- Holidays and Celebrations»
Best Handcrafted Amish Quilts And Other Products Made In America
An Amish Quilt Can Last for CenturiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Our Amish communities, growing at the rate of one new settlement every 3.5 weeks (OSU, 2012), produce some of the finest products in the United States. Some of these items are also long lasting as well as attractive and sturdy, able to endure through the generations to be passed down as collectible heirlooms.
Other Amish-made products consist of foods made from scratch: homemade jams, jellies, and preserves that many consumers consider gourmet quality. Pickles of many types follow this line. Starter batches for well known Amish breads can be purchased in packages for home use as well.
Among the most famous of Amish items is the handmade quilt, which can accumulate value as well as to provide warmth and color.
Professional Quality Baskets
Longaberger Baskets company located east of Central Ohio is near the Amish communities that reside in the Coshocton and Newark areas. While Longaberger is bringing jobs back to Ohio from China for their Dresden, Ohio factory and brick and mortar sales shop, the baskets produced by the Amish living in the area are top quality and handmade.
To the right are examples of traditional Amish baskets made in all of their communities by artisans that have learned from their skilled ancestors. The Star Basket is particularly attractive and unique, especially during Amish Christmas celebrations. Since it is crafted as a six-pointed star, is can be used in Jewish celebrations as well.
The egg gathering basket is handmade by Amish makers and the exact basket that Amish families use on their farms.
The set of boat baskets is interesting and additional handmade baskets are available in the shape of hearts (like the Sweetheart basket), loaves (for giving baked gifts), and various designs for use as letter baskets and several other practical purposes.
Largest Amish Settlements East Of the Mississippi River
This is the Largest Amish community in the nation and the world.
Approximately 1,500 people.
Same size community as largest in NY.
About the same community size as that of NY, above.
Pennsylvania may be home to the largest number of producers of Amish quilts in America, although I have seen a number of such quilts in Ohio and Michigan Amish communities.
These quilts are painstakingly pieced together by hand and will last for a few hundred years. You may have seen some attractive older Amish quilts on National Public Television's Antiques Road Show.
The quality of some 200-year-old quilts brought to the auction and retail experts in collectibles is superb and the values quite high.
On TV's Antiques Road Show, I have seen prices of $10,000 and more. When shopping for Amish quilts, look for them by pattern names listed below.
Pattern Names Often Used In Amish Quilting:
- Bachelor's Puzzle
- Bear's Paw - Often found in Holmes County, Ohio
- Bow Tie
- Broken Star
- Diamond In Square - A pattern designed in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
- Irish Chain - Ireland is home to an "Order of Amish Mennonites."
- Jacob's Ladder
- Log Cabin
- Monkey Wrench
- Nine Patch or Double Nine Patch
- Ocean Waves
- Rail Fence
- Sunshine and Shadow
- Tumbling Blocks
- Wedding Ring or Double Wedding Ring
Hardwood and Pine Furniture
Amish furniture comprises probably the most well known items of Amish production aside from their quilts. These handcrafted pieces also last for many decades and sometimes appear on Antiques Road Show as well. It is all sturdy, unlikely to fall apart, and very attractively made in hardwoods and pine. Such pieces as shown on Amazon.com can be pricey, but less expensive pieces are available there as well.
The Amish have opened furniture businesses in some large towns, such as those in the suburbs surrounding Columbus, Ohio. If you are fortunate, your town in near to one of these and you can save on shipping costs. However, delivery is available from these outlets, just as it is from Amazon.com, eBay, and other online services.
Some of the most popular pieces of this handmade furniture in America include cradles, dining room tables in varying sizes, chairs, end tables, lamp stands, coffee tables, night stands shelving units, and units that house large space heaters. Some of the later are not made by the Amish, so look for ads that say "inspired by the Amish", because these would be reproductions.
In addition to fine craftsmanship, the Amish often use reclaimed wood as well, as from barns that have been dismantled, wooden ships and wagons, and other hardwood items. Indoor an outdoor furnishings are specialties, including outdoor porch swings, benches, coat racks, and other useful items.
An Amish community fewer than 10 miles to my west in Plain City is home to a strip of Amish restaurants, bakeries, delis and gift shops. Not as big as the Berlin, Ohio settlement, Plain City still has plenty to offer visitors. The scratch cooking at the three Der Dutchmen units here: restaurant, cafe, and bakery brings guests from all over the world. Several additional delis and farm markets in the area bring another group of visitors to make Plain City more popular than the Saturday farmers market in many cities.
Breads, cakes, and pastries are always on offer in our Amish stores, a larger supply baked for the Saturday rush. Whole wheat and rye breads, cinnamon rolls, pies, cookies of several types, and danishes are specialties here. Huge Whoopee Pies are another draw. Grocery chains and neighborhood markets often carry Amish baked goods, if you are unable to travel to Plain City or the Amish community nearest to your home.
One item that is mocked on the Internet is the Amish Friendship Bread starter, a type of sourdough. Despite the mocking attitude, about a hundred Internet sites offer a recipe or packets of the starter for sale.
5,000 Amish also live in Ontario, Canada; largely in four settlements.
© 2012 Patty Inglish