Blog, Photography, Quilting
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The Shipshewana Quilt Festival.

I’ve just left Shipshewana and it’s certainly with a degree of sadness. Its  left me with a desire to return and explore more.

We arrived at about 8.00 pm last Sunday. It was still light and as we made our way to the hotel, we passed a number of Amish buggies on the road. They hold a fascination for me. The stark  black  shape of the buggy as opposed to the beauty and fluidity of the  horses trotting. The red sign on the back for safety is a design element and somehow I need to work it  into a project.

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I’m not new to buggies, I spent time in Minnesota where there was a large Amish community and I was on first name terms with some of the ladies, but this place is different. In fact, it’s almost like going through a big invisible curtain on the outskirts and arriving in a very special place.

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The hotel was huge and festooned by hanging baskets of red geraniums placed  every 10 feet. I had to touch them to see if they were real, and indeed they were. Long trails of leaves hung from the basket and they danced and wove in the breeze. How can they be so perfectly shaped?

The lawns are huge and expansive and seem to run off into the horizon. The complex also was host to huge red barns that held antique shops and other intriguing shops.

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I was starving, I had hardly eaten all day and the thought of good solid Amish food played on my mind all the way. My expectations were high and I wasn’t disappointed.

We were ushered  into a huge dining hall full of guests. The chairs and tables were of ample proportion and made from wood not seen in my neck of the woods. Soft music played and at times it was traditional country and then an occasional hymn was heard.

Many of the waitresses were dressed in ‘plain’ clothes and some of them were indeed Amish distinguished by their white hats with the cords trailing down from the front. It’s typical for these caps to be held on by straight pins anchored into clips on top. They appear starched and I was told that the mid west ones have this delightful pleating on the back. I can’t imagine wearing one day in and day out.

Their dresses are plain in style and color but most of the ladies wore sturdy sneakers as well.

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Our server arrived with a small loaf of brown bread and I was then introduced to the custom of eating Amish Peanut butter spread and apple butter which sat on every table in large plastic squeeze containers.

It’s almost sinful, the salt and sweetness of the peanut butter and the fresh bread it tantalizing to the taste and I admit to eating it every day I was there.

The recipe is below and as you can see, it’s very …………. healthy.!!!!!

Peanut Butter Spread

3 1/2 ounces Marshmallow Cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
I had to have the fried chicken, corn and mashed potatoes. 4 pieces it said on the menu, but I did opt of two and it was absolutely delicious. We don’t eat fried food at home… but this was an exception, I figure do as the Romans do.
Of course we had to eat pie, and my eyes were bigger than my stomach, the lemon meringue fair fell off the plate. I admit, that I ate it over the next two days in my room
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The first introduction over, I fell into bed anticipating an exciting day the next day and indeed it was 27 ladies arrived at the Cotton Corner for a “Lock in” I had no idea what a lock in was, but we had the most fabulous day sharing ideas, eating a box lunch and learning from each other.
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In the middle of the day I got a wonderful surprise. Miss Kaye England, good buddy and mentor  arrived and we spent the rest of the week together. Needless to say I think everyone is still raising their eyebrows at our adventures.
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So there it is as promised. I have the rest of the time to catch up with the blog. The internet was so slow I could have run to town and back as each photo loaded. But, more tomorrow.

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