East Amish Quilts meets Amish Mid-West

The Iowa-Illinois Quilt Study Group met a few weeks ago.  It is always such a treat.  For the fall meeting Julie Silber was the guest speaker

Julie Silber is an expert on Amish quilts

Julie Silber is an expert on Amish quilts

Julie has been involved with antique quilts for a long time.  She was curator for the Amish Quilt collection owned by Esprit of California.  She is now a collector herself as well as a vendor of beautiful antique quilts.  She explained the difference between Lancaster County, Penn.  Amish quilts and those of the Mid-West.  She did not pack any of her collection, so I found some pictures that I took while at the Lancaster Quilt Museum.

Photo from the Lancaster Quilt Museum

Photo from the Lancaster Quilt Museum

The favorite pattern of the Lancaster Quilts is the Diamond quilt.  Many of us piecers would call it Square-in-a-Square.   The above quilt also includes an Esprit sweater.  Some of us can remember when they were in style.  It is appropriate that they collected the Amish quilts as the color plan is so similar.

Another photo from the museum

Another photo from the museum

The Amish would also add to the Diamond design.  What you will not see in the Lancaster County quilts is black, unless it is a small accent.  What you will see on all Amish quilts is fabulous hand quilting.  They would use thread to match the fabric making it more subtle.

Museum Photo obviously taken with a flash; a museum NO!

Museum Photo obviously taken with a flash; a museum NO!

Penn.  Amish also liked bar quilts.  If I remember the presentation correctly, this was the second most popular pattern.

Another bar quilt from the museum.

Another bar quilt from the museum.

Lancaster Co., Penn. was and is a rich farm ground.  These women were married to successful farmers.  They could buy the fabric for their quilts.  They were not scrap quilts.  The fabric of choice was dress weight wool, which makes the colors so deep and rich.

Sara Miller of Kalona, IA

Sara Miller of Kalona, IA

It is always a treat when Sara Miller is able to attend our meeting.  She is a long time resident of Kalona, Iowa, where our meetings are held.  At one time Sara owned and operated a large fabric and quilt shop right on her farm.  She is famous for her collection of crib quilts.  Obviously she is an authority on Amish quilts from the Mid-west.  It was so fun to hear the two ladies share their knowledge.

Sara's quilt

Sara’s quilt

I will soon share about the quilts of the Mid-West, but will first let you see a quilt that Sara made.  It is the one above.  She shared it during Show-N-Tell

An Amish Quilt at the Kalona Quilt Museum

An Amish Quilt at the Kalona Quilt Museum

One difference of Mid-Western quilts is that black is frequently used.  Another color this group of Amish women liked is blue.

Block quilt from the Kalona Museum

Block quilt from the Kalona Museum

This group of quilters made block quilts more frequently that those of Penn.

Kalona Museum quilt

Kalona Museum quilt

One more block quilt:  This one is another example of black and blue working together.

Mid-West Bar Quilt

Mid-West Bar Quilt

The Mid-Western Amish also made the bar quilts and diamond patterns.  In the above photo you see a bar quilt done with black and blue/purple with a bright pink border.

Amish inspired color choice

Amish inspired color choice

A show-n-tell is also part of our meeting and for this one we were welcome to show new quilts inspired by the Amish quilts.  The one above is an example for you.

Another new quilt

Another new quilt

The picture above is one  also shared by  a member.   This reminds me of one I made using the Cherrywood fabrics that have great deep colors.  They remind me of the rich Amish quilt colors.  It is below:

My Amish Storm Quilt

My Amish Storm Quilt

Quilting done by a friend and her long-arm.

Quilting done by a friend and her long-arm.

I will add a photo that show off the quilting.  Of course, I hired the work done by a long-arm machine.  The thread is not changed to match each color of fabric as the ladies of Lancaster County would have done.

I really like the way historical quilts inspire us and we make quilts with our own twist.

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