Classic Amish Quilts

Event Picture
Date: Jan 6 - Jun 6
Venue: International Quilt Museum
Location: 1523 N 33rd St.
Ticket Price: $8 Adults, $6 Seniors (age 65+), $4 Child (age 5-18), Free for Child (under 5) and UNL faculty, staff and students, $16 Family (up to two adults with dependent children or grandchildren 18 and under)
Time: 10am-4pm Tues.-Sat.
Phone: (402) 472-6549

Amish quilts captured the interest of New York art dealers and collectors in the early 1970s because of their similarities to modern abstract painting. Soon, they were adorning the interiors of urban lofts and spread across the pages of home decorating magazines. Classic Amish styles are among the most recognizable and copied of American quilt styles. Women in Amish communities began quiltmaking in the mid-1800s. Classic styles date from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century and are characterized by solid colors and geometric patterns. Classic quilts from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania feature spare designs such as a single large diamond in a frame or a file of wide vertical bars, all composed in hues of deep blue, purple, red, or green dress-weight wools. Classic Midwestern Amish quilts, often made with cottons, feature all-over designs of a single shape or repeating-block patterns on dark backgrounds accented with bright colors. Amish quiltmakers subtly adorned the solid-colored fabrics with quilted feathered wreaths, large eight-pointed stars, flowers, hearts, cables, and filling patterns. The Amish are a group of Anabaptist Christian sects whose plain ways of life are ordered by practices that preserve their faith and dependence on God and each other and eschew technologies and conformity with the non-Amish world. Today, more than 300,000 Amish live in settlements in 31 states across the USA. The quilts in this exhibition are from the International Quilt Museum’s Education Collection, whose purpose is to engage and educate the public about global quiltmaking practices. These quilts may be displayed in environments with fluctuating temperatures and uncontrolled light—two elements that shorten the lifespan of textiles.