The Diamond in a Square is a pattern traditionally associated with the Amish, Mennonite, and other German communities of Eastern Pennsylvania with the Sawtooth borders being a fairly common addition. Judging from the number of surviving Center Diamond quilts, this basic pattern is a favorite of the area. The inclusion of the simple floral appliqué silhouettes appears to be a regional pattern. I am reminded of the statement “Clothesline Envy.” This is the phrase given when a woman notices a quilt hanging on her neighbor’s clothesline, decides she likes it, and copies the pattern for herself.
This particular pattern, in both solid and calico fabrics and in many colorways, has been found in a number of quilts in both private collections as well as museums, all dated circa 1880 and from the Pennsylvania area. Some makers are known, some are not. Few of the quilts are signed.
I have made variations of the Diamond in a Square pattern for many baby quilts for my extended family. The addition of the appliqué is new to me. I truly enjoy the challenge of the heavy quilting that is so typical of the quilts of these ladies.