Quilt Patterns

Amish Quilt Patterns

irish chain quilt

Learn the Basics of Quilting

Beginner Quilting Lessons

  • Make a Christmas Quilt - In part one of this beginning quilting lesson learn how to cut the fabric and piece the top together. Coming soon, the Santa Claus applique.

Amish quilt patterns are used for quilters throughout the quilting community, not just those inside the faith. Those looking to make a bedspread or blanket using Amish quilt patterns do not have to worry that they will be stuck in doors all day. No, you can use these patterns with your sewing machine just as you can by hand.

Amish quilt patterns are a favorite because they are known for their meticulous style. What started as a task to create something that would keep a family warm, quilting has grown into a money making venture. It is also a way to express aspects of a lifestyle.

Quilts are not the only arts and crafts that the community is known for outside of the faith. Baked goods and wood products are a popular item to purchase, as is the new fireplace design that is made from hand.

You can find Amish quilt patterns in books, catalogs, magazines and of course on the Internet. Quilters at every skill level are attracted to this attention to detail and tradition of the Amish community who uses these quilts as a way to express their religion and heritage.

The Amish Start to Quilt

The Amish haven't always been quilters. In fact, they picked up this craft long after others because of not wanting to be too "modern." Until they started quilting they used featherbeds and coverlets.

Amish quilt patterns are not only beautiful, but they serve a practical and functional purpose in the community. This is what kept their children warm and gave them something to pass down to future generations. A quilt that is not used is like a painting that has never been seen by any one other than the artist. Quilts are meant to be enjoyed, and Amish quilt patterns give you a design that everyone will want to see and use.

Most people assume that the quilts were made by hand, but actually, the Amish would use a treadle sewing machine to piece the fabrics together. Even though the used a sewing machine (not powered by electricity) quilting was still a communal event for the women in the community.

Just as men and women enjoy quilting today, quilters in the Amish community used this time a source of entertainment. It was a nice break from the chores to be able to get together and relax doing something that they enjoyed.

A quilting bee is where quiltmakers get together and set aside a designated amount of time to quilt. This was a good time to speak with one another and catch up with each other's families. Women would often quilt during the winter months and then gather with other communities during the spring and summer. This soon became a tradition for women as they continued through their daily activities. Quilting was a chance to create a sense of women centered community in the faith.

This form of entertainment even turned into a profitable business for the Amish community. Amish quilt patterns make some beautiful bedspreads, comforters, and blankets. Amish quilt patterns are often raffled off to raise money for charities or sold out of a family's home to subsidize income.

Different Patterns to Use

The Amish quilt patterns represent a way of life. Each design is chosen for a reason as a symbol for something else. That is one reason why the star pattern is so prevalent with these types of designs because of its religious significance.

One popular design is the Mariners Star because it is representative of freedom. Living the rural and simplistic life is supposed to be one of freedom because you are away from temptations. Therefore, it is no surprise that these types of patterns would speak to Amish quilters wanting to share their story and love of faith.

Some Amish patterns call for the use of embroidery, which is usually done by cross-stitch. This is a process of love and devotion as each "x" is stitched into the quilts to blend the overall design together with these minor details that play a big role in the overall quality. Curves and grids are other types of popular quilt designs and patterns.

Types of Amish quilt patterns that quiltmakers can use:

  • Tree of Life
  • Patchwork
  • Star of Bethlehem
  • Log Cabin
  • Sunshine and Shadow Buggies

To make these patterns you can use traditional or modern methods. Templates are even available for paper piecing. Stencils come in handy for those trying to make the quilts by hand, who want to pay extra attention to details as quiltmakers did centuries ago.

Quilts are made out of cotton, which make them fatter and more comfortable. They are typically washed before they are given away or sold so they do not have to shrink nor have their dyes run onto other materials, including your clothing. They can also be made of wool, avoiding other fabrics such as silk.

As time passed by, the quilt patterns branched out to include block patterns such as nine patch. These took time to be adopted by most quilters because of their use of color.

Color Characteristics

Colors are always an important aspect of quilting. Quiltmakers take the time to choose their colors because they know it is going to help represent the quilt or comforter overall. For Amish quilt patterns the colors are not always bright, as are the colors that the quilters wore themselves, but over time, more color has been added to the designs.

At first, only one solid colored piece of fabric was used for the top with the design stitched on. Now more colors have been added, but not to make the quilts appear too fancy. The patchwork patterns though will use bright colors with a black background. Since black is used instead of white this helps balance out the energy of the color.

The particularity of color in a quilt is not something singled out by Amish quilt patterns. All quiltmakers must be aware of his or her color choices no matter if they are making an appliqué quilt or following a ragged design.

Colors are symbolic of the story being told, so for a quilter who is Amish, the color choice is important, as they do not want to be boastful or too flamboyant. That does not mean that there is no color used; in fact, more colors are being used today than ever before in Amish quilt patterns. However, the color choices are usually darker.

On average, quilters using Amish quilt patterns will stick to the color scheme of green, red, blue and purple. There is a minimal use of yellow and oranges with these blankets and comforters. When black is not used as a background, an off white or even light tan is used. However, quiltmakers can choose any color they wish when using Amish quilt patterns.

To help set off the color from the design, Amish quilt patterns can call for a large diamond to be one solid color so that will be a focus of the comforter or blanket. Fabric colors are no longer just off white or black. Quilters will use a dark red or even an olive green as their solid backing.