Amish Quilts

One of the most striking things about an Amish quilt is the use of color. Even though particular colors and color combinations have changed over the years, there’s a sensibility that has lasted over time.

A “Quilting Bee” is usually an all-day occasion, and it’s a time when Amish women get together to quilt and visit. A typical quilting involves anywhere from six to twelve women. The women who sit around all four sides of the quilting frame begin at the outer edge and work toward the center as far as they’re able to reach. When the women working along the top and bottom of the frame have all quilted to their maximum stretch, the clamps at the four corners of the frame are released and the finished sections of the quilt are rolled onto the wood until the un-quilted surface is brought to the edge. For hard-working Amish women, a day of quilting with friends is often seen as a time to refresh and relax.

The Amish not only make quilts for their homes, to give to others, and to sell, but they often make quilts that will be auctioned off at local benefit auctions to help others in need. This is a gift of their time, and in giving, a demonstration of their love for others. An Amish quilt expresses the hard work and determination that all Americans have shown throughout history. Owning an Amish quilt has a special meaning, reminding us that ever since the beginning of their church, the Amish people’s priorities are still the same—God first, and family second.

Do you make anything special to give to charity or someone you know in need?

Comments

  1. Gail Hollingsworth says:

    I love to crochet. I’ve made lots of things for friends and family. I’ve also crocheted hats for the newborns in my local hospital.

  2. Shirley Chapel says:

    I belong to the woman’s Missionary Union at my church. This past year we have set up an assembly line in the church basement where we work on making reusable sanitary napkins for underprivileged woman in other countries. There is a real need for this and it is our goal to try to fill this need. We worked on it in the early spring until the summer time and hope to start back in September again.

  3. Amy Nelson says:

    I love to read your journal!

  4. I love to cross-stitch favorite uplifting Bible Scriptures and give them away to friends in need when they need a spiritual boost, as a gesture of friendship, or just because! I often accompany the gift with a jar of homemade jam, which I enjoy making as well. It gives me joy to harvest and turn all my PYO fruits and berries of the season into delectable jams and pies (as well as enjoy right out of the basket!). And it makes people feel special to receive something you made yourself. Little things like that let people know you care, and seeing the joy in their faces is a blessing for me as well. That’s where the Amish do it right as they make giving and helping people a part of their daily lives.

    Wanda, sent you an email of one of my cross stitch Scripture creations. My favorite inspirational passage is Philippians 4:13. Fun and easy to make, they only take a couple of evenings. I made one recently for a friend in an afternoon while sitting by the beach.

  5. Loretta McCormick says:

    I just finished reading The Blessing and can not wait for the following The Celebration to bring the stories together

  6. I did in the past make small quilts.
    I was blessed with receiving hand made quilts from my grandma and great grandma and mom.
    I love quilts.
    Love all your books.

  7. I like to donate books and toys to local charities. I really enjoy reading your books

  8. Susan Fletcher says:

    My 2 grandmothers, great grandmother, and mother all quilted. I have a quilt from each of them. As the only girl in my family of 4 brothers, I do not quilt. My Mom told me often how I “broke the mold.” How I wish I had learned and could carry on the tradition.

  9. Rose Parker says:

    I would love to be able to visit the Amish country but know I probably never will. So, I get to go there thru your books. I would love it if we all could go back to a simpler time without all the stress that we seem to bring on ourselves. Thank you for the journey!

  10. Karen Tackett says:

    Wanda, I so enjoyed your blog about Amish Quilts because I have an Amish Quilt from the Lancaster, PA area. We used to take Senior Adults on trips and one year we went to Lancaster. The folks were so excited when we toured a home business and my hubby bought me a quilt and a few other items. We saw quilts that had tags saying that they were to help a family with a medical bill or other need. I used my quilt on my bed for years but not it is hanging on a quilt rack and I love seeing it and remembering when we got it. Thank you for your wonderful stories about the Amish. Looking forward to reading about the quilting class. Love and blessings!

  11. Brenda Sanborn says:

    My mother and I love your books. I have a quilt that has been passed down over the years so I don’t know exactly who made it but I love it.

  12. Susan Departhy says:

    Wanda, My mom was placed in Hospice and I thought they were great to her and the family. After my mom passed I started making crocheted prayer shawls and crocheted comfort blankets for the hospice patients. It becomes a keepsake for the family after the patient passes.
    Your book reminded me of my grandmother who quilted from fabric scraps. My favorite quilt was made from my grandfather’s old blue jeans.

  13. Linda k Smith says:

    I buy all your books then put them in our church library for all to enjoy. You have quite a following at our little church.

  14. Betty June Moore says:

    Yesterday, I finished reading THE SEEKERS which is Book 1 of the Amish Cooking Class. The characters seemed to become a part of my friends and acquaintances. It was exciting and I did not want to lay it down. I am looking forward to Book 2. I awoke yesterday morning at 3:15 am, arose and finished reading it. Glad to know that Book 2 is being released today. I am excited to follow Heidi and what is new for her. I also enjoy your monthly newsletter. I keep the sound on, and enjoy the walk of the horses. You have a great newsletter and look forward to it. Thanks for all you do in making life more interesting for us elderly folk!

  15. I know it isn’t much but I save my bottles and cans for ones that go around collecting them an I also try on special days help out with a small amt. of cash. I wish I could do more but I can’t.

  16. Thank you for your stories about the Amish. I own several Amish quilts that I have purchased over the years from an Amish Quilt Action that is held twice a year. Each quilt has a very special meaning to me. One of these years I will learn how to quilt myself. 🙂

  17. I’m ashamed to say I never learned how to quilt or crochet. I tried my had at both but was never very successful. I love the beautiful quilts of the Amish and Mennonite families and admire them for their hard work and love for others. I love to read and love to share my books with others when I’m finished with them. I try to help others in any way I can and enjoy serving those in need, even if its just a listening ear. I try to share the love of God with as many as I can.

  18. JAMIE L HUGHES says:

    i love your journals

  19. Dianna Neal says:

    I love reading your books. My sister and I read and swap books, so we both enjoy them. Both my mother and my mother-in-law were quilters. Somehow, in all the rush of modern life, I never learned to quilt nor crochet. My mother did teach me how to embroider, and I have passed that knowledge along to our oldest granddaughter.

  20. Catherine Lemanski says:

    I have always loved the color combinations used in Amish Quilts with the black highlighting the vibrant colors.

  21. christy kidwell says:

    I love to read your books. I have spent my summer reading many. Right now I am reading the Indiana cousins

  22. Sue Hamberg says:

    I have just started to quilt, hoping to give each of my 4 children a quilt for Christmas. I love to crochet and find I don’t keep much but do enjoy giving away to family and anybody’s du who wants them😀

  23. Pamela Pavkov says:

    I knit baby hats for the 2 local hopital. Premie ones too because my first daughter only weighed 3lbs.

  24. Margaret Fraleigh says:

    I love to crochet and am a member of Heartmade Blessings where we crochet afghans for those that need some comfort and hugs. We also make afghans for those that have lost a loved one through war etc. These afghans are done is red, white and blue for the US and red and white for Canada.

  25. Joe Arnold says:

    I donate to Goodwill. I pass books on to people who I feel need a blessing.

  26. Robin Bunting says:

    What a lovely tradition of quilting. I love the community of women getting together. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Phyllis Jobe says:

    I would love to win your book. You were the first author I read when I got hooked on Amish books.

  28. Colleen Fernandes says:

    I donate baby quilts to a ministry that helps women to choose life for their unborn babies.

  29. Glynna Poff says:

    I was surprised a couple of weeks ago to see an Amish family at Silver Dollar City. I have read about the Amish for years, but had never actually seen a family. It warmed my heart to see them. And I can now picture them better in my mind when I read.

  30. JoAnn Boatwright says:

    I have always enjoyed reading your books about the Amish. Their life style had always intriqued me. A few years ago my husband and I visited the Amish community in Etheridge, Tn. It was visit I will remember for a lifetime. We rode in a horse drawn wagon and stopped at some Amish homes. We were able to buy items they had on sale. It was interesting to hear them talk, even though I had trouble understanding some of what they were saying. They were all very nice.

  31. Dianne Casey says:

    I buy yarn for my sister so she can knit scarves, hats and mittens for the Veteran’s Home. They can’t go outside or on outings if they don’t them to wear in the winter.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    I like reading your books

  33. Christine Kennelly says:

    I love the quilts as well as the pictures that are shown.

  34. I do quilts for homeless for the winter.
    Blessings
    Diana

  35. Gail Lewter says:

    I love reading all of your books. I’m not talented in the sewing department, but I’m highly talented in the reading department. Never miss any of your books. Do you ever come to North Carolina? Raleigh or Rocky Mount to be specific.

  36. Denise Smith says:

    I wish I had the patience to piece an entire quilt. I loved the quilts pieced by my grandmother and loved watching the colors go together when my mom pieced hers but I wasn’t blessed with the virtue of patience to be able to do quiltmaking. At some point maybe that will still come. I would love if it did. I would love to make lap quilts for those in the carehomes and assisted living centers in our area.

    On another note . . . I just received my copy of “The Blessing.” Can’t wait to complete my work so I can start reading right away. Just love your books – I do love all the Amish books that are written now days but you are my favorite author.

  37. Wanda,
    I’ve read a lot of your books, but I really enjoyed the Half Stitched Quilt and others about Emma teaching and reaching out to others the best of all. I crochet and sew but quilting best left to others.
    Jo
    Racine, WI

  38. Leticia Skiles says:

    I have been so interested in the Amish way of life. The stories of the history and present time Amish are so educational and I dearly love them. It would be so appreciative and special to receive a signed copy of any of your books!!!

  39. Stephanie H. says:

    I love the quilts that the Amish women make and I hope to someday own one. They look very pretty and wonderfully made with love.

  40. Diann Larry says:

    What a talent…quilt making. I would love to read this book.

  41. Angela Deane says:

    I do a lot of handmade crafts but never learned to sew or quilt very good. My mother and grandmother were experts and I am thankful to have received my grandmothers old sewing machine and some of her quilted pieces. I only read Amish fiction…I get so engrossed with the characters and long to be a part of their close knit community and simple ways. Although I have read many books based on the simple life of the Amish I always enjoy your books the very best and anxiously await your next release.

  42. Katie Lind says:

    I am involved with Project Linus, plus I crochet or loom knit hats for people who need them. And trust me, Wisconsin does get cold!

  43. Rhonda Riley says:

    My husband & I both work with scouts. We both also work with children we buy things (coats, hats, gloves, backpacks, books, ect for the kids. I store for a child that may need them. We have 2 children of our own & now as young adults I’m proud to say they are doing the same. We have always helped kids in our community. After all the children of today, will one day be our future.

  44. Betty Burgess says:

    My husband’s aunt used to quilt years ago. I enjoyed watching her and tried myself. I do a little needle work and enjoy it. I think quilting with others would be so much fun. Enjoy your books and your web page.

  45. Laura W. says:

    I have recently become unemployed & after reading this,
    I may have to try quilting. 💕
    Thank you for your AMAZING books & for the
    chance to win a contest.
    God bless you & your family. ❤️✝️

  46. GladysMP says:

    My hobby is crocheting. I have shared my work with many friends.

  47. Mary Preston says:

    I have never quilted, but appreciate the hard work and beauty.

    I actually knit for the babies in NICU at the local hospital. The nursery is always desperate for hats & boots for the premmie babies. It’s truly a labour of love.

  48. I love to read your journal!

  49. Donna Grammier says:

    I have never made a quilt. It’s on my bucket list, for sure.. My mother crochets an afghan for my daughter, her grand-daughter. She was very ill with lung cancer and finished it lying on her back on the couch. She wanted to make a doll blanket to “match” it. She started it but unfortunately I had to finish it,, as we lost her to that aweful disease. My daughter who is 47 still cherishes that memory of this blanket.

  50. Vivian Furbay says:

    God has blessed in being able to help others. I make baby quilts and lap quilts to give to people who need them. A lot of the baby quilts, afghans , and blankets go to the Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center for new mothers to pick out for their babies.

  51. Judy Tulloch says:

    I’ve crocheted scarves for the homeless. I made elastic band bracelets for an organization who puts one in bags of things to do and would give one to children when admitted into the hospital. In June I sent an author friend a box of 350 hand made note and greeting cards To send to her son who after he was deployed last month so he and fellow soldiers have them available when they want or need one. It all may be something little, but if a scarf helps keep someone warm, a bracelet puts a smile on a child’s face or a soldier feels good being able to pick out a card to send to a love one. It’s a good feeling helping someone else.

  52. Georgia Larson says:

    Hi Wanda,
    1st off I want to say how much I enjoy your books. Their not always easy to get at stores here on the Big Island but I’ve have found them at library & their book sales. I love sharing with my Calif friends the ones I own.
    2nd, I LOVE TO QUILT & sew. I’m always making quilts or sewing something. I have worked on charity quilts & made quilts for tornado & hurricane victims. Such a joy knowing your helping by doing something I love to do & giving to those in need.
    I know you were here on Maui not that many months ago but traveling to & from the islands is costly so it’s not a luxury we have. I do hope you had a wonderful time.
    Again, Thank you & many blessings to you & family.
    Georgia

  53. I love reading your books about the Amish. Have been enjoying them for some years now.

  54. Angela M. Nelan says:

    I have recently made 2 baby quilts, one for a beloved family friend and the other for my third grandchild. I am now in the middle of a hand print quilt that I am making for our annual family reunion the weekend of Labor Day. I got everyone in attendance last year to paint their hand and press it onto a 9″ x 9″ square of cream colored cotton, then sign their name beside their hand print. I am really enjoying piecing this together, knowing that it will be an heirloom to treasure forever.
    I also embroider kitchen towels and give those out at Christmas and for birthday gifts. Baby bibs and burp cloths are fun to make and give away also. I just LOVE to sew and relax and give thanks for being so blessed to be able to sew for others. I love to read your stories about the Amish, Wanda. 🙂

  55. I am not gifted in knitting, sewing etc. but I can appreciate the work involved. I volunteer my time with a charity that helps poor women overseas. These ladies are very gifted and make lovely hand made items and I along with others sell them at various vintage/craft shows. All the proceeds go direct to the charity involved.

    It would be lovely to visit an Amish village/town (I do not live in the USA) and enjoy the simple life.

    I wish everyone much blessing in all they do for HIM.

  56. Debra Calvin says:

    I volunteer my time as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. I would love to learn to quilt. I taught myself how to crochet a couple years ago.

  57. I make a lot of homemade jams. Not only does my family love them, but I give them away as gifts. Recently, I have had a few repairmen at my house. All of them have left with jars of jam.

  58. Michele Astle says:

    My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 4 years old. It’s something I’ve never forgotten how to do. I feel like my grandmother is with me when I crochet.

  59. Donalene Poduska says:

    I enjoy your blogs about the Amish and Amish quilting, and your books are great reads. The Blessing has arrived but I am in the middle of another book that I must finish quickly (a library book). I used to do needlework and give gifts. Back in 1958 when college friends were getting married, I didn’t have much money for gifts. I would iron on an embroidery design on a pair of pillow cases — then do the embroidery — and my mother would crochet a matching edging. Every friend who got a pair were thrilled and used until the material wore out.

  60. I started out sending my son a letter, I had decorated the envelope with watercolor pencils. My Son at the time was a missionary. The locals enjoyed the Art, and would offer up items in exchange. I then sent 6 small WC pictures, that they Auctioned off so to speak, in exchange for Labor, or supplies, and the Clinic, Church, School had just a bit of assistance.
    I still Paint 6X6 Watercolors, to give away to a cause or need, the latest is local. “The Wetlands Conservatory” or the “West Coast Maritime Museum”
    While painting I have such a calm feeling, and I can say later that I even forget about my headaches, & I never forget, (ever since they started, & the Doc told me i had had a Brain Bleed, and now I have to live with the Headaches and a Seizure Disorder) But While painting or doing ART, I forget about them, and find CALM, & Peacefulness. . . . . BLISS

    • Mrs. Patty Smith says:

      Wanda, I love your Amish stories. We have Old Order Amish friends in Nappanee, Indiana, and I have a neat quilting story to tell you! My grandmother had pieced together the top for a quilt that was beautiful with much applique work. It was never quilted, and my mother had put it in a box in a closet top. After my mother passed away, I found the box and the notes my grandmother had made about the quilt top. I never knew it existed! So, I bought bottom material and took it to Edna the next time we visited them in Nappanee and asked if she and her friends could quilt it. She said , “Yes, they would be glad to.” So I now have a beautiful guest bedroom quilt made by my grandmother, and quilted in a quilting bee by my special Amish friends! What a priceless treasure to me!! I give to needy children through our church and help sew layettes for stillborn babies at our local hospital, plus clothing modified for amputees that are veterans. Charity begins at Home! Thanks for your wonderful books!

      • I loved reading your post about the quilt you ended up with unexpectedly. How nice that your Amish friends were willing to finish it for you. Thanks for sharing!

  61. Nancy Jo Horton says:

    I just finished reading your book The Seekers. My what a story, I loved and am looking forward to read the next one The Blessing. I loom knit in the fall and winter when I am not reading books, mostly Amish. I make hats and scarfs and head bands and give most away to family and for a Mitten Tree in a local hospital.

  62. I enjoyed this post concerning the Amish women and their quilting.
    Marion

  63. Thank you for this interesting post. The quilts are lovely.
    Joan

  64. I love hearing about the Amish and their believes. They are always doing good for others.
    Marilyn

  65. Judy Humes says:

    First time I have read your journal and I have found it very interesting. I am interested in learning how to quilt but haven’t found the time or money yet. I remember attending a quilting bee at the Lutheran Church my mother attended when she was a child when I was very young. It made quite a impression on me since I still remember it. I love your books.

  66. Marge Smith says:

    Loved this post, enjoyed reading it , as I do every one of your books! I so enjoy reading all that you write about your adventures as you travel for book signings. Be Blessed, ~ Marge ~

  67. i love reading your books and love reading your news letters in my mail and i crochet lap throws for a nursing home in my home town

  68. I started quilting when my kids was babies. My quilts find homes with family, a few friends, charities for children, quilts of valor, different cancer, abused women, heart felt quilts and raffle. My quilts have specific prayers when I know where they are gong and open prayers when I don’t, quilting calms me and the creative of designing my own when I can makes my mind happy, same with knitting or crochet gifts I give,

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