A New Acquisition!
Here is a small quilt we found in an antique store yesterday. The clerk was filling in for the owner of the shop and didn't know anything about it. It is an interesting little piece, although it is not an antique. I have spent some time with a couple of Amish families in southern Illinois and we are now, as luck would have it, about 4 miles from a very large Amish settlement in Ohio. Anyone who studies quilts will be aware of the fact that the Amish people still make quilts, but when they make them for selling to "The English" they try to incorporate fabrics and styles that we will like. So, paradoxically in my humble opinion, Amish quilts are no longer "Amish quilts" - if you take my meaning. But, then along comes this little piece and I wonder who made it. My first inclination was that someone was making a piece to emulate what they considered Amish Style, but closer examination raises some questions. If you spend time with Amish ladies, you will learn that they are big fans of cotton blends for their clothing. It cuts down on ironing. That means if they make quilts to use, they will be using scraps from clothing and they will be blends. Also, they will mix weights and weaves of fabrics in a quilt. They will also throw in different pieces of the same color, but from different sources, so that you get patches that don't quite match each other. This little piece exhibits all those things. I don't know about you, but if I were to make an Amish style quilt, I certainly wouldn't use blends and would shy away from using different weights of cloth. This little piece also has a gray chambray for backing, which is consistent with true Amish quilts I have studied. The hand quilting is very nicely done. The fact that it is machine pieced, doesn't tell us anything, as the Amish love their treadle sewing machines. Some families even hook up generators to electric style sewing machines and they sew as fast as we do. So, I am wondering if it is indeed a piece made by an Amish person who was copying the famous quilts that we have come to consider as "Amish style." I will never know. Even contemporary quilts are full of mysteries.
Till next time........