All I have to do is just hear the name and I begin to drool.
I’ve shopped for quilting fabric at Yoder’s Department Store in Shipshewanna, Indiana since 1976. I was fresh out of Kalamazoo College and working towards a Michigan teaching certificate as a 5th-year student at Western Michigan University.
Ida taught me how to quilt. That’s me, dressed Amish (except for the Earth shoes) and that’s probably what I was wearing the first time I went into Yoder’s, totally clueless.
My goal had been to learn about the Amish by participating in their culture, of course with permission, and with lots of guidance. Ida and her daughters helped me make my Amish outfits and took me wherever they went so that I could do whatever they were doing. I dressed Amish, ate Amish, did farm chores (poorly), and learned to speak about 14 words in Pennsylvania Dutch.
One particular phrase got a lot of mileage: “Nay dange, Ich bin urshtum gooka.” (“No thanks, I’m just looking.”) That was my response when Mennonite shop clerks and local Amish would strike up a conversation with me in Dutch thinking I was Amish too!
That’s what the Amish were wearing at the time and that’s what they were making quilts with too. I had never seen so many solids in my life.
I bought fabric for my first dozen quilts at Yoder’s, all polyester blends, convinced that Michigan didn’t have appropriate quilting fabric!
I’m heading over to Kalamazoo on Thursday night after my lecture with the Lansing Area Patchers to see our daughter. After she heads off to work Friday morning, I’m driving south to “Shipshe” to buy some batiks for a few new Rag Fur Jackets!
This is your official invitation to join me in the Yoder’s fabric department on Friday morning, February 5th. Don’t be shy; come and find me. I’ll be the one messing up the bolts, unfurling, squinting, petting, and making piles of my favorites. I will be there for hours. For lunch let’s go to the Essenhaus!
Can you come?
If you’re my friend on Facebook see who just happened to be there too.