April 1, 2015

A beautiful spring-themed sampler quilt, pieced and hand-quilted at Garden Spot Village, will be among the highlights this month when Garden Spot Village participates as a destination in the annual Lancaster's Best Kept Secrets Tour. Proceeds from the sale of the quilt will benefit the Garden Spot Village Benevolent Fund.

It’s no secret that Lancaster County is known for its quilts. However, when shoppers on this year’s Lancaster Best Kept Secrets Tour see the colorful “Flower Garden” quilt on display at Garden Spot Village, they may be pleasantly surprised to learn that proceeds from the sale of the quilt will benefit the Garden Spot Village Benevolent Fund.

Garden Spot Village is the first community of its kind to be featured as a destination for the popular tourism and business promotion event, which takes place April 9 through April 25 at various venues throughout Lancaster County.

“I’ve had several retirement communities offer the tour as an outing for their residents, but I have never had one as a stop on the tour,” says Melissa Nordhoff, who launched the Best Kept Secrets Tours in 2008. As manager of Carson’s in the Cornfields, her mother’s antique store in New Holland, Nordhoff wanted a unique way to generate shopper traffic. The tour “ticket” is a booklet with coupons from participating locations on the tour.

The 82- by 94-inch sampler quilt at Garden Spot Village features 15 blocks with colorful stylized images of flowers and other garden elements against earth-tone sashing with a border that calls to mind white clouds in a blue sky. It also has matching pillowcases.

“A total of 11 women made the blocks, and another group of ladies did the hand quilting,” says Sally Rapp, who lives at Garden Spot Village and teaches quilting there. She says it’s hard to estimate how many hours went into making the quilt—at least four or five hours for each of the 15 blocks, plus the time to do the hand quilting.

Rapp also made a queen-size blue-and white Hunter’s Star patterned quilt for the Benevolent Fund.

The quilts, along with other handcrafted items, will be offered for sale in the Village Square Indoor Park from April 9 through April 17. If no one purchases the quilts during the shopping tour, the items will be auctioned during the annual Garden Spot Village Fall Festival & Country Auction in October.

During the tour, the Share & Care Shop at Garden Spot Village and Refresh: Coffee, Gifts, Essentials will offer drawings for gift baskets as well as other perks for shoppers. The tour ticket booklet includes a coupon good for a free Grande Starbucks fresh-brewed coffee from the Refresh coffee bar.

Special events planned the tour include live piano music, hand massages, cooking and craft demos, stretching and energy workshops, and quilting bees. In addition to the quilts, proceeds from items purchased at the Share & Care Shop benefit the Benevolent Fund, which assists resident who—for reasons beyond their control—have exhausted their financial resources.

Garden Spot Village is located at 433 S. Kinzer Ave. in New Holland. For more information, call 717-355-6000 or visit