Friday, March 7, 2008

Diamonds and Bars: The Art of the Amish

There was a wonderful exhibition of Amish quilts in Karlsruhe, Germany, that recently closed called Diamonds and Bars: The Art of the Amish...and it was wonderful!

The quilts were made between about 1880 and 1940 and were from a collector, Maria Schlumberger, and most came from Pennsylvania and Ohio. Most were made in the recognizable simple piecing patterns, with solid deep-colored dyes and incredibly intricate hand-quilting.

I was impressed both by how simple many of the patterns were pieced and yet how amazingly intricate the quilting patterns were...these quilts were deceptively complex. My own quilting seemed so little by comparison...what masterpieces!

As an American living in Germany I was quite proud to see a significant piece of American history and art displayed so far away. And as a quilter, I was proud to be a part of an art form so significant to my heritage.

Since I can't take you to the exhibit myself (which I would really like to do) then look through this online exhibit of Amish quilts.

"--it keeps us warm, it soothes our pain and relieves our burdens, it commemorates important occasions, it preserves family history, it demonstrates skill, it encourages social interaction, and it supports intimate communication." --Robert L. Freeman, A Communion of the Spiirts -- African-American Quilters, Preservers and their Stories

What makes you proud to be a quilter?

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A version of this post originally appeared on the blog, Baby Anne Quilts on March 1, 2008.

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