All About Quilts
When you think of the Amish community several things come to mind; quality, handcrafted, simpler life, etc. The first thing we think of is quilts. The Amish quilters are world renowned for their quilting abilities. Thousands of quilts are handcrafted every year in this community. When we say handcrafted, we mean the quilt pieces are cut by hand. A sewing machine is used to piece together every small piece of fabric, and then once the piecing is finished, the quilting can begin, by hand, with needle and thread. This tedious process can take MONTHS depending on the size and intricacy of the design. In order to achieve a uniform pattern, the fabric must be sewn with precision so that any angle is the same as the next.
Many people ask, “Why do quilts cost so much money?” But actually, they are pretty inexpensive when you factor in the cost of the fabric and the labor that goes into creating one of these unique pieces of art.
A Fabric Sandwich
The word for quilt comes from the Latin word culcita meaning mattress. Today, a quilt is basically a fabric sandwich. The top, quilted part, the batting which gives thickness and insulation, and the backing are the three parts to a quilt. The batting not only gives insulation but it also serves as a vital piece in which the quilting has something to grab onto and helps to create a 3D effect. Otherwise the quilt would be very flat and the quilted stitches would not be as noticeable. The finished quilt would not be as beautiful and pleasing to the eye.
A Labor of Love
Originally, quilts were made out of frugality. Old clothes, blankets or any old textile were cut up and reworked into a blanket. As cloth became more affordable, quilting became more of an art form. A quilt made for a new bride was not only a work of art, but a labor of love. The Amish were not originally quilters. They would have used feather beds like other German settlers.
Savvy Business Women
As many of you know, the Amish are an industrious people, and they are savvy business people. Amish women realized that they could earn extra money working at home by sewing and creating fabric arts. Quilting was a way to help provide for their family while still being able to keep house. Walking through a quilt shop in Lancaster County is a wonderful experience. The colors and patterns, the shear artistry of those tiny stitches highlights the craftsmanship that is unequaled anywhere else.
Whether you are looking at a Lonestar, Mariner’s Compass, Appliqued, Bargello or a good old-fashioned Bar Scrap, there is a quilt pattern that fits any lifestyle or décor.
Types of quilts:
Lonestar– Any time a quilt has one lonely star in the middle
Log Cabin– starts with a small square and has rectangle strips to create a block
Bargello– this modern pattern is composed of block-shaped colors that create an appearance of movement.
In Commons– when the design has a rectangular or diamond-shaped border