Collection Information Specialist Sue Slick spotlights some of our most loved pieces of artworks: quilts! These functional artworks also serve as historical timepieces for our country, read on to see which major events in history are represented in some of our quilts!
The majority of our collection is from a single collector, David Pottinger, who focused on “Amish Quilts” from the early 20th century, though our earliest quilt is from 1876. Amish quilts have two definitions: quilts made by Amish or Mennonite quilters or quilts made using traditional Amish techniques and fabrics. Amish Quilts have a distinct style that persists to quilters today. A dark base color, striking geometric designs, and fantastically intricate hand stitching are hallmarks of Amish Quilts, though of course not the only techniques found in these types of quilts. Quilting is often a community project, where many friends and family members gather to work together to create a single quilt. Much like glassblowing, quilting is a collaborative art that is passed down to the next generation. Mothers would teach their daughters from an early age what they knew. When you look at the quilts, see if any share similarities in color or style, were they made by people from the same family? From the same community?