Amish Quilts

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Most of us would agree that Amish quilts are something of a cultural icon. They’re beautiful as well as functional and serve as a form of entertainment and togetherness for the Amish women who make them.

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Quilt block from a quilt my Amish friend made for one of her daughters.

We have heard of or seen pictures of Amish women gathered around a large quilt frame, stitching and talking. Family members get together to make a quilt for a daughter who’s getting married. Friends and fellow church members may gather to make a quilt to send to a country in need, like Haiti. Or members of a district may work together to make a quilt to donate to an auction to help a community member facing hard times.

More Than a Marriage, the last novella in my Amish Quilting Circle Series releases at the end of February and features a group of Wells Landing Amish women who get together once a week to sew quilts for the Clarita School Auction. Most of you know that Wells Landing is inspired by the Amish settlement in Chouteau, Oklahoma. But the Clarita School Auction is one hundred percent factual and takes place every September. Click HERE for more info about the Clarita School Auction.

As much as we love Amish quilts, my Amish friend in Lancaster recently told me that the Amish girls of today are shying away from quilts and leaning more toward modern English comforter sets. This type of mindset could eventually lead to the discontinuation of the traditions surrounding these beautiful works of art. I don’t know about you, but just the thought makes me want to cry.

I love quilts and can’t imagine anyone picking a comforter over a hand sewn (or even machine sewn) work of love.

quilt-1-2-mkdWhich brings me to the good news part of this post. Amy’s Amish Quilt Giveaway (3rd Annual) is still underway! What does this mean for you? The chance to win a one of a kind Amish-made quilt. If you haven’t heard about the giveaway you can find all the specifics HERE. In a nutshell, I’m collecting fabric from my readers. In turn, you get a chance at winning the quilt!

And the best part is you don’t have to able to sew or quilt to enter!

So head over and check out all the specifics of the giveaway and send in your fabric! (Must be 18 to enter. Void where prohibited.)

And you can also join my Facebook page dedicated to the quilt HERE.

quilt-2-4-mkdI am so excited to be able to use this quilt to bring my readers together and for a little while keep this beautiful tradition alive.

If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or email me at amylillard918@gmail.com.

Do you currently have any Amish made fabric goods in your home? Quilt? Doll? Potholder? Tell me all about it! Everyone who comments on this post will be entered into the weekly drawing. Up for grabs this week? A signed copy of Titus Returns, my latest Wells Landing Amish romance.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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Not All Amish Communities Are Created Equal

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When I started thinking about this post, this was the title that popped into my head. Not all Amish communities are equal, not all are the same. They differ in their Ordnung, the written and unwritten rules that govern a settlement, but they differ in other ways too.

This week, I had a reader ask me about the use of tractors in my Wells Landing Series. I explained that it was an actual part of the Amish community that inspired Wells Landing. But it made me think about the different Amish communities, how they vary, and how we perceive them.

I just finished the first novel in what will be at least a three novel series set in the little talked about Amish settlement near Pontotoc, Mississippi. Yes, there are Amish in the South!

The Pontotoc Amish settled in Mississippi as a spin-off settlement of the Swartzentruber Amish community in Ethridge, Tennessee. Swartzentruber Amish are among the most conservative of the Old Order Amish, not even allowing indoor plumbing. But when I first saw the houses, I immediately wondered how these people scrape out a living.

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Mississippi red clay dust coats everything. All the houses are covered in aluminum siding, mostly white, but there were a few red ones. Yes, red! There are no flowers planted out front, no cute swing sets for the children to play on. There are no phone shanties. But there are plenty of signs made out of the scraps of siding which bear the carefully lettered names of the items the family sells. The gardens are large and fields of cotton and peanuts are plentiful. Almost every house has a shed where they sell the products that they make—goat milk soaps, gel air fresheners, potholders, button necklaces, and all sorts of canned goods.

It’s a peaceful, though dusty, and has a beauty all its own. But it’s miles away from Lancaster County in both distance and attitude. But it’s next to impossible to visit the two areas and not compare them. And on the surface, Pontotoc can look at bit rundown. And my heart went out to the people who live there. But when we mentioned this to our Amish friends in Pennsylvania, their sixteen-year-old had an insightful theory.

It doesn’t have to be that they are poor, but that they have different priorities.

Wait…what?

Yes, even the Amish can have different priorities.

My Amish friends in PA plant flowers in their yards every year. Do you know how much water it would take to keep flowers alive in the MS heat? A lot. So they don’t plant them. Instead they grow muscadines, tomatoes, and corn. Something with more value, something worth the effort it takes to keep it alive. Just different priorities.

And just something to think about the next time you get to visit an Amish community.

Have you ever been to visit the Amish? Where did you go and what was something interesting you observed?

This week I’m giving away an audio copy of Caroline’s Secret. Just leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing.

And as always, thanks for reading!

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More Than Friendship Release Day

Happy Release Day to More Than Friendship! More Than Friendship is the first e-novella in the new Quilting Circle Series. This is a spin-off series from Wells Landing.

Come meet Clara Rose, Eileen, Verna, Mariana, and Tess as they live, love, and yes, quilt.

Friendship Amy Lillard 2-16

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