1/6/13

Phew! A Finish!


My sewing machine has been going almost non-stop for the past three days, and finally, my Plain and Simple Amish sampler is finished!  This is where I left off yesterday.



When I started today, I added the second border.  By now the quilt has grown large enough that it is hard to photograph.


Fortunately, Matthew showed up before I added the last border, and so he and Mike were enlisted to hold it up for this last picture.  The quilt is 85 inches wide and 103 inches long.  They had to turn it sideways in order to hold it up off the floor.  Hopefully, I can take a better picture of it once it's quilted!




I blogged earlier that this quilt is special to me because my ancestry is Amish.  When I was in graduate school to become a social worker, one of our assignments was to study our family history and to write a paper about it.  (Learning about our families was an exercise in becoming more self-aware, but also in understanding the influence of previous generations on the present day family.)  What follows is a portion of the narrative I wrote about my family, and it tells what little bit I know about my Amish ancestors:

On my mother's side of the family, the original family of immigrants to the new land were Christian Stutzman and Barbara Hochstedler.  Christian was the grandson of Jacob Stutzman, who arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 21, 1727, on the ship "Adventurer" piloted by Captain John Davies.  They left Switzerland because of religious persecution and had gone from Spiez, Switzerland (near Lake Thun) to Rotterdam where the ship set sale.  Jacob lost his wife and all of his children, with the exception of Jacob and Christian, on the voyage.  When they arrived in Philadelphia, he had no money to pay passage so he bound out his sons as indentured servants.  He then returned to the Old Country, leaving his sons in the care of church members of the Amish faith.  
Barbara Hochstetler's father (also Jacob) was attacked and killed by Indians September 20-21, 1757.  Because they were pacifists, they refused to take up arms.  Many family members were slaughtered in this attack.  The settlers were in a great deal of danger from the Indians during this period and they were kept in a constant state of apprehension.  However, their pacifist beliefs were strong.  Some were imprisoned during the American Revolution for refusing to fight.  
I do not know a great deal about the two generations that came after.  Dropping down to the fourth generation and Jonas Miller, however, it is noted that they changed from the Amish to the Brethren faith and also that they migrated from Pennsylvania to Iowa.

Jonas Miller would have been my great-great grandfather, and his son, my grandfather, married Bertha Wise Maust.  My grandfather died when I was a little girl, and I only met him one time.  My grandmother practiced the Brethren faith to her dying day.  Here is a picture of her on the day she married my grandfather:


She made the most beautiful quilts, including this double wedding ring, which is done in the Amish style of all solid fabrics.


And just look at her beautiful hand quilting.


What I know about Amish quilts, I learned from these two books.




Without going into great detail, it is well known that the Amish use only solids in their quilts.  Some of them have so much movement, however, that one would swear there are print fabrics involved.  Here are a few of my favorites.




When I started quilting in 2008, it was with the knowledge that my ancestry was Amish.  My passion for quilting was ignited from looking at my grandmother's beautiful quilts when I was a little girl.  And so when I found the Amish Sampler quilt pattern shortly after I started quilting, I knew I wanted to make it.  I started this quilt on January 5, 2012, and now, one year and one day later, the top is complete!

I'll be sending this quilt off to my long arm quilter this week.  The one I've chosen, Erin Davis, does a beautiful job with traditional quilt designs, and so with just a little bit of instruction, I'll leave my quilt in her capable hands.  She has a waiting list, and so I won't see it again for a couple of months.

I'm linking up to:


27 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynne said...

Wow! I really enjoyed reading that post. In 2011 I. Gave my mum and siblings a book I wrote about our English heritage (mums side of the family). It took me six months, averaging about 40 hours a week to research and write. In 2017, WM and I are going to England, Scotland and Ireland to walk in the footsteps of both our ancestors!

Junebug613 said...

Very lovely quilt!! Thanks for sharing some of your heritage with us! It's neat!

Colleen said...

I love genealogy! Thanks for sharing. We have something in common. Both sides of my family came to PA. My dad's with the Quakers and Wm Penn. My mom's I havent the specifics but they were PA Dutch and originally Brethern!

Vicki W said...

I LOVE your quilt and really enjoyed the family history.

Teresa in Music City said...

Your quilt is absolutely stunning Barbara! And I don't use that word lightly. What a treasure for you to hand down to a granddaughter someday! And it was really interesting to read some of your genealogy. We have several interesting stories in our family too. I think life was definitely more dramatic back then!

Quilting Babcia said...

Your grandmother and her quilt are both beautiful, so too is your quilt in honor of your heritage. Thanks for sharing your family story.

Urmelche said...

Great job,
thank you for sharing some of you anchestary.

Marls said...

WOW Barb,I love your quilt and it was so interesting reading your family history. Thanks for sharing with us.

Rachel said...

Absolutely stunning. Just amazing.

Lee said...

As a relatively 'young' quilter of 4 years, you've quite the accomplishments :) Your sampler is wonderful, and what a legacy to follow with your grandmother's handiwork and also knowing your heritage. Genealogy research is my other hobby.

Georgia on my Mind said...

I love the family history aspect, and I also love that you had to do it for social work. That kind of reflective exercise obviously has a life-long effect.

Lynda Otvos said...

This beauty has just taken the top of the list of my favorite of your works, Barbara; it's stunning. Your inspiration meter just pegged the red zone.

Lyndsey said...

Your finished top is so beautiful. I love the use of the solid colours as it lets the eye enjoy the blocks.

The DWR quilt your grandmother made is stunning. As you know I am planning on making one but so far we can't agree on the colour or fabrics. Having seen this quilt I am going to suggest to John that whatever colours we decide on I use solids rather than prints.

Thank you for sharing your family history. I love history anyway but it's what happens to individuals and their families that is so interesting and brings history to life.

Dana Gaffney said...

Thanks that was so interesting. I didn't know much about Amish quilting but I thought it was very traditional, those quilts are beautiful and some look modern. I'm so glad you inherited your grandmothers passion.

Kate said...

Your Amish Sampler turned out beautifully! It's going to be gorgeous all quilted. Congrats on getting all the borders on.

Family history is interesting stuff. Before I took up quilting I was major into genealogy, but when Drama Teen came along, spending hours in the library became a thing of the past.

Diane Wild said...

Your quilt is beautiful and the story of your heritage makes it all the more special. I've been rather fascinated with the Amish culture and love reading the many books published over the years. You're so lucky to have the knowledge of your ancestor's history. So much of that is lost. Looking forward to the finish once the quilt returns from the quilter.

Rosa said...

wow,spectacular and the strory about your heritage is great.Thanks for sharing!!

Quiltsmiles said...

Thanks for sharing bits about yourselfwhile sharing this quilt. It's nice to know more about your heritage.
My maternal grandfather's heritage came from the "Pennsyltucky Dutch" as he so fondly called it and he passed on when I was 5 years old.
I loved that man! Jane

Vivian said...

Great finish and thank you for the eye candy! I have this pattern too and a stash of solids--don't know when I'll get to it but drooling over yours will definitely get me there faster.

I think it's great that your family history interweaves so well with this project. Will you document some of that on the quilt in your label?

Angel and Kirby said...

It is fun to read your history. I get the genealogy bug every now and then. My son and DIL are really working on it.

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

Beautiful quilt! Thank you for sharing your family history. Your love of quilting has been passed down through the ages.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Your grandmother's quilt is lovely. I don't have a quilt from my grandmother, but, I have the quilt my great-grandmother made and gave to my parents for their wedding gift, over 50 years ago. I did get to know her well over the years.

Elizabeth said...

The quilt top is beautiful! I've had the genealogy bug for years. Through the web I connected with a cousin I haven't met face-to-face yet, but have been sharing family history with for nearly ten years! We email, FB, and visit by phone periodically as we live several states away from each other. She's doing the actual website building for our extended family with lots of contributions from me and other cousins. Great stuff and what a wonderful tie-in with your heritage.

quiltzyx said...

Hooray!! Not even 2 weeks into the year & you have a BIG top finished - way to go!
Thanks for sharing some of your history to go along with the quilt. Are the Brethern similar to the Amish? One of my good friends lives in Missouri, and her land is surrounded on 3 sides by Conservancy land & the 4th side by Mennonites. There is a small Mennonite store right across the road & I got to visit it a couple times when I was there. Delicious jams & lots of old fashioned calicos there. (One thing that made me laugh was to learn that the Mennonites eat a LOT of Frito Lay products! I saw a few riding their bikes with chip bags sticking out of the baskets. :) )

Denise :) said...

I may have an Amish quilt book or two that you might be interested in. I'll take a look and send you pics, if you like. If they look interesting, I'll send 'em on! Your quilt looks marvelous -- you did a fabulous job on it! :)

Sarah Craig said...

That is a beautiful quilt, and a wonderful testament to your Amish heritage! Whoop whoop!!

Lisa said...

LOVED reading about your heritage! <3