Enjoying the Simple Pleasures of Life, While Living in a Complicated World

Amish Quilts~Sunshine & Shadow

~My Love Affair with Quilts~

~Amish Quilts~

On a trip to the Wisconsin countryside, I became fascinated with Amish quilts, and began learning about their history and patterns used by Old Order Amish women. The next step was…collecting them! Today, I have several Amish quilts on display throughout my home, and design studio.

Amish Quilt
~Sunshine & Shadow~

Photographs by Mariann Hayes

The Amish quilt pattern, Sunshine & Shadow (also known as, Trip Around the World), is created with a vibrant, contrasting color palette,  of 529 1-inch squares, that make up the center of the quilt. The quilter, Mary Glick, is an Old Order Amish, grandmother; living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania eschewing modern conveniences, she creates these masterpieces with a treadle sewing machine and quilts under the light of a kerosene lamp. Her color palette, craftsmanship and quilting are extraordinary!

A true Amish color palette used in quilts

I have collected her quilts since 1993, when I attended an unusual sale of Amish wares: ironwork, basketry, furniture, handicrafts and quilts. The company from Lancaster, Pennsylvania repeatedly came to the Twin Cities for several years, displaying and selling Amish made goods. Every year I waited for the mailer announcing when and where it would be located ,and cleared my calender for two days, and my focus was…Amish quilts!

12 extraordinarily tiny, perfectly sewn, and spaced stitches~on the diagonal of a 1-inch block, is the hallmark of Amish quilting and craftsmanship. Truly a benchmark for all hand quilters, in creating heirloom quilts for future generations to enjoy!

Many Amish quilts have a 3-D quality when viewed from the side, as the light changes throughout the day. This quilt hangs in a hallway; depending on the time of day, colors change and appear to pulsate with different hues, while the pattern blurs in a dazzling ‘Op Art’ display.

Amish quilts truly inspire me! The hand craftsmanship, vivid color palette, exact piecing and quilting are extraordinary. Every quilt is the artistic expression of a unique, society of women; using kerosene lamps, treadle sewing machines and quilting by hand, in the  process of creating these one of a kind, works of art.


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