The Development of American Folk and Amish Quilts (part 2)
However, during the mid to late 1800s, the Amish began
taking to the art of quilting and eventually making it into their own style.
Because the quilt was a useful and necessary item, many Amish quilters believed
that it was okay to use the colored and patterned fabrics while making the
quilts because it didnt take anymore time to make it more beautiful, while
still remaining useful. As a result, the Amish began developing their own
designs and methods for producing their attractive and intricate patterns. Simple
geometric designs pieced together with tiny, equally spaced stitches quickly became
the Amish quilters signature style. The earliest Amish quilts used basic squares, triangles, or rectangles using solid, muted colors. These Amish
quilts eventually developed into more intricate designs that used brighter and
bolder colors. Popular designs amongst Amish quilters were often inspired by
nature, such as flowers, leaves, grapevines, stars, circles, or a mixture of a
variety of these Amish styles.
Over the years, different patterns and styles have become
popular within certain Amish community throughout the country. These differing
styles would often reflect the strictness levels of the Amish communities they
came from. Darker, muted, less intricate designs were more common in conservative
Amish communities, whereas brighter, lighter, more complex designs were more
common in liberal Amish communities. Many Amish quilts are so distinctive in
style that you can tell exactly which Amish region or community it comes from
based on the colors, designs, or styles.
An Amish quilt is a very specific type of quilt with a
unique look to it that is usually made completely by hand by Amish women.
Amish quilts are known for their geometrical designs and deep, dark colors.
The older styles of Amish quilting usually only used large solid colored
fabrics that were arranged in a bold geometric pattern. They were often
designed on a black or dark colored background with limited color changes.
Depending on the location of the Amish quilting community, particular color
palates were often used based on the availability of fabrics and the beliefs of
the Amish community itself. The Amish generally used fine wool rather than cotton
fabrics and were made from very few pieces in a large, central design that
would have a border around the entire quilt.
Today, these strict Amish quilting rules have become much
more lenient so as to appeal to the general public in order to sell them for
profit. A variety of different patterned fabrics and brighter colors can be
found on many of the modern Amish quilts. Popular trends and fashions are more
commonly followed now so as to adapt to the changing styles and tastes of the
non-Amish community. However, the basic Amish methods and design styles still
remain popular. Amish quilt blocks are often made by individual Amish quilters
and then stitched together on huge quilting frames by multiple quilters during an
Amish quilting bee. Owning a handmade Amish quilt brings back the feelings of
tradition and old fashioned values that the Amish people still live and breathe
The Development of American Folk and Amish Quilts (part 1)