43 responses to Giveaway and Q&A with Janneken Smucker, author of Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon
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    Karen Pollard
    Comment on Amish Quilting Mistakes (November 15th, 2013 at 06:58)

    Amish Quilting Mistakes

    I am so glad you addressed this mystery. I have long heard the Amish intentionally make a mistake and just could not accept that as truth. The Amish quality of workmanship and pride in their work is one of the very trademarks of their culture. Being a quilter, I could not imagine a quilt-maker intentionally making a mistake. It really upsets me to find a mistake I made after the quilt is complete and can no longer be corrected.

    Thank you for this article. It was most informative.

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    Comment on Mistakes on Purpose! (November 15th, 2013 at 07:08)

    Mistakes on Purpose!

    I, too, am glad you answered the question I (and others) posed about intentional mistakes. I do know how frustrating it is to find a mistake when it is too late to be corrected, so I know I’d not be able to do intentional mistakes when quilting! All the questions and answers were very interesting. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

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    Karen C.
    Comment on Fabulous! (November 15th, 2013 at 07:29)


    This is SO fascinating. I travel to Amish Country several times a year and always admire the intricate handiwork of their quilts. I would treasure this book as a valued part of my collection. It looks and sounds fantastic.

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    New York State of Mind
    Comment on Giveaway and Q&A with Janneken Smucker, author of Amish Quilts: Crafting an American Icon (November 15th, 2013 at 08:07)

    Thank you so much for answering our questions. I learned a lot from reading your replies. I am trying to save up so I can go to an Amish ladies house, near here, and buy one of her beautiful quilts for myself.

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    Lynn McCurdy
    Comment on Interesting (November 15th, 2013 at 08:20)


    Thanks for the interesting article on Amish quilts.

  • I enjoyed reading these questions and answers. I’ve been wondering some of the same things myself.

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    Lynn McCurdy
    Comment on Amish Quilts (November 15th, 2013 at 08:21)

    Amish Quilts

    Thanks for the interesting article on Amish quilts. Should be a great book.

  • Thank you so much! I look forward to reading your book.
    Also, someday I hope to own an Amish-made quilt!

  • If I don’t win this book, I will be buying it! I love the info, and appreciate the opportunity to win. Thanks!!!

  • Interesting post! I find there’s something almost magical about quilts, that’s why I’m always drawn to stories that include quilts. And there quite a few around.

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    Lori East
    Comment on Thanks (November 15th, 2013 at 09:10)


    Janneken, thanks for sharing so much of the fruit of your research with us. I look forward to reading your book!

  • Thank you, Janneken, for sharing your findings and examples. And especially for attempting to eliminate the purposeful mistake myth.

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    Sara Mandal-Joy
    Comment on delightful book (November 15th, 2013 at 09:41)

    delightful book

    Thanks for the opportunity to “win” a copy of this book! If I win, it will be a gift to a dear friend of mine, Katy, who is an elderly Amish quilter. Sara

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    Comment on Use of color (November 15th, 2013 at 10:08)

    Use of color

    I find it quite interesting how the Amish are “plain” and quite basic in their choices of color for their clothing, etc. However, their color choices for their quilts are often quite vibrant, bold… Is there a particular reason for this?

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      Comment on Use of Color (November 15th, 2013 at 10:37)

      Use of Color

      Over the last hundred plus years, Amish have used a wide range of colors in their clothing, with preferred hues changing based on prevailing community standards. In the early twentieth century, Amish quiltmakers typically used the same sorts of fabric they used to make clothing, and this often included bright shades more commonly worn by children. The local “Ordnung” provided some guidance for clothing choices, but to my knowledge usually did not dictate quiltmaking styles, which might suggest that this was fertile ground for experimentation.

  • I appreciate your insights. Thank you. We live near the Arthur, Illinois area. Predominant color choices for clothing seem to be: light blue, navy blue, emerald green, purple, maroon, and of course black. However, many area quilts include these colors as well as much more vibrant ones. I do find it interesting, and it probably is an exceptional way for them to explore their more creative sides. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen an Amish quilt that I didn’t appreciate; however, some of them are just “drop dead gorgeous”!

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    Tina Kegley
    Comment on thank you (November 15th, 2013 at 11:01)

    thank you

    Thanks so much for separating fact from fiction! I have learned so much about quilts from this column. My grandmother was a quilter and made many quilts over her lifetime. Sadly, after she died, quilts became desired objects and her son sold them off so family members did not receive any. Look forward to learning more. My desire one day is to own a pieced, hand stitched quilt. Again, thank you for taking the time to write and taking the time to write your book. I would live to own a copy one day.

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    loretta todd
    Comment on comment on Giveaway with Jannekan Smucker (November 15th, 2013 at 11:09)

    comment on Giveaway with Jannekan Smucker

    Many of our friends know we visit many of the Amish communities therefore they think we know many of the answers to their questions concerning the Amish.
    Now, I have more accurate info concerning quilt making thanks to Janneken Smucker’s Q & A collumn.
    Thank you. I learned so much from it.

  • I cant wait to read your book!! While Im not an expert quilter at all, I’ve helped put quite a few together years ago. Someday, I’ll pick it up again and I’d love to read your book so I can use old time Plain patterns. Thanks so much!

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    Wendy Bailey
    Comment on Amish Quilts (November 15th, 2013 at 12:37)

    Amish Quilts

    I will add this book to my must read list. I love looking at Amish quilts. I was in a quilt store in Sugarcreek, OH over the summer and the quilts were beautiful. I especially like the folded star pattern.

  • Thank you for the informative Q & A. I’m a little late with this question but have you heard of the Hmong sending quilts to auctions? I’ve started to see it regularly in Wisconsin Amish auctions for the last few years. Also, when they are up for auction there is no mention that said quilt is Hmong or Amish quilted. Your thoughts, Janneken?

  • whenever we go to the Amish Country in Ohio, I always stop by as many shops that I can, to admire the Amish handmade quilts, but even better is to drive by a farm, and see quilts blowing in the wind, as they hang from their clotheslines!!! ! Would love to win your book! Thank you for a wonderful give away!

  • At what age do the Amish ladies start quilting? Do they go to the quilting sessions or do they make their own with all the new mistakes while learning. Thank you for the chance to win your book.

  • Very informative article, I would love to win your book. I have recently started dabbling in quilting but am not up to full sized quilts, just small practice pieces so far.

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    Jean Junkin
    Comment on Quilts (November 15th, 2013 at 14:33)


    You certainly answered a lot of the questions I had about Amish Quilts. I still would love to have a homemade Amish Quilt. Maybe some day in the future.

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    Debbie Rhoades
    Comment on I am in awe of Amish Quilts (November 15th, 2013 at 15:30)

    I am in awe of Amish Quilts

    It is my dearest wish to someday have a beautiful Amish quilt. Thank you for your blog post today!

    Debbie Rhoades

  • Both of my Amish grandmothers pieced lots of quilts. As a child I KNEW that someday I would also piece lots of quilts. When is someday? (I have pieced several, but not like I was “planning”.)

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      Karen Pollard
      Comment on Amish grandmothers (November 15th, 2013 at 18:51)

      Amish grandmothers

      It is never too late. I retired from teaching six years ago and nearly lost my mind from boredom. When a friend suggested I take quilting lessons with her, I went just to have something to do. I despise sewing!!!

      Oh my gosh! Did I ever get addicted to quilting. I didn’t start until I was 60, so there’s always time to get going, girlfriend!!!

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    Comment on Some questions went unanswered... (November 15th, 2013 at 16:08)

    Some questions went unanswered...

    …including mine. Will a second session of responses be posted?

  • Thank you, Janneken, for your answers. I truly doubted the “purposeful mistakes”—and I’ve heard this attributed to furniture as well as quilts. As I said, it seems too prideful to be anything the Amish would consider doing!

    The more I read (your answers), the more fascinating the book becomes!

    Alice Mary


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    Jen Stoddard
    Comment on thank you (November 15th, 2013 at 18:27)

    thank you

    The more I read about the Amish, the more I admire them. Thank you for this work!

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    Karen Scearce
    Comment on Amish Quilts (November 15th, 2013 at 18:31)

    Amish Quilts

    I enjoy quilting and would love to win a copy of this book.
    Thank you for the opportunity !

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    Comment on Giveaway and Q&A with Janneken Smucker (November 15th, 2013 at 20:07)

    Giveaway and Q&A with Janneken Smucker

    Great answers to many questions, we all had! Thank you! I so hope I can win your book; if not, then I’ll surely go buy it. I love going to quilt shows, and am in ‘awe’ of them all! I just wonder, HOW do they get all of these designs to ‘work’ together?!

    I have only quilted ONE pillow top (patchwork design), and I have plenty of scraps that my friend gave me, so I’m ready to start a “real quilt”, this time…I really need some instruction, since I’ve never done this before! I have sewn before, and used to make my own clothes, but since then, have sold my sewing machine, so mine will be done by hand….might take a lot of years, for me to finish it, but I’ll give it a try!!

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    Comment on Nice Opportunity (November 15th, 2013 at 20:17)

    Nice Opportunity

    What a nice opportunity to win what appears to be an outstanding boo!

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    Comment on Nice Opportunity (November 15th, 2013 at 20:18)

    Nice Opportunity

    What a nice opportunity to win what appears to be an outstanding book!

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    sharon c
    Comment on wonderful person (November 15th, 2013 at 20:50)

    wonderful person

    In reading your comments, it shows how wonderful a person you are and how much you have investigated this subject. Thank you for this opportunity for interaction.

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    LeeAnn Green
    Comment on Amish Quilts (November 15th, 2013 at 22:06)

    Amish Quilts

    I have read several books about Amish quilts having a small flaw in them. As was mentioned, they do it to show they are not perfect only God is perfect. A quilt is never supposed to be perfect, but sewn with love and care and design.

    Quilts are not cheap to make. I make my own and give some as gifts and material and all is very expensive. Depending on the size of the quilt, it can take several months, to years to make a quilt. Also depends on the design on it. The price that the Amish charge for their quilts is very reasonable! PA is over priced for the quilts, but the ones in Iowa and MN. are very reasonably priced, in fact almost cheap when you add up the labor, cost of materials, and all the people that help with the quilt.

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    Comment on appreciation (November 15th, 2013 at 23:13)


    This was so insightful. I machine piece but love Hand quilting. The joy that comes from gifting them inspires me to do more. I can see why the older ones are so valued. I love reading about the Amish life. It brings the value of simplicity to my work. I am just a beginner but the family all anxiously wait for their personalized quilt. I did wonder whether the Amish embroider and to what extent.

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    Comment on Quilts (November 16th, 2013 at 05:59)


    I love Amish quilts and have wanted to buy one every time I have seen them but couldn’t afford them even in Minnesota in the Lanesboro area. I love how the men are taking part in this. I too, am a historian, but a different kind, a genealogist and often work on Mennonite research. Would love to win. The winner will be so lucky!

  • I would love to win a copy of this book and thank you very much for the opportunity.

  • Janneken Smucker has an interesting way of writing details, without highfalutin words. Back in the 1900s, I was given a quilt block for me to embroider my name on. Finally, everyone else except me had finished their block for the friendship quilt, so they said they would go ahead and make the quilt without my square, and mine could be used for a pillow. Sometimes friendship quilts are given to a retiring teacher, with the students’ names.

    In Mississippi, 97 Mennonite women came together to make quilts and comforters. Magnolia’s Guest Day Sewing, by Julia Graber, with 9 photos.

    I came across an Amish Indiana Friendship Vintage Quilt, Helmuth Family 1932, from the Nappanee area. If I read it correctly, it is for sale for $1,575.00!


  • Thank you for your informative article. My question: What is the most meaningful “surprise” you found in your research?

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