Amish Quilts, Learning from the Amish Part 3

Amish view, Quilting Comments: 44

It’s been fun to share with you some of the things I’ve learned from the Amish in my many trips to visit their communities. Today I thought I’d share something the Amish are very well known for–their quilting.

  • The Amish don’t purposely put an error in every quilt. They’ve told me there are always errors in quilts. It would be prideful to try and make something perfect.
  • The Amish will quilt in red, but they don’t display red quilts in their homes. There’s nothing wrong with the color red. It’s simply too bold for their tastes.
  • The Amish will use calico or patterned fabrics. There was a time when Amish only quilted with solid fabrics, and some stricter communities may still abide by that rule. Everyone I’ve spoken with says that they are free to use whatever fabric they like.
  • Amish women often quilt with salvage fabrics to lower the cost.
  • Amish women do still hand piece and hand quilt. However, some women also use treadle machines, and others will hand-piece the tops and then have them quilted by a machine. If you buy a quilt in an Amish home, it’s probably hand pieced and hand quilted.

I love visiting with the Amish and seeing their quilts. It’s always inspiring for me. So what about you? Do you enjoy quilting or any other type of hobby? Leave a comment below, and we’ll pull one winner to receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate (delivered via email).



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44 thoughts on “Amish Quilts, Learning from the Amish Part 3

  1. Angela Burnett

    I like to read and do jigsaw puzzles. I am in the process of creating a craft area in my spare room. I want to be able to sew and make simple wreaths or other decorations. My grandmother taught me how to crossstich and embroider when I was little. I would love to learn to crochet, knit and quilt.

  2. Liz Vander Lee

    I love Amish fiction, and it was probably the tipping point that pushed me into an addiction to quilting. All your fault, Vannetta – it was the Shipshewana series that hooked me!

  3. Debbie Earls

    I love the Amish made quilts. They are beautiful. I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch for many years-pictures, sweatshirts, towels, etc. Now my favorite hobby is reading. I love your books!

  4. Alice Boor

    My mom used to quilt, and by hand! Wow! I don’t, but I do like to crochet and sew. Don’t do as much as I used to, but I do enjoy it.

  5. Debra Bearden

    I would say my hobby besides reading is collecting Amish items made by the Amish. I collect hand woven baskets (some I get in Ethridge, Tn. about 3 hrs from where I life and I order baskets of all types from Amish baskets). I also collect Amish faceless figurines from Esther O’hara’s Gallery that is located in Lancaster, Pa. I have ordered handmade cards from Log Cabin Quilt Shop in Bird-In-Hand.

  6. Kay Bennett

    I am not talented, patient or nimble enough to quilt. I love them though. I have several friends that are immensely talented at it. I love yours that we have seen too. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. Carol

    I LOVE QUILTS, but don’t quilt! I also LOVE your books!
    We took a trip of a lifetime last October, to Lancaster area. I even ordered a special quilt, made in all solid colors, from an Amish couple, and it should arrive within a month or two. I am excited!
    Congrats on your new release V!

  8. Judy Sheridan Smith

    I am an avid quilter making tops and complete quilts for several local ministries. Whenever I’ve been in Shipshewana, a trip to Lolly’s Fabrics was a must! They have such a good variety and excellent quality too!

  9. Tiffany Hall

    I love reading of course. I also enjoy playing the piano. I think quilts are beautiful and do hope to have the time to learn this art.

  10. Royce E Hostetler

    Back in1994, I ‘babysat’ an older gentleman for the weekend so his family could get some respite care. They had a bag of old jeans that, frankly, were in very bad shape–fabric that was disintegrating. I brought the material home, washed and dried it, tearing them down into flat pieces of material.

    Using a log cabin pattern, I designed my own trapezium shapes: a quadrilateral with no parallel sides. Each piece was from a different color of jean material. When I machined sewed the first two pieces together (with a 1/4 inch seam), I was feeling very triumphal–my first venture with piecing a quilt.

    By the time I was finished with the six pieces, I had a lopsided irregular 4×6 block instead of a 6 inch square block–all my seams were not equal. So much for piecing!

  11. Deb Simmering

    It took me 2 years but I cross stitched 30 16×16 squares for my quilt and I finally got them done and a friend helped me by machine stitching the quilt for me. It turned out beautiful. That was the second quilt I had made. I cross stitched a baby quilt for my youngest grandson. I love to cross stitch and quilt.

  12. Cherese Akhavein

    I love my Amish quilt that bought from my dear Amish friend, in fact i love it so much I’m having her make me another one. You can’t beat the quality and for all that hand workthe price is exceptional. I love all crafts, I a bid DIY

  13. Lori Smanski

    I agree with their reason for perfection. Also, by trying to be perfect I feel like it is trying to take over Gods spot. Not ever going to happen. I am a quilter. Except for small projects I send it out to be quilted. A friend went to Shipshewana about 20 years ago and bought me a wall sized, hand made quilt. It is on my wall

  14. K. HARDIE

    I used to help my grandmother in law make quilts for her grandchildren.. it was really fun helping out and learning something too. I’ve never made my own quilt but I plan to one of these years, God willing.
    I’m too busy with my 1 year old granddaughter to do much crafting these days but gardening and canning are the only 2 hobbies I m still involved in at the moment. I have many hobbies, just no time to do them at the moment.

  15. Janie K

    Enjoy reading Amish fiction. I have made a few quilt tops but pretty much a novice. Was in Shipshewana a couple of years ago and bought some fabric at Lolly’s. Also bought a quilt at a shop on an Amish farm–Little Helpers maybe?

  16. Kay Garrett

    Love Amish quilts! We were very fortunate to be high bidder on the Grand Prize quilt at the quilt auction in Jamesport, MO a couple years back. Definitely one of my prized treasures.

    Sadly, I’ve never been very good at sewing. I think, in part, it has to do with the fact that my hand was broken and in a cast during my home economics class. My teacher insisted it to be done “her” way. I would take home because I was so slow and my Mom and excellent seamstress, helped me only to get to school the next day and she insist it was wrong and tear it out. By the time I got it torn out, class was over. It was a never ending circle. Needless to say, I had a miserable experience. I have in later years tried, but not with any great success.

    I do love photography as well as does my husband. We love taking photos of God’s creations whether in scenery or critters. Nothing delights us more than taking a road trip with photograph as our main agenda.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  17. joyfulco

    I love to make hand quilted pillows and many other smaller sewn crafts. I have not attempted a full sized quilt, as I probably would never get it finished. I love Amish made quilts and enjoy seeing them sold at auctions in Lancaster County, PA.

  18. Debra Knapp

    Yes I do enjoy quilting and other needle work. It is a great stress reliever. My family enjoy your books recorded style when we are in the car.

  19. Jackie Tessnair

    I love quilts. I don’t quilt though. I do crochet. I love handmade things.I feel the items are made from the hand and heart.

  20. MaryEllen Ashenfelder

    I love looking at the beautiful quilts when I visit Amish Country. The only quilting I have ever done is Christmas ornaments several years ago. My prized possession is a patchwork quilt a friend made out of late my son’s clothing when he passed away. My hobby is reading

  21. kathy cunningham

    I am always surprised when a crafts person purposely makes a mistake in the work. I make mistakes all the time without trying. It actually seem prideful that a person believes they need to intentionally make a mistake.

  22. Babs Squires

    I really enjoy all your Amish facts. I think quilts are artwork. Many tell a story. I am a wannabe quilter.
    Besides reading, I enjoy crossstitch, some sewing, and gardening. I am pretty busy with our first grandchild, I am his caregiver.

  23. Joan Eastlund

    I have been quilting for about eight years. It is a calming and rewarding hobby that my husband thoroughly supports.

  24. Patti Bond

    My hobby, other than reading, is to crochet I would love to learn to knit and sew I love Quilts especially some of the ones the Amish have made In fact I saw an interesting quilt on display in a library yesterday It was made to look like a bookshelf and it was really nice

  25. Glinda Jaynes

    I am a beginner quilter. I completed one T-shirt quilt, and have three or four tops in various stages. One is put together ready to be quilted. Love quilts.

  26. Shirley Chapel

    Thanks for your informative post about Amish made quilts. Your mentioned a lot of things that I didn’t know. For example that the Amish Ladies don’t want their quilts to be perfect. I would have to search with a magnifier to find the mistake and still wouldn’t be able to find it. I haven’t an eye for creating quilt designs I’m afraid but do enjoy looking at them in the shops.

  27. beth smith

    I make lap quilts for the V.A. nursing homes do have one quilt box up that needs to be finished, Would like to make quilt hanging for the wall not sure how it will turn out. Glad to see what other quilters make gives me some ideas

  28. Kelly

    I am a quilter. I’ve always loved the old, Amish quilts. Years ago my Husband and I went to Intercourse, PA. Beautiful little village. There was a home there that had been turned into a co-op of Amish and Mennonite hand made crafts. We purchased a beautiful quilt and a china hutch. We were fortunate to be able to visit the Amish gentleman ‘s wood shop on his farm.
    There is also a quilt museum in Intercourse.

  29. Marilyn R

    I enjoy reading, being outside working in the yard and walking. I have knitted in the past and sewn for individuals.

  30. vannettachapman Post author

    Thanks everyone for commenting. I love reading about your hobbies. Joan E. was our winner for this post. Joan, my assistant will send you an email regarding your gift card.

  31. Jennifer Walker

    hey, Amish how are you? thank you for sharing this information. your all blogs or articles are very helpful for me. I’d read your all articles. I hope you will share with me more information because I like your blogs & I read. great job Amish finally I say you god bless you continue.