Handmade Amish Quilts
A Brief History of Amish Quilts
When you think of Amish folks, you think about horse drawn buggies, plain clothes, barn raisings, farms and quilts. But, the Amish came somewhat late to the quilt making. Long after their neighbors were piecing quilts the Amish still used the old German feather beds and coverlets. There was a great grounds for this. Amish communities were formed so the members could stay apart from the temptations of today's world. Right now, quilts were considered something new and contemporary. However, what's considered 'modern' changes through the years.
The Amish do slowly make changes too, but frequently several decades after. Amish quilt making is a good example of this. Not many quilts are understood to get been made by the Amish before the 1870s. Afterward over 15 years quilting became fairly common. It's now considered trivial and anticipated in the Amish community.
As we follow the progression of their quilt making we discover the Amish constantly used traditional designs compared to what was popular in quilting at just about any particular time. The very first Amish quilts were made in a single solid color, of brown, blue, rust or black. Frequently worsted wools were used, and though the cloth was basic, the quilting done to hold the layers together was complex and cosmetic. Swirling feathers, curves and grids were typical quilting patterns. So even though they'd embraced the quilting process, they still didn't do the modern artwork of colored swatches and spots.
Slowly some fundamental piecing and extra colors were added. For example a quilt may have had a big diamond in the center of a dark cloth with just broad edge around it. Cloth colors evolved to contain pumpkin, olive green and an occasional dark red. These brand new colors were still strong and solid.
As the general populace moved on to elaborate Crazy quilts the Amish embraced a number of the more essential of the block designs. Nine spot, Around the Whole World, and Sunlight and Shadow were popular. Just solid colored cloth was used but with more diverse colors. Handmade Amish quilts were made of wool or cotton, as popular silks were considered too worldly.
Most of the folks suppose that handmade Amish quilts were done entirely by hand but this wasn't true. Many Amish quilts were pieced using a treadle sewing machine but the wonderful quilting was consistently done by hand.
Although most piecing was done at home, when the top was prepared to be quilted it was generally an occasion for girls to assemble throughout the quilting frame. This sense of community and also the relevance of complying with community standards had a great effect on Amish quilting.
Changes in how quilts were made happened slowly and just with community acceptance. Interestingly, this also brought about a great deal of variety from community to community as each community had its own, generally unwritten guidelines regarding how things ought to be done. Pink or white cloth might have been considered unacceptable in a more conservative region, while drab browns could have been presumed boring and old fashioned in a more liberal one. A quilt made in a single community might be put away or sold when the family moved to another one.
In the early twentieth century new more brilliant colours became accessible. During World War II natural fiber was tough to find and also the Amish needed to turn to the synthetics accessible. As the majority of the country turned away from quilting, considering it old fashioned and a waste of time, the Amish continued the tradition.