning center that strives to educate the community on its environmental impact. The EEC is situated on the former Lusher Dump, but over the last 40 years has been remediated and restored to include more than 65 acres of enriched greenspace. The public is welcome to walk the trails and browse the gardens, woods and prairies. There is also a canoe launch available onto the Elkhart River.

The EEC serves thousands of people a year and is committed to making the site a haven not only for residents and environmental professionals, but wildlife as well. The center is part of a 120-acre River Greenway system that links to Studebaker Park along the Elkhart River. The trail is a great spot for wildlife watching on the edge of the city. Deer, river otter, muskrat, beaver, coyote, fox, pileated woodpeckers, screech owls and nesting wood ducks have all been sighted in this area. Bird watchers can find many migrating species as well. The trail is open to bikers and hikers.

Five wetlands have been constructed at the center, which creates habitat and aids in reducing stormwater runoff. The Elkhart Environmental Center continues to blend urban and natural environment in order to demonstrate how they can successfully co-exist. This urban setting is a resting place to more than 86 different types of birds throughout the year and is home to more than 200 types of plants. Many frequent guests have said it’s the best-kept secret in Elkhart.

Sunflower by Twilight is the name of the Quilt Garden at the Elkhart Environmental Center for 2022. The inspiration for this Quilt Garden design was a beautiful sunflower appliqued on a dark blue background quilt and an orange and yellow sunflower blooming in the EEC gardens. Because the garden plat is rectangle in shape, the blue flowers were added on the ends to represent a beautiful northern Indiana twilight.

The Sunflower quilt block is reminiscent of the popular 1920s and 1930s quilt block named Dresden Plate. It is like a wheel with a center circle and more than eight petals. For quilters there are many different shapes for the petals and the size of the center circle may vary in some designs. The petals may be yellow and orange, as in this garden, or an array of scrappy fabrics and colors like many of the antique quilts from the Depression era, or any color or fabric combination desired. Considered a traditional quilt block, this quilt-block pattern is one that continues to be popular among quilters today.

Several different techniques may be used to create the circle of petals. Templates are available to accurately rotary-cut the petals for stitching by machine or by hand. There are also English Paper Piecing templates available for creating the circle of petals using the EPP technique, which is a wonderful handwork project for traveling. A completed circle of petals would then be appliqued on the background fabric of the quilter’s choice by hand or machine.

The number of names for this timeless block design is numerous -- Dresden Plate, Grandmother’s Sunburst, Aster, Dahlia, Friendship Ring, Sunburst, Texas Sunflower, etc. When walking the trails, prairies and gardens at the Elkhart Environmental Center look for the sunflowers that were the inspiration for Sunflower by Twilight.

 

“Kaleidoscope Blooms” - Linton’s Enchanted Gardens
SIZE: 50’w x 42’h

Lintons

Linton’s Enchanted Gardens
315 County Road 17 | Elkhart, IN
w: Lintons.com
p: 888.779.9333


Safari Red Marigold
Bada Boom White Bronze Leaf Begonia
Sunstorm Deep Orchid Vinca
Safari Orange Marigold
“Friendship Star” - Ruthmere Museum
Ipomoea Batatas
Super Olympia Red Green Leaf Begonia

The staff at Linton’s enjoys welcoming visitors from near and far to their unique, family-friendly and delightful garden center that brings beauty to all through plants. Linton’s Enchanted Gardens is not only a garden center but also a family destination. Over the last few years, Linton’s has added several attractions to their unique garden center complex: a butterfly house, pedal go-karts, pedal bumper boats, petting zoo, garden cafe, gift shop and much more.

The staff at Linton’s sees the Quilt Garden project as an extension of their garden center. The project provides Linton’s a unique opportunity to partner with the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Each year it offers them a new and exciting challenge to incorporate the organization’s current Breast Cancer Awareness fabric pattern into their garden theme. Since 1999, Vera Bradley has designed special breast cancer awareness colors to celebrate their commitment to the cause. Linton’s 2022 Quilt Garden has been designed using the  beautiful Rosa Floral pattern from the 2021 Vera Bradley fall collection. This vibrant and moving pattern is echoed in the Quilt Garden Kaleidoscope Blooms to express the constant movement of the floral images in the Rosa Floral pattern. 

The Kaleidoscope quilt block is the pattern used in Linton’s Quilt Garden this year. This quilt block is in the Maltese Cross category of quilt blocks because it is constructed with a square divided by four intersecting diagonal seams into eight pie-shaped wedges. It is inspired by the symmetrical patterns found in a Kaleidoscope and when used in a quilt it is an exercise in color and design. This block has also been known as Octagon, Semi-Octagon, Will of the Wisp, and The Windmill. The pattern may be pieced with solid or printed fabrics. The more variety of colors, the greater the effect.

There are several different techniques that might be used when cutting and piecing this block, including the use of templates, rotary cutting and foundation piecing. When piecing these blocks for a quilt, it would be helpful for a quilter to arrange the blocks on a design wall -- then take a picture and study the layout from the picture as it will allow the viewer to see the movement of the colors which could be missed when viewing it up close. The quilter may make any layout changes at that time for the best visual effect. 

Stand back and view Kaleidoscope Blooms and allow your eyes to see and enjoy the constant movement of the floral images with flowers that mimic the pattern in a kaleidoscope. 

 

"Friendship Star" - Ruthmere Museum
SIZE: 30’w x 30’h

Ruthmere

Ruthmere Museum
302 East Beardsley Avenue | Elkhart, IN
w: Ruthmere.org
p: 888.287.7696

Snapshot Yello Snapdragons
Ipomoea Batatas
Super Olympia Red Green Leaf Begonia
Super Olympia White Green Leaf Begonia

The Beardsley Avenue Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic district of Elkhart includes two homes originally built by the Beardsley family. The home of Havilah Beardsley, the founder of Elkhart, is located at 102 W. Beardsley Ave. To many in the community, this is known as the founder’s home. His nephew, Albert R. Beardsley, built his home at 302 E. Beardsley Ave. and is called Ruthmere. Both homes are open to the public for tours in which visitors can learn about the most prominent families in Elkhart’s history.

The Ruthmere staff has chosen the Friendship Star quilt block for their 2022 Quilt Garden to represent the friendship between Dr. Havilah Beardsley and Potawatomi Chief Pierre Moran. It is a classic block and one that would hold special value to pioneer women as many friendship quilts using this block would have been made and given as gifts to families leaving their homes to travel west. Putting a friendship quilt on the bed was a connection to friends and family that would keep special memories alive. 

The Friendship Star block is an equal nine-patch block with four half-square triangles and four plain blocks. The placement of the half-square triangles creates this popular block. This classic block has also been named Simplex Star, The Pin Wheel, and The Lost Goslin’. The colors chosen for this Quilt Garden are white, yellow, red and black representing the four colors of mankind.

Quiltmakers today find this meaningful block popular in many quilts. It is a wonderful block for a quilt to be gifted to a friend as well as used in a baby quilt. Because of its simple nature, it is an easy block for a beginning quilter. However, it is also a classic block that incorporates well in very intricate designs.

 

“New Crossing” - Southgate
SIZE: 32’w x 32’h

Southgate

Southgate
27751 County Road 26 | Elkhart, IN
w: fb.com/southgatecrossing
p: 574.221.1999

Super Olympia White Green Leaf Begonia
Triple Curled Parsley
Cocktail Vodka Red Bronze Leaf Begonia

Southgate is located just off the U.S. 20 Bypass south of Elkhart. The big red barn was built by Amish craftsmen using the old-world tradition of joining mortis and tenon joints with wooden pegs. Construction on this expansive building began in 2006. Longer than a football field, it features hundreds of solid heavy timber beams, columns and braces that are prepared with mortis and tenons that were cut and notched together for the framing of the three-story structure.

High clerestory windows provide natural lighting and ventilation for the open interior spaces in the barn. It has three towering cupolas with the center cupola topping out at 84 feet. It is one of the largest Amish built peg and beam barns in the nation and is a beautiful and unique cultural landmark in Elkhart County. Southgate’s iconic building has new owners and management who have experience supporting artisan markets, antiques and event space. Southgate is excited to currently be home to several antique vendors, local artisans, 3rd Horse Craft Beverage Supply and various food vendors. Entertainment events are scheduled for the large open area in the building. Information about the various entertainment and event opportunities is available on their Facebook page. Southgate also offers space available to rent for private parties, weddings, and receptions.

The new owners are excited about the possibilities for the future of Southgate and have named their 2022 Quilt Garden New Crossing. This quilt block is a 3-by-3 square block with five blocks solid and four blocks made of strips of fabric sewn together. To make the four pieced  blocks, three strips of the appropriate widths would be stitched together, pressed and cut into the size needed to position with the solid blocks to make the complete block.

The simplicity of this block construction would make it an excellent quilt block for a beginning quilter. Many of these blocks stitched together, with or without sashing between the blocks, would make a stunning quilt. Just as this simple quilt block shines its beauty in flowers, a quilt made with this block will be an impressive design in a three-color combination or an array of colorful fabrics. The design opportunities for this block are limitless just as the new owners of Southgate see limitless opportunities for their beautiful building.

 

“Fresh Connections” - Wellfield Botanic Gardens
SIZE: 30’w x 30’h

Wellfield

Wellfield Botanic Gardens
1011 North Main Street | Elkhart, IN
w: WellfieldGardens.org 
p: 574.266.2006

Eureka White Green Leaf Begonia 
Profusion Lemon Zinnia 
Easy Wave Lavendar Sky Blue Petunia
Profusion Cherry Bi-Color Zinnia
Profusion Orange Zinnia
Profusion Red Zinnia

Wellfield Botanic Gardens’ mission is to promote the inseparable relationship between water, plants and animals, inspire creativity and education while celebrating nature, foster stewardship for the natural world, and bring people together to build community. Wellfield’s welcoming Quilt Garden is located just outside their gates for the public to enjoy admission-free. Visitors to the Quilt Garden are welcome to sit on the bench and contemplate the garden and the world around them. Consider stepping inside the 36 acres of lush gardens set against a backdrop of native woodlands with the bubbling, crystal-clear water of Christiana Creek flowing through the grounds. Striking in any season, Wellfield leads visitors along winding stone paths dotted with charming pump houses and whimsical sculptures.

The 2022 theme at Wellfield Botanic Gardens is “The Year of Connections.” At Wellfield Botanic Gardens, each season, in its own way, will allow visitors to connect with nature, friends and family, and themselves. The Wellfield Botanic Gardens Quilt Garden for this year is titled Fresh Connections. The specific placement of the color gives an illusion that the pieces are interlocking, providing a true connection within the garden. 

Fresh Connections is the name of a quilt pattern designed by Jean Katherine Smith. The pattern for this unique quilt is a free download available at windhamfabrics.com. This pattern offers many possibilities for the use of fabrics and colors. A beautiful floral fabric would make a wonderful background for interlocking pieces of coordinating monotone colors found in the floral fabric. However, choosing a more subtle background would allow the colors of the interlocking pieces to be highlighted.

The quilter will want to read the pattern instructions carefully to determine the amounts of each fabric to purchase, labeling each piece accordingly. Precise cutting and piecing will be crucial to creating each block. The 12 blocks of this quilt are pieced together the same way except each one has a different combination of fabrics. There are no two blocks alike in this quilt. Careful labeling and numbering of the fabrics will be an important step when deciding fabric placement. A quilter’s design wall (or large floor space) will be helpful in laying out the quilt as each block is constructed. Assembly of this quilt will be like putting a puzzle together!

As the “fresh connections” are revealed in this beautiful Quilt Garden, spend a few moments, and reflect on the joyous connections available to each of us through human relationships, spiritual relationships, and relationships with the sights, sounds and fragrances of the natural environment surrounding us. 

 

2022 QUILT GARDENS ALONG THE HERITAGE TRAIL QUILTER’S CHRONICLES GOSHEN

“Towering of Gifts” - Abshire Park 
SIZE: 31’w x 31’h

Abshire Park

Abshire Park managed by the Goshen Parks Department 
1302 E. Lincoln Ave. | Goshen, IN
w: GoshenIndiana.org/parks-rec
p: 574.534.2901

Pink Passion Easy Wave Petunia
Frost Blue Petunia
Madness White Petunia
Red Hot Sally Salvia
Aptenia Maya

The Goshen Parks Department is returning for their third year with the Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail, as the gardens are a perfect way of expressing art with nature. It speaks to its mission of providing and embracing programs that benefit area residents and which contribute to Goshen’s environment, wellness and sense of community. Abshire Park is Goshen’s third-largest city park, spanning 75.5 acres and donated to the Goshen Parks Department in 1986. In addition to on-site recreational options, the park has ample parking and offers a beautiful trailhead for the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, a leg of the Maple City Greenway trail network. 

Towering of Gifts is the name chosen for the Abshire Park Quilt Garden by site manager Frank Shula and his staff. This extraordinary quilt block was chosen for its uniqueness. Everyone loves to see an assortment of wrapped boxes, bags and curly ribbons on Christmas morning, at a birthday party, a wedding or a baby shower; or maybe even a fun quilt pieced with bright and colorful gift boxes.

There are several similar gift box quilt patterns available in printed patterns, books or online. Foundation paper piecing would be one  technique for stitching this pattern and would ensure the block would be accurate and easily pieced. The versatility of this quilt block makes it a great candidate for a table runner created to celebrate any holiday or occasion. Quilters are always looking for ways to use all the beautiful holiday-themed fabrics available and a gift box quilted table runner might just be the answer! 

When you visit Abshire Park, you will find the Towering of Gifts Quilt Garden located on the path leading from the parking lot. The garden’s slope allows visitors to see the outline of the gift boxes, ribbon and bow created by the colorful flowers. This unique Quilt Garden is a reminder that giving or receiving a beautifully wrapped gift always achieves a special joy.

The cabin at Abshire Park’s Quilt Garden is representative of the park’s creating and fostering friendships among bicyclists, walkers, runners and the larger community. This sunny spot is a perfect backdrop for the vibrant colors of the Quilt Garden. Located just down the path from the parking lot, the Quilt Garden’s slope allows visitors to get close and view the combination of flowers that make up the wrapped gifts. Elkhart County, blessed with plenty of flowing rivers and creeks, was home to many mills during its early days. Abshire Park pays homage to the history and legacy left by the early settlers who prospered along the waterways.

 

“Head, Heart, Hands and Health”- Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds
SIZE: 20’w x 40’h
Elkhart County 4H Fair

Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds & Purdue Co-Operative Extension Service
17746 County Road 34 | Goshen, IN
w: 4HFair.org | Extension.Purdue.edu
p: 574.533.FAIR | 574.533.0554

High Tide Ageratum
Gay’s Delight Coleus
Triple Curled Parsley
Olympia Super White Green Leaf Begonia
Cocktail Brandy Pink Bronze Leaf Begonia
Cocktail Vodka Red Bronze Leaf Begonia
Olympia Super Rose Green Leaf Begonia

The Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds is a busy place year-round with RV, motorhome and motorcycle rallies, weddings and receptions, and corporate and community events. This Quilt Garden is a cooperative partnership between four organizations: Purdue University Co-operative Extension Service, Michiana Master Gardeners Association, Elkhart County Extension Homemakers, and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board. While planting and maintenance are primarily done by the Master Gardeners, the Extension Homemakers help and have  contributed the design. All four organizations help with expenses.

The Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds is the home to one of the largest county fairs in Indiana. The 4-H Fair and its facilities were established to enhance and encourage family and youth programs that promote the principles expressed in the 4-H creed: “Head, Heart, Hand and Health.” The 2022 edition of the fair is scheduled for July 22-30. Everyone who travels Monroe Street (County Road 34), which runs in front of the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, is greeted by this beautiful hillside Quilt Garden. Take a few minutes to rest on the bench under the shade of the trees and enjoy the Quilt Garden experience.

The fairgrounds is the site where 4-Hers are recognized every year for their ingenuity, hard work, healthy interests, and commitment to service fulfilling their 4-H Pledge. This Quilt Garden is a beautiful tribute to a 100-year-old national organization that enhances youth development for the future of families and communities. The four-leaf clover, the center motif of the Quilt Garden, is the logo for 4-H, and the four values are represented in the four leaves of the clover.

The 4-H Emblem, created with triple curled parsley in the center of the Quilt Garden, is surrounded by vibrant colors to radiate exuberance. This original design has a border that is sometimes called a “piano key border” when it is applied to a quilt because it emulates the keys on a piano. Often this type of border will include all the scraps from the fabrics used in the center of the quilt. The width and length of the strips used in the border would be the quilter’s choice and may depend on the size of the fabric pieces left from piecing the center design or the desired finished size of the quilt. 

 

“Joseph’s Coat” - Elkhart County Courthouse
SIZE: 20’w x 40’h

Courthouse

Elkhart County Courthouse
101 North Main Street | Goshen, IN
w: ElkhartCountyIndiana.com
w: Goshen.org
p: 574.533.2102

Lime Delight Coleus
Bonanza Orange Marigold
Ruby Slipper Coleus
Bonanza Yellow Marigold
Silver Falls Dichondra

In an area once inhabited by the Miami and Algonquin Native Americans, Goshen was established in 1831 and serves as the Elkhart County seat. Today you can find testimony to the indigenous in street and park names around the city. Goshen is fast becoming a center for cultural and visual arts all revolving around a historic downtown which embraces its past. Few towns Goshen’s size (just over 30,000 residents) can boast about a thriving downtown cultural arts scene, beautiful historic architecture, and intriguing places to eat and shop. Because of its central location, the Courthouse is a good place to park and explore downtown. It is within easy walking distance of a great many unique locally owned shops and eateries and the Goshen Historical Museum. Looking at the skyline one can see testament to the good bones of a historic town. The Courthouse building, over 100 years old in the Renaissance Revival style, is stately and the magnificent Neptune Fountain adds to the town’s ambiance.

Perhaps one of Goshen’s greatest boons is its bounty of independent restaurants. Foodies need look no further than downtown for artisan pizza and bread, craft beer, chocolates, burritos, gelato, and spicy curries. The city is home to five artists’ guilds, and you’ll find several galleries and shops around town showcasing artists’ work.

This Quilt Garden is a cooperative effort between the Elkhart County Dahlia Society, Goshen Rotary, and the Elkhart County government. Designing, planning, planting and maintaining the Quilt Gardens takes time and dedication. These three groups have divided up the responsibilities to present a Quilt Garden of consistent beauty. The morning sunshine helps the Cornflower pattern create a fine addition to downtown Goshen and the courthouse lawn for visitors and residents alike. The Goshen Rotary is always interested in supporting local projects that contribute to the quality of community life. The Quilt Garden project has a long history. Across the county, there are many  gardens and groups involved. This project gives those who enjoy landscaping, flowers and physical work a chance to “play in the dirt.” The Goshen Rotary will be involved in preparing the beds, planting and then again in the fall with cleanup. It is a great cooperative effort, says Rick Stiffney. The Rotary Club is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian services,  encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Goshen Rotary has been serving the Goshen community since 1905. They meet Fridays at noon at Maplecrest Country Club. The Elkhart County government employees will also be assisting with the Courthouse Quilt Garden. They will work on the garden as part of their job each week. 

The Elkhart County Dahlia Society was formed in the 1950s. Their mission “is to teach others about growing and exhibiting dahlias; to share our collective knowledge and to continue the traditions of those dahlia growers who came before us. Initiatives include mentoring about the importance of responsible gardening, maintaining the Midwest Dahlia Trial Garden, and propagating and hybridizing new and exciting varieties of dahlias.” Check out their website at ElkhartDahliaSociety.com. 

The Quilt Garden at the Elkhart County Courthouse is a rectangle-shaped garden. Selecting a quilt block for the garden is always a challenge. The rectangle shape of the garden means the quilt block needs to be adapted to fit the space. The name of the Elkhart County Courthouse 2022 Quilt Garden is Joseph’s Coat. The name of this block is biblically inspired and became popular in the Depression era because it typically uses many different colors and fabrics. In the 1930s it was a popular “scrap” quilt block because a quilter would use leftover fabrics from other projects or salvage some of the fabric from worn aprons and old clothing. Other names for this quilt-block pattern are melon patch and orange peel. 

A quilter might choose one of several techniques to stitch this quilt block. Templates are available for cutting each piece of the block for stitching. The “patch” pieces might also be appliqued onto a square background block. The applique could be accomplished by machine or hand stitching. If stitching by hand, this would be an enjoyable and wonderful portable project!

 

“Fractured Four Patch” - Old Bag Factory
SIZE: 32’w x 32’h

Old Bag Factory

Old Bag Factory
1100 North Chicago Avenue
Goshen, IN
w: OldBagFactory.com
p: 574.534.2502

Aloha Blue Ageratum
Olympia Super Rose Green Leaf Begonia
Cora Cascade White Vinca

The Old Bag Factory is one of Elkhart County’s authentic places with a rich community history. It was first built in 1896 to produce laundry soap, fine bathing soap and toilet paper. In 1910 it was purchased by The Chicago-Detroit Bag Company, which in 1924 merged with the Chase Bag Factory that manufactured a wide variety of bags that included waterproof burlap sacks, feed sacks and fine sheer paper used in Hershey’s Kisses wrappers. Production at the site continued until 1982. Today, the Old Bag Factory is home to producing artists, antiques, specialty shops, an event center, an escape room and more.

The name of the Old Bag Factory Quilt Garden for 2022 is Fractured 4-Patch. This quilt block design is a variation of the popular Puss in the Corner block design which has a solid large center block. Fractured 4-Patch features an unequal nine-patch block and is unique with a large four-patch center block. The simplicity of cutting and stitching this block makes it a great project for quilters of all skill levels.

This unequal nine-patch block has been found in quilts dating to the 1800s. The blocks are often set together with sashing and cornerstones between them, or also stitched together side by side. If the placement is side by side, the quilt would have a unique diagonal appearance. Color choices and fabric combinations for this quilt block pattern are unlimited. Sometimes a quilter will use a black and white paper diagram of the quilt blocks and create specific color patterns with colored pencils when designing a quilt. This block pattern is also easily adapted to a variety of finished sizes and is a great block for making mini quilts. This versatile quilt block has been popular among quilters for many years.

 

2022 QUILT GARDENS ALONG THE HERITAGE TRAIL QUILTER’S CHRONICLES MIDDLEBURY

“Diamond in the Square” - Das Dutchman Essenhaus
SIZE: 54’w x 61’h
Das Dutchman Essenhaus
Das Dutchman Essenhaus
240 US 20 | Middlebury, IN
w: Essenhaus.com
p: 800.455.9471

Hawaii Blue Ageratum
Eureka Green Leaf Rose Begonia
Easy Wave Pink Petunia
Evolution White Salvia

Since 1971, Das Dutchman Essenhaus has provided each guest with a wholesome, safe environment, warm hospitality, outstanding service, and consistent quality. What began as a 120-seat family-style restaurant has grown to become Indiana’s largest restaurant with over 1,100 seats. Essenhaus celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. In addition to the flagship of the organization, the campus offers overnight lodging at the charming inn, shopping opportunities in boutique-style stores, a home-style bakery, and abundant outdoor recreational options. The Essenhaus has been a part of the Quilt Garden project since its inception and states that “creating a large-scale quilt pattern of living flowers is special and unique in our ‘patchwork community’ and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to participate.”

The management and staff feel this one-of-a-kind experience truly enhances guests’ visits to their campus. The Essenhaus Quilt Garden is the largest and for 2022 they have selected a well-known quilt-block pattern called Diamond in the Square. Their hope is to “inspire guests to garden and enjoy the process of creating beauty in flowers.”

The Diamond in a Square pattern is specific to Amish quiltmakers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and appears in quilts dating back to the 1870s. The pattern feels old and yet the simplicity and color combinations often feel more contemporary. The Amish are known for living a simple lifestyle. However, quilting has always been an important activity for Amish women. Quilting circles became social gatherings and offered learning opportunities for younger Amish girls as well. Although most Amish quilts were made from scraps left over from garment sewing, the Diamond in a Square quilt is made with large pieces of fabric which most likely were purchased specifically with a quilt in mind. The simple design and open spaces make the perfect canvas for elaborate quilting stitches which are one of the hallmarks of an Amish quilt. 

The prominent diamond in the center of the quilt symbolizes balance, harmony and dignity within the Amish community. The rest of the design features a symmetrical pattern of triangles, rectangles and squares. The Diamond in a Square quilts are frequently finished as a square quilt. However, it is not uncommon to find one designed to be a rectangle quilt as displayed in this Quilt Garden. As noted in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman, this quilt pattern is also associated with the names Triangle Design, Broken Sash, Dutch Tile, and Friendship Album Quilt.

 

“Double Windmill” - Dutch Country Market
SIZE: 45’w x 45’h
Dutch Country Market
Dutch Country Market
11401 CR 16 | Middlebury, IN
w: visitelkhartcounty.com/listing/dutch-country-market/137/
p: 574.825.3594

Vista Bubble Gum Supertunia
Black Cherry Supertunia
Vista Paradise Supertunia
Triple Curled Parsley 
Super Olympia White Green Leaf Begonia

In 2005, Norman and Katie Lehman used Katie’s Homemade Noodles to launch Dutch Country Market. As the business has grown, so has the selection of noodles -- four widths, two thicknesses, white and whole wheat, and an average of 400 pounds a day. Stop by weekday mornings to watch them in production. They also have a wide selection of other products -- jellies, pickles and preserves, salty snacks, and another local favorite, Amish peanut butter. Outside, local produce of amazingly high quality can be found in season, as well as locally made lawn furniture.

And there’s honey, another of their specialties. Norman has tended bees for more than 20 years and produces 36,000 pounds of honey products a year! The store carries jars of honey in many sizes and varieties, comb honey, honey sticks, bee pollen, beeswax candles and soap, and nine flavors of whipped honey. They also have a working honeybee hive in the store where one can view the bees at work.

When Norm is asked how he chooses the block patterns for their gardens, his general reply is, “We pick what we like.” For 2022 they have picked the 1932 Double Windmill. Windmills dot the countryside of Elkhart County and are a reminder of a simple lifestyle where water was pumped by the windmill for use in the barns and in the family home. Windmills were often among a homesteader’s most prized possession. The water pumped by windmills was used to cook, drink, bathe, wash clothes, and water animals and crops. Today, water pumping windmills continue to be used on some small rural farms.

This quilt block was designed by Nancy Cabot, a featured columnist for the Chicago Tribune in the 1930s. Each day a quilt block was featured in the newspaper. A pattern for the block was offered for sale for “5 cents in stamps or coins,” a quilter’s dream! This pattern most likely featured templates for each piece and partial seam construction would be required to complete the block. 

Foundation piecing would also be a piecing technique for this block. This technique would require stitching of sections of the block according to the lines on the foundation and then the partial seam construction would be required to complete the block. A free download pattern of this block is available at QuiltingDaily.com giving rotary cutting instructions, a template, and instructions for completing the block with the partial seam.

 

“Fireworks” - Krider World’s Fair Garden
SIZE: 20’w x 40’h

Krider

Krider World’s Fair Garden
302 West Bristol Avenue (County Road 8) | Middlebury, IN
w: MiddleburyIN.com
p: 574.825.1499

New Look Dusty Miller
Red Cocktail Bronze Leaf Begonia
Aloha Blue Ageratum

Krider World’s Fair Garden is located a short distance from the business district of downtown Middlebury. It is a memorial to Krider Nurseries Inc. and the Krider family. Today’s park began as display gardens for the nursery after bringing back many of the structures from their exhibit at the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair, “A Century of Progress.” The garden is part of the Middlebury Parks Department and is on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, making it a destination for hiking and bicycling enthusiasts. The parks department provides a viewing platform, pavilion, benches and picnic tables throughout the garden to add to visitors’ enjoyment of the entire park.

The story begins with the Krider Diversified Nurseries display at the 1933-34 Chicago World’s Fair to promote its offering of plant and landscaping design. Krider Nurseries gained national prominence at the World’s Fair and amassed an extensive mailing list which was used to distribute its full-color catalog. This netted thousands of orders, bringing further success to the nursery. This dramatic increase in shipping resulted in the small town of Middlebury’s new post office earning a first-class rating in 1938. Along with the booming mail order business, the development and popularity of the Krider Festival Thornless rose resulted in more than 100 jobs and 400 acres of Elkhart County land under cultivation. The park is located alongside the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, the original corridor of the Pumpkinvine railroad which supported the Krider Nurseries business for many years.

The design for the 2022 Quilt Garden is a stylized version of the Fireworks quilt block, a  contemporary design, and a salute to the American family in flowers. Krider World’s Fair Garden is host to weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, picnics, senior pictures and family photo sessions. It is a place where families come to remember, to celebrate and to appreciate events and relationships.

The interpretation of this quilt block comes alive in flowers with accents of metal stars and star steppingstones. A quilter might draft their own pattern for this design and create a Fireworks quilt or pillow using cotton or wool fabric for the streamers and stars. After cutting out the pieces, a favorite applique technique would be used to attach the pieces to the background fabric. A project using this block design would make a lovely accent piece to use in decorating for the patriotic holidays.

Fireworks: A Celebration of Family Quilt Garden is inspired by the Middlebury families who continue to love and support Krider World’s Fair Garden, by the Middlebury Parks Department, and by the visitors from all over the world who enjoy the simple pleasure of walking its paths. Nature can bring us all together, as one big family.

 

2022 QUILT GARDENS ALONG THE HERITAGE TRAIL QUILTER’S CHRONICLES NAPPANEE

“Nature’s Stained Glass ” - Nappanee Center & Chamber of Commerce
SIZE: 30’w x 30’h
Nappanee Center

Nappanee Center & Chamber of Commerce
302 West Market Street | Nappanee, IN
w: NappaneeChamber.com
p: 574.773.7812
 

Bonanza Orange Marigold
Bonanza Yellow Marigold
Easy Wave Lavender Sky Petunia
Aloha Blue Ageratum
Midnight Madness Petunia 
Triple Curled Parsley
Red Hot Sally Salvia

Nappanee sits at the crossroads of U.S. 6 and S.R. 19, two major highways in the northern sector of Indiana. It’s a community of people that thrives on being a tight-knit community. From the construction of the downtown pavilion completed through a community effort that resembled an old-fashioned barn raising, to city employees who strive to provide the best possible government services to its residents and guests, the city lives “community.” 

The quarter-block area where the Quilt Garden resides sits on the Heritage Trail and in the backyard of the Nappanee Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber shares space with the Nappanee Center/Heritage Museum and the John Hartman Home, a structure that dates to 1897. The Heritage Museum has an impressive collection started by former librarian Evelyn Culp in the Nappanee Public Library and was later moved to this site. Over the years this collection has expanded to include a collection of historic Hoosier cabinets and many other items of interest. In 2021, The Grant Family Gallery featuring the work of Amish folk artist Emma Schrock opened.

The all-volunteer 11-member committee estimates that they put in close to 500 hours of labor in planting and maintaining their Quilt Garden throughout the season. With such a large group, their skills and talents are not just limited to gardening. During the 15 years they have participated in the Quilt Gardens, they have found ways to take traditional quilt-block patterns and bring them to life with custom-built hardscapes and unique plant selections. 

In 1909 a new company was formed in Nappanee, called Lamb and Green Manufacturing Company, specializing in art glass. They produced an extensive line of leaded glass floor and table lamps, which are highly sought after today. A three-story brick building for this new company was built on South Jackson Street. The company did not survive the Great Depression and closed in the late 1920s. The Nappanee Center Museum has several Lamb and Green items on display. Many of the early 20th century homes in Nappanee continue to contain and preserve Lamb and Green lamps and stained-glass windows.

To highlight the beautiful art glass creations of Lamb and Green Manufacturing Company, the city of Nappanee has chosen a stained-glass quilt block for their 2022 Quilt Garden. The garden is appropriately named Nature’s Stained Glass. Please notice that the black mulch creates a leaded look to the vibrant colors provided by the flowers.

A stained-glass quilt is one that would appear to have the look of a stained-glass window. The shapes are often simple, and the leading is normally a narrow strip added between the shapes. A stained-glass quilt frequently captures the look of a stained-glass window by using colorful batik or hand-dyed fabrics. The leading appearance may be created by using a variety of materials and techniques. Quilters may also choose to use an applique technique to create a stained-glass quilt.

Nature’s Stained Glass has captured the appearance of a stained-glass window and is an appropriate tribute to the Lamb and Green Manufacturing Company. The company, once a thriving business in Nappanee, continues to be a part of Nappanee’s industrial history through its legacy of stained-glass products. As you drive through the beautiful streets of Nappanee, look for the leaded glass windows in the early 20th century homes.

 

“Rail Fence Flag” - The FarmHouse Inn B&B
SIZE: 20’w x 40’h
Rail Fence Garden

The FarmHouse Inn B&B
1061 Parkwood Drive | Nappanee, IN
w: HISBedAndBreakfast.com
p: 574.536.7450

Victoria Blue Salvia
Olympia Super White Green Leaf Begonia
Cocktail Vodka Red Bronze Leaf Begonia

The FarmHouse Inn B&B was originally built in 1840 by Christian Stahly, an Amish pioneer farmer from Wayne County Ohio. The Stahlys were some of the first to help establish Nappanee in 1874, and even built the historic farm across town which offers guided tours. The barn behind this Quilt Garden echoes with a history of its own as many of the surrounding Amish families once attended church here.

By the turn of the 20th century, this home had acquired the name “Buffalo Farm” during a time when the bison were characteristic of the area. That history was celebrated in 1993 when The Olde Buffalo Inn B&B opened in the expanded and restored property. Today, the original farmhouse still exists and once again welcomes guests to a relaxing and cozy bed and breakfast operated by current owners Kenton and Emily Hostetler, who purchased the home in 2020. In addition to lodging, they also offer tour, meal and theatre packages with their cross-town friends at The Barns in Nappanee. Check out those offers at VisitElkhartCounty.com/plan/deals-discounts/.

The quilt pattern here is the Rail Fence Flag quilt design and is a variation on a rail fence quilt pattern featuring a patriotic design in front of the historic barn. It’s exciting but still shows crisp, clean, big, bright, and bold blocks of patriotic colors, to lift the soul of any American in this rural and relaxing setting.

This Quilt Garden, replicating an American flag, was chosen to show respect to the U.S., to represent the history of this nation and to honor God and country. The garden consists of one solid block, and five blocks made of three strips and designed to look like an American flag. The striped blocks are called a rail fence block and could consist of three or more strips of fabric. The blocks
may be turned in any way to create a desired design. Choosing creative colors will make a visual delight when a pattern is created by careful placement of the blocks for a bed-size quilt. 

This pattern is created by stitching strips of fabric together to make blocks, then alternating the direction of the strips to achieve the desired design. It is possibly one of the simplest quilt blocks to stitch, making it a great project for a beginning quilter. Historians are not positive when the rail fence block emerged but believe it is an old design from the early 19th century. Its simplicity was most likely chosen for more utilitarian purposes by quilters who could not afford to purchase whole cloth for blankets.


2022 QUILT GARDENS ALONG THE HERITAGE TRAIL QUILTER’S CHRONICLES WAKARUSA


“Woven Knot” - Downtown Wakarusa
SIZE: 30’w x 30’h

Wakarusa

Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce
100 West Waterford Street
Wakarusa, IN
w: WakarusaChamber.com
p: 574.862.4344

Super Olympia Red Green Leaf Begonia 
Bonanza Flame French Marigold
Cocktail Whiskey White Bronze Leaf Begonia
​Strawberry Blonde French Marigold
Vanilla Marigold
Wizard Jade Coleus
Wizard Scarlet Coleus

Wakarusa is one of those towns where the rush of the big city is left behind and old-fashioned is an honored trait. Centered around the downtown’s only stoplight, historic buildings featuring tin ceilings, a hardware store open since 1904 with a wall of 1,000  drawers ready to serve you, and a dime store add to the small-town charm. The Wakarusa Dime Store was begun by a German immigrant in 1907 as Wolfberg’s Department Store. Today, the Wakarusa Dime Store is home to the Giant Jumbo Jelly Bean, big enough to share.

This Quilt Garden is in the heart of downtown Wakarusa and visitors are welcome to sit down on the bench and enjoy the vibrant colors of the Quilt Garden. Woven Knot is the name of Wakarusa’s 2022 Quilt Garden. It is very exciting to see this quilt block come alive when designed with contrasting colors, allowing the woven appearance to be visible. This pattern was chosen because it allows many options for a variety of colors (flowers) and you will find that the town has incorporated these gorgeous colors in a decorating scheme for the summer months.

The history of quilt blocks with a woven appearance are most likely traced to traditional designs found in the Irish/Celtic culture particularly the Celtic knot. According to most historians, interlaced knot patterns date to around the 3rd and 4th centuries. Various Celtic knot motifs are the inspiration for tattoos, decorative crosses, ornamental pieces, jewelry, other creative artwork and, yes, quilts. Quilts made with a woven knot design are intricate and create a beautiful and unique quilt when many of the blocks are sewn together.

The primary characteristic of most Celtic knots is that it appears there is no obvious beginning or end in the design. Quilt blocks that appear to be “woven” together are created using a geometric block design and a precise color placement. Different color values are used to make the various design pieces pop and allow the eye to move to follow the pattern. The challenge in making this quilt block would be accuracy in stitching the block together. It would be helpful for the quilter to have a design board to lay out the block pieces to be certain that the pieces remain in the correct space when stitching.

See if you can find the woven design in Wakarusa’s Woven Knot Quilt Garden.

 

QUILTING TERMS

Appliqué is sewing a piece of fabric on top of a base fabric. A quilt can have one border or several. 

Bias edge is any edge of a fabric piece that is not cut on the straight grain of the fabric. Borders are the larger strips of fabric that create the outside edge of a quilt top. A quilt can have one border or several. Concave is the hollow shape/dipping into the pattern piece.

Convex is a bowed-out shape/rounding outward away from the base of the pattern piece.

Sampler quilt is a quilt that contains several quilt-block patterns that are all different and sewn together to make the quilt top.

Sashing is the narrow strips of fabric that are sewn between the quilt blocks to join them together.

Scrap quilt is a quilt that has been constructed with many different fabrics as if the creator was using all their leftover fabric scraps to make the quilt.

Seam allowance is the fabric on the outside edge of the seam or line of stitching.

Straight grains of the fabric run across the width and length of a piece of fabric.

ABOUT THE QUILT GARDENS ALONG THE HERITAGE TRAIL

Sonya Nash, CTIS, CTPSonya L. Nash, Project Manager, Elkhart County, IN CVB

It is often times said that creating anything worthwhile takes time, money and a lot of effort. The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail embodies that statement, even more so in these times that continue to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2022, this project continues on supported by the devotion and pride of both the Elkhart County, IN CVB and its community partners. This project means a great deal to all of us, for the beauty it offers to all who visit but also the community pride that is expressed in every square inch of the gardens. Our partners contribute more than 200 volunteers in six cities and towns. They work on soil content, site beautification, planting, weeding and maintaining gardens for four months, sometimes during difficult weather conditions, doing their part in welcoming visitors and residents alike.

The Elkhart County, IN CVB leadership and staff supports these dedicated volunteers, working year-round on planning, preparing and promoting the Quilt Gardens. Countless man hours including graphic design, website updates, ad placements, journalist inquiries, group tour planning, and yes, even paying the bills and answering the phones all occur under the parameters of the Elkhart County, IN CVB. Through our collective efforts, the Quilt Gardens offer a beautiful and serene refuge.

My role is to keep everyone working together on the same page while steering this project in a positive future direction. For over 15 years, we have learned through trial and error a multitude of things about transforming quilt designs into living gardens that flourish throughout the viewing season. Educational sessions, working with garden experts and experimenting with plant types are all part of the event too. While gardening can be a science, we have learned that sometimes Mother Nature overrules our efforts to excel, and sometimes we are amazed at how our plans come to fruition in a fantastic way.

Yes, the Quilt Gardens project is a work of art. It’s also A LOT of work involving A LOT of people. It has become an annual event in our destination that our residents love to share with visitors. Definitely it’s time, money and effort well spent and enjoyed by all. We look forward to your visit and hope you return time and time again as we continue to learn and grow along with our gardens.

Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail is an innovative, creative, one-of-a-kind experience designed to interest a widerange of audiences and promote the area as a premier visitor destination. It offers a variety of opportunities for partnerships with local businesses and communities and creates widespread community involvement.

The project was initiated as a concept by the Elkhart County, IN CVB in early 2006 and tested in 2007 with 2 pilot locations.

2022 is the 15th anniversary for the season-long attraction that continues to grow and now features 17 Quilt Gardens presented in six communities along the Heritage Trail driving tour, viewable annually May 30 to September 15. To celebrate, world-renowned sculptor Seward Johnson’s stunningly realistic life-size bronze sculptures are coming back to Elkhart County at each Quilt Garden site.

Elkhart County, Indiana is a place where close-knit communities are connected by a passion for craftsmanship and quality of life. Everything we do in Elkhart County is Well Crafted. Recognizing the importance and value of high quality in both the gardens and murals displayed, each garden and mural is required to meet 10 standards and related product and service specifications. Based on those standards, all official sites and patterns are juried into the program by a committee that includes

landscapers, designers, horticulturists, growers, quilters, and park professionals resulting in quality craftsmanship, innovation and collaboration. Official garden partners are responsible for performing all of the work necessary to plant and maintain the gardens throughout the season.

The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail has garnered national media attention and draws significant audience interest from three of the largest hobby groups in the nation – gardeners, quilters and photographers. It has also been favorably received by the group motor coach audience, having been named an American Bus Association (ABA)

Best of the Best Event and a seven-time Top 100 Event.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheryl Baker

I am a needle and thread enthusiast! I learned to hold a needle and thread in my little hands at the young age of 8 when my mother taught me how to make embroidery stitches. I have enjoyed sewing and stitching since those early memories.

I grew up on my mother’s family farm in Middlebury, Indiana, and graduated from Middlebury High School (now known as Northridge High School). I was a 10-year Elkhart County 4-H member – my favorite project was, of course, clothing construction. My first “big” purchase was a sewing machine so I would have one in my dorm room at college. I earned an associate degree at Vincennes University.

I met Royce Mason at VU and we were married in 1969. Following his college graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was killed in a F-4 fighter jet crash in 1983. Our daughters, Jennifer and Corrine, and I returned to the military community in southern California. I trusted God’s beautiful plan when I met and married Craig Baker and welcomed his daughter, Kristie, into our family. Craig flew the F-4 fighter jet as well, and served in the Air Force for 24 years, retiring in 1996. I was an Air Force wife for 25 years and moved my family 18 times. We retired to the family home in Middlebury, where I am the fifth generation to live in the home built by my ancestors. Our small family now includes three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Through all the moves and changes, I continued to make clothing and home decorating projects. I also enjoyed stitching counted cross stitch projects, never leaving home without a project in my bag. I collected antique family quilts. However, I always stated that I would not be interested in cutting fabric apart in little pieces only to stitch it back together again. (I have eaten those words many times!) In the mid-1990s, at the encouragement of a special friend, I enrolled in a beginning quilt class in Williamsburg, Virginia. I became so fascinated with all the opportunities that stitching quilts offered to me, from choosing an exciting pattern, shopping for beautiful fabrics, learning new techniques, the cutting and construction process, to putting the finishing stitches in the binding and label. In 27 years, quilting has given me experiences and relationships I could not have planned nor imagined. I enjoy special friendships, have been employed in quilt shops, taught quilting classes, and used my creative talents to stitch many beautiful quilts and projects. I am honored to have had several of my quilts win awards at local and national quilting shows and competitions.

Writing the Quilters Chronicles for the 2022 Quilt Gardens has been an interesting and fulfilling project. I am blessed to live in a community where my interests in quilt making are enhanced by the visions of those who plan, plant and maintain the unique and beautiful Quilt Gardens.

ABOUT THE GROWER

CorstangeCorstange Greenhouse, Official Grower
Dave, Ilene and Todd Corstange, Owners

In 1971, on property purchased from his grandfather, Dave Corstange built several small greenhouses in Portage, Michigan. Now in its 49th season, Corstange Greenhouses are operated by the family team of Dave, his wife, Ilene, and their son, Todd. The attributes which set this family of growers apart are their commitment to quality, service and customer satisfaction.

The Corstange Greenhouses provides the best quality product possible by allowing their plants to easily grow to their natural size and beauty. This goal is achieved by appropriate selection of containers and soil, careful timing of fertilizer and pesticide application, and minimal use of plant-growth regulators. This process produces high-quality plants with some residual nutrients and pest resistance, yet no residual growth retardant.

The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail is an exciting project for this family-owned greenhouse and the Corstanges look forward to seeing their superior plants add to the beauty of the project.

Corstange Greenhouses
1749 E. Centre Ave. | Portage, MI
P: 269.323.1094
W: CorstangeGreenHouses.com

 

 

2021 Quilt Gardens Photos

Coming Soon...2022 photos

When can I see the Quilt Gardens?

The Quilt Gardens are viewable May 30 - September 15 each year during all daylight hours. Elkhart County is on Eastern Standard Time which means in summer time, daylight can mean perfect garden enjoyment as late as 8 or 9 p.m. each evening. Many people like to go back to their favorite site to see them at different light and times of the day. 

Learn more about the quilt gardens.

Is there a map of the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals?

Yes, here is a map that shows the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals locations, names, and location address.

If you would prefer a quick list of the Quilt Gardens and Murals addresses click here.

Quilt Gardens Map

Is there an admission fee for the Quilt Gardens?

All Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals are viewable free of charge so plan to stop, get out, walk, and enjoy at each stop. Read the signs, take a picture and share using #quiltgardens. Breath in the fresh air and enjoy nature and art for free.

What are the addresses for the Quilt Gardens?

Just enter the address in your favorite map app on your mobile device for easy directions to each location. You can also download the map for the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals,

Quilt Gardens location addresses

Are the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals all in one location?

No, they are not all at one location. The 17 Quilt Gardens and 24 hand-painted Quilt Murals at 14 mural sites are spread throughout the cities and towns of BristolElkhart, GoshenMiddleburyNappanee, and Wakarusa along the Heritage Trail in Elkhart County.

 

Are the Quilt Gardens Accessible?

Quilt Gardens are best experienced from the walkways and lawns surrounding each site's location. Some Quilt Gardens can be viewed from your vehicle, but that does not provide the optimal experience. A few Quilt Gardens locations provide viewing platforms accessible by a handful of steps. Most Quilt Murals are visible from the car or sidewalk. 

How do the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals look right now?

The Quilt Gardens are planted on May 30 and are then what we lovingly call “baby gardens”. As the summer season heats up, and the inevitable rain & heat hit, the gardens fill in, grow and become just gorgeous and filled with surprises.

Our volunteers work hard with each of Mother Nature's challenges to provide you the best experience and are committed to pattern appreciation and view ability. What’s neat about this event, is one garden is having some challenges, keep going to the next one on the Heritage Trail.

They are all at different stages due to soil content, weather, and local environments. For real time info give the Visitors Center a call at 800-262-8161 for today’s garden update. The Quilt Murals always look fabulous! We hope you enjoy them all!