by Phil Feolito
Toppenish, WA - When Hope Johnson opened her furniture store, Amish Connection, nearly 20 years ago in historic downtown Toppenish, she never imagined the friendships and cultural exchange it would spawn.
She takes annual trips to an Amish community about 70 miles northeast of Columbus, Ohio, where she buys handmade furniture that she sells in her store.
After falling in love with Amish quilts, a local friend who makes quilts began teaching her and 10 other women, all longtime customers, how to quilt at the shop. They meet weekly.