Twinkling Amish Stars

By: Kathy Anderson
White Salmon, Washington

What appeared to be a sweet little Amish quilt seemed like a perfect choice for the Solid Color Quilt Study. However, as I researched the quilt’s origins I began to find contradictions. First, I could not find any Amish quilt where the stars were cut from just one piece of fabric. Stars made with diamonds or added triangles were always used.

The Sara Miller Collection at Lincoln, Nebraska has an almost identical Amish crib quilt with Lemoyne Stars, but no border. The black background and white quilting thread, as well as the brighter colors, appear in Ohio or Indiana Amish quilts. The narrower, contrasting binding is also typical of Midwestern Amish quilts. However the border with on-point squares, I found only in Pennsylvania quilts. This was confirmed by Mary Jane Teeters-Eichacker at the Indiana State Museum.

The problem was solved, when I came across a photo of an identical quilt. It was a designer quilt made in China around 1990 and sold by Judi Boisson, a quilt collector and dealer. It looks like she spliced two designs together to produce this example. Many reproduction quilts were made in China during this era to make them more affordable.

In reproducing the quilt, I decided to make Evening Stars as the Amish traditionally do. I considered leaving the border off to make the quilt look more like a Mid-west Amish quilt, but decided to forge ahead with the quilt as designed. The hand quilting is a simple grid pattern. I didn’t like white quilting thread on the black background so I compromised with gray.

It was interesting to learn more about Amish quilts from different regions. Patterns and materials have changed over the years, but the older, simpler ones appeal most to me.