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The magic of antique Amish quilts captures admirers everywhere. This book offers patterns, step-by-step instructions, and color suggestions for reproducing many favorite antique Amish quilts.
Why the Interest in Antique Amish Quilts?
Perhaps it is the simplicity and peace visible in the lives of the people who made them that has made Amish quilts so fascinating. Perhaps the combination of energy and restraint in these quilts' simple geometric patterns gives them such broad appeal. Perhaps in a modern, fast-moving technological age people grasp for links with the past to find stability. Whatever the reasons, there are increasing numbers of people interested in Amish quilts.
Many old quilts from the larger Amish settlements of eastern Pennsylvania and the Midwest have already been purchased from private homes by museums and collectors. It happened slowly at first, but in the last decades of the 20th century Amish communities were ravaged by "door knockers"-persons who stopped unannounced at Amish farmsteads, offering to buy old quilts.
Some homes had old quilts stolen from them while the family was away at church. That made the Amish community uneasy, so some owners decided to sell their quilts before they were stolen. Some wanted to sell but wished to wait until the market drove the prices higher. Others wanted to keep their quilts and got weary of questions. But most did not understand the unusual demand.
Within the Amish community, values and commitments are taught and passed on to the next generations through a way of life. Consequently, for the Amish a tangible symbol of their past is not important or sought after because their basic values are firm; they do not have a sense of losing their past. In fact, for them a new quilt seems to be more valuable than an old one. And so, many antique quilts left homes, with their sellers happy to have the cash instead.
For those outside the Amish community, these old quilts stand as symbols of the past. They speak of a time of long family evenings, winter leisure, and handcrafted works of love. Their bold shapes and dark, vibrant colors show stability and freedom within specific limitations.
Many persons continue to search for these works of art from the past, but the quilts are increasingly hard to find. Amish Quilt Patterns attempts to provide the next best thing-a way to make a good reproduction. It is possible to create the drama and vibrancy of these prized quilts by making careful fabric selections and choosing a strong pattern and quilting designs.
This book attempts to provide patterns in the proper scale and with easy-to-follow instructions so that anyone can make one of these choice quilts.
We have adapted the patterns to the proper proportions to accommodate today's varying bed sizes.