Plain & Simple Quilts
More Information About Us
I am a quilter and my roots are with the Mennonites of Pennsylvania. These two, one a gift and the other a blessing, drew me into an association with a nearby Amish community. Unlike Lancaster, Pa., and it's surrounding Amish and Mennonite districts, we are not bustling with tourism or the resultant commerce. We are, as someone said, "a wide place in the road", a farming community with little more than a bus stop and post office. But we are not without charm! It is a serene, slow-paced place where one room schoolhouses sit squatted in farm fields; where teams of draft horses pulling wagons, and black buggies drawn by plain-colored steeds are your only traveling companions on the dirt roads that ribbon through the countryside. Everyone knows everyone else; none pass you on the road without a wave and a smile; you are greeted warmly at each farmhouse; and this is as true today as it was when I was a stranger among these wonderful people.
The Amish are not quick to change, that is an obvious fact, and it is this single characteristic that has given us a quilting tradition that has endured for generations. An authentic Amish quilt will be constructed using only plain fabrics, that is to say, no prints, stripes or plaids. The colors are representative of naturally occurring hues in a variety of muted shades--blues for the sky, browns for the earth, greens for the vegetation, etc.
designs and printed fabrics to Amish frames with the stipulation that every other quilt be in solid colors. We are very industrious women, so if I am delayed getting a top to an empty frame for quilting, they will start one on their own. This, I think, works very well for you as it greatly reduces repetitive designs or colors, and eliminates offerings that are only representative of my tastes in these areas!
A quilt is one of the few opportunities an Amish woman has to express her uniqueness and creativity--they do not knit, crochet, paint, or embroider. We offer several designs that are original creations. Many found their beginnings on the frames of past generations--the "Spider Web" wall-hanging is one of these, the cardboard templates given to me by an elderly Amish woman who said her mother had created this design. And the stencils many use to mark the quilts come from designs traced from the mouth of a glass, a leaf from the grapevine or off the tree in their front yard. Dried slivers of soap are, more often then not, the quilt marking medium of choice--I am told that "Dial" is the best by far for this purpose!
The Amish do not do appliqué designs, the cutting of a piece of fabric to stitch over a larger fabric is, to us, a waste of material, as is bias cut binding strips. We traditionally use the 'backing as binding' method, where the backing material is left with excess edges that are turned to the front of the quilt and hand-stitched to make the binding--it is easier and more economical. Another less common method of binding is the cutting of strips in an accent color that are then machine stitched around the top, folded to the back and hand-stitched. Also, you will not find mitered corners on an Amish quilt.
Each purchased quilt is accompanied by a tag that identifies the quilter by name, and offers washing instructions. It is important to note that many websites are offering "Amish quilts"--these are traditional Amish designs, not "Amish-made"--there is a significant difference in the quality of stitching! If you are looking for a quilt that is a hand-stitched work of art that doubles as a serviceable addition to your home decor and, if cared for properly, will increase in value, you need search no farther!
People of the Amish community do not accept the demands of the twenty first century., I invested a great deal of time, effort and resources to establish myself as a reliable, trustworthy person to work with 40 families to establish a sales outlet for the outstanding products created in their homes.
I would be pleased to send you any additional information, prices, sizes, styles and photographs if you will give me details specific to what interests you. I encourage you to email Lydia for further information on this new product line I will be opening.
Bound by a Tradition of Hand Quilting Excellence