Flower Quilt Gardens

If all of the quilt gardens along Elkhart County, Indiana’s Heritage Trail were stitched together, the quilt would measure more than 19,000 square feet. Can you imagine?

Ruthmere Mansion quilt garden

Ruthmere Mansion quilt garden, Elkhart

Sixteen quilt gardens make up the trail through Elkhart County and are free and open to the public from the end of May until September 15, 2020. Driving around on a Sunday afternoon to see the various displays was the perfect activity during these social-distancing times. Just download a map and scout them out as you drive through the Amish countryside. You can even download a 90-minute mp3 audio guide  or pick up a CD at the Visitor’s Center to take you step-by-step through the Heritage Trail. There are so many fascinating facts and historical insights included in the narrative.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus

The Quilt Gardens started off in 2007 with two gardens, one of which was at Das Dutchman Essenhaus. We saw our first quilt garden there, too. It’s the largest of the gardens, measuring 3,142 square feet.


This is a pink peony kaleidoscope pattern that includes 3500 flowers.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus is a complex of buildings housing shops and a restaurant that you could spend all afternoon exploring. We wandered through the Quilt Shop and I was happy to find a display of typical Amish quilt patterns that I thought I might compare the gardens to.


Das Dutchman Essenhaus Quilt Barn


Quilt patterns

Goshen Quilt Gardens

The Quilt Gardens Tour includes gardens in Bristol, Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee, and Wakarusa. We made Goshen our last stop and though all of the quilt gardens there were beautiful, I think this patriotic star quilt was my favorite.

Star quilt at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds

Star quilt at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds

The sunburst pattern at the Elkhart County Courthouse was unique, too.

Sunburst quilt at the Elkhart County Courthouse

Sunburst quilt at the Elkhart County Courthouse

The quilt at the Old Bag Factory, which is now a delightful little mecca of shops and cafes, was an added attraction to the space.

Old Bag Factory quilt garden

Old Bag Factory quilt garden

The Elkhart County Quilt Gardens is the only experience of its kind in the world. I know I didn’t share all 16 quilt patterns here, but can you pick out a favorite?

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17 responses to “Flower Quilt Gardens

  1. That’s so cool! And the perfect activity for staying socially distant too. I can only imagine the love and care that went into planting each “quilt”!

    • They were beautiful and were the perfect reflection of the artisanship of nearly everything (furniture, food, crafts) that are produced in that area. A nice social-distancing outing, for sure!

  2. Gardens are the PERFECT outdoor activity at the moment. I always try to seek them out when I travel anyway, but now given the times, they are a beautiful refuge!

  3. This is the first I’ve heard of Indiana’s Heritage Trail of quilt gardens. They are indeed beautiful, and I agree they make a great destination–for locals especially–in the time of this pandemic.

    • I’m always on the lookout for new things nearby. And I always find so much! I love being able to share these things that don’t get a lot of publicity if you don’t know where to look.

  4. My mom has been going stir crazy with everything. I think this might make a perfect road trip for her and her quarantine buddies. The could be out and back in less than a day from the family farm in Ohio.

  5. Pingback: Where the Pie Trail Ends | Browsing The Atlas·

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