Inside an Amish Quilt Shop
A few photos today of a quilt shop at the New Wilmington PA Amish settlement.
The New Wilmington community does not attract a lot of tourists. But there are a few shops and businesses scattered about the settlement.
Teena’s Quilt Shop (Volant, PA)
Teena’s Quilt Shop
435 Quilt Shop Lane
Volant, PA, 16156
Teena’s quilt shop is one that doesn’t mind visitors. Teena was kind enough to let me take a few photos.
Teena’s quilts were all piled up on the display bed. For the sake of convenience, I only shot the top quilt.
Does anyone know what this style is called? Teena told me, but I didn’t quite catch it. Something with “jello” in the name, it sounded like. Update: That would be “Bargello”; thanks, readers!
Teena sells a variety of other items as well, including candles and post cards (note the warning on the sign: “If you are grouchy, irritable, or just plain mean, there will be a $10 charge just for putting up with you!”).
Teena has been in business for 20 years, and is a pleasure to talk to. While there, I picked up a copy of a home remedy book, written by her aunt, who is also Amish (Teena noted it was unusual for an Amish woman to write such a book).
If you’d like to visit Teena’s, you can find her here:
Teena’s Quilt Shop
435 Quilt Shop Lanef
Volant, PA, 16156
I would love to have a Amish made quilt, maybe someday, they are all so beautiful and so much love put into them
Absolutely beautiful!! I want one for every bed in my house along with the matching pillows. Where is New Wilmington? I must Mapquest!
Robin it is Western PA, about an hour north of Pittsburgh.
I am looking for a shop that sells Bonnets- not Prayer Caps. Do you know of any shops that sell these? I am looking for 7 and I can not find any place for them.
Jeanne, if you Google “Quaker Jane” go to “plain dress”, on the left will come up a section on bonnets and head coverings, scroll to the bottom and she has a list of places that make them.
I know an Amish seamstress who might be willing to do some custom work for you. If you wish, I will ask her if she is interested. If she is, then you can email me your phone number and I will ask her to call you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in the Lancaster Area, bonnets are sold at the Leacock Shoe Store and the dry goods/fabric store in Intercourse not far from Zimmermans store. Depending on the style you’re looking for, plainlydressed.com sells several different styles including Wenger Mennonite and the standing crown style worn by Lancaster Amish. Hope you find what you’re looking for.
I am in the process of purchasing some authentic bonnet patterns, and would be available to make you some, if you like. email@example.com.
The Cheese Shop in New Wilmington carries bonnets, both white and black.
I have been to this shop. The true Amish colors are nothing short of striking! The prices are all fair. I have also been to many quilt auctions in the New Wilmington area. Beautiful quilts, lots with Amish colors. I have Amish friends in Lancaster area also in the Holmes County, Ohio area. Several quilters. I have an Amish made quilt, Double Wedding Ring in pinks and greens made by the Newswanger girls in 1988. It is beautiful with many tiny stitches. I have an Amish friend in Lancaster area who paints quilts, watercolors. She does many paintings also post cards. Her name is Susie Riehl. Great way to have a beautiful collection of quilts in a small space!
Thanks Erik. Not anywhere where we’ll be traveling next month. We’re coming up to Lancaster Co. for a long weekend … 🙂
I have a lovely blue/white/yellow quilt on my bed that was made by an Amish quilter. It’s a log cabin/star pattern, and we purchased it on a visit to the People’s Place quilt shop and museum in Lancaster County. I have to go back there about once a year because I love looking at the displays and the new quilts!
That quilt that is displayed is called a Bardello quilt. You use several strips of fabric and sew them together and then cut and sew again. You can use rainbow colors or anything and it has quite an effect as you can see. One of the most beautiful quilts you can make.
The Quilting pattern is called “Bargello”. It comes from a pattern found in the Bargello Palace in Florence.
It is pronounced like ‘Jello’.
Quilts and Bonnets
I am planning to make quilts this fall and winter, one for our granddaughter and one for ourselves. Jeanne, what sort of bonnets are you looking for? I have some listings at my blog, “Anglican, Plain” as well. I make sun bonnets, but if it is black bonnets you want, try Plain n Simple Headcoverings. Please keep in mind that the plain bonnet is not just a hat, but also a symbol of our faith, as is the prayer kapp. They are also expensive, as they are hand made. I doubt if most plain women have more than one or two bonnets all their lives.
What a beautiful quilt!!! I have made several quilt tops and had them quilted but have never tried to quilt. I would love to have an Amish quilt!!! I lived not far from Arthur Illinois. Do you know if anyone that sells Amish quilts there?
The technique is Bargello, most commonly used in needlepoint but applied here to a quilt. Very pretty!
My parents bought us two Amish quilts at an auction in Strasburg, Pa as a wedding present. I love them. They are both made with darker, solid colors and so sturdy, I’m not afraid of damaging them with everyday use. One is a Trip Around the World pattern and fits a double bed. The other is a Center Diamond and is queen-size. They are similar to the quilts pictured in the following links:
I am in the unusual position of soon having an Amish daughter in law. My son has become Amish, and is marrying a sweet girl from a Wisconsin community in a few weeks.
I want to get some beautiful fabric for her from our (terrific) local quilt shop. My question is this; how careful do I need to be with colors I pick out? I know she loves blue so want to major on that, but I don’t want to buy anything that she would hesitate to use.
Thanks for the help…and yes, this is an old order group.
Where in Wisconsin
Congratulations to your son…and your new daughter-in-law. I applaud the young man for having the fortitude to become Amish. It’s an extremely tough life and the great preponderance who are Amish are held in the highest regard by those English who are lucky enough to have good Amish friends. I do all I can to assist them and they in turn do all they can for me. I’m so tight with so many of their families that I’ve been invited to participate in three frolics. It’s an honor for an Englishman to work along side them.
Most of my Amish friends are from the Dalton, Markesan, Manchester area in Wisconsin. If you wish to give your son’s last name, if he’s in this area, I’ll be glad to look him up.
It is a bargello quilt. (pronounced with a ‘jello’ sound at the end).
Beautiful little shop!
Labor of love!
Anne, how lucky for you (and hopefully for us on this blog, too, if you wouldn’t mind sharing some of your future Amish experiences as a mother-in-law). Best of wishes to the soon-to-be newlyweds!
I wish I could help with the quilt query, but I’ve only read about and seen Amish quilts, I don’t own any (sure wish I did). Quilting is, in my opinion, a labor of love. To realize all the thought, care, & effort that goes into each quilt, you just know how uniquely special each one is. It’s sad that modern life doesn’t leave much time for women (other than plain people and a few others)to pursue this practical, beautiful, labor intensive art/craft.
Art of Quilting
I belong to a “Sit and Sew” group in South Bend, Indiana. We meet once a month for three days of sewing. I’m not that good at quilting but most of the ladies are true artists. At our show and tell time they present their projects. Most of them piece the quilt tops but then have them quilted on long arm machines. I have a quilt pieced by my Grandmother during WWII and hand quilted by my Aunt Margreat Creager shortly before she died. I treasure it. The love of quilting is alive and well in Nothern Indiana!
I grew up sleeping under quilts made by my mother and grandmother. As a guy, I was never to concerned about how they looked. If I had a few of them on my bed, I stayed warm, but turning over was a chore. When I was in my late 20s, I got a modern comforter and was thrilled with how light it was.
I am now old enough to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship.
Thanks for your encouragement and interest. This is quite an adventure for our family! I am very glad to share any info that any of you would find helpful. When it comes to finding appropriate wedding gifts, this is hard. My son has warned me against bright colors in general. But that’s mainly for his shirts, dishes, home decor, etc. From what I see these quilts have a wonderful sense of color. I would feel terrible if I gave something Naomi didn’t think she could use. Is it better to wait for a visit from the young couple later this winter and let her pick out what she wants? I think she will feel overwhelmed by all the commercial stuff and I admit that I feel protective. It would be simpler to just make a purchase of a lovely blue calico and let her decide how to use it. Ideas? Suggestions?
Amish fabric store
Last Christmas I wanted to make some Amish dolls with authentic doll clothes for my Amish friends’ children. I found a pattern book online that specified that the styles were like those worn in Lancaster County. I sent the parents a copy of the cover photo to make sure this was something they would want their children to have and got them to give me the name of an Amish fabric store near them, where they shop. I called the store, told them what I was doing, and they mailed me some samples of their fabrics. Then I ordered on the phone and they shipped me the fabrics: linens imported from Germany and matching German threads.
Or you could just take your new daughter-in-law shopping….
How exciting, Anne! Are you looking for fabric for quilting or clothing? From what I’ve seen of Amish quilts, they use about any colour you can think of, bright, patterned or not. For clothing, any solid colour should be suitable, except red (at least that’s the case among Beachy Mennonites, and with their Old Order roots I don’t imagine it’s much different). Any fabric you get her, I’m very sure she could make use of it. 🙂
Thanks for helping me out on the pattern name here–that sounds like it!
Very interesting post! Amish quilts are gorgeous masterpieces! We quilt as well, but I think we could learn a few things from Amish quilters. Two of my sisters have quilts in a contest right now and we’re really looking forward to hearing the results. Will probably post something on my blog, along with pictures of the quilts a some point. Enjoyed all your comments, especially the Amish daughter-in-law one. Wow!
My mother and I are from the West Coast, but I do remember visiting Amish country in PA when I was a teen. She always had a quilt project going, and for several years she did a few Amish-style quilts as authentically as possible. After she passed away (2008), my sisters and I went through her fabric stash and found strips of what would have become a Bargello quilt had she finished it.
My husband and I currently own 20 Amish quilts that have never been used. We have bought them from various Amish quilt auctions in Michigan and Indiana and hope to begin selling them soon. We also own four that I switch on our bed every few months.
Another source for bonnets
Check out http://www.plainlydressed.com/cart/products.php?cat=20 for bonnets
My Amish quilt
I own an Amish quilt, secured by phone contact and mail from a fellow named John, who was organizing an auction in Strasburg PA. It was an interesting purchase insofar as I provided a letter describing what I desired, asked if my purchase could be accommodated (at the time I was offering 300 dollars for a queen-sized quilt, which was what was being accepted), and sent a SAS postcard, with a place for yea or nay to be marked. The response came back as a yea, asked me to call, and with a quick ‘hello,’ I got an affirmative answer from a very German-sounding man. A few weeks later I received a box through Parcel Post with the quilt and a receipt, including shipping, of what I owed. I paid happily the costs incurred. A very interesting way of doing business too! I have it hanging in my living room; it is a centerpiece display, and I leave the blinds on my patio’s sliding door open, so passerby can enjoy its beauty.
For Teena's business
I don’t know how to avoid saying this, but if Teena’s quilts were photographed and the pictures posted on-line in some fashion, I am sure she could sell out. I don’t know what standing that would put her in within her community or family, but it is a good way to boost sales. Really nice post today Erik, thank you!
The Quilts are exquisite to be sure.
I’d like a copy of the Home Remedy’s book. I find that facinating.
Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies
Lisa, here is the book on Amazon. The author’s name is Emma Byler, title of the book is Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies. Emma was apparently a member of the Geauga County Ohio Amish community.
If you know where to find it, you can probably get it cheaper than here–Teena was selling hers for around 13 bucks; looks like the price on Amazon is about $20 (actually I take that back, if you’d like a used copy, it’s more like 4 bucks on Amazon):
I live here in Michigan and I don’t have an Amish made quilt, but, I, too wish I did… :-)… I have seen at our Walmart where I sometimes go to shop a book called Amish Home Remedies and over near where I live at an Amish owned Bulk Food Store has a book called Amish Home Remedies and it is a different book than what is at the Walmart… Yes, I agree, very good post today about the Amish Quilts!!!!!
Selling and displaying Quilts
On a similar vein, do the Amish regularly do State and “Fall Fairs” where they set up and sell and display their quilts to people generally? I vaguely remember going to a Fall Fair in Ontario and seeing some when I was a kid, and seeing Old Order types there too.
Anne, that is so exciting!
I love the Amish and it is my dream to visit Lancaster County or a similar Amish locale and purchase a quilt. I live in the South and the closest Amish settlement is about 6 hours north of us, in TN. I am excited to read Anne’s post and look forward to her input about what she has learned and will learn from her son and new daughter-in-law. Congratulations to them, and many prayers for a happy life to the soon-to-be newlyweds!!
Leigh, can’t thank you enough for the prayers and good wishes. We are going to learn a lot (as we already have!) and I really look forward to knowing Naomi better. My son graduated first in his class and immediately decided he wanted to live a year with a nearby Amish community. He felt their lifestyle represented everything he had come to value in life… except for his great love of music (he’s a great cellist).
As far as my quilt question, the observation to possibly avoid red is helpful. And yes, this is for a quilt, not clothing.
Thanks for posting this information and photos too! I know exactly where Tina’s quilt shop is…I pass by there all the time! Actually, the really nice Amish woman I met is just a few doors down, at the Harness and Repair Shop, also along Rt. 208. You must have been in New Wilmington recently, since this post is relatively new. I’m staying up at Ryder’s Motel, on the corners of Rt. 18 and Rt. 208. Perhaps I’ll stop in that quilt shop and have a looky-see! Thanks again. Shawn
What is it?
Erik, I’m intrigued by the last photo (pillows) of that “item” in the lower right corner. Is it a pillow sham, or a throw rug, or something else? Is there anything you can tell me about it? My eyes were drawn to it—I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a “layered” item anywhere. It sure looks like it’d be labor-intensive to make! I love “texture” (in textiles) and am very curious!
When I visited Arthur (IL) about 10 years ago, there was a quilt shop we visited (a very friendly Amish lady was showing us quilts on a bed—at least a dozen, with many more hanging). I couldn’t afford them, but wish I could. I love collecting things that were literally “hand made” by women, such as doilies, aprons, tablecloths,runners,hankies, etc. (those, I can usually afford, and they’re small!). What once was thought of as “woman’s work” (or, a woman’s “hobby”, I guess) has been disappearing over the decades, as we “hurry through” our lives. That’s a shame, and it’s why these things mean so much to me.
The fluffy looking rug thing in the last photo
Alice Mary, thanks for asking, you know I hesitated to describe it in the original post b/c I don’t know exactly what you’d term it. I appreciate these home items but I’m just not the best with knowing what is what (is that a guy thing? 🙂 )
I’m betting someone on this thread ought to know the official name though. Help anyone?
Before my Mother passed away she gave me a few quilts that my Grandmother had. One was a dark wool log cabin pattern made out of various suits. Because of my recent discovery of my Pennsylvania Mennonites roots I am drawn to Amish quilts or any quilting for that matter. I have made a double wedding ring quilt for my son’s wedding. Do the Amish sew this pattern or is the pattern too bright or boastful. I have not seen any wedding ring quilts displayed in Amish photos. Come to think of it, I believe the Amish do not exchange rings so perhaps that is the reason why.
P.S. Love AmishAmerica!!
Double wedding ring Amish quilt
We’re glad to have you Linda! On the wedding ring quilt, you are right that Amish do not wear wedding rings, though having looked at images of the double wedding ring design it is different than what I had first imagined.
I’m not an expert on quilts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d find this design in some Amish homes. It sounds like Marilyn below has seen quite a few of this pattern. I do know the designs Amish make for non-Amish can vary though and often are more colorful or in different styles than the ones they would have in their own homes.
We have no Amish quilts, but we do have some Amish pillows exactly like those pictured. I bought them about 15 or 16 years ago at an Amish quilt store in New Wilmington, PA. Couldn’t tell you if it was Teena’s shop or not.
I just wanted to let Linda from Northern Illinois know that I have seen many Double Wedding Ring patterned quilts at the auctions we attend. I don’t know if they actually use this pattern themselves or only make it to sell. Colors vary from earth tones to jewel brights. Patterns vary as much as there are quilters. It seems somebody is always coming up with a new variation on an old pattern.
Quilts, prices, sources
A few reandom thoughts…
I usually stop at Teena’s twice or more a year, most recently 2 months ago. Typical prices for hers as pictured are right at 600; the same quilt or Holmes and probably Lancaster or northern Indiana would be about twice that or more. Shop small settlements (or better yet, small settlement benefit sales) for the best prices.
Quilts at the Clinic for Special Children auction in Lancaster in September 2011 sold well, with many around a grand. The highest I saw was a Postage Stamp with more than 5000 individual aquares that was 2800.
Saturday’s (10/15/11) Dover Delaware school benefit auction listed 164 quilts, not counting wall hangers. I didn’t see that part of the sale, but got one there 2 years ago for 300.
I enjoyed reading your comments on this post about your son who became Amish. As a fellow musician, how difficult was his struggle to give up the cello? There was a thread a while back on this board about the difficulties one faces in becoming Amish, and music (especially since I partly earn a living by it) would be one of my major obstacles. Its so easy to be torn… of course getting married to a beautiful young lass helps :-).
Best wishes to your son and soon to be daughter-in-law!
This was truly one of the hardest things for him. He told us that he decided it was worth giving up some thing you really love in order to get the other benefits. It is one of a very few things he does not agree with. When he comes home he sometimes pulls his cello out and plays (this is at our home in Virginia.) The greater concern is in not having great music be a part of your life, which goes beyond one’s own musical gift. I believe music is a great gift from God, and meant to help our souls in a unique way, so this is hard to see. After all, the greatest music of western culture was mostly written by Christians. What a heritage to deny! But then, I am glad he does not have to put up with the struggles of modern life. He has gained a great deal, but it is not easy.
What instrument do you play? I’m sure my son would be glad to write you about this issue. BTW, he told us that he had some other friends in the Amish community that would secretly get out their instruments and play when no one was around. I thought that very dear!
I would love to communicate with your son, however I don’t feel comfortable sharing my e-mail address on the web. Erik – if Anne and I send our e-mails to you, can you please facilitate and exchange of those e-mails?
It’s fine with me. Erik if you can connect us via email, please do.
Inside an Amish quilt shop
I am looking for an Amish woman to sew a couple dresses for me. I had a wonderfull Amish lady who has done this in the past, but she was in a bad accident and passed away. I did not think it in good taste to ask the widowers new wife to continue this for me. I am disabled, and on a fixed income, and know the Amish to be honest, and i trust them to do bussiness with me. I hope to find someone in either NY,Del. or PA. I am respectfull of their ordnung, and need dresses for everyday wear, nothing fancy. I will share my mailing address,if emialed. Thank you. Patricia Tiffany
Though not Amish, our family has ordered dresses from the Kings Daughters before and have been very satisfied. They specialize in plain and modest clothing. They have a website at thekingsdaughters.com.
Hope this helps.
Inside an Amish quilt shop
Thank you Matthew. I did check it out, and thats exactly what i want, but they dont make the size i need. My hope is to find someone i can send the pattern and fabric too, and have them make it for me. But I appreciate your help.
I have a quilt on my bed but it’s commercially made, not Amish – something I would love to rectify as soon as possible one of these days! Rick is right, the prices are alot cheaper in smaller settlements, and I could kick myself for not getting the perfect one I saw for sale in a little breakfast joint in The Big Valley ( Amish settlement just below State College in PA ) for only $360 !!!
Suitable Amish Quilt Fabric
For the lady wishing to buy quilt fabric for her future Amish Daughter-in-law. A good broadcloth, of a Polyester/Cotton blend would be fine. It must be a plain, solid colour with NO pattern in it, if you wish her to use it at home. A patterned cloth might be suitable for a quilt they would make for sale, depending on their church district’s rules. Likely no red or orange, but purples, blues of varying shades, etc. would be appreciated. They may use pink in a quilt, but you would need to know this. Mark ~ embergalloways.com
Thanks for the insights. I think I’ll let her pick out what she wants so there will be no worries. We leave for the wedding next Monday. Can’t wait!
Anne, how exciting for you and your family! I am truly hoping you’ll share your wedding memories on this blog, as it’s obvious several of us would love to hear about them! Have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute (I’ve heard there’ll be MANY minutes!) of your son’s Amish wedding. Pass our best wishes to him and his bride!
Found A Man who Admits to Loving Quilts
Erik, I was on Ty Pennington’s blog page today called “Last Look”. One blog, “The Modern Quilt Guild” might be up your alley or others to take a look at. Most quilts were modern but there were 2-3 that were simple in design if not brightness. Found this blog of yours & thought I’d pass this information along. Hope it gets to you, Sir.
That item in the corner is a rag rug. That one doesn’t look like its made from rags, but the Amish will use leftover scrapes and put together to make rugs for the floor. They are very colorful and nice to have.
I would like to purchase a quilt the one that is hanging on the quilt rack. Last picture below the pillows. Or I would be interested in a pattern to try and make one. Anyone know what it is called.
Hello Jane – the pattern of the rag rug in the photo resembles quilt patterns Trip around the World, Diamond Trip, or Brickwork Trip. Maybe even a Sunshine and Shadows pattern. All very traditional patterns.
Visit http://www.plainandsimplequilts.com to see both traditional and applique quilts. They have tops you can select to have quilted. They also have handquilting services for tops you may have made and will do custom work.
Hi Maggie, Thanks for the information. I will look it up on the internet. I appreciate your help.
Hi Maggie, The quilt or rug that is hanging on the quilt rack below the pillows in the first picture. Do you know what it is called? In your first email you named some of the patterns. Do you know which one it is and how to look up that pattern on the internet?
Maggie, Sorry, it is the last picture.
Would you think Annie would write to me? I would love to know more about her life and her DIL’s life. If you could reach her via her email and if she was interested in writing me, give her my email. I love all these comments on the Amish quilts. Would love to visit in some of the areas where they have Auctions. Also, where is Teena’s quilt shop? Thanks so much for any help you can give me.