#20986: Amish/Mennonite Quilt Series:
"Shipshewana Blessings" quilt is the design daughter of a commissioned quilt made for the town of Shipshewana, Indiana. The first quilt was made to remember a particular group of people, a valued handmade process, and a place that is home to many rural quilt makers whose mothers and grandmothers also made quilts. Shipshewana is a "second home" to even more visiting textile artists, quilt makers, authors, collectors, historians and fabric designers.
The original residents of what is now the community of Shipshewana, The Potawatomi, known as "Keepers of the Fire," are represented by the applique work in the border and the pieced center block titled, "Keepers of the Fire," both of which were inspired by beautiful Potawatomi beadwork sewn into articles of clothing.
The sampler of 28 quilt blocks taken from vintage Amish quilts, represents the variety of people who have come here over time, each unique in cultural design. The specific use of solid colors utilizing a "scrap, use up what you have on hand" method illustrates a specific quilting tradition brought to the world by Amish quilt makers.
Janis Nelson took a beginning quilting class at a small shop in Goshen, Indiana, in 1982. She was hooked! In 1998 her sampler quilt in memory of her father was published in Quiltmaker Magazine. In 2002 her “Dancing Stars” pattern was published, being called “Star Bright” and self-published a book called “Shipshewana Blessings” in 2004 with a friend. Janis enjoys designing and drafting patterns as well as piecing. She teaches quilting classes and workshops in the local region.