I know we have a lot of readers interested in Amish quilts and many with experience buying them. We’ll be hearing more soon on the subject from Janneken Smucker, author of the upcoming Amish Quilts: Crafting an Tips on buying into a business Icon, including a chance to ask Amish quilt questions. I thought any potential quilt buyers out there might find these useful.
Not all Quilts are as handmade as you may be led to believe they are. Check around the binding for signs of a label being cut out. I saw this at the Sisters, Oregon quilt show a few years ago. Was made with both cotton and polyester fabric and polyester batting. A big no-no as one shrinks and the other does not when washed. Hand quilters strive for as many stitches we can needle per inch. If you see 4 stitches per inch, chances are good it may not be authentic Amish made but could be made in China.
We can not compete with Walmart prices. If a quilt looks too exact, it may be machine instead of hand stitched. If gloves are provided please don them as you look through and handle quilts. Just because it might be an authentic Amish quilt does not mean it is a better quilt. If you fall in love with a quilt, just buy it so you don’t kick yourself later for not buying it. Quilters, quilt buyers, and quilt people out there, have you put any of these recommendations into practice? Would you add anything to this list?
I didn’t realize the story of the little stitches that hold Amish quilts together could be so interesting. Thanks to Janneken Smucker’s post today, I now do. Back in June I shared a little of what I learned from Janneken Smucker’s talk on Amish quilts at the Elizabethtown Amish conference. Hand-made quilts in Illinois Amish Quilting in the Prairie State Quilts are one of the most characteristic of Amish-made products.
I would advise if at all possible buying it from the maker directly, or at least at a benefit auction like the one in Gladys, Va. Mennonite quilts in terms of the patterns. Many times the quilters use popular patterns that they know are popular with tourists, but that they themselves would not use on their own quilts. Forest, can you give me more info on the benefit auction in Glady’s, VA? Did this benefit have a website? I too live in VA and would like to know about any future auction’s in that area. Bethel Mennonite Church on 501 just north of Gladys, Va.