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Amish Bars Quilt

pieced and quilted by Angie Lawrence


This is a quilt typical of those made by the Amish people of North America.


The Amish are a religious group who came to the United States from Germany in the early 1700s and settled mainly in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa and Kansas.  They have strong religious beliefs and through their language, dress and lifestyle keep themselves separate from the outside world.  Early Amish quilts were purely functional and not designed for beauty or decoration.  Scraps left over from clothing were primarily used and these were in the traditional Amish colours of blue, green, purple, burgundy, brown, grey and black and the quilts were made in simple geometric shapes.  Only plain colours are used in a true Amish quilt, as patterned fabrics were considered too worldly.


This particular quilt is made in a typical Amish design, popular and widely used because it was quick to put together.  All Amish quilts are square and this one is made to a simple formula.  The inner bars are half the width of the outer border and twice that of the narrow inner border – in this case the outer borders are 4”, the narrow border 1” and the bars 2”.  The quilting is all done by hand and is again typical, although not as elaborate as some, of an Amish quilt.