Tuesday, January 10, 2017

An Homage to Amish Quilts

Amish quilts are typically created with solid, bold and saturated colors, with black used as background. This striking contrast of intense hues on black creates a vibrant, exceptional quilt. The simplicity and beauty of Amish quilts have helped to generate a new interest among contemporary quilters, who often combine Amish design with modern color combinations and quilting designs. Here is an homage to Amish quilts.

Arizona Amish by Ann Novak, quilted by Ann Novak

Almost all Amish quilt patterns are composed of geometric shapes, and most consist of a central design surrounded by borders. Quilts with large, geometric pieces of solid-colored fabric, such as the Diamond in the Square design, are among the most popular of all Amish patterns. Inspired by Amish quilts, Ann Novak says: “My Amish-style quilt was started in the 1980’s. Early in 2013, I was challenged to complete an unfinished quilt. The outside border and binding completed the quilt.”  

Arizona Amish was beautifully hand quilted by Ann Novak.  It was exhibited at the 2014 Arizona Quilters’ Guild show.

Balinese Lone Star by Joyce C. Heuett, quilted by Pennie Crouch

As Kimberly Wulfert explains at Womenfolk, the Amish liked the large central Star pattern known as Bethlehem Star or Lone Star. Joyce Heuett’s Balinese Lone Star was inspired by the traditional quilts, but the star itself was made with batiks. Joyce says, “My son serves in the US Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia. He misses the sunsets of AZ. The quilt’s colors will remind him of home skies.”  

The Balinese Lone Star quilt was exhibited at the 2015 Arizona Quilters’ Guild show.

Little Bit Amish by Charlotte Angotti 

Little Bit Amish, made by teacher and author Charlotte Angotti, was exhibited at the 2013 Houston IQF. Charlotte has been teaching nationally/internationally since 1991 and now lives in the Lafayette, LA area.  We admired the elaborate machine quilting on this wall quilt.

Lancaster Rose, 88 x 88”, by Janet Davis (Colorado)

Janet Davis was inspired by a miniature Variable Star Ohio Amish quilt dated 1895. You can purchase a pattern for this Lancaster Rose quilt at Fons and Porter. The rose quilting was a variation of Feathered Rose Collection by Judy Allen

Amish Schoolhouses, 53 x 53”, by Cathie Hoover

Cathie Hoover says, “Amish quilts have delighted me ever since Roberta Horton’s 1982 Amish quilts class at the Cotton Patch quilt shop in Lafayette, California." Amish Schoolhouses was published in the book Amish Quilts—The Adventure Continues, which was featured at the 2014 Road to California quilt show. There are sixteen 8-inch schoolhouse blocks in this quilt, which was hand quilted. 

Cathie continues, "Once a week for twelve weeks, I journeyed 150 miles round trip to attend [Roberta Horton's] class. It was delightful to work with solid colors and learn to assemble a number of different quilt blocks and quilts in the Amish palette… we studied photographs of Amish quilts from other books to get a sense of their color use, and we learned that the Amish always seemed to choose the easiest method of quilt construction. The Amish choice of quilting patterns was also a joy to follow."

Half-Square Triangles with Zig Zag Border, made by Gwen Marston

This is the cover quilt from the book Free Range Triangle Quilts by Gwen Marston and Cathy Jones. It was shown in the AQS Authors’ Exhibit at the 2016 AQS show. The book features traditional and improvisational quilts based on the triangle shape. Straight line looping quilting helps to emphasize the diagonal lines.

Black Stars, 77 x 92”, by Patricia Bailey (Hayward, California)

This wonderful scrap quilt was paper pieced and longarm machine quilted using an allover curved quilting design. The black background fabric makes all the other fabrics pop. This quilt was shown at the 2016 Pacific International Quilt Festival.

Image credits: Photos were taken by Quilt Inspiration.


  1. Love the Amish quilts! They are so gorgeous!

  2. I'm so glad you showed a close up of Lancaster Rose. At first, I had dismissed it as being nothing like an Amish quilt. The close up confirms that, although there is no black, there is also no printed fabric. The tiny squares that seem to be prints are actually made of tinier solid fabrics. What intricate work and how time-consuming it must have been! I salute you Janet Davis!

  3. Wow, anyone is just fantastic!

  4. I really enjoyed seeing these gorgeous quilts, especially Arizona Amish and Lancaster Rose.

  5. I love them all but those school houses are calling out to me. Back in the early 2000 I made a quilt inspired by Amish quilts called "Amish Tulips" ... all solids on black. As we moved to a house too small for a queen-sized bed, I have passed it to one of my daughters to enjoy.

  6. Im trying to do a small baby quilt which is my first try. I want to do other types once I have finised this one. My parents made many beautiful quilts.


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