09 Nov Amish Quilts
Sewing has been slow over the past few days. My younger daughter and I went to the University of Chicago this weekend to visit my older daughter. It was a beautiful day on Saturday and we had a great day!
The Flint Institute of Arts is about an hour or so away from where I live. They have had an exhibition on Amish quilts there since early September. The exhibit closes on Nov 13. I have been trying to get there to see it and, on October 28, I finally succeeded!
Amish quilts have had such a huge influence on my quilting. Their use of color and simple shapes is extraordinary. I was lucky enough to see Amish quilts from the collection of Faith and Stephen Brown at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in 2000 (two years before I even started quilting).
As expected, photography of the quilts in Flint was not allowed. So I bought the book about the exhibit. It includes the quilts from the exhibit and a few extras.
To help me remember, I made some notes about some of the things I thought were interesting about the quilts.
The color schemes: there were a lot of black quilts that I really liked. Several were black and charcoal grey (faded black?) with antique rose or lavender. Now antique rose and lavender are not my usual colors, but I was impressed with how great they looked in these quilts. There was also a black and coppery brown combination that was very effective. Another quilt was mostly black with blues, some of which were very dark so that the difference between the black and blue was very subtle.
Another quilt looked at first glance as if all the same fabrics were used in the same places, but when you looked a little more closely, there was some wonderful and subtle variation in shade among the background fabrics. It made a lovely quilt interesting as well.
As for the quilting itself, many of the quilts included three double lines of quilting inside each quilt block regardless of the piecing lines of the block itself. Many of these blocks had been set on point.
There was one quilt of all Counterpane blocks with two nine-patches mixed in. It made me wonder if the quiltmaker was teaching her daughter to quilt as she was making the Counterpane quilt.
For those of you who worry about your points – while there were many perfect points, there were also many that were cut off. The quilts were just as stunning 🙂
Have you ever had the chance to see Amish quilts? Do they speak to you?