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Home > Learning Center > Amish quilts

Amish quilts

Click here to see our selection of Amish quilts.


When you hear the word “Amish” certain images come to mind – horses and buggies, butter churning, and quilts. The truth is, however, that Amish quilts have not always been as big a part of Amish culture as you would expect.

Amish quilts didn’t really catch on in Amish communities until the 1870s. Before then, the Amish shunned quilt making as “too modern.” However, from the time that making quilts became an accepted practice in Amish communities to 15 years later, you could nary find a home without several quilts in it.

In the years since, Amish quilting has evolved, but it always stays several years behind current trends. For example, Amish quilts at first were very ordinary. The first Amish-made quilts were made in one solid color. That one color was often black, brown, or blue.

Gradually, extra pieces of colored fabric were added to these Amish quilts. For example, a quilt might have a large, colorful diamond in the middle, although the rest of the quilt was still a more solid, less exciting color.

Many people assume that all Amish quilts were always made completely by hand. That is not true. While some are handmade, many were pieced together by using a treadle sewing machine.

As Amish quilts have evolved, their evolution has depended largely on those who live in the Amish communities. Basically, a community consensus has had to be reached in many instances when deciding if certain colors – like pink and white – are acceptable to use.

In modern days, Amish quilts look quite a bit different than those that were first created in the 1870s. With the country’s bicentennial in 1976, many Americans began to look back on the country’s past. As they did this, Amish-made quilts grew in popularity.

Amish women continue to make quilts for themselves as well as interested buyers. Because Amish women spend a lot of time outside in the garden in the warmer months, most of their quilt making occurs in the winter months.

Now, Amish quilt making has come full circle. Some women have gone back to incorporate more black in their designs, but also include a lot of color.

Just as Amish quilts have been a part of Amish life for many years, they are also a part of the lives of many other people and will likely continue to be for years to come.



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