OK so sometimes travel and sightseeing just falls into the category of kismet! During my time in Fish Creek I had the opportunity to strike up conversations with many people, especially when they learned that I was traveling largely to add to my "Wisconsin Series" of travel journals and stories. One lady was asking me about my other entries in the series, seeking ideas of other unique Wisconsin communities to visit during their RV trip through the Midwest.
When I mentioned my interest and some of my writings on the Amish, she asked if I was aware of the weekend's Amish Quilt & Craft Show. While admittedly, I did read about it somewhere during my initial research for this trip, I had completely forgotten about it. I was so glad that she reminded me in time enough to add it to my return drive after picking up my processed fish over in Baileys Harbor. It worked out perfectly and as it turns out, my route home would have had me driving right past the venue (Mr. G's Banquet Hall in Jacksonport) so it's doubtful I would have missed it unless I got sidetracked by something along the way.
When I arrived, I made a point of introducing myself to the event organizer, a friendly lady by the name of Sue. She is also the owner of Jacksonport Craft Cottage Gifts just a couple of miles from Mr. G's. She was very gracious in allowing me to take photos inside for the purpose of this travel journal.
Having been in several stores in Wisconsin and Indiana that offer items that have been hand crafted by the Amish, never have I see so many beautiful items in one place. For anyone interested in home furnishings including pillows, table place mats, rugs and of course quilts; this show is a must experience. They also had a number of other items including handmade wooden toys, clothing, purses and seasonal items for fall decorations and Christmas.
In addition to Amish crafted items, they also had some lovely items made by local quilters. I fell in love with a beautiful wall handing that was "paper pieced" and quilted. I think it will look beautiful in my sister's home out in California!
For those considering the purchase of an authentic Amish quilt, expect to pay in the range of $750 to $1,500. This is consistent with prices I have seen elsewhere, so I think you can shop with confidence that what you're purchasing is the real thing. To that point, in talking with Sue it was very interesting to hear how she has made not only business relationships with Amish from around the country, but she has become personal friends with several families. She told me that she works with Amish from the communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and of course Wisconsin. As a matter of fact, I believe those are the four states with the largest Amish populations in the United States.
Obviously this summer's event is now over but worry not! They hold this event twice a year, with the next one just in time for the holiday gift purchasing season. The fall show is scheduled for October 10-13, 2013 also at Mr. G's Banquet Hall. Hours are posted as 9a to 5p for the four day event.