Plain & Simple Quilts
Return to Appliqué Quilts
Appliqué quilts are not a tradition with Amish roots. The Amish would consider the layering of small pieces of fabric over a perfectly good larger piece of fabric to be a wasteful use of materials and resources. Perhaps the introduction of appliqué quilts to the Amish and Mennonite quilt makers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is best attributed to the skillful designs of C. Jean Horst, a textile artist and native of Lancaster. While appliqué is not an Amish tradition, these quilts are beautiful of themselves, and when well conceived they can offer large areas for exquisite quilting. So now we have arrived at the attraction of appliqué quilts for Amish quilters. They are just another exquisite canvas on which to showcase the art of hand quilting.
The appliqués we are offering here are authentic Amish-made and Amish hand quilted. In the Amish tradition, these appliqué quilts are well constructed using quality materials, the designs are uncluttered and there are large open areas for gorgeous quilting.
A caution for the 21st century quilt buyer: Traditional quilt patterns, including appliqué, are being mass-produced in India these days. The materials used in construction are of low quality, and the hand quilting is inferior, typically 2-3 stitches per inch. Indian made quilts can reasonably be expected to shrink 10% after the first washing, a devastating outcome on a quilt purchased to fit your bed. Merchants on the internet offering these 'knock-off's' are readily marketing them as "Amish", "Amish-made", "from the heart of Amish Country", or "Amish quality", etc. In a further attempt to authenticate these imports as Amish, they are not being offered for $39.99 like the Chinese quilts of a few decades ago, but are selling for several hundred dollars. These quilts are quite attractive, and could easily fill a niche in most any decor. But it is our commitment that a customer should always know precisely what they are purchasing.
Here are some tips to avoid 'mistaken identity' by asking all the right questions before you make your decision to buy:1) Amish-made quilts will have a poly-fill batting--if the quilt you are considering says '100% cotton batting' it is not Amish-made, but is most likely imported. Authentic Amish-made appliqué' quilts are almost always constructed using the poly-fill batting. This is the highest loft batting available for hand quilting, and makes the appliqué' pattern stand out even more after it is outline quilted. Poly-fill batting does not shrink.2) No mitered corners on sashing strips, framing borders, finishing borders, or on the binding. While mitered corners are a beautiful finishing touch on a quilt, they are not used by the Amish, and are a red flag that screams 'import'.3) Amish-made quilts are all about the hand quilting, this is where the true 'bragging rights' come into play. A merchant offering authentic Amish-made quilts should be delighted to reveal the stitch counts on their merchandise. If these are not mentioned, be sure to ask; anything below 6 stitches per inch is not of Amish origin, even the young Amish girls just learning the art of hand quilting can accomplish this stitch count.
Return to Appliqué Quilts
Bound by a Tradition of Hand Quilting Excellence