The Signs are Out There: Amish Quilts Redux + A Book Giveaway!

 

Quilt-J:  Ocean Waves from Amish & Urban Myra Harder
Ocean Waves from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder, Martingale & Company/That Patchwork Place, 2014

giveaway2It’s inevitable really, the road to learning the quilting craft always passes through Amish Country at some point. While modern quilters may point to the Gee’s Bend quilt exhibition as a clarion call to explore quilt making, Amish quilts also cast their lure with minimal design layouts and vibrant coloration.

I’m seeing a trend here. In the space of a few hours last week, I heard about a challenge issued by  the San Jose Quilt & Textile Museum to several of the modern quilt guilds in the San Francisco Bay Area called  Amish:  The Modern Muse; an  exhibit of antique Ohio Amish quilts from the Darwin Bearley Collection set to open at that same museum in mid-November, AND, a new release from Martingale & Company/That Patchwork Place called Urban and Amish:  Classic Quilts and Modern Updates by Myra Harder. You don’t have to be a seer to note the signs:  Modern Amish is on its way! (Although, there’s always been a timeless modernity about the spare and bold quilts of the Amish.)

Urban and Amish Embraces a Hallowed Tradition and a Modern Aesthetic

Screen shot 2014-10-08 at 4.15.01 PM

Author of Urban and Amish, Myra Harder, comes by her love of Amish quilt making from childhood exposure to the Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Myra’s Canadian parents moved the family to Lancaster County and lived there for several years before heading back north. The time spent in that rural fastness had a strong impact: Myra’s mother learned quilt making from the Amish women and Myra spent many hours playing with Amish children and learning about their mode of life. Later, when Myra took up quilting, it was an Amish Pineapple quilt displayed in a Lancaster, PA shop that set her on her quilting journey. Myra is a twenty-year veteran of the textiles and quilting industries and attributes her fascination to an ancestral calling “to the cloth,” so to speak, as her family traces its roots to Moravian cloth traders in early colonial history.

Quilt-J: Amish Center Diamond Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Amish Center Diamond from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder
Quilt-J:  Lightening Strike Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Lightning Strike from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Urban and Amish brings together two of Myra’s abiding interests: the Amish quilting aesthetic and the modernist trend in contemporary quilt making.  Her tactic is to juxtapose them in 8 duets of quilts: one faithful to Amish tenets of quilt design, and the other, a modern riff on the theme block. The result is 16 quilt projects that can be tackled by all skill levels. The challenge, of course, is in the execution which is something she addresses in her book:  color palettes, print or solids, scale of design, deconstructing blocks. It was interesting to learn that Amish color schemes are specific to each community–Lancaster County quilts do not use black as the darkest hue, navy is the preferred color. (That’s a factoid I’ll store for future use!)

Quilt-J: Amish Bars from Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Amish Bars from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder
Quilt-J:  Horizon Line from Amish & Urban Myra Harder
Duet partners: Horizon Line from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Myra Harder’s Urban and Amish is available now through Martingale & Company. Visit the publisher’s website for additional information about the book and author. Ah, don’t neglect to scroll to the bottom for giveaway details–you could win an Urban and Amish eBook from Martingale!

Quilt-J:  Trip Around the World from Urban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Trip Around the World from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder
Quilt-J:  Trip to NY fromUrban and Amish Myra Harder
Duet partners: Trip to New York from Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Antique Ohio Amish Quilts from the Darwin Bearley Collection, San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Staring November 15, 2014, and running through March 1, 2015, the quilt museum in San Jose, California will host an exhibition of more than 40 quilts from the Bearley collection. The quilts range from doll to bed-sized and cover a timeline from 1880 to 1940. The provenance of each quilt is fully documented with the story of the maker, recipient, and the dealer(s) who found the quilts.

Amish:  The Modern Muse at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

To coordinate with the exhibition, the museum issued a challenge to Bay Area modern quilt guilds–East Bay Modern, Bay Area Modern, and South Bay Area Modern–to interpret the Amish style in a modernest vein. The juried exhibition will run concurrently with the Antique Ohio Amish Quilt show. Quilt artist Joe Cunningham will select the quilts that best represent a 21st century interpretation of traditional Amish quilt making. Of course, our resident modernist and guild member, Pati Fried, has a challenge contribution and she’s giving us a peek!

Quilt-J:  Detail of Pati Fried's Amish style quilt

Giveaway Details Here!

Martingale & Company has kindly offered an eBook version of Urban and Amish for a lucky winner. Leave me a comment by Monday, October 13 and I’ll announce the winner in the Tuesday post on the 14th. Here’s your question:  Why the hoopla, aren’t Amish quilts already modern?

Later gators, gotta go make another quilt–modern, but not Amish . . .

Jennifer Signature

 

 

 

28 thoughts on “The Signs are Out There: Amish Quilts Redux + A Book Giveaway!

  1. I am blessed to own 3 Ohio Amish Quilts and they and my quilting grandmothers have had an influence on my love of Amish Culture. Modern doesn’t always mean contemporary, look at the creations of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Amish quilters are as forward thinking.

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  2. These are gorgeous! I was in a swap of blocks that were all black background and solids. This has given me some ideas on how to put the blocks in to a finished top.

    Thanks!

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  3. Love everything Amish: colors, shapes, quilting, etc. What’s there not to love? Several years ago, my sister and I went on a Quilt History Tour in which we spent time in Lancaster County, PA. It was truly memorable. I have a tendency to use lots of contrast in quilts I make because I love color. I have recently used black and gray as neutrals with bright colors and it really makes your pattern”pops.”

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  4. I love the Amish Quilts but prefer more scrappy quilts to work on. Even though I have made 11 quilts in 2 years, I am a newby to the quilt phenom and enjoy learning new techniques. I think I tend to go more scrappy due to my not knowing what colors go together. Sounds like this book will teach me something new.

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  5. Amish quilts have a timeless beauty. They glow…
    I suppose that is why they are so pricey!!!
    Thanks so much for the giveaway,
    Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows

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  6. Aren’t Amish quilts already modern? I don’t know the short answer to that question.
    After having spent a lot of time selecting the color scheme for an Ocean Waves quilt earlier this year I wholeheartedly agree with the comment about Myra’s book:
    “The challenge, of course, is in the execution which is something she addresses in her book:  color palettes, print or solids, scale of design, deconstructing blocks. ”
    Don’t we face this challenge in varying degrees with each quilt we make?

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    1. Absolutely–they are timeless. They fit every era. Yup as well to the execution of the quilts–that’s what really sets them apart in terms of accomplishment and excellence of design.

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  7. I agree with the everything old is new again statement. I think they are back in fad now, which is great because I have always loved them.

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  8. The first quilts I made were inspired by the Amish designs. I think that is why the Modern movement appealed to me right away. I love the Trip to New York quilt.

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    1. In a word, yes. Makes me think of the expressions: “Everything old is new again” and “What goes around comes around.” So glad, because I never tire of Amish quilts.

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