Each year my husband’s siblings get together for a week at Magician Lake near Dowagiac, Michigan. Typically everyone arrives on Sunday and stays until Thursday. This year we left home on Saturday morning and stayed overnight in Middlebury, Indiana before heading up to Michigan.
Jim wanted to stop and pick blueberries on the way and I found The Blueberry Ranch in Mishiwaka. Picking blueberries didn’t sound like much fun to me but I wanted to visit a couple of quilt shops in Shipshewana so a little picking was a small price to pay for Jim suffering through more fabric!
This has been a really good year for blueberries there and the bushes were FULL!
We picked for about an hour and decided we already had enough blueberries.
I was sure that my bucket (on the right) had more blueberries than Jim’s. When we got to the checkout, his weighed 4.9 pounds and mine was 4.3. Darn!! He must have switched the buckets. Haha! So we ended up with just under 10 pounds of berries. Not bad for an hour’s work.
After the Blueberry Ranch, we headed straight to Yoder’s. They have a huge selection of quilting fabrics—tons of Moda and lots from other manufacturers. The prices there are reasonable, generally a couple of dollars less per yard than most quilt shops. It was fun to look at all the beautiful fabric but I didn’t purchase any because I didn’t have a project planned and didn’t want to buy just to build stash.
Shipshewana really is a quilter’s paradise because right around the corner from Yoder’s is Lolly’s.
This nondescript exterior might fool you as to the treasures that await inside. The tiles on the entrance threshold are just a teaser!
It is a beautiful shop with over 13,000 bolts of quilting fabric. They have lots of gorgeous samples that entice you to buy everything. I showed real restraint but my willpower was sorely tested when I went downstairs to their clearance room. There are thousands of bolts of fabric on sale for $6.50 per yard. There are also 7,000 fat quarters at $1.50 each. What bargains. However, I still didn’t have a plan for anything so I walked away empty handed. Next year, though, I’ll have a LIST!!
After leaving the quilt shops we drove down the road a bit to the lovely McKenzie House Bed and Breakfast. If you ever find yourself in Northern Indiana I don’t know of a better place to stay. Sherry and Bruce are the owners and they go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and at home. We stayed in “Michelle’s Suite” where we had a bedroom and spacious sitting room. It was decorated beautifully. McKenzie House offers many amenities that you don’t usually find at a B & B including an outdoor in-ground pool, hot tub, movie room with popcorn maker and a library sitting room. Breakfast was delicious and gave us a chance to meet the other couples who were staying there. Bruce has an amazing story to tell about the 5,000 mile bicycle trip he took several years ago and we listened with fascination about his journey to where he is now. Right before we left, Sherry found out I was a quilter and told us she had a room upstairs set up for retreats. If you are anywhere in that area, be sure to check it out. It is a very nice set-up for 5 or 6 quilting friends. I just wish it was closer! By the time we left, I felt like we were leaving good friends. We will definitely return for a visit next year. Here’s a link to their website if you want to check it out: McKenzie House Bed and Breakfast
On Saturday evening we were looking for a place to get dinner and Sherry recommended Jaywalker in Mottsville, Michigan. The building itself doesn’t look like much but the food was really good.
After dinner (and late enough that the temperature outside was a little cooler) we went out to their deck to finish our drinks. The restaurant sits right on the bank of the St. Joseph River and it’s a very pretty setting.
On Sunday morning Sherry told us about the Quilt Gardens around the area and gave us a map. We drove around and saw a few of them. They are a little hard to photograph because you can’t get high enough to see the whole garden. You’ll get the idea from these pictures though.
This one was at the Ace Hardware store in Middlebury. It is a variable star design with a flag in the center. Each of the gardens has a sign that details what flowers are in the garden, There are also maps to all the gardens at each of these signs.
Some of the buildings also have quilt blocks. These stars were on the Ace Hardware building.
This garden is at Das Essen Haus Restaurant–a Dresden Plate design.
This one is Whirligig at Greencroft in Middlebury.
If you are in the area, it is worth visiting the gardens. A lot of work must have gone into the planning and planting and they are fun to see. The Quilt Garden Tour goes until October (probably until frost).
We had a nice visit in the area but it was time to head up to Magician Lake to see the family. Next year we’ll budget more time in Northern Indiana.