As is the case with all other works of art, your quilt may become an heirloom and will only increase in value. Unfortunately, this tends to be an industry where "buyer beware" is the rule. The problem is one of supply and demand. The demand for quilts, particularly Amish-made quilts, keeps increasing, but the number of expert quilters isn’t rising in proportion. So “un-expert” suppliers have cropped up to try to meet that demand. Watch for slogans like “Amish pattern” or even “Amish quilt”. If the seller doesn’t expressly say that the quilt was made by an Amish woman, chances are most likely it wasn’t.
We define an Amish-made quilt as being made by an Amish woman. In some rare instances, Mennonite women sew our quilts, particularly our crib quilts. And in other cases, we will work with an out-of-state quilter as long as she's Amish and she does the very best work. Again, just as in all of our other merchandise lines, we specifically state at the top of each product’s page just who made each product.
We are passionate about authenticity and trust. So when we say that our quilts are the real thing made by genuine Amish craftswomen, we mean it. If requested, we will send a Certificate of Authenticity with every Amish-made purchased quilt and/or any purchased quilted item over $10.00 in value.
- WHAT IS A QUILT AND HOW IS IT MADE?
- WHAT KIND OF QUALITY SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A QUILT?
- WHAT ARE THOSE WHITE OR GRAY MARKS ON MY QUILT?
- WHAT SIZE QUILT SHOULD I BUY?
- HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR MY QUILT?
- HOW DO I HANG MY WALL-HANGING QUILT?
A quilt consists of two layers of cloth filled with padding (like batting) secured in place by ties or stitched designs. Our quilts are always made of material that is either cotton or a cotton/polyester blend and filled with polyester fiberfill. The simplest quilts are secured by hand-knotting; you will find this style in our Quillows (pillows created by a cover stuffed with a quilted blanket inside).
The more conventional and famed quilts are secured by elaborate hand-stitching in a variety of patterns that range from feathering to cross-hatching to hearts to intertwined ribbons and other patterns.
One definition that we emphatically do NOT USE is to say a quilt is Amish if it happens to be a traditional Amish pattern but made by a non-Amish worker. While there are some very fine English quilters plying their craft, Amish women are famed for their piecing and quilting technique far and wide.
There are basically two types of quilts that we sell here: patchwork and appliqué. A patchwork quilt consists of pieces of cloth of various colors and shapes sewn together to form a design. An appliqué quilt is decorated by using cutout designs that are sewn onto the quilt. This requires a great deal of painstaking craftsmanship by taking the edges of the cutout and sewing them “underneath” the design in what is tantamount to an invisible seam.
What is a handmade quilt?
The quilts that we feature here are:
- cut from the fabric into pieces by hand
- sewn together on a treadle-driven sewing machine, and
- quilted by hand on a quilting frame.
Usually the woman who cuts and sews the pieces together is a different person than the one who does the actual quilting. Different people have different talents. We do have one artisan who does it all extremely well, and we cherish her quilts.
First of all, does the quilt look “right” to you? That may sound like a silly question, but it’s not. The quilt has to harmonize the fabric design with the quilted design. If anything stands out or is glaring to you, then that’s clearly not the quilt for you.
Second of all, the piecing should all match. Do the pieces in your prospective patchwork quilt all meet at the corners? Or is one piece longer than all the others? Piecing can be a very difficult and demanding job, but your prospective quilt shouldn’t have any pieces that fail to match by more than one-eighth of an inch.
Third, the quilting itself should be plentiful and the stitches be relatively even. A good quilt will have at least 6 stitches per inch; a fine quilt will have 7 or 8 stitches per inch. Top of the line quilts may have even more, but their cost can climb dramatically.
Turn the quilt over (we include pictures of the back with each of our products) and look at the quilting from behind, where it is easiest to see. You don’t want to see too many “puckers” where pieces of fabric have been incorrectly gathered into the quilting stitch.
You also don’t want to see any large spaces of your quilt that haven’t been quilted. Any space larger than your fist means that there was a rush to bring this to market and the quilter didn’t do enough work on it.
One thing that may startle you are the tracing marks that run along side of the actual quilting. Quilters customarily use stencils to trace where they should perform their needlework. Many people prize these marks as part of a quilter’s signature. If you don’t care for them, you can easily rid your quilt of them. If your marks are white, it is probably chalk and will disappear after you dry clean or wash it. If it is gray, it is probably pencil and can be removed with a regular rubber eraser if desired. Just be certain that you don’t pull on the stitches while trying to erase the pencil marks!
Determining Size in Four Easy Steps
- Measure the width and length of your mattress. Then, measure down the side of your bed to determine just how far you want it to hang down. Your quilt can be used with a dust ruffle or bed skirt if you wish to have a floor-length look. Please remember to double the width overhang measurement because you need the quilt to hang over both sides of the bed equally.
- The same holds true for the length measurement. If you do not have a footboard on your bed, you will also probably want the same amount of overhang at the foot of the bed as you have on the sides. Add this overhang amount to the length measurement.
- Because of the rectangular dimensions of the quilt, you will experience extra overhang (about 40%) in the corners. This is called the corner drop. The corner drop should be around two-thirds of the bed height. Some people like the corners to actually “puddle” on the floor. Again, use of a complimentary dust ruffle or bed skirt can accomplish the floor-length look you may desire.
- To tuck or not to tuck? Do you want to make your bed by covering your pillows with the quilt and tucking a bit of quilt underneath the pillows? If not, no need to add anything to your measurements. But if you do, add an extra 4” – 6” to your length measurement for the “tuck”.
Standard Mattress Sizes
Twin or Single Mattress: 39" x 75"
Full or Double Mattress: 54" x 75"
Queen Size Mattress: 60" x 80"
King Size Mattress: 76" x 80"
California King Mattress: 72" x 84"
Quilt Size Ranges
Twins: Widths ranging from 63" to 80". Lengths ranging from 87" to 108".
Full: Widths ranging from 78" and 96”. Lengths ranging from 87" to 108".
Queen: Widths ranging from 84" and 102". Lengths ranging from 92" to 114".
King: Widths ranging from 100" and 120". Lengths ranging from 92" to 118".
We recommend dry cleaning for all quilts. After removing it from the dry cleaner’s bag, hang it on a clothesline, if possible, to air it out. If you don’t have a clothesline, you may wish to lay it gently on dry grass or merely to lay it on some kind of rack for a few hours.
If you wish to wash your quilt instead, please ensure first that any dark solid colors will not run!, You can test these fabrics by rubbing a cotton q-tip dipped in very hot water gently over each fabric. If any colors transfer to the q-tip, DO NOT wash your quilt, even in cold water!
If you do not experience color transfer and decide to machine wash, please wash on a gentle cycle with mild detergent. Line dry.
We do not recommend dry cleaning or washing more than once a year unless your quilt is specifically soiled. We also recommend checking the seams of your quilt to ensure that they don’t need any repairs before you dry clean or wash.
You may also wish to remove excess hair and dust by vacuuming your quilt with a nozzle attachment. It is a good idea to place a clean nylon knee-high or stocking over the nozzle to prevent it from putting too much suction on the quilt.
If properly cared for, your quilt should give you years of enjoyment and become an heirloom to pass down to future generations.
The best way to store your quilt is to roll it and place it in a cotton or muslin bag or wrap it in a bedsheet. If you must fold your quilt, please unfold and refold it in a different pattern once a month to prevent permanent creases from appearing. Never store your quilt in a plastic bag or cardboard box.
Nothing warms a room better than a beautiful wall-hanging. Before you buy your wall-hanging, it is best to determine where you wish to hang it. Your wall hanging should not be in direct sunlight. It should also not be in the direct path of a heating or air-conditioning vent. In the past, we have hung wall hangings behind our sofa, on a blank wall above wine racks, on the wall at the top of our bed, in our dining room between two windows that overlook our table, and on one of the walls that line our staircase. Examine your living space to see what you’d like to brighten or spruce up!
Most wall hangings come complete with a sewn-in sleeve for a rod, or sewn-in tabs. Occasionally, tabs are sewn to extend from the top and are intentionally seen, along with the rod that hangs them. We recommend dowel rods for small wall hangings that are intentionally hidden from view, and decorative curtain rods for visible tabs. You may choose a rod that falls just short of the wall hanging, which is intentionally hidden, or a rod that extends beyond and becomes part of the overall effect.
If your wall hanging does not come with either sleeve or tabs, and you would like those sewn in, please e-mail us before you place your order and we can arrange to have done for you for an additional $10.00 charge.
Either way, we will specify in each product listing which type of sewn-in arrangements that accompany your wall-hanging.
If your wall-hanging does not have any sewn-in provisions, you may also take some fabric ribbon and safely pin it to the back of your quilt with a safety pin. Or you may choose to sew in Velcro tabs and Velcro the wall-hanging directly to the wall (this will cause you to lose paint if you ever want to pull the Velcro off the wall) or attach the Velcro to a rod.
As you can see, there are many different ways to hang a wall-hanging! Or you may wish to call us at 1.866.471.4614 about a future offering: a quilt keeper, a wooden vice screwed to the wall that holds your wall hanging tight with wooden knobs! We'll be listing those when we're able.