The following exhibit that I will share with you today was entitled “Amish Quilts – The Art of Thrift”.
Please note that most of the details I provide with the quilts in this post, has simply been taken from or I have translated from the commentary, it is not necessarily my own words. I have also taken some imformation from the collecters website.
Jacques Légeret, the author of “The Amish and their Quilts, has been working closely with the Amish for some time now.
Together with his wife, he has had access to Amish ‘Hope Chests’ where Amish women store quilts in preparation for their wedding.
He also wrote “Amish Quilts and Other Mennonite Patchworks”. He and his wife live in Switzerland, which is a very interesting fact for me.
The exhibit focused on the best of their collection of Amish and Mennonite Quilts, which were collected from Amish families in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana.
The theme was how the Amish mastered the art of repurposing.
The first are mostly mini quilts which were for sale along with these little Amish dolls.
This quilt is an appliqué quilt which dates from around 1880 and is from Berkshire, County, PA. It is also hand pieced. It contains buttonhole stitches around the flowers (14-15 stitches to the inch). Very dense quilting of 8 stitches per inch!
This kind of quilt was only used on special occasions, which probably led to its excellent preservation.
“Sunshine and Shadows”
This quilt is made up of little squares, arranged in a beautiful design to reflect its name. It is an Amish wool and wool crepe wedding quilt dating from 1950. It is from Sam and Erie Stolzfoos, and was made by Erie’s mother, Rebecca Stoltzfus.
Rebecca, who died in 2000, at the age of 97 years old, had a large family: 7 children and a total of 39 grand children.
For each child she made a large quilt, either a ‘Center Diamond’ or a ‘Sunshine and Shadows’ Quilt. In addition she crafted a total of 46 large quilts! What a story huh!
As a hand quilter myself, I have no idea how she did it all. Just look at her impecable hand quilting. I would have gotten bored doing those same patterns repeatedly.
‘Sunshine and Shadows’ is a quilt pattern that already existed in the 1900’s. It was a typical wedding quilt that has been popular since 1950. Even today the Amish make most of their clothing themseves and reuse scrap materials to make this quilt.
Mennonite quilt, made of cotton in 1890. Lancaster County, PA. (Sorry info only in French.)
Amish woolen quilt, completed in 2015. Mary Glick? Lancaster County, PA. ( Again in French).
Amish, old woolen fabric. From Rachel Stoltzfus in 1988. Sewn together with, and quilted by her sister Annie. Lancaster County, PA.
This is a classical quilt from PA. The distinctive effect of the central diamond is powerful. The artist has successfully combined the different elements that make up the quilt: the sashing, blocks and binding.
Amish women don’t care if the clothing colors match each other, that would be immodest. They are also not concerned with color theory when choosing colors.
This center diamond is made up of 3 different colors. Purely instinctively, perfect proportions are achieved and the end result is seen as the masterwork of Amish culture.
During the first half of the 20th Century, the “Center Diamond” was the preffered model of newlywed Amish; then it was replaced by “Sunshine and Shadows”, a very old pattern that became popular in the 50’s.
I must say that I think this is one of the most stunning quilts I have ever seen. Such beautifully simple lines and bold colors.
“Baskets of Flying Geese“
Mennonite, cotton , approximately 1865-1875. PA. ( Again French info.)
One can only appreciate the beautifully pieced flying geese and tiny basket blocks. Though of course it is the dense quilting that takes my breath away.
The following quilt didn’t provide any info as it was merely for sale and maybe of little historical significance, sadly.
But what lovely work.
A lovely addition to this exhibit was the doll quilts hanging on a clothesline as well as dolls furniture which displayed mini dolls quilts and other paraphernalia.
The exhibit utilized a motorized device which lifted the layers of bedding back to reveal the different quilts.
I do not have pictures of the dolls house at this time.
I particularly liked the rustic nature of this traditional log cabin block, quilt.
The mini, doll quilts were simply the highlight of the whole exhibit for me.
This is my favorite by far.
Today I believe this block is constructed using the Japenese folding technique. But I am unaware of the name of the block or the traditional piecing method. Especially in such small proportions.
Isn’t it just beautiful. I love the pastels.
I do hope you have found the quilts in this post at least somewhat inspiring. I certainly did.
I also hope you enjoyed this post and found it informative. I would love to hear feedback or questions from any of my readers, so please leave a comment to know what you thought about the exhibit.
Of course, if you have any intersting insights into any of the content mentioned in this post, please feel free to post them.
Wishing you a delightful day,
P.S. Please note my husband has more and better pictures of this exhibit. So if you want to see more, even something specific, upclose : I will do another post about it. Just let me know.
Jacques Légeret’s Website Click here