Way back in the mid 1980's I decided to work through Roberta Horton's book "An Amish Adventure". I had used very few solid colour fabrics up to this point in my quilting career so this was a real challenge for me. I had also discovered and was fascinated by Amish quilts after hearing a lecture by David Pottinger, author of "Quilts of the Indianna Amish". I was hooked!
After working through many of the exercises in Roberta's book, I decided I needed to take an existing traditional quilt and "make it Amish". I had been using and had saved my copies of the Quilt Engagement Calendar and I came across a crazy quilt that I thought would make an interesting Amish quilt. Many thanks to my friend Polly Greene who found the picture of the quilt and to Bettina Havig who was able to tell me that it was in the 1979 calendar. Sadly these wonderful calendars which were edited by Cyril Nelson and published by Dutton are no longer being produced. I am so glad I kept so many of them. I must see if I can find the few I am missing to make my collection complete!
The caption for the above very handsome and unusual example of Victorian needlework reads, Pieced quilt, silk and embroidery, c. 1890, New Hampshire. 56"x51". The photograph was courtesy of Thos. K. Woodward: American Antiques and Quilts (private collection).
Here is my "Amish" version.
"All Things Bright and Beautiful" machine pieced and hand quilted. The name and quilting design was inspired by a photo in David Pottinger's book "Quilts of the Indiana Amish" of two children looking up at the sky. The photo didn't show that they were looking at hot air balloons flying overhead. I imagined if they were Amish balloons they would look like this! I also wrote about this quilt here is this blog post.
Now, jump ahead to 2014, the internet has exploded and we are consumed by Twitter feeds, Instagram, blogs and Facebook to name a few. I follow Australian quilter Sarah Fielke, I have long been fascinated with her delightful patterns and her wonderful use of colour. Sarah collaborated recently with American quilter Amy Lobsiger to write a book called "Little Quilts" published by Cico Books.
I believe it was through Sarah's Instagram feed that I saw a picture of a quilt from their book of a quilt that Amy had made that she called "Cocktail Shakers".
"Cocktail Shakers" by Amy Lobsiger is machine paper pieced and machine quilted. It is slightly different from mine, it has five units in each section of the shaker and mine has seven. I have been in touch with Amy, she sent me the image of her quilt and gave me permission to write about it, thanks Amy!
I think it is wonderful that the quilters of today have such great resources they can use to be inspired to make such wonderful quilts. Be sure and check out Amy and Sarah's book and be inspired!