Why Do The Amish Quilt? (part 2)
Over time, as the Amish women began developing their own, unique styles of quilting, more and more creative expression was used in the development of these Amish quilts. Some Amish communities developed such unique styles of quilting that you could begin to know exactly which community the quilt came from simply based on the style, design, and color choices that were being used. Amish quilting probably became as popular as it did within the Amish communities themselves because it was one of the only ways an Amish woman could express herself creatively. Because Amish women all dress alike, decorate their homes alike, and focus on the plain and simple aspects of everyday life, it was an acceptable activity that would allow an Amish woman to express herself in a simple, yet artistic way. Most Amish women design and stitch together their Amish quilt patterns during the winter months while it is too cold to work in the fields and gardens. This appeals the Amish sense of keeping busy. During the spring and summer months, all the Amish women quilters of the community will get together at quilting bees and finish their quilts together by stitching the batting and the bottom layers of the Amish quilt together into a finished piece. This is an important part of the Amish quilting process as it brings the women of the community together again to catch up on old news and work together to finish their quilts as a community.
Around the 1970s, Amish quilts became popular amongst the non-Amish or traveling "city folks." This created an interesting opportunity for the Amish. Many Amish women suddenly found themselves in the position to make money for their families through the sale of their homemade Amish quilts. As the demand for handmade, traditional goods became more and more popular, the Amish embraced the opportunity to profit from their Amish quilts and began quilting for commerce in order to support the community. Just as the Amish men sold their produce and handmade furnishings to the outside world, so too did the Amish women begin to provide for their families using their quilt making skills. While the Amish still embrace their plain and simple heritage, they also have found that through tradition and hard work they can achieve a sense of self-sufficiency through the beauty and necessity of Amish quilt making. This is why the Amish quilt.
Why Do The Amish Quilt (part 1)