Amish bars

No, not drinking establishments for the Amish, but a very simple and appealing design created by Amish quilters. Years before I ever thought of making a quilt, I fell in love with the pictures in this book. I was working for a publishing company during a particularly ruthless merger, and discarded books were a sad perk of the layoffs. I picked up this little book and was amazed by the gorgeous colors and graphic designs.

_DSC0713I love the bar quilts the best–the design and color combinations feel so comtemporary. This one is stunning.

_DSC0715I finally saw an Amish quilt in person at the American Folk Art Museum‘s quilt show in 2011. Up close you can see all the gorgeous hand quilting that makes up for in intricacy and detail what the piecing lacks. (The quilt below is a recent award-winning quilt by Diane Loomis, Five Bar Blues. The quilting is just incredible.)

ceddc1b059d0d76f6ff3a5393d756761I also learned a little more about the origin of the designs and the use of color. The Amish used woolen cloth– the same that they used to make clothing–but in quilts they had more freedom to use color. In person, the richness and subtle sheen of the wool is also apparent. I’d love to try a quilt using wool cloth–I think it would be so luxurious and practical.

This book, The World of Amish Quilts by Rachel Pellman and Kenneth Pellman, looks like a great resource.

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