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Pieced by Rebecca; Quilted by Rosa

REBECCA

Rebecca is not just a craftswoman; she’s a dear girlfriend of mine. We met when my husband and I moved to Lancaster County and have been friends ever since. She is in her thirties, is married and has eight children ranging in age from 16 years to 4 months. You can imagine how busy anyone would be with such a brood, but being Amish, it is her responsibility to cook three meals a day, sew the family’s clothes, clean the house and yard, plant a garden that sustains a family of ten with much of the produce they will need for the year, and can the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden. Her husband is an avid hunter and she will also can the meat he brings home. She is a devoted wife and mother to her family as well.

Did I mention that she also pieces all of our Light in the Valley© quilt tops and wall hangings, too? Rebecca and scores of other Amish woman like her are just that busy all day, every day, with the exception of Sunday. Of course, she does have help; her children all pitch in to assist her. It is amazing to me as an English (non-Amish) person just how much responsibility Amish children assume at such an early age. Her husband owns his own business and works away from the family property, but he does all he can as well. Oh! And they keep a cow, two pigs, two horses for transportation, and a flock of chickens. They sell eggs too!

Rebecca and I don’t get to visit with the frequency that we used to, but our visits are special when we do. One day I shall write a blog article concerning her sister and a product-themed hen party we attended together. She has been quite a confidante for me; I have shared much with her, and I know my thoughts are safe from judgement or public airing.

In addition to the Light in the Valley© piecing, she also can be persuaded to piece an occasional Hearts All Around or Irish Chain quilt top, too. She enjoys sewing in particular when she can sit at her machine and watch her children play outside, or just observe God’s nature. Rebecca knows her Bible scripture much better than I or most others; if we ever have a difference of opinion on where a Bible verse is located, I can bank on her being right; she always is. (That last sentence would embarrass her, but it’s true.) She loves pots and pans and a pretty dish. That’s always a gift I know she’ll admire and appreciate. In fact, that’s what I deem to be her guilty pleasure- she loves hostess parties for Tupperware, Princess House, or Pampered Chef.

Rebecca once told me, “Don’t stop looking up; God doesn’t stop looking down.” She is a loving woman of faith who happens to be a very talented seamstress. The world is definitely a better place because Rebecca is in it.

Rosa

Rosa is our chief quilt creator.  She is Old Order Amish. She started quilting for us and initially her half-sister Anna started piecing. But then Anna married and moved away, and Rosa said she'd like to take a turn piecing quilts, which is usually an entirely separate discipline.  She took to it like a duck to water. We are always floored by her artisanship and abilities to make something from sometimes almost nothing!  She tells us how much fabric to buy and then literally does the rest.

Rosa is in her fifties, has 14 children ranging in age from 11 to 34, and has 27 grandchildren. She and her husband have been farming for 35 years. She loves farming.  She writes, "I've lived on a farm all my life, and it's there mostly what you need: meat, eggs, milk, hay, straw, water, garden, fruits, vegetables, yard, enough room to spread your wings. [You] can stay home and work and don't need to pack lunches all the time. You can go out in the barn together and milk cows, sing, etc.  And at times, you can go visit or help someone during the day. Don't take me wrong, it also has its disadvantages too.  But all in all, I'd say farming is the best."

Guilty pleasure: they always have homemade pizza and homemade ice cream for dinner on Saturday nights!